Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2016 Acura TLX VS 2016 BMW 3 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2016 Acura TLX

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VS

2016 BMW 3

Safety Comparison

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For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Acura TLX are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Collision Mitigation Braking System optional in the TLX as “Superior.” The 3 Series Sedan scores at most only 2 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

To help make backing safer, the TLX’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the TLX and the 3 Series Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, front parking sensors, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear parking sensors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Acura TLX is safer than the BMW 3 Series Sedan:

TLX

3 Series Sedan

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Acura TLX is safer than the 3 Series Sedan:

TLX

3 Series Sedan

Overall Evaluation

ACCEPTABLE

MARGINAL

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

136

238

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

1 cm

1 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

19 cm

21 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Lower Leg Evaluation

MARGINAL

POOR

Tibia index R/L

1.1/.53

2.07/.46

Tibia forces R/L

4/2.5 kN

4/5 kN

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Acura TLX is safer than the BMW 3 Series Sedan:

TLX

3 Series Sedan

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

187

258

Chest Movement

.8 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

179 G’s

232 G’s

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

229

326

Spine Acceleration

57 G’s

64 G’s

Hip Force

483 lbs.

688 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

17 inches

HIC

249

291

Spine Acceleration

36 G’s

38 G’s

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in the IIHS moderate overlap frontal impact, side impact, rear impact, roof-crush crash tests, an “Acceptable” rating in the newer small overlap frontal crash test, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the TLX its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2015, a rating granted to only 64 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 3 Series Sedan is not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2015.

Warranty Comparison

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Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the TLX 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than BMW covers the 3 Series Sedan. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the 3 Series Sedan ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Reliability Comparison

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Acura vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Acura 11th in reliability, above the industry average. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 18th.

Engine Comparison

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The TLX has more powerful engines than the 3 Series Sedan:

Horsepower

TLX 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

206 HP

TLX 3.5 SOHC V6

290 HP

320i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

180 HP

328i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

240 HP

As tested in Motor Trend the Acura TLX V6 is faster than the 320i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. (automatics tested):

TLX

3 Series Sedan

Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

6.6 sec

Quarter Mile

14.4 sec

15.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98.4 MPH

90.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the TLX V6’s fuel efficiency. The 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Acura TLX uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The 3 Series Sedan requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The TLX has 2.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the 3 Series Sedan ActiveHybrid/diesel’s standard fuel tank (17.2 vs. 15 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The TLX has 1.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the 3 Series Sedan’s standard fuel tank (17.2 vs. 15.8 gallons).

The TLX has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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For better stopping power the TLX’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the 3 Series Sedan:

TLX

3 Series Sedan

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

11.8 inches

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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The TLX has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the TLX is 2.5 inches wider in the front and 1.2 inches wider in the rear than on the 3 Series Sedan.

Chassis Comparison

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The TLX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space Comparison

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The TLX has .6 inches more front legroom, 2.4 inches more front shoulder room and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the 3 Series Sedan.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The TLX has a much larger trunk than the 3 Series Sedan (13.2 vs. 12 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

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The TLX offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The TLX’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the TLX has standard extendable sun visors. The 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Optional air conditioned seats in the TLX V6 keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer air conditioned seats.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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Insurance will cost less for the TLX owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the TLX will cost $245 less than the 3 Series Sedan over a five-year period.

The TLX will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. Kiplinger’s estimates that the TLX will retain 36% to 37% of its original price after five years, while the 3 Series Sedan only retains 29% to 35%.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Acura TLX will be $5155 to $7491 less than for the BMW 3 Series Sedan.

Recommendations Comparison

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The Acura TLX won three awards in Kiplinger’s 2015 car issue. The BMW 3 Series Sedan only won two awards.

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