By on November 5, 2008

The Acura TL is like the brainy girl in math class. If you’d told your friends you had the hots for her, they’d have stifled laughs, paused and said “who?” Since the turn of the century, the Accord-based Acura TL has been the deeply sensible alternative to premium-priced imports. But the TL’s fans knew the joys of stealth smarts: a super-smooth six powering a superbly-crafted cabin sitting atop a well-built and reliable chassis. So, will channeling the spirit of Frank Lloyd Wright help or hinder the TL’s ongoing quest for luxury car legitimacy?

I’m convinced that the TL’s designers held a séance with the Prairie School architect, discussed organic architecture, hit the crack pipe and emerged with “Keen Edge Dynamic.” Sure, Acura has finally cured the TL’s aesthetic invisibility. But at what cost? Viewed dead-on from the rear, the TL’s creased butt looks like a Cars character, complete with mouth (Aura-like trunk strip) and eyes (rear headrest). It’s weird, true and freaky.

And then there’s the front…

The TL’s new snowplow snout will have your eye out, and transfer traces of satin chrome paint flecks in the process. Some west coast Acura dealers are painting the power plenum prow the same color as the body for a more, uh, understated look. No surprise there.

The ‘09 TL has received the obligatory dimension creep, upping overall length six inches and increasing track over an inch at both ends. Somehow, this engorgement hasn’t delivered significant increases in the TL’s interior space or overall weight. Blame it on the over-collegenated bumpers.

The TL’s cabin will look familiar to anyone who’s seen the new Accord (odd that). Ablaze with blue accent lighting and the standard Acura button central center console, Acura’s given all the well-situated controls a facelift. In a nod to Audi, the TL holds the interior’s pants up with a silver-sheen belt that dashes its way around the midline before plunging like a twisted thong into the center console. Unfortunately, the fauxcarbialuminumfiber’s pores are so big even Proactive polyfilla couldn’t smooth them out.

The tech package is the bread-and-butter option of Acura’s bread-and-butter saloon. The champagne GPS head-unit has been upgraded from DVD to a hard-drive based system, rewarding TL loyalists with quicker loading and a sharper screen. Even ADD-afflicted technophobes can enjoy easy access to almost every computer-controlled function, including the TL’s signature kick-ass ICE and dual-zone air conditioning.

AcuraLink has new zones in its database. A Doppler radar function lets you play on-the-road prognosticator or gives you a three-day forecast while listening to the modern equivalent of quadraphonic: DVD-A. (Dark Side of the Moon and The Nightfly need apply.) And once you program the TL’s voice command system, you can live life button-free.

Keyless start has been added to the already impressive Keyless Access System’s list of duties. It’ll unlock doors, position the driver’s seat and outside mirrors, select audio and navigation settings and calls you Mother on a weekly basis, all without taking the key out of your pocket.

Ordering an Acura TL is still McDonald’s happy meal easy. Pick a color; add the optional technology package to the front wheel-drive base model and Acura throws in the other toys “free.” Done. At least until the Super-Handling All Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) option arrives. And it can’t arrive soon enough.

The TL’s trick six-cylinder engine rises from 3.2 to 3.5-liters, setting loose 280 horses and 254 ft. lbs. of torque. Fuel economy stays the same, despite the extra power and weight. And it’s the right answer for snow-belt dwelling consumers. On the downside, the sweet-spinning six redlines alarmingly quickly, with the front end squirming like a bag of squirrels from the git-go. Acura claims to have reduced torque steer in first and second gears, but it felt more like (or, like more) traction control to me.

Acura slipped the TSX’ new electric steering system into its stealth flagship. Turn-in is precise and predictable at urban speeds, but road feel is reduced. At higher speeds, the weighting applied feels artificial and unintuitive. This is not your father’s Buick. But it could be yours.

I kid. A bit. Aside from takeoff squirm, the TL’s chassis remains composed and confident. The stoppers are powerful, and there are airbags aplenty. But the TL lacks the chassis chops, the joie de conduire, to compete with the Germans; its arrow-shaped snout is now aimed squarely at Lexus.

Again, the SH-AWD system could well be the TL’s ace in the hole. For an extra $3500, the system will undoubtedly make far better use of the six’s extra thrust. If so, the question then becomes, why opt for the more expensive RL? And when the RL gets the V8, the question becomes, why buy a TL? The answer, of course, is rooted in household economics, and the economics of comparison shopping. Not passion. New look or not, there’s your problem with Acura.

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64 Comments on “Review: 2009 Acura TL...”


  • avatar
    vento97

    I saw one of these in the distance, and at first I thought it was the new Toyota Camry…

  • avatar
    stude

    There was a TL behind me, heading into town, last week. Felt like I was being chased by Pikachu!

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Why is it that Honda can nail electric assist on the Fit (and Mazda can do it on nearly every vehicle they thusly equip) but higher-trim models come off feeling artificial?

    Again, the SH-AWD system could well be the TL’s ace in the hole.

    That’s an important point. This is the base TL. Compared to a price-equivalent BMW or Audi, this is not a bad car at all, even dynamically speaking. Last I checked, the BMW 323i is priced pretty close to this car, and suffers for features and power.

    For an extra $3500, the system will undoubtedly make far better use of the six’s extra thrust. If so, the question then becomes, why opt for the more expensive RL?

    That’s a really good question. Acura’s made two serious mistakes recently:
    * Not having a cheap, entry-level model. The RSX was a great car, and it got young, relatively affluent people into the brand in a way that the TSX and RDX are utterly failing to do. Acura hoped that, when they killed the RSX, buyers would split the difference between the TSX, RDX and Civic Si. What they did do was split the difference between the GTI, MS3 and Cooper.
    * Not giving the RL a reason to exist. It’s not a bad car, but it’s not that cheap, powerful or featured. Briefly, after it’s last redesign, it stood a chance but was handicapped by anonymity and lack of marketing, but now, against the top-trim TL?

    I think Acura is stretching Honda’s abilities as an automaker. Techinically they’re good cars, but Honda doesn’t seem to understand the market.

  • avatar
    John R

    Pretty much what I expected. Acura, I fear that Infiniti will once again kick your butt. Here’s to waiting for the review of the G37 sedan.

  • avatar
    autonut

    Girls in my advanced math classes were much better looking. Even in partial differential equations. This thing looks like West Virginia family reunion, or aftermath of such.

  • avatar
    Brian E

    It’s not that bad in real life. Partisans of the old TL will never get used to it, but it’s just another entry-luxury sedan with overbaked styling. I don’t find it any more objectionable than the 5-series, which is about the same size.

    I’m very much looking forward to a review of the SH-AWD model. The front-drive TL is squarely up against the Lexus ES, and since I can’t ever imagine wanting to buy an ES I don’t know how well it stacks up to that. The new Maxima is a stealth competitor, but it may be hurt by interior quality, and it’s not that much cheaper if you compare non-navi models using Mr. Karesh’s fantastic TrueDelta tool. The Maxima doesn’t offer most of the goodies that are in the TL’s tech package.

    The SH-AWD system is supposedly very impressive.

    I also enjoyed Dan Neil’s review, as usual.

  • avatar
    AllStingNoBling

    The TL, like the TSX, used to be fit, athletic vehicles.

    Now they are bloated and ugly, with a capitol UGH.

    That’s all I have to say on that.

  • avatar
    RGS920

    My god is that an ugly car.

  • avatar
    SupaMan

    The beak on the front end is off-putting…

    Other than that, I think I’m slowly warming up to the TL. Have yet to see one on the road (maybe at the auto show next weekend) but I hear Acura will indeed have a 6 speed manual option available next year and according some preliminary tests I’ve read, it outperforms all the TL’s AWD equipped competitors.

    Suddenly I can’t see the styling anymore.

  • avatar

    @AllStingNoBling:

    Werd.

  • avatar
    Wunsch

    @ psarhjinian

    Acura does have an entry level car, but only in Canada. The CSX is basically just a tarted-up Civic sedan, but it fills that role nicely. It’ll be interesting to see whether the increased focus on fuel economy in the States means that you guys get a CSX soon.

  • avatar
    noreserve

    I’ve always thought of the previous TL as a rather innocuously styled, cost-conscious sedan choice for those not wedded to the magical 3-series handling and road feel. It had tech to spare, a tidy options list, and that Acura reliability. Choose the somber dark gray interior color and you spared yourself the garish tan interior mismatch that they can’t seem to shake.

    Those qualities above, both good and bad, are still with us. Trouble is, they are now surrounded by a completely whacked-out exterior. The adjectives used in previous comments are spot-on. It makes you wonder if the same folks in charge of their marketing (SH-AWD) are putting in extra time in the design studio. You know, it fits really – just say Super Handling All Wheel Drive in your best Nippon slur while looking at the front and rear ends. Perfect fit. And they really think this thing will sell in mid-America? Might as well don a Godzilla suit and head on down to the local karaoke joint.

  • avatar
    obbop

    Thar “snow plow” shape across the front is begging for shark teeth to be painted upon it.

  • avatar
    dgduris

    “In a nod to Audi, the TL holds the interior’s pants up with a silver-sheen belt that dashes its way around the midline before plunging like a twisted thong into the center console. Unfortunately, the fauxcarbialuminumfiber’s pores are so big even Proactive polyfilla couldn’t smooth them out.”

    Brilliant writing! Really great.

    I may buy one of these…at the end of next year…after SHAWD is available and they have sat on the lots for 8 months or so. I bought an SVX that way once upon a time – it was a great thing.

  • avatar
    carguy622

    Poor TL. The surgery did not go well. Best of luck.

  • avatar
    schadenfred

    I dated the brainy girl in math class. She could suck-start a leafblower.

    TL: why? SH-AWD? I guess…

  • avatar

    With the wheels shown in the photos and in a dark color, the TL almost looks okay viewed from just the right angle.

    Usually, though, the appearance is, well, unfortunate. A shame, since the old TL had one of my favorite sedan exteriors. I didn’t think it was anonymous. Apparently others did, though, or Acura wouldn’t have taken such dramatic steps to get the car noticed.

    TrueDelta would like to have a quick reliability stat for the new TL. This depends, though, on how quickly enough owners participate. If you know someone with one of these, please send them here:

    http://www.truedelta.com/reliability.php

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Acura does have an entry level car, but only in Canada. The CSX is basically just a tarted-up Civic sedan, but it fills that role nicely.

    The CSX replaces the old Acura EL and is basically a Civic EX. This has always sold in Canada, and has sold well, but it wasn’t the draw to the brand that the RSX was.

    It sells well enough, though, but EL/CSX buyers don’t move up the food chain into TSX/TL/MDX territory as readily as RSX buyers did.

  • avatar
    Jared

    Honda styling has been missing the boat lately. The current Accord is, at best, plain. The new Pilot is just plain ugly. The new TSX and TL are much worse than ugly.

    Acura is in free-fall.

  • avatar

    I like the snout on the TL and only on the TL. The new honda-front end design looks awful on every other car they have. Including the S2000…

  • avatar
    NickR

    Out uglies the ugly-ass Camry. And that’s a feat.

  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    No offense, but this review read like a brochure with lots of stats and specification information, etc. :X Might be because the car is so uninspiring!

    This isn’t going to help Acura sales!!!

  • avatar
    slinkster

    Honda has lately really gone off the rails with their car designs. While I scratch my head wondering what happened, I do think that scaled down this would make a great hand-held can opener.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    I like Acuras, but their recent styling is making me stay away. First they beat the MDX with an ugly-stick, now this.

  • avatar
    dgduris

    Perhaps this Acura styling – um – shortfall is what happens as the Pikachu-watching generation grows up and takes on CAD-CAM.

  • avatar
    carguy

    “This is not your father’s Buick. But it could be yours.” – priceless.

    Poor TL, it looks like Chris Bangles insane brother had pimped his Accord.

  • avatar
    26theone

    I like the look..glad Im not a car designer. Try to build a car with some style and you get skewered.

    Lets see $3500 for the awd option or just make the thing RWD like a real sports sedan should be and be done with it.

    Even Hyundai “gets it” with the RWD Genesis. Leave the FWD to Honda. This car should be competing with 3-series, IS, CTS, 300, G35, C-Class, G8 which are all RWD.

  • avatar
    Steve Green

    Is the as-tested price really nearly $40k, or was that a typo? For thousands less, you could get a rear-wheel drive 328i or C300 Sport, either with an honest transmission.

  • avatar

    I ask myself, “Is this actually uglier than the 5-series?” and the gears in my brain clash so badly they start to smoke, like one of the supercomputers that Jim Kirk talked into self-destructing in the old Star Trek series.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Michael, I agree. From the rear, it’s an Aura. Who woulda thunk someone would copy a GM style cue.

    What’s next – gay marriage is voted down in CA and we elect Obama for President??

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Lets see $3500 for the awd option or just make the thing RWD like a real sports sedan should be and be done with it.

    What, like the Audi S4 and RS4?

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    The only real issue I have with this car is that stupidly small trunk opening. Combined with the sloping rear window I’m not sure if you’ll be able to get the requisite golf bag into this thing without special tools.

  • avatar
    p00ch

    26theone

    I agree with you 100%.

    I can’t understand why Toyota/Honda insist on upping the HP in their FWD ‘luxury’ cars with every redesign. There is no point to that much power if you can’t harness it properly. It reeks of an overly tarted-up Accord – not a bad car but it does not belong in this class.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I think it looks worse than a 5-series. I would give the TL’s exterior design one-star just because the profile isn’t horribly offensive.

    That grill gives the old B9 Tribeca a run for its money.

  • avatar
    AggieKnight

    What has Acura done to my poor TL? Why, dear God, why? Its fugly and they don’t offer it in a stick.

    I guess I’m just gonna have to go buy a BMW during this generation…

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    “they don’t offer it in a stick.”

    Actually, they do.

  • avatar
    volvo

    Acura does have an entry level car. It is the Accord V6 EX-L. About 10K less.

  • avatar
    suspekt

    I dont post a whole lot, but TL reviews really really piss me off. Every “reviewer” loves to knock the design they simply cannot mentally process because it doesn’t sink in fast enough.

    I remember when the last TL came out as a 2004 model and it was derided as a kinda plain, but with good mechanicals/ergonomics. At that time, my opinion was “this thing looks way ahead of its peers and is absolutely stunning”. I would still make those claims. The 2004-2008 TL is a great looking car. It’s stance, lines, and profile are very pleasing to my discerning eyes and always will be. Im not a TL fanboy. I love the lines of the G8, the 3 series coupe, the A5, the S8, the CLS, Passat CC, and this one is in that catergory. Period.

    To me, the STUPIDEST way to critque a car is for the things that are EASILY rectified. For examples, ride height, wheels, and colour keying things that shouldn’t have been chromed in the first place.

    Case in point, the current new TSX and TL.

    Take each of those cars and do the following:

    1. Mono-chrome the grills (with a touch of silver retained)

    2. Swap the wheels for a Porsche RUF style wheel with a deep concave dish

    3. LOWER THE RIDE HEIGHT

    With the above 3 simple mods, both cars are stunning. Yeah the wheels can cost upwards of $3,000, but thats’ the price of individual style. Further, I LOVE cars that are the diamond in the rough. Most will buy them and mod nothing. But the select few that go ahead with the mods (wheels, ride height), they get to enjoy automotive artwork. Ever see a 2008 TL Type S with 2 inches taken off the ride height and 3″ lipped wheels?

    This TL, at first was gaudy, but after seeing it in the flesh and walking around it under different lighting conditions for a while, I found it stunning. Like a beautiful painting, it reveals its character with the passage of time.

    And for the record, the most beautiful 4 door car I have ever seen is the Fisker Karma.

    This car is a styling knockout. I cant wait till someone see’s one in pearl white, during sunset, racing along the highway; I can already picture it, to bad the majority can’t.

  • avatar
    Gary Numan

    Perhaps this Acura was designed and launched to simply steer prospective customers to the Honda Accord EX V6 with leather and navigation.

    Or….

    Steer them away. Hard to justify the price on this one for how it looks and what’s there in this current form. I don’t see this one aging gracefully in terms of looks or resale value. Will be interesting to see if they perform a “refresh” of this car within two model years.

  • avatar
    thetopdog

    suspekt :

    Please put the LSD down and back away from the keyboard slowly…

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    And when the RL gets the V8, the question becomes, why buy a TL?

    Whoa! An Acura V8? When’s that gonna happen?

    Edit: Nevermind. I just found assorted links… Another 2010 milestone…

  • avatar
    Typesbad

    I’ve driven both the new TSX and the TL. The TSX is still a joy to drive, providing you prefer handling over raw power. I do. It’s lost a little of the previous car’s edgy feeling, but not much. As much as I appreciate rear-wheel drive dynamics, my driving routine doesn’t provide much opportunity to enjoy them and it is hard to find a more nimble front driver. When you are kicking back, the Tech Package stereo is just incredible It may not be that easy to fine DVD-A discs but this makes the search worth it.

    I’m not crazy about the TL exterior, though its a little better in person. What really impressed was that it might just be the most comfortable car I have ever driven. I’m not talking soft and floaty, just well damped, solid and really quiet. It also had that great audio system. Curwood’s interior description is hilarious but the bottom line is that this is a great place to spend time. You have to drive like an idiot to need more power, but – and maybe its my 49 years speaking – the car really seems to be telling you to sit back and enjoy the ride, and rewards you if you do. I’m curious how different the SH-AWD version will be.

  • avatar

    There is NOTHING HERE worth paying the asking price for when the Accord exists.

    My girlfriend bought an Accord V6 fully loaded with Navi and it cost $31,000.
    The coupe version is even better and isn’t that much more expensive.

    The only thing this car really has over the Accord is a luxury badge and a slightly better streamlined console rather than the Accord’s clunky keys.

    I’s even perfer a Genesis over this car.

  • avatar
    HEATHROI

    I like the current TL and you would get used to the styling such as it is but would still get a G8 (V8 if you please)

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    suspekt:

    I understand totally what you are saying (and welcome back into the fold), but in my opinion, there’s one thing where the TL totally fails in terms of styling:
    When you are paying that much for a car, you really shouldn’t have to explain your purchase to everyone who asks. The car is so polarizing and that class of cars tends to be a bit more plain, so it’s going to get attention and the word on the street isn’t that it’s good attention.
    A car in this class should “wow” me, and to give credit where credit is due, I do like this interior. However when I read lines along the lines of having to see it during certain times of the day and in a certain color…didn’t Aztek owners say the same thing? People show cars like this off to their friends and neighbors, and let’s face it, many of us play “top this” with them, but if the look on their face is “uugh” after seeing the design, that isn’t the best reaction!
    I predict that after the 2-3 year refresh cycle that Acura ditches this grille into the trash in the same way Subaru ditched the “flying (body part)” front after a couple of years. This front just doesn’t look good on many cars, and I don’t think it will age gracefully like some Audis did with their horse-collar grille. (It still looks bad on the TT…)
    Last but not least, I’ve posted in the past where I’m in “Honda Country” and there are previous-gen TSX and TL models everywhere. Now I know the economy is in the crapper and new car sales are tanking but I can count the number of new TLs and TSXs I’ve seen on one hand (per model)…and I do over 4,000 miles a month and pay attention to those things!

  • avatar
    shaker

    I’ve said this before – Acura’s attempt to emulate their (inverted) logo in the actual lines of the car seems like an attempt at vanity of the highest order. It can be seen that Acura fans are the ones who defend the style, since the brand’s identity lurks within.
    I was trying to find other examples in automotive history of a vehicle’s shape being altered (sometimes not so subtly) to emulate its branding or logo – can’t come up with anything, but the B&B may…

  • avatar
    Jaeger

    Just an absolutely shockingly ugly vehicle. Not quite Pontiac Aztec ugly, but way closer than I ever dreamed (nightmared?) a company like Acura would ever produce. It may drive like a dream and have enough techo-doo-dads to keep you cuddled up with the owner’s manual for weeks of happy reading, but paying good money for ugly makes no sense to me at all.

  • avatar

    Having married the brainy girl in math class, I can think of no greater recommendation for the new TL. A note of caution: The new Acura TL will not think you are funny and will roll it’s eyes at you all the time, no matter how witty and hilarious your many comments and jokes may be.

  • avatar

    suspekt: Contrary to what you may think, I actually dont mind the exterior in the right colour, with the optional 19 inch diamond cut wheels. Looks great. The interior is a different story – I hate Acura’s colour combinations.

    I really want/wanted this car to succeed, but after a full day of driving, I stepped away unable to think of a good reason to spend close to US$40,000 on it; Espcially with the SH-AWD model due about…now.

  • avatar
    Ronin317

    I drove this 2 weeks ago…and I have to say, it’s much the same deal as the new TSX when it comes to comparison with the model it replaces. It works, on many levels, but the steering feel at speed is just missing. It feels more like a Lexus than the previous model, and the review hit a home run with that point. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but there is nothing “sporty” about any lexus I have driven, and this TL feels less sporty, despite feeling more powerful, than the old.

    However, the ride was definitely smooth, and it felt like I thought it would.

    2 things I never get…and this is always a touchy subject here, but the FWD and torque involved really, imo, gets overblown each time it’s brought up. I really think it’s a purist issue that just fades further and further every day. People that really care about that much about torque steer (ie, those who would be so sensitive to it as to notice it in a big way) are simply not shopping for this car in the first place. Does it have some? yeah…but in my opinion, not much. I guess if you’re coming from a RWD to this, it may be more noticable, but is it really that big of an issue after the first time you slam the gas from a stop?

    the second thing, I feel, is the press shots of this car do it absolutely no justice what so ever. seeing the car in person, in a darker color, the creases and nuances are much more apparent than they are with a chrome on silver press shot. The grille, while I still question it, looks lost on the silver, but better on the darker colors and even the white.

  • avatar
    Areitu

    psarhjinian: The boy-racer RSX, as fun and great as it was, doesn’t fit into Acura’s aim of being the luxury car of choice for pragmatic affluent urbanites upgrading from the Camcord but want some style with Japanese reliability.

  • avatar
    LamborghiniZ

    psarhjinian: You’re wrong about the TSX not being able to attract customers. I go to IU, and hence in a college town full of affluent young adults, and there are TSX’s aplenty…too many in fact.

  • avatar

    I wish they’d bring back the Integer. I drove a new TSX a year ago, and it did not tempt me out of my ’99 Accord. It’s nice, yes, but too big and heavy.

  • avatar
    Nickatnyt

    3 words. UH GUH LEE. So one isnt a word and one is a name. oh well.

  • avatar
    crxb

    black seems to help

    http://i469.photobucket.com/albums/rr59/igowest/IMG00120.jpg

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    I’ve always been a huge Acura fan (original Intregra owner!), even through the lean years (mid-90s). Not-too-expensive near-luxury technologically-advanced decent drivers’ cars. Reliable Audis if you will. What the hell is wrong with them lately?

    The Integra/RSX got people in the door. The TSX got big and numb, and lost it’s scoot. This TL is…… hideous, especially the grille and front fenders.

    With the exception of the S2000, Fit and CR-X, Honda keeps aiming lower and lower lately. That’s really sad.

  • avatar
    James2

    Chris Bangle called. He said, “Acura took the target off my back. Thanks, Honda!”

  • avatar
    thoots

    Aztekura.

  • avatar
    Si_Lover

    I would love for the CSX to come to the US in hatch form with an additional 20 lb-ft.

  • avatar
    Kman

    Great one by AllStingNoBling: ugly, with a capitol UGH.

    I can’t describe how spectacularly ugly the new Acuras are.

    I loved my ’04 TSX, with its combination of understated yet handsome good looks, polished, well-crafted and subtly designed interior…. and now this.

    I dry-heave whenever I see a new TSX or TL. Burgh!

  • avatar
    ohsnap

    Wow. That is one ugly car.

    Way to completely ruin your best selling vehicle, Acura.

    It would have been bad enough had you butchered the outside, but apparently, you pushed for maximum Seppuku and made the driving dynamics far worse than the last (excellent) generation.

    I can just feel the last, new 2008s, if there are any left, rising in value as I type this.

  • avatar
    njnikusha

    amazing car with so so styling. but hey its still an ACURA

  • avatar
    segar925

    Sorry, I just can’t get past the way this car looks, it’s too bizare and it won’t age well.
    Reminds me of the older CL coupes that had similar strange styling. Acura missed the boat on this one. There’s also way too many buttons on the center stack. The new Maxima beats this car by a mile for less $$.

  • avatar
    allen h

    ok people – this is the comment you need to read.  i own an ’09 TL SHAWD w/technology package and will leave you some actual USEFUL feedback instead of wasting your time with my personal opinions on the cars appearance, which you can formulate on your own.  While most peole seem to love it or hate it (there appears to be no middle ground), no one denies it is unique.  You’ll never lose this car in a parking lot.  On a side not, I also owned an ’07 TL Type S and loved it, but the lease came up.  I’ll compare the 2 for you, aside from the obvious differences in appearance.

    first of all, this car does not purport nor aim to be the fastest, sportiest or most luxurious car in whatever “class” these genius reviewers feel it belongs.  it does however aim to be, and in my opinion is, the best OVERALL car in it’s class.  that includes lexus, infiniti, audi and bmw IN IT’S PRICE RANGE.  Does the car handle like a BMW on a race track?  No.  Do any of you plan on driving it on a race track?  No.  So why does the soft steering even come up.  It drives beautifully though and I can drive for miles down the freeway with my hands off the wheel and the car will hold it’s lane.  Acura really understands how the average person drives and has designed and built a car to give the driver (and passengers) the best overall driving experience for how they will drive 99% of the tiem.  I like that.  The interior is by far and away the best in it’s class at this price point.  AGain, there’s a matter of opinion but the key differences are the super soft leather, the ergonomic design, the voice activated easy-to-use navigation, the sound system, and the greater interior room than any 3-series, g37, etc.

    The car is big.  Is that a problem?  If so, look at something smaller and don’t waste anymore time reading this.  Again, try a $45k 3-series.  It’s smaller and gives you fewer options, but…….the steering isn’t as soft.  I guess to some that’s worth a hell of a lot of extra $.

    Even with the bigger engine (3.7L), the car is slightly slower than my 2007 Type S (3.5L) due to it’s extra weight.  The fuel econ is about the same though.  I average 23-24 mpg city/hwy combined.  I’m impressed with that given I like to drive fast and the car is decent size. 

    As far as quality vs. competitors, it’s tough to beat Acura.  Hope this was helpful.


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