Compared: 2023 Acura TLX vs. 2023 Audi A4

How do you like your premium compact sedan: sporty or sophisticated?

Acura | Audi

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The 2023 Acura TLX and the 2023 Audi A4 approach the luxury-compact-car market from different angles. The A4 lures buyers with its classic design and elegantly styled interior. The TLX is a little edgier, in looks and personality. Both models have performance variants at the tops of their ranges, but only the A4 offers a lifted wagon variant called the A4 Allroad. Here's how these two compare in three important categories.


Acura TLX vs. Audi A4: Price

The TLX starts at about $41,000. That gets you a front-drive model with a 272-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Those who want all-wheel drive will have to come up with $50,000 or more, as Acura reserves it for high trim levels. Want more power? Consider the $57,000 Type S. It boasts a slew of performance upgrades, including an aero kit, stiffer springs, Brembo brakes, and most important, a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that puts out 355 ponies.


The base A4 sedan, at $42,000, costs slightly more than the entry TLX, but unlike the Acura, the Audi comes standard with all-wheel drive. The model's turbo 2.0-liter four makes 201 hp in 40 TFSI strength. Buyers who choose a 45 TFSI model, starting at $44,000, will have 261 horses on tap. If you desire the $47,000-and-up Allroad wagon, that's the engine you'll get. If none of that interests you, perhaps Audi's TLX Type S fighter will. The S4's turbo 3.0-liter V6 produces a little less power (349 hp) than its competitor's, but the model has the edge in price, opening at $54,000.


Acura TLX vs. Audi A4: Features

These two sports sedans are fairly matched in feature content. Their infotainment screens are essentially the same size — 10.2 inches for the TLX and 10.1 for the A4 — but drivers must use a touchpad or steering-wheel buttons to control Acura's system, whereas Audi's is a touchscreen.


Audi wins a point for providing leather-trimmed seats as standard equipment and a fully digital instrument cluster as an option. And while both models have automatic climate control, the A4's system covers three zones, besting the TLX's two.

That said, Acura has the advantage in driver-assistance tech. Every TLX boasts adaptive cruise control, traffic-sign recognition, and lane-keeping assist, all of which Audi reserves for mid-level-or-better A4s.

Moreover, you'll find blind-spot monitoring, a surround-view camera, and a head-up display high in both lineups, but only the TLX offers ventilated front seats, rain-sensing wipers, and adaptive dampers.


Acura TLX vs. Audi A4: Fuel Economy

With either model, you'll enjoy a fair bit of performance while seeing reasonable fuel economy. The 201-hp A4 is the most fuel efficient of this lot, according to the EPA, posting a combined rating of 28 mpg. Knock that down to 27 mpg for the 261-hp sedan and 26 for the Allroad.


The TLX can't touch those numbers: Even in base front-drive form, it manages 25 mpg at best. As for the V6-powered performance variants, the S4 beats the Type S, 24 mpg to 21.

All vehicle pricing includes MSRP plus destination charges (set at the time of publication) and will be rounded to the nearest thousand.

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Michael Strong
Michael Strong has spent more than 25 years writing about everything from local car shows to new product introductions to the industry’s financial news for national, regional, and local publications. He is currently the managing editor at a major automotive news website.