Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2016 Acura TLX VS 2016 BMW 5 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2016 Acura TLX

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VS

2016 BMW 5

Safety Comparison

The TLX V6’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

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 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

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 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the TLX and the 5 Series Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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 crash mitigating brakes, 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 5 Series Sedan:

TLX

5 Series Sedan

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Passenger

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 5 Series Sedan:

TLX

5 Series Sedan

Overall Evaluation

ACCEPTABLE

MARGINAL

Restraints

GOOD

GOOD

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

n/a

Steering Column Movement Rearward

1 cm

8 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

19 cm

32 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

1%/0%

1%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

MARGINAL

POOR

Tibia index R/L

1.1/.53

1.36/.55

Tibia forces R/L

4/2.5 kN

5.9/2.5 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 5 Series Sedan:

TLX

5 Series Sedan

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.8 inches

1.2 inches

Abdominal Force

179 G’s

190 G’s

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

15 inches

HIC

249

340

Spine Acceleration

36 G’s

55 G’s

Hip Force

678 lbs.

759 lbs.

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 5 Series Sedan is not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2015.

Warranty Comparison

Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the TLX 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than BMW covers the 5 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 5 Series Sedan ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Reliability Comparison

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.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the TLX V6’s fuel efficiency. The 5 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 5 Series Sedan requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

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 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The TLX offers an available space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the 5 Series Sedan, it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For better maneuverability, the TLX V-6’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the 5 Series Sedan’s (38.8 feet vs. 39.4 feet). The TLX SH-AWD’s turning circle is .2 feet tighter than the 5 Series Sedan xDrive’s (39.5 feet vs. 39.7 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Acura TLX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 650 pounds less than the BMW 5 Series Sedan.

The TLX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Ergonomics Comparison

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 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer a remote starting 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 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the TLX owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the TLX will cost $1130 less than the 5 Series Sedan over a five-year period.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Acura TLX will be $17234 to $21691 less than for the BMW 5 Series Sedan.

Recommendations Comparison

The Acura TLX won three awards in Kiplinger’s 2015 car issue. The BMW 5 Series Sedan only won one award.

The Acura TLX outsold the BMW 5 Series by 391 units during the 2015 model year.

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