By Jason Allan
These performance luxury sedans are as different as they are similar. Which one is right for you?
They’re both performance-oriented luxury sedans starting around $40,000, but the Acura TLX and BMW 3 Series have some important differences. Let’s see which is stronger in the areas that matter to you.
2022 Acura TLX
The top dog in Acura’s two-car sedan lineup was completely redesigned for 2021. The newest TLX is fun to drive and looks fantastic. Pricing starts at $38,900.
Acura TLX highlights
Class-above presence: While the TLX and 3 Series are similarly sized inside, the Acura is almost 9 inches longer than the BMW . In the land of bigger is better, the more substantial TLX holds a visual advantage.
Excellent resale value: Strong reliability and resale value are two pillars of Acura’s appeal. Combined with a starting price that puts it about $2,500 below the BMW, you’ll pay less for a similarly equipped TLX up front, and you’ll recoup a bigger share of that money when you sell it.
Longer powertrain warranty: Both cars offer 4 years or 50,000 miles of basic warranty coverage. But the Acura’s engine, transmission and related parts are covered by a longer 6-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty.
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2022 BMW 3 Series
The sports sedan of sports sedans essentially created the category as we know it today. The BMW 3 Series remains as engaging as it is legendary. Pricing starts at $41,450.
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BMW 3 Series highlights
Famously exquisite driving feel: As is the case with so many performance-oriented European cars, there’s just something especially satisfying about driving the BMW 3 Series. Both cars are a blast, but the 3 Series can be more rewarding than the TLX. The BMW’s rear-wheel-drive design is no small factor here.
Superior fuel economy: In base form, the 3 Series is rated to return rather impressive city/highway combined fuel economy of 30 mpg. The TLX is rated for a lackluster 25 mpg. Fuel economy hasn’t been a top consideration for most shoppers in this segment historically, but gas prices being what they are, every little bit helps.
Broader lineup: If you count the high-performance BMW M3, the expansive 3 Series lineup offers enough upgrades to reach $90,000. For buyers who want it all, the BMW is capable of delivering more. The TLX lineup tops out around $55,000.
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Standard 2.0-litre turbo engines, available all-wheel drive, interior room
The Acura TLX and BMW 3 Series are as different as they are similar. The bigger and boldly styled TLX is also a more pragmatic choice, while the 3 Series can deliver a pure sense of driving enjoyment. Which one speaks to you?
2022 Acura TLX 2022 BMW 3 Series Starting Price $38,900 $41,450 Popular Powertrains Engine 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder Horsepower 272 hp @ 6,500 rpm 255 hp @ 5,000 rpm Torque 280 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm 294 lb-ft @ 1,550 rpm Transmission 10-speed automatic 8-speed automatic Fuel Economy 22 city/31 highway/25 combined mpg 26 city/36 highway/30 combined mpg Also Available Turbo V6, all-wheel drive Turbo 6-cylinder, plug-in hybrid, all-wheel drive Specs Basic Warranty 4 years/50,000 miles 4 years/50,000 miles Powertrain Warranty 6 years/70,000 miles 4 years/50,000 miles NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5 stars 5 stars Max Seating Capacity 5 5 Wheelbase 113.0 inches 112.2 inches Overall Length 194.6 inches 185.7 inches Width 75.2 inches 71.9 inches Height 56.4 inches 56.8 inches Turning Diameter 40.1 feet 37.4 feet Headroom, Front 37.2 inches 38.7 inches Headroom, Rear 36.3 inches 37.6 inches Legroom, Front 42.5 inches 42.0 inches Legroom, Rear 34.9 inches 35.2 inches Shoulder Room, Front 58.2 inches 56.0 inches Shoulder Room, Rear 55.0 inches 54.6 inches Cargo Space 13.5 cubic feet 13.0 cubic feet
This story originally ran on KBB.com.
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