Acura TL Reviews

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The Acura TL was Acura’s midsize luxury contender from 1995 to 2014. It was replaced by the TLX for the 2015 model year.

2009 to 2014: Acura TL

The TL is possibly the best-known sedan in Acura’s lineup. First introduced in 1995 as the replacement for the Vigor, the TL cemented itself as a luxury sedan that could provide grins for those who loved to drive.

The most recent generation of the TL was introduced for the 2009 model year. The exterior design can be described as polarizing. The body has sharp angles, a distinctive front grille and an oddly shaped trunk lid. This is a design that you either loved or hated. The TL’s interior is appointed with many luxury features such as leather, eight-way power front seats, automatic climate control, Bluetooth, keyless entry and start and a 10-speaker audio system.

Power came from two different V6 engines. The base 3.5-liter V6 produced 280 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque. The larger 3.7-liter V6 got 305 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Both engines came paired with five-speed automatic transmissions. TL models with the 3.5-liter V6 came with front-wheel drive, while cars with the larger engine have Acura’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) as standard.

2012 saw a refresh for the TL. Acura smoothed out the styling to give the model a sleeker look. The powertrain also got a new six-speed automatic transmission to improve fuel economy. On higher trim models equipped with navigation, the system got a larger 60GB hard drive and an improved interface.

The 2009-2014 Acura TL competes with a number of cars in the premium midsize segment, including the BMW 3-Series, Cadillac CTS, Infiniti G37, Lexus ES and Volvo S60.

Earlier Acura TL Models

The first-generation Acura TL was introduced in 1995 as a replacement for the unloved Vigor sedan. There are two models: The TL 2.5 has a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine with 176 horsepower, while the TL 3.2 got a 3.2-liter V6 with 200 horsepower. Both engines came with a four-speed automatic transmission. Standard equipment includes anti-lock brakes, automatic climate control, dual air bags and cassette/CD player audio system.

1999 saw the introduction of the second-generation TL. Acura gave the sedan a bit more style with a new front end and reshaped rear end. Power came from a brand new 3.2-liter V6 with 225 horsepower. This came paired with a four-speed automatic transmission. This was one of the first Acura models to debut a new optional CD-based navigation system. 2000 saw the TL get a new five-speed automatic and switch to a DVD-based navigation system. In 2002, Acura gave the TL a refresh with a new front end and the introduction of a sporty trim called the Type-S. The Type-S got a more powerful version of the 3.2-liter V6 with 260 horsepower, along with larger wheels and a retuned suspension.

The third-generation Acura TL was introduced in 2004 and it was departure from earlier TL models. The styling looked it like it was chiseled from a rock. Power comes from a 3.2-liter V6 with 270 horsepower. It was later re-rated at 258 horsepower due to a change in how horsepower is measured. Available transmissions include a five-speed automatic or a six-speed manual. If you opt for the manual, you get a number of performance parts such as Brembo front brake calipers and a limited slip differential. The TL was also one the first vehicles to debut a new Panasonic audio system that was tuned by Elliot Schiner, a music producer and engineer.

In 2007, Acura made some minor changes to the TL’s exterior and interior. 2007 also marked the return of the Type-S model for the TL. This generation of the Type-S got a 3.5-liter V6 with 286 horsepower, going through either a five-speed automatic or a six-speed manual. Other items for the Type S include new wheels, a set of Brembo brakes and a firmer suspension.