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

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2016 BMW 3 Series

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VS

2016 Acura TLX

Safety Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The TLX doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The 3 Series Sedan (except 320i) offers an optional Side and Top View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The TLX only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the 3 Series Sedan and the TLX 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 all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

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 BMW 3 Series Sedan is safer than the Acura TLX:

3 Series Sedan

TLX

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

184 lbs.

276 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

513 lbs.

678 lbs.

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

Warranty Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the TLX’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 3 Series Sedan for 4 years and 50,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Acura doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the TLX.

There are over 28 percent more BMW dealers than there are Acura dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the 3 Series Sedan’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the 3 Series Sedan has a standard 900-amp battery. The TLX’s 650-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

The battery on the 3 Series Sedan is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures which can degrade battery life. By keeping the 3 Series Sedan’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The TLX’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 27 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 26th, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

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

Horsepower

Torque

320i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

180 HP

200 lbs.-ft.

328i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

240 HP

255 lbs.-ft.

340i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

320 HP

330 lbs.-ft.

TLX 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

206 HP

182 lbs.-ft.

TLX 3.5 SOHC V6

290 HP

267 lbs.-ft.

The 3 Series Sedan’s 2.0 turbo diesel produces 98 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 182) than the TLX’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. The 3 Series Sedan’s 2.0 turbo diesel produces 13 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 267) than the TLX’s optional 3.5 SOHC V6.

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

3 Series Sedan

TLX

Zero to 60 MPH

6.6 sec

7.2 sec

Quarter Mile

15.1 sec

15.6 sec

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the 328d gets better fuel mileage than the TLX 4 cyl.:

3 Series Sedan

TLX

2WD

Auto

32 city/42 hwy

24 city/35 hwy

AWD

Auto

30 city/40 hwy

n/a

On the EPA test cycle the 3 Series Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the TLX:

3 Series Sedan

TLX

2WD

320i/Manual

23 city/36 hwy

n/a

328i/Manual

22 city/34 hwy

n/a

320i/Auto

24 city/36 hwy

24 city/35 hwy

4 cyl./Auto

328i/Auto

23 city/35 hwy

n/a

340i/Auto

22 city/33 hwy

21 city/34 hwy

V6

AWD

320i/Auto

23 city/35 hwy

n/a

328i/Auto

22 city/34 hwy

n/a

340i/Auto

22 city/33 hwy

21 city/31 hwy

V6

Regenerative brakes improve the 3 Series Sedan’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The TLX doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Regardless of its engine, the 3 Series Sedan’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Acura only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the TLX V6 SH-AWD.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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For better stopping power the 340i’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the TLX:

340i

TLX

Front Rotors

13.4 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

12.2 inches

The 3 Series Sedan’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the TLX are solid, not vented.

The 3 Series Sedan stops much shorter than the TLX:

3 Series Sedan

TLX

60 to 0 MPH

107 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan’s optional 225/40R19 front and 255/35R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the TLX V-6’s 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 3 Series Sedan offers optional 19-inch wheels. The TLX’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the 3 Series Sedan can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The TLX doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The TLX’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 3 Series Sedan’s wheelbase is 1.3 inches longer than on the TLX (110.6 inches vs. 109.3 inches).

The 3 Series Sedan’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50% to 50%) than the TLX’s (60% to 40%). This gives the 3 Series Sedan more stable handling and braking.

The 320i handles at .92 G’s, while the TLX V-6 SH-AWD SH-AWD pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The 340i xDrive executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.4 seconds quicker than the TLX (25.6 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 27 seconds @ .74 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the 3 Series Sedan’s turning circle is tighter than the TLX’s:

3 Series Sedan

TLX

Sedan

37.1 feet

38.8 feet

AWDSedan

37.1 feet

38.8 feet

Chassis Comparison

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The BMW 3 Series Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 200 pounds less than the Acura TLX.

The 3 Series Sedan is 7.5 inches shorter than the TLX, making the 3 Series Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan has 2.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the TLX (96.2 vs. 93.3).

The 3 Series Sedan has 3.1 inches more front headroom, 1 inch more rear headroom and .6 inches more rear legroom than the TLX.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the 3 Series Sedan easier. The 3 Series Sedan’s trunk lift-over height is 26 inches, while the TLX’s liftover is 28.3 inches.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 3 Series Sedan’s available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The TLX doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan (except 320i) offers an available heads-up display which projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The TLX doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the 3 Series Sedan and the TLX have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the 3 Series Sedan is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The TLX prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The 3 Series Sedan’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The TLX’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 3 Series Sedan to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The TLX doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 3 Series Sedan offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The TLX doesn’t offer headlight washers.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the 3 Series Sedan (except 320i) detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The TLX doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the 3 Series Sedan (except 320i) offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The TLX doesn’t offer cornering lights. The 3 Series Sedan (except 320i) also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the 3 Series Sedan (except 320i) to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The TLX doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

Both the 3 Series Sedan and the TLX offer available heated front seats. The 3 Series Sedan also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the TLX.

On extremely cold Winter days, the 3 Series Sedan’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The TLX doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The 3 Series Sedan (except 320i)’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The TLX doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations Comparison

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The BMW 3 Series Sedan has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

3 Series Sedan

TLX

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

n/a

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

n/a

The 3 Series was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 20 of the last 21 years. The TLX has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The 3 Series was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 13 of the last 19 years. The TLX has never been an “All Star.”

The BMW 3 and 4 Series outsold the Acura TLX by over three to one during the 2015 model year.

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