Car Comparison Lexus IS Vs Acura TL

Car Comparison: 2012 Lexus IS vs. Acura TL

Introduction: ‍

If you are in the market for a premium sports sedan, the 2012 Lexus IS and Acura TL are two of the best contenders that have been making waves in their respective segments. Both models offer a combination of luxury, performance, and style, but which one is the better choice? In this comparison, we will delve into the various aspects of these two vehicles, examining their Style and Space, Technology, Driving Dynamics, Safety Features, Fuel Economy, and Availability, as well as their used Price comparison.

Car Comparison Lexus IS Vs Acura TL

Style – Advantage Lexus

Both the Lexus IS and Acura TL boast stylish exteriors that exude elegance and sportiness. The Lexus IS features a sleek, aerodynamic design with a prominent grille and distinctive LED taillights. On the other hand, the Acura TL has a more aggressive appearance, with sharp lines and a bold front fascia.

When it comes to the interior, the Acura TL offers a slightly larger interior than the Lexus IS, with increased legroom and head height for both front and rear passengers. In addition, there is minimal difference in trunk space between the two with Acura TL’s trunk storage being 12.5 cubic feet while the Lexus IS provides a little more at 13 cubic feet, providing extra cargo capacity for those long trips.

Both the Lexus IS and Acura TL have well-designed dashboards with easy-to-read gauges and intuitive controls. However, some drivers may find the Acura TL to have better all round visibility, thanks to its larger windows and well-placed mirrors.

Car Comparison Lexus IS Vs Acura TL

Tech – Advantage Lexus

Both sedans come equipped with advanced GPS navigation and infotainment systems, offering seamless integration with smartphones and other devices. The Lexus IS features a user-friendly interface, while the Acura TL’s system is slightly more complex but offers additional functionality.

The 2012 Lexus IS and Acura TL both boast impressive audio systems, however, the Lexus IS offers an impressive 13-speaker Mark Levinson system that is top-of-the-range in terms of crispness and sound quality, while the Acura TL has a 10-speaker ELS system which is still pretty good.

Both the Lexus IS and Acura TL are equipped with rear-view cameras, making parking and maneuvering in tight spaces a breeze. The rear-view camera in the Lexus IS is available as part of the optional Navigation Package, while the Acura TL offers this feature as standard equipment.

Car Comparison Lexus IS Vs Acura TL

Driving Dynamics – Advantage Lexus

The Lexus IS is available in two engine options: the IS 250, with a 2.5L V6 producing 204 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque, and the more powerful IS 350, featuring a 3.5L V6 with 306 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. The Acura TL also comes with a 3.5L V6 engine but with a lesser 280 horsepower and 254 lb-ft of torque compared to the IS 350.

Both the Lexus IS and Acura TL utilize a timing chain, which is great news for drivers.

You will get an impressive 6-speed automatic transmission with the Lexus IS, while the Acura TL comes with a 5-speed automatic transmission. Additionally, the Lexus IS features rear-wheel drive, providing a more engaging driving experience for enthusiasts. The Acura TL is equipped with front-wheel drive but is available with an all-wheel-drive option for those who desire added traction and stability in various driving conditions.

Car Comparison Lexus IS Vs Acura TL

Safety – Advantage Acura

Both the Lexus IS and Acura TL have been subjected to recalls over the years, in fact both having had issues regarding airbags. This is something to note when looking for a used model. Make sure the recalls have been addressed.

In terms of safety ratings, the Acura TL scored highly with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) where it received a ‘Top Safety Pick’ and with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) where it scored 4 out of 5 stars for models bought out in the late half of the year. The Lexus IS however hasn’t been tested by NHTSA, and scores an average rating with IIHS.

Both the Lexus IS and Acura TL come equipped with a range of advanced safety features, including ABS brakes, multiple airbags, and electronic stability control systems. The Lexus IS also offers optional features such as blind spot monitoring and parking assist, while the Acura TL provides standard features like a rear-view camera and keyless access system.

Car Comparison Lexus IS Vs Acura TL

Fuel Economy – Advantage Acura

The Lexus IS 250 and Acura TL have similar fuel economy ratings, with the Lexus IS achieving 19 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway, while the Acura TL registers 20 MPG in the city and 29 MPG on the highway. The more powerful Lexus IS 350 sees a slight decrease in fuel efficiency, with 18 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway.

Car Comparison Lexus IS Vs Acura TL

Availability and Price – Advantage Acura

A quick overview of Autotrader reveals that there are more Acura TL’s on the used car market than those of the Lexus IS, in fact, a lot more until you restrict the maximum mileage to 100,000. Then the difference between available models isn’t much at all. There is however a vast difference in starting prices. While you will get an affordable Acura TL starting at just under $10,000, Lexus kicks off just under $15,000 adding fifty percent to the budget.


Both the 2012 Lexus IS and Acura TL offer luxurious and sporty driving experiences, with stylish designs, advanced technology, and impressive safety features. Both score an even number of advantages as seen above. While the Lexus IS provides a more engaging driving experience with a superior sound system, the Acura TL offers greater interior space and more standard features. Ultimately, the choice between these two sedans will depend on your personal preferences and budget.

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