After four generations of molding, fine tuning and rediscovering what a mid-sized luxury vehicle should be, the Acura TL has brought another award winning passenger vehicle to the public. The TL has almost as much power as its bigger brother the RL with only 20 horsepower less, the 280 horsepower V-6 engine seems to be more than enough for this smaller model. If you opt for the performance package you can bump your engine up to a 305 HP engine and add all wheel drive to this sleek little car. Starting at right around $35,000 this vehicle is what many believe should be considered the flagship model from the Honda company Acura.
This is definitely the sportiest and most well equipped models from Acura. The TL comes standard with weather information, gps navigation and even offers real time traffic reports to keep the driver on track even if there are closed roads. The very roomy open space on the interior of this vehicle offers make it feel much larger than it is and is reminiscent of the Honda Accord styling.
Engines: 3.5L, V-6 3.7L V-6
Transmissions: 5-speed automatic, 6-speed manual
Models: TL, TL SH-AWD, TL SH-AWD 6MT
TL was completely redesigned in 2009 so changes are at a minimum. The biggest news is the TL SH-AWD 6MT model which features an all-new close-ratio 6-speed manual and clutch, as well retuned front springs and dampers, unique electric power steering tuning, and a recalibrated SH-AWD system. Also added to the 6MT model are heavy duty front drive shafts, CV joints and front differential.
Beyond the beak is a striking, well-proportioned sedan, with a futuristic edge like nothing else on the road. It is best viewed from behind, which is all the more reason to keep viewers back there.
The best view of the new 2011 TL might be from behind the wheel, where cool metallic tones, tight tolerances, and crisp, gauges create a high tech, if button driven, environment. The 6MT is definitely the driver's choice.
Performance & Handling
The TL's 3.7-llter V-6 is a free-revving gem that only reaches full potential with the 6-speed manual. Both automatic versions are deft handling sedans that cruise comfortably and reward spirited driving, but both sorely need the new 6-speed transmission found in the MDX and ZDX. SH-AWD works well, but will not be missed by slow drivers or Sunbelt dwellers.
Four airbags and active head restraints for the driver and front passenger come standard as do various braking aids and stability/traction control. All seating positions have three point belts, while outboard passengers have side curtain airbags.
EPA Fuel Economy
TL: 18 mpg city/26 mpg hwy
TL SH-AWD: 17 mpg city/25 mpg hwy
TL SH-AWD 6MT: 18 mpg city/26 mpg hwy
- The 6-speed manual
- Racy engine note
- Exhilarating handling
- Futuristic interior
You Won't Like
- Uncompetitive 5-speed auto
- Broad chrome beak
Best sampled in 6MT guise
If You Like This Vehicle
- Audi A6
- BMW 535
- Cadillac CTS
- Infiniti M35
- Lexus GS 350