2015 Acura TLX vs 2015 Infiniti Q50

Six-cylinder, all-wheel drive Japanese Sedan Shoot out

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2015 Acura TLX vs 2015 Infiniti Q50

With their combination of sportiness, style and technology, it’s hard to resist the charm of a sport sedan. Making them even more enticing is how versatile they can be, as many can be equipped with smooth V6 engines and capable all-wheel-drive systems.

So, like a feline to catnip, we jumped at the chance to test the new Acura TLX V6 AWD and Infiniti Q50 AWD to see which one is worth your money.

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Power or Poise?

You may already be familiar with the Infiniti Q50, a sharp and agile luxury-infused car with a 3.7-liter six-cylinder heart of gold. That motor makes a solid impression, pumping out 328 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. Paired to a quick-shifting seven-speed automatic transmission and its rear-biased all-wheel drive system, the Infiniti always feels engaging. In the dry, the Q50 is quick and it feels that way, hitting 60 MPH from a standstill in under six seconds. On snow covered roads, it has a preference to let its tail end wriggle. Sure that may sound like fun, but all-wheel drive cars are also supposed to provide a sense of confidence and safety, both of which tend to fade when your car is oversteering in a corner.

Despite how much fun the Q50 is, it feels like we are always travelling to the same destination: the gas station. With an average of 21 MPG, the Q50 just can’t keep up with its rival in terms of fuel economy.

Yes that means one of the key areas where the TLX shines is in terms of its efficiency. While the nine-speed automatic transmission in the Acura is a little unrefined at times with jerky or hesitant shifts, the car still manages 25 MPG while driving in snow on winter tires. Furthermore, the front-biased super-handling all-wheel drive system provides a true sense of confidence and stability in snowy and icy conditions. Unlike the Q50, it’s hard to shake the TLX loose. This all helps the TLX keep a competitive edge, despite the fact that its 3.5-liter V6 isn’t as strong at 290 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque.

Comfort and Sophistication

When it comes to handling and ride comfort, these cars are polar opposites. Our Q50 wasn’t equipped with Infiniti’s steer-by-wire system and fortunately the electric power-assisted steering it uses instead is engaging and communicative. For better or worse, the ride quality is too. The Q50 feels choppy on the roads in comparison to the TLX, which is comfortable while still offering a sense of sportiness. Another highlight is just how quiet the TLX is on the road as very little external sound penetrates the cabin. While the steering of the TLX is on the numb side, it’s easy to drive and right on point with what we expect at this price.

Same goes for the TLX interior, which is not only comfortable, but premium looking thanks to the wood accents and soft-touch materials used throughout the cabin.

In comparison, the interior of the Q50 feels sporty, although a bit juvenile, mainly due to the aluminum trim.

Both cars use two infotainment screens in the center stack to provide a wealth of information. In the Q50, both screens are touch-sensitive, although you can also use a control knob on the center console to manipulate the top screen.

The setup in the TLX is easier to use, with the lower display being a touch-sensitive unit that provides audio and climate information, while the top screen displays navigation and other information.

Although there is slightly more space for passengers in the Q50, it isn’t enough to really sway us away from preferring the cabin in the TLX. Furthermore, the TLX features more trunk space and comes with 60/40 folding rear seats, something that’s an optional extra on the Q50.

Compare Specs

2015 Acura TLX V6 SH AWD
vs
2015 Infiniti Q50 AWD
Vehicle 2015 Acura TLX V6 SH AWD Advantage 2015 Infiniti Q50 AWD
Engine 3.5L V6 290 hp/267lb-ft Q50 3.7L V6 328 hp/269 lb-ft
Transmission 9 speed automatic - 7 speed automatic
Fuel Economy 25 MPG TLX 21 MPG
Fuel Economy (l/100kms) 8.4 TLX 11.2
Weight 3774 lbs. Q50 3,748
Front Head Room 37.2 Q50 39.5
Rear Head Room 36.7 Q50 36.8
Front Leg Room 42.6 Q50 44.5
Rear Leg Room 34.5 Q50 35.1
Cargo 14.3 TLX 13.5
Starting Price w/AWD $42,495 Q50 $39,855
Starting Price w/AWD (CAD) $40,619 TLX $41,945
As tested $45,720 Q50 $40,855
As tested Price (CAD) $48,119 Q50 $43,195

Features and Pricing

Furthering the appeal of the TLX is the accessibility to high-tech features at a lower cost. Our fully-loaded tester came equipped with a blind-spot warning system, lane departure warning, lane keep assistance, adaptive cruise control, parking sensors, front collision warning and more.

At $45,720 including destination, the TLX represents the true bang-for-your-buck winner in the world of premium sedans. In order to match the TLX feature-for-feature, you will need to spend $51,885 on a Q50. Then again it can be less expensive than that if you’re willing to forego some of the high-end accoutrements, as all-wheel drive Q50 models start at $39,855.

The Verdict:

The Infiniti Q50 is the sharper sport-sedan but it comes with a long list of compromises. It’s less comfortable, inefficient and expensive when equipped to match the TLX. The Acura is more comfortable and easier to drive year-round, making it a more rounded choice. If you want a bit of everything with minimal compromises, we recommend the TLX.

2015 Acura TLX

2015 Infiniti Q50 AWD

  • Santos

    Interesting. It’s clear the Q50 is the sportier choice, but the TLX is the better all-around car. Good to hear Acura is succeeding on the basics.

  • Mike Schlee

    Interesting indeed. I thought the Q50 had this in the bag.

  • Phil

    alright, so all we need now is a TLX Type S

    all the goodness of the TLX in a sportier trim

    and wonder why Acura isn’t matching its 8speed Dual Clutch with the V6 as well.

    … now guys, you need to take the cars to the tracks and compare stats, acceleration, braking, cornering, lap time .. .track stats would add lots to your reviews!!

  • Kingpcgeek

    A good many people lease their cars when you get into this pricing level. Reading the leasing forums I see that you are going to save a considerable amount of money leasing a Q50 over the TLX for a more expensive car. Infiniti’s leasing rates cannot be beat right now.

  • whitneymuse

    Acura engine is superior; have had 4 of these and it’s reliable and strong.

  • Samus

    Great article. I know the TLX isn’t “cool” but it’s the smart choice.

  • ColumWood

    Good point. We’d love to push these cars at the track and add them to our leaderboard http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2014/12/fastest-lap-times-at-the-autoguide-test-track.html

  • ZX-10R

    Like all honda products the TLX is hideous. Aesthetics should count a lot and the difference in lines is just too much for what slim if any advantage the honda (Acura is lost) has. However at this price point buying a honda is not smart shopping unless you want your luxury car to last 20 years…Most people buying in this segment I believe do not share that point of view.

    Fanboys of honda make me laugh – born of the 10k car with 10k of add on parts upbringing.

  • BernardP

    The TLX is artfully walking the line between boring and ugly. As for the Infiniti, the “jowls” front-end styling is ridiculous. Like other Nissan products, the styling tries too much with pointless idiosyncrasies.

  • Rochester

    Sport Sedan… point Infiniti.
    Luxury Sedan… point Acura.

    Both cars are boring, IMO. If you’re going to buy a car like that, save your money and go down-market, because neither of these cars are cheap nor particularly note-worthy as sport sedans.

  • Phil

    I agree
    same with most recent lexus’

    Acura/honda’s understated style looks simple, clean, and likely to age better

  • The R

    Chrysler 300C AWD platinum and is better than both of them.

  • daveiam

    This Laurel and Hardy team are truly representative of the current thinking of their generation. Styling and performance don’t matter……..comfort and economy do.

  • bcl187

    I know right! A v8 8 spd awd DAMN! I want a 300c

  • thatguy88

    And that’s a problem? If you want out and out performance, then there are better options (BMW 3 & 4 Series & Cadillac ATS, for example). Comfort and economy are just as important here as in any other segment nowadays. Honestly, I’d still pick the Acura; it simply offers more to more drivers for less money. The Infiniti is great, as it’s always had a particular “raw edge” to it, but that decided thins out its potential league of buyers. And yes, I like the way both look; the Acura is svelte and sophisticated, and the Infiniti is taut and muscular. Options may be hard to come by nowadays, but it’s not like NO good options are currently available in this segment.

  • thatguy88

    I respectfully disagree. Acura is doing what they can to regain grounding in the market, and once they’ve regained sales and their reputation, they’ll bring back most of what people loved about the brand (i.e. stick shifts, high performance models). There simply has to be a market for them. This slump isn’t new to them; the 90’s weren’t exactly kind to them (aside from the NSX and Integra; the RL and the 90’s TL & CL sucked). And also, even though Hondas aren’t the “paragon of engineering excellence”, they’ve still put out some incredible, forward-thinking products. To say otherwise is willful ignorance on anybody’s part.

  • daveiam

    I didn’t say it was a problem. It’s just indicative that current and future auto buyers have different values. You couldn’t give away the 60’s muscle cars or exotics that are bringing megabucks at auctions to this new type of auto enthusiast. Detroit, Japan, and Germany had better focus their future offerings with them in mind.

  • Shiratori90

    Obvious trolling is obvious…….

  • Shiratori90

    Not really……

  • Shiratori90

    Not everyone wants to throw money for three years at a car they will never own.

  • Kingpcgeek

    Thank you for that insightful rebuttal. You really put me in my place. I will never give my opinion on a topic online again.

  • Mike Litoris

    Just another Shit article from AutoGuide.

  • Mike Litoris

    300C is a granpa car.

  • Mike Litoris

    And you are a small handful of people who think the front end is bad. You are on crack sir.

  • Mike Litoris

    SMART? choice. How so? More money and better gas mileage? The SMART choice is for the loaded Acura money, buy the Hybrid Q50S which pulls low 13s Quarters AND gets 31 MPG.

  • Concerned

    How were the transmissions?

  • Concerned

    I’m kind of confused here. When the writer compares “Advantage” over the different specs
    (the Q50 comes out ahead 9 vs 4). But he picks the TLX as the better driving car based on his experience driving both vehicles. But I also question whether he drove these car’s properly, for example the writer states that the Q50 with its rare bias allows the “tail end to wriggle” which kills confidence because the car is oversteers in the corner when driven in the snow. Well why didn’t he drive the car in winter mode (which locks in 50/50 bias and prevents the back end from sliding?

    Also, why didn’t he compare fully optioned models of both cars? This comparison makes no sense to me.

  • JT

    Sooo the spec chart in the article has Q50 the hands down winner but they think the TLX is better??

  • Shiratori90

    STFU

  • Kingpcgeek

    Once again, amazing commentary. You should think about blogging for a living.

  • Shiratori90

    You should think about living on your own, instead of spending your years in your mom’s basement.

  • Kingpcgeek

    You have added so much to this conversation. I am going to guess you are a 75 year old man that “always pays cash” for your cars. Why did you ever open your idiotic mouth in the first place?

  • F Brooks

    A Base Q50 Vs. A Loaded TLX? Is this a Joke?

  • Shiratori90

    Trolls will keep on trolling…..

  • Kingpcgeek

    You are living proof of that since you made the first comment that added nothing to the conversation.

  • Sergei Zhukov

    I have a 2000 Accord EX-V6 with 285 000 Miles on it. I drive the hell out of it, revving the engine to the Red line occasionally hitting 100-110 MPH. The transmission needs oil changes more often than what the manual says and AT oil filters as well and you will be good to go.

  • John O’Gara

    This article is nonsense. I am a former 2008 TL Type-S owner (also former Integra Type-R owner among others) that was waiting on the TLX to be my new car. Acura’s laziness under the hood chased me away from the brand, ultimately landing on a HYBRID Q50 that will take the TLX’s lunch in power and MPG. The fact that this article doesn’t even mention that they compared Acura’s higher power offering to Infiniti’s lower power offering shows this site for the garbage writing that it is.

    If your article is going to compare gas mileage as a major bullet point, how do you ignore the Q50 hybrid? Likewise, you need to acknowledge the TLX’s grocery-getter version with the inline 4.

    I loved my TL Types-S, but this new TLX is boring all around. Acura/Honda lost a long time customer with me. Considering things that Infiniti and others are doing will not get me back to Honda/Acura until they strap a turbo or electric motor to that aging 3.5L power plant they keep recycling.

  • Shiratori90

    You’re trolling. Go back under your bridge.

  • Shiratori90

    That’s only your opinion, which many would disagree with.

  • John O’Gara

    I don’t think the word “trolling” means what you think it means.

  • Shiratori90

    I know what it means, and you’re guilty of doing it.

  • John O’Gara

    You are projecting. The comments from your disqus profile are funny as you trash anything that isn’t a Honda product. Do you even own a car or are you just defending what daddy drives?

  • RandomCarGuy

    I like how they mentioned price as a negative for Infiniti yet both the as tested and starting price were HIGHER in the Acura. Way to go, morons.

  • smartacus

    the girl who commented to you below is a troll

  • Guest

    gthg

  • I agree with you. Acura/ Honda also has a terrible track record with transmissions and let’s not forget the cracking dashboards as well. I’ve owned the Acuras and now have the Q50. I will say that Acura’s service department (where I live) was excellent when any repairs were needed. Infiniti’s is great also. I don’t like the physical feel of the seats and dash material on the TLX nearly as much as on the Q50. Road noise is a tire issue since the Q50 comes with run flat tires. You can opt for different ones if you chose to do so. Acura still hasn’t touched the 300 plus horsepower league with the TL/TSX= TLX as of yet and the feeling of the performance is noticeable whether one wants to agree or not. This, plus rear wheel drive are reasons why people cross shop BMW, Mercedes, Cadillac, Lexus and Infiniti. Until Acura does a rear wheel drive variant they won’t be taken as seriously by some shoppers. As far as lower gas mileage, I have a well paying career, so stopping at the gas station has never been a problem for me. I just hope that Acura finally has that transmission reliability handled.

  • Agreed. This is some of the same nonsense that Car and Driver and Road & Track used to pull. Have a fully optioned BMW or Mercedes going up against other cars without some equipment. If a buyer can afford the car they don’t complain about variations in price. If they have to then they need to just buy the cheaper vehicle and move on.

  • Well said. Plus, the Infiniti will also last for the same time frame with fewer transmission problems.

  • How many engine mounts did you go through? What about transmissions? I like Acura,but the problems they have need to get fixed. I question the long term reliability of their new 8 and 9 speed transmissions. I’d hate to see what the replacement cost would be on them. Did I forget the timing belt replacement intervals with the water pumps also? Still though, they are reliable cars really, but just no longer for me personally.

  • Again this is the opinion of a few. Go and drive both personally and then make a informed decision based on your particular needs/ desires. I felt that the Q50 was a better choice for me, particularly due to the problems Acura had with transmissions and dashboards. I must again say though that service is excellent at the dealership I used for Acura.