2018 Acura TLX vs BMW 330i Comparison


Considering a BMW 3 Series? We recommend you try the new 2018 Acura TLX as well.

The TLX was just refreshed for 2018, with a dynamic new look that grabs attention for all the right reasons. Along with a sporty new five-point black mesh grille, it also boasts standard LED headlamps with automatic high beams for greater nighttime visibility. Choosing auto high beams with the 330i will force you to pay $2,400 more for the Driver Assistance Package that also requires the addition of BMW's $3,500 Premium Package Essential.

Truly, the 2018 TLX value proposition is hard to beat. Despite more standard features its $35,990 starting price is $12,360 more affordable than the base 330i, but it still gets a powerful four-cylinder engine with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission featuring standard paddle shifters-paddles are optional with the BMW.

The TLX also features standard Amplitude Reactive Dampers, Agile Handling Assist, and Precision All-Wheel Steering, none of which are available with the 330i. Move up to Acura's renowned torque-vectoring Super Handling AWD and a state-of-the-art nine-speed automatic with paddles gets added.

The standard TLX is safer than the 330i too, thanks to a full suite of advanced active safety technologies including forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning with steering wheel haptic feedback, lane keeping assist, and road departure mitigation, while standard convenience features include adaptive cruise control with low speed follow. You'll need to spend another $1,000 in order to get low speed stop and go adaptive cruise control with the 330i, but even to get simple blindspot monitoring you'll need to step up to the aforementioned Premium Package Essential group, while all of the other active safety features are unavailable with the 330i.

That $3,500 upgrade adds other features including a rearview camera, proximity-sensing access and satellite radio, all of which are standard equipment with the TLX, while you'll need to add BMW's $5,550 Premium Package Enhanced to get a garage door opener and powered lumbar support for the driver's seat, these items also standard with the Acura. What's more, ultra useful Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration come standard with the TLX too, but only Apple's system is available with the 330i, and then only by adding the $750 Smartphone Connectivity Package. This means the majority of Android users don't get the benefit of full smartphone integration with BMW.

Add it up. Getting a BMW 330i with only some of Acura's helpful standard convenience features will set you back another $23,500 over the beautifully finished, high-quality, strong performing standard TLX, and you still won't have anywhere near as many critically important active safety features taking care of you and your family. Do yourself a favour and take a closer look at the impressive new 2018 Acura TLX.