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V6 vs I4: Long term reliability...and more...

Old 10-02-2014, 09:18 PM
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V6 vs I4: Long term reliability...and more...

Obviously it is impossible to predict the future, but based on the experiences of the folks here I thought I would ask anyway in an attempt to gather as much information as possible...

I am torn between the I4 and V6 models (I'll most likely get the Tech package either way). One of my major concerns is the relative long-term reliability of each powertrain. I tend to keep my cars for a long time (currently on year 15 for my VW Passat). My initial take is that the I4 seems, for lack of a better word, simpler. There seems to be a lot involved with the V6 particularly around the VCM features (and the active system to minimize the vibrations caused by VCM). I know Honda/Acura engines are known for their reliability - but there is also that recent issue Honda had with the previous generation 3.5 with VCM.

On the other hand, I sometimes worry if the I4 would have enough power to offer a satisfying ride - especially when it would be full of passengers and luggage on a highway road trip. Does anyone have any real world experience that would help one way or the other? Is there enough in the I4 to provide good highway passing acceleration when under load?

I have test driven both powertrains - although not on the highway as there is not one really nearby (I have asked for an extended test drive). My impressions pretty much mirror what most folks have written here - the I4 just seems to be the better handling powertrain on backroads, as well as very efficient, but the V6 has that extra "oomph" and refinement for highway cruising. Most of my daily commuting right now is backroads - but I want this to be the car we take on long family trips as well.

Acura has caused me quite the quandary!!!
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Old 10-02-2014, 09:31 PM
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I have a hard time replying to your question but will do my best without sending you in the wrong direction...

Four years ago I had the option of the TSX I4 or V6. A friend of mine mentioned to try the 4 only and if I was happy, get it. He also said if you test drive the 6 it will be hard to go back to the 4. I couldn't help but compare the two and on a second test drive of the 6 took my dad along and put on the AC and proceeded to drive in busy city traffic. The honest truth was that the 4 struggled when pushed and the 6 had so much room to breath...

I went with the 6 and have been happy ever since. If, as you say, family driving and highway trips are part of your driving plans, I would recommend the 6. If you have a van or SUV for these situations, get the 4 and enjoy the extra fun factor. Maybe I am just a bit old school but no matter what a company does to a 4 it will never have the straight and almost instant power of a 6.
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Old 10-02-2014, 09:52 PM
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The engines are tried and true, but now have direct injection on both, and VCM on the 6.

The trannies are both new, so if I was going to be concerned about anything, those are what I would focus on. Having said that, as a former 2nd gen TL Type-S owner, I'm having faith in Acura to not burn me twice, and I'm honestly not concerned.
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Old 10-02-2014, 10:20 PM
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I always drove 4 cylinder Honda automobiles until I decided to get a 2000 Accord Coupe V6. After owning and driving my first V6, I never again considered a 4 cylinder. Replaced the Accord Coupe with a 2005 TL and have been driving Acura V6s ever since. Still wouldn't consider a 4 cylinder. I've been spoiled by Acura's smooth powerful V6 engines. Reliability has never been an issue with any of the five V6 Honda/Acura cars I've owned.
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Old 10-02-2014, 10:44 PM
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No question the K is going to be the more 'maintenance free' of the two, then again a maintenance event that comes around every 100,000 miles is not something I'd make a huge deal of, that's a long time away.

When driving both TLX I compared to my TSX which was known for decent handling. The I4 TLX handles better than the TSX, no doubt about it, and that's damn impressive. But the V6 TLX handled just as well as it, a car that was known for decent handling, not bad at all (it annoys me when people call it a cruiser when it handles that well itself). Add to that the extra power and engine refinement and my decision was made: V6 Tech.

The I4 may be an attractive option for you on your commute but if it's any more than the occasional weekend trip where the car is loaded down with people and luggage, the I4 might not impress as it failed to impress me on a merge with two other people in the car. It weighs the same as a TSX and isn't much more powerful. If my experience translates to you (not saying it will) you'll find the V6 a car you can be happy with in all situations even if it gives up a little in the handling dept. (again it's still quite good for what it is).
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Old 10-02-2014, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Number11 View Post
Acura has caused me quite the quandary!!!
You are stepping on my handle which I adopted even before the TLX was on my radar.

Suggest you try them both and maybe invite some family member along for the test of the I4 to feel how it performs. The I4 will give you better gas mileage which will add up over your possible 15 years of ownership.
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Old 10-03-2014, 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Quandry View Post
You are stepping on my handle which I adopted even before the TLX was on my radar.

Suggest you try them both and maybe invite some family member along for the test of the I4 to feel how it performs. The I4 will give you better gas mileage which will add up over your possible 15 years of ownership.
You know what they say..... 'If you don't want to BUY a V6 don't TRY a V6!'
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Old 10-03-2014, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Number11 View Post
On the other hand, I sometimes worry if the I4 would have enough power to offer a satisfying ride - especially when it would be full of passengers and luggage on a highway road trip. Does anyone have any real world experience that would help one way or the other? Is there enough in the I4 to provide good highway passing acceleration when under load?
Based on my TSX, I'd be concerned about this too. With a light load the TSX has adequate highway acceleration, but IMO it's less than adequate with a full load. It gets the job done and of course sounds great when the VTEC kicks in, but that's about it. I can't perform the same maneuvers I could in my old Saab 9-5 Aero, which simply owned the highway, and I miss that. The TSX's agility and 6MT make up for this most of the time, and it's better overall, but in my next car I definitely want stronger 40-90 performance. With the quick-shifting DCT and additional torque, I'd expect the I4 TLX to be better, but if highway passing power is a priority you probably want the V6.
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Old 10-03-2014, 02:58 PM
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Thanks for all of the feedback everyone. I suppose what scared me about the V6 was reading all of the details/features they mentioned in the press release (Acura | Press Releases Article | Acura.com). It just made the V6 seem like a much more complex system overall. I do realize that over it's life, the J35 platform, as well as the K24, have both been solid. It just seemed like they were adding a lot more moving parts this time around.

I'm also still torn I suppose between being more practical or taking somewhat of a splurge. If I'm honest with myself, my split between city/highway is probably 70/30 in favor of city driving - and on top of it I tend to be a conservative driver (especially if you ask my heavy footed wife). My current engine is a 2.8 V6 (190hp, 206 lb ft torque - and the car weighs 3580lbs) and I have been pleased to this point with how it handles. So it almost seems the I4 would be a minimal difference - but the allure of that V6...

I'm always open to hearing more about the mechanical pluses and minuses of each powertrain as well - so that I have enough info to make the smart decision. And obviously more test driving is in my near future.
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Old 10-03-2014, 04:13 PM
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I4 for me

From what I read and now know after driving my 2015 TLX I4 with the tech package, the I4 is a fun drive and has plenty of power to accelerate. The car is amazing in Sports mode.

Also what I read was that most reviewers say the I4 is more fun to drive because of the lighter wait. Some reviewers also really like the Dual Clutch Transmission.

Also the tech package in either flavor is worth the extra fee. That is where I splurged. The tech package has plenty of new technology to learn and use.

Definitely test drive both. I did, but the I4 made more sense economically all the way around.

A major selling factor for the V6 is the SH-AWD. If you live in snow country, this may be a must. I live in Sunny South Florida and I don't drive through mud or sand so the I4 is a perfect fit.
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Old 11-08-2018, 03:08 PM
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Year 2012:
Mileage: 96,000Km
Engine (3.5 or 3.7): 3.7
Trans (Auto or 6MT): 6MT
Oil Consumed per 3k miles: 1 quart
Past or Current Engine Issues: Alternator went Acura would not cover the repair. I was just 1,000km past the warranty. Complained about the oil consumption again totally blown off by dealer and Acura. OEM battery had to be replaced. The plastic accordion looking pipe cracked where the MAF sensor is had to be replaced (I have the CT Ice box and the throttle body spacer so it does squeeze the pipe much more). Other than that I really like the car and had no major issues (knock on wood).
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Old 11-08-2018, 07:00 PM
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Holy thread resurrection!!

That said, with 29K on the board the only. “issue” I’ve had were pulsating brakes (@ 24k) which the dealer fixed under warranty. Otherwise, my V6 (particularly the powertrain) has been flawless.
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Old 11-09-2018, 11:44 PM
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I started with a 3.5 TLX SH-AWD and found it to be a very smooth and powerful cruiser - and it was my first ever V6. Mainly because of the rough first two shifts (long gone now), I switched back to a 2.4, which I originally intended to go with. No regrets at all, and I am now on my second 2.4 - a 2018 Elite ASPEC. With two adults and luggage, this car is also an excellent and quiet highway cruiser, with the superior transmission of the two. Less power, but actually in the higher end highway speeds the acceleration is excellent for a 4 speed and very close to the 3.5. Slower overall to be sure, but with the very quick and smooth shifting 8 DCT and the lighter weight, it's a quick and nimble ride. No SH-AWD, but the underrated,PAWS, IMHO, is a nice cornering and braking asset. I don't think you can go wrong with either car, so, as always, you need to weigh the plusses and minuses based on whats important to you.
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Old 11-13-2018, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by sympley View Post
Year 2012:
Mileage: 96,000Km
Engine (3.5 or 3.7): 3.7
Trans (Auto or 6MT): 6MT
Oil Consumed per 3k miles: 1 quart
Past or Current Engine Issues: Alternator went Acura would not cover the repair. I was just 1,000km past the warranty. Complained about the oil consumption again totally blown off by dealer and Acura. OEM battery had to be replaced. The plastic accordion looking pipe cracked where the MAF sensor is had to be replaced (I have the CT Ice box and the throttle body spacer so it does squeeze the pipe much more). Other than that I really like the car and had no major issues (knock on wood).
With a 2012, are you sure you're in the right forum?

Anywho, with my 2015 V6, after 85,000 or so miles :

1) Transmission still sucks and can't get it replaced. This is the only reason my next car won't be an Acura.
2) Gas mileage on highways is still great. A few months ago, I got 40 mpg on a 290-300 mile trip from Dallas to Houston. First time I've hit 40 mpg on a trip that long.
3) I seem to have starting issues every year or so. Not sure what the problem is. I replaced the battery on my own dime and the starting issues went away, but less than a year later, they're back. Dealership has no clue. My biggest fear is being stranded somewhere. The starting issues are fairly specific - it only happens when I drive a decent distance, stop the car, wait about 5-10 minutes, and attempt to start it again. I never have problems starting the car after it's been in the garage overnight or parked at work for 8 or so hours.
4) In JD Power terms : Initial quality was horrible. Long-term reliability has been pretty good so far. But I don't think 87,000 miles on a car nowadays is that much. I expect them to be reliable to 100k.

Most of my driving in this car is probably 70% stop-and-go rush-hour traffic and 30% highway/freeway speeds.

Last edited by Rocketsfan; 11-13-2018 at 07:25 PM.
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Old Today, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Rocketsfan View Post
With a 2012, are you sure you're in the right forum?

Anywho, with my 2015 V6, after 85,000 or so miles :

1) Transmission still sucks and can't get it replaced. This is the only reason my next car won't be an Acura.
2) Gas mileage on highways is still great. A few months ago, I got 40 mpg on a 290-300 mile trip from Dallas to Houston. First time I've hit 40 mpg on a trip that long.
3) I seem to have starting issues every year or so. Not sure what the problem is. I replaced the battery on my own dime and the starting issues went away, but less than a year later, they're back. Dealership has no clue. My biggest fear is being stranded somewhere. The starting issues are fairly specific - it only happens when I drive a decent distance, stop the car, wait about 5-10 minutes, and attempt to start it again. I never have problems starting the car after it's been in the garage overnight or parked at work for 8 or so hours.
4) In JD Power terms : Initial quality was horrible. Long-term reliability has been pretty good so far. But I don't think 87,000 miles on a car nowadays is that much. I expect them to be reliable to 100k.

Most of my driving in this car is probably 70% stop-and-go rush-hour traffic and 30% highway/freeway speeds.
I have the starting issue also. I found that the issue went away if I put the tranny in park before shutting the car down, instead of having it go into park automatically after hitting the stop button
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