By on January 22, 2009

Once upon a time, I mistook an automotive journalist for a member of ZZ Top. After a proper introduction, L.J.K. Setright subjected me to a twenty-minute lecture on the Euro-Accord’s five-spoke wheels. He was deeply offended by the fact that the lug nuts didn’t line up with the spokes. I got the message: people who truly understand and appreciate engineering excellence are wrapped WAY too tight. And yet, the desire for a meticulously designed automobile transcends geekery. The market rewards over-engineering– or at least the aura of over-engineering (cough Mercedes cough). In that sense, the Acura brand is not without inherent appeal– despite the TL’s inability to live up to the marque’s upmarket aspirations. Which is a fancy way of saying the TL is an epic fail.

You don’t need a degree to reach that conclusion. Let’s put it this way: when a buff book says a car’s looks are “a matter of personal taste,” you know it’s Medusa-class ugly. Personally, I don’t find the Acura TL’s smiling snow plow prow grossly objectionable. Not like, say, a maggot-ridden squirrel carcass. The TL’s snout is a bit… ungainly. Like a confused squirrel before it gets run over. The TL’s central crease– an over-literal interpretation of “cutting edge”– is just plain silly. The car’s profile shows the design team how it should have been done. It’s subtle, elegant and vaguely European; a striking differentiation from the mass market machine with which the TL shares a platform.

Yes, there is that. Suffice it to say, there’s more than aesthetically challenged sheetmetal to separate the sibs. The TL offers a few extra inches of lebensraum here and there. The TL’s materials are also suitably luxe, except for the buttons, which are not. (L.J.K. would have had a conniption over the power outlet cover’s herky-jerky sliding action.) The TL’s meaty steering wheel and hooded dials are the cabin’s finest hour. But there’s no disguising the fact that there’s no “there” there. The TL is as generic as a blank box of Kleenex.

Lurking within the TL’s all-too-familiar interior: enough gizmology to annihilate the car’s resale value in ten years or less. I mean, mandate an hour-long handover and at least five post-purchase phone calls. I’m slightly skeptical about some of the toys’ utility. Why would I want to burn CDs onto a built-in hard drive when I can just plug-in my iPhone? The more I use voice recognition systems the less I use them. (Although I’m always amused by a car’s answers to life’s big questions. What’s the meaning of life? “XM channel 18 on.”) And if I can upload ten images to wallpaper the nav screen, why can’t I create a slideshow? Or can I? GPS-linked climate control? Real-time power distribution meter?

Ah yes, power. A 3.7-liter V6 powers the top spec (of the two) TL. With 305hp and 273 lbs.ft of torque on tap, the TL makes a powerful case for itself as a performance sedan. In theory. In reality, the TL’s engine is a sonic affront at anything less than 5000rpm. Whiny. Tinny. Cheap. Although the TL’s five-speed autobox has a class-leading ratio spread (how’s that for a boast?), it’s a couple of bolts short of class-compliant silkiness. Traditionally, steering feel is a Honda/Acura strong suit. In this case, the electric variable power-assisted helm is, as the Brits say, pants. The TL’s brakes are effective enough, hauling the porky four-door down from speed with fade-free confidence. But the stoppers are numb in both initial bite and subsequent modulation.

Ask any Lexus driver: a novocain nature is not the worst thing that can happen to a car. Which is why the TL’s suspension is such a shock. Literally. As far as I can tell, K Mart supplied the Acura’s independent double wishbone (front) and independent multilink (rear) components. The TL’s 18″ wheels and all-season rubber crash and thump over the slightest imperfection. At city speeds, the TL feels nervous. Jumpy. Cheap. It’s an unforgivable sin for a car cresting the $30k mark.

The only possible justification for a ride that reminds me of the last gen GT-R: super handling. While the all wheel-drive part of the TL equation keeps the Acura planted, the two-ton sedan feels more like an oak than a willow through the bends. Worse, the seats don’t offer enough bolstering when you get stuck in. The TL’s sweet spinning six delivers a lovely grinding growl at maximum revs, but there’s only one situation where the TL feels the equal of a BMW 3-Series. No wait, there isn’t.

As L.J.K. would tell you, a well-engineered car adheres to a coherent philosophy. By trying to be everything to everyone, the TL is nothing in particular to anyone, save expensive. Back to the drawing board, then. Next time, start with the wheels.

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105 Comments on “Review: 2009 Acura TL Take Two...”


  • avatar
    Boston

    Wow – that was brutal. I get the feeling that the only way that Acura is going to get a nose job is by firing a few clueless folks. I’d say that it is about time. The design is universally hated and unlike BMW, they don’t have the sales to silence the haters. Why the hell are they waiting so long to fix an obivous and easily correctable issue?

  • avatar
    TaxedAndConfused

    I kind of miss L.J.K. Setright although his endless banging on about why Honda Preludes were the best engineered devices on the planet got boring after a while.

  • avatar
    ARacer

    That bad? Really? Sure you just don’t miss the last gen TL?

  • avatar
    shaker

    Feed the thing a couple of crabs, then retest it.

  • avatar
    jerry weber

    the acura product was the first luxury Japanese car line in America. Today it is as described above a mess. Not only is the TL bigger, the RL which cost about $50K, is the same size with all wheel drive standard. Honda has not allowed it’s people to fully develope a luxury line to not only perform up but size up with the competitors. I am 6’4″ and a dealer tried to shoe horn me in an RL. I said why is this car so much smaller than a lexus, mercedes or anything else out there?The old TL might has well been a two seater, if I put the front seat back, no one is going behind me. Further the rear doors were for kids to exit not real people. It seems Honda is on a scale where their best cars are small and as they get larger and more luxurious they get worse.

  • avatar
    minion444

    Acura jumped the shark when the discontinued the Legend for the 1st TL. We owned that legend 4 door with a 5 speed. What a great car. THen we got a TL. I couldn’t wait to be rid of it.

  • avatar
    schhim

    Ouch. Well, there’s always next season I suppose.

  • avatar
    mike1939

    Funny and cogent review of, to me, an offensively ugly car. I cannot understand how this one got under the wire.
    Despite his at times unquestioning love of everything Honda LJKS would have hated this shambles of a car too!

  • avatar
    mcs

    I saw one the other day and it really is hideous. It almost looks like one of those tacky dealer installed bling options on the nose. I’m sure it won’t be long before there are gold tone versions of the chrome.

    The next question is how does it compare with the Genesis?

  • avatar

    I completely agree with this review… and I haven’t even driven the car. The numbers are sufficient to draw conclusions here. This car is simply too heavy and far too techno-ridden to successfully compete in the most competitive category to which it aspires.

    That said, I’m certain it will sell pretty well. The former TL’s success and Honda/Acura’s reputation for quality insures that.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Went to my first LJKS lecture in London in 1969. Pedantic the man may have been, but the best automotive journalist ever, IMO. He went far beyond the limp understanding of what makes a vehicle tick that the average journo exhibits. And he wasn’t an engineer, but intensely self-taught. Have several of his books.

    So, put simply, the five lug Honda wheel design was wrong. Period. And the original WRX was awful in crosswinds because the rear instant roll height is about 6 inches too high. Nobody else criticized the WRX for this error, except LJKS, who described the problem. Like Subaru styling and the inevitable awfulness of CVT trannies, Subaru did not listen to the free advice from someone who knew why high speed stability of the pre ’08 chassis sucked. (I own a Subie, so I feel free to criticize)

    Then there’s the Acura TL, one of which blights my neighborhood looking like a cartoon version of mini over-blinged zeppelin airship.

    Just like Cadillac and Lincoln, Honda amazes me that in its multi-billion dollar enterprise, there appears to be not one person employed in giving real names to its Acuras. I can’t remember which car is which. Nor do I care, especially as Mr. Farago says this vehicle is totally wretched. However, I did finally work out that a Lincoln MKT is a truck, geddit, and an MKS is a sedan. But Acura TL, RL, TS? Who cares?

  • avatar
    John R

    Another reason to get an Infiniti G…or Lexus IS. Honda needs to develop a 3-series competitive RWD sedan PDQ, period.

    The last TL was great car (@ jerry weber ever been in the back of a G35?) for what it was and, unfortunately, this new TL has made the old one an instant classic.

    What annoys me is that, probably, the only reason why the Accords do not have manual-mode autos is because of the fact there really isn’t much daylight between the TL and a fully optioned Accord. Irritating.

  • avatar
    PanzerJaeger

    I love it when Mr. Farago reviews a car he doesn’t like. No mercy!

    Why would anyone by an Acura?

    The Germans do high-end cars so much better, and if you’re afraid of their reliability, Lexus and Infiniti split the luxury/performance market up nicely.

    Theres only so much room in this market. BMW, Mercedes, and Lexus are entrenched. Audi and Infiniti are surging. Somebody has to falter.

  • avatar
    tcwarnke

    Anyone else think that snout was copied from Saturn?

  • avatar
    thoots

    Yep, I just can’t get past that “styling.” Perhaps it’s a bit better than platform-mate Accord’s looks, which just don’t seem “right” to me in any way whatsoever. At least TL makes something interesting out of Accord’s just-plain-ill-proportioned rear end. Still, like all of Acura’s styling these days, it just looks to me like the proverbial “tack on a few dozen styling bits” rather than building some pleasing, overall styling design.

    I actually saw my first 2009 TL on the streets yesterday, in fact — so at least they’ve sold ONE of the things in my area. Since I haven’t driven one of the things, I’ll leave ride/drive comments to others, but I sure expect that the new “Acura styling theme” has been the opposite of “gotta have it” styling for a lot of potential customers — keeping people out of the showrooms, instead of attracting them.

  • avatar
    highrpm

    I spent some time with this car at the Detroit Auto Show last night. I just can’t get over that mess of a front end. Why such a huge front overhang? Honda, you know better than that. Remember your old Legend (18 years ago!) with its complicated transmission that allowed you to tuck the engine forward and still mimick a rear-drive sedan’s tiny front overhang? Did that particular transmission engineer retire?

    The previous TL was so much nicer.

    Well, good for me I guess. My list of cars that I’d like to buy used in five years just got shorter by one, and fewer choices means fewer headaches right?

  • avatar
    NickR

    It would look slightly better if they mounted the body the other way around. Not much better mind you…it’s a hideous design. The last car I can think of that was equally as bad was the 92-98 Skylark. This Acura absolutely sucks appearance-wise.

    I haven’t looked at Acura’s sales charts in Canada, but it seems that I see far fewer of them than I used to. The fact there dealers seem to awful doesn’t help.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Yet another example of todays thinking. Bloated bland generic styling. Silly overwrought front end treatment. A totally forgettable black lung interior with silver accents that will wear off in a few years. Can’t tell what it is from the side view. Honestly are todays stylists as clueless as todays singers, artists and so called movie stars? Things have gone so wrong this dreadful decade and car styling or lack of styling leads the way for an all time record low. Yes folks we have come to a time when telling one mid size Asian sedan apart from another will require checking out the front end badge. And the worst part is that this mediocre crap is directing the future global design for American car styling.

  • avatar
    Martin Schwoerer

    Yes! A mention of the great LJKS by Farago. And several readers follow up, to boot! Life can be so good sometimes.

  • avatar
    ra_pro

    The car might be ugly but it’s not Aztec-ugly as in from all angles. It’s also interesting and un-Japanese like. The body profile is fine, the rear is OK, it’s only the front that needs some cosmetic surgery. I give Acura kudos for trying to differentiate themselves in different ways from the competition, by distinct look, low no-option price, 4-wheel drive, lots of electronic gizmos. The next generation needs just minor tweaks in the over-all scheme of things to be an excellent car.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    I was unable to find anything to like about the outside of this car, until the other day when i was following one. It has a rear grill. Small to be sure, but it has one and it mimics the front one. Not a happy thing to mimic, but there it is nonetheless. I really miss rear grills. I hope this becomes the new styling thing, instead of audi-esque beak noses which are suddenly everywhere.

  • avatar
    tced2

    Some of the dealers in my area (Indianapolis) are painting the “chrome” part of the upper grille with body color paint and it looks a bit better. They’re doing it to TSX models also.

    re:heavy
    My fondest wish is for an automaker to come out with a replacement model that is similar sized but weighs LESS. It gets you better performance and economy. I’m tired of “longer, lower, wider”.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Acura jumped the shark when the discontinued the Legend for the 1st TL

    Technically, the Legend became the RL; the Vigor was the TL/CL. I’d say the Vigor-to-TL change was a positive one. The first TL was a really good car, transmission issues aside (and the six-speed CL was amazing); the Vigor was a meager little bugger that wasn’t fooling anyone.

    The Legend to RL was handled badly. The first RL was nice enough, but really dull. I don’t know why the second one doesn’t sell: it’s actually a nice car, if anonymously styled. Every time I see one (pre-nosejobbed) I think it’s a handsome, understated car. They drive well, too.

    The real “jump the shark” moment was the loss of the RSX/Integra. The RSX got a lot of affluent, young people into Acura’s showrooms, people who would return in a three of so years and buy a TL or MDX. Honda, stupidly, thought that by eliminating the RSX, Acura would lose the boy-racer image that prevented it’s being seriously considered against BMW, and that RSX intenders would buy Civic Si’s, TSXs and RDXs instead. What actually happened is that RSX buyers bought GLIs, GTIs, MS3s and Minis, and that the flow of new blood into Acura showrooms dried up.

  • avatar
    Juniper

    OK, I’m not an anglophile, is “pants” good or bad.

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    # tced2 :
    re:heavy
    My fondest wish is for an automaker to come out with a replacement model that is similar sized but weighs LESS. It gets you better performance and economy. I’m tired of “longer, lower, wider”.

    Well, the E60 5-series is a lot lighter than the E39. The current, aluminum Jaguar XJ is lighter than the old, smaller steel one. The Mazda 2 is lighter than the old one, but a lot smaller inside too. The new Mazda 6 is lighter than the old one and a bit larger.

    The list goes on.

  • avatar
    AllStingNoBling

    The older TL was one of the most handsome cars to ever roll out of Japan. It looked solid, yet athletic. It really looked like a, “car’s car.”

    The new TL is an abject abomination. It looks like a car designed by people who actively seek to offend others. The overall look of the car is even more off-putting because all one has to do is think back just a single model year to when the TL was such a good looking car. The contrast is stark enough that the mere thought is all it takes to make your head shake left, and right in disapproval.

    The other problem is that there is just so much electronic crap stuffed in that car, anybody would be forgiven to think the engine is just there to keep the computers alive, rather than actually move the vehicle. All that stuff in there must surely take away from the driving experience. It’s like a big, distracting mobile phone on wheels!

    It’s cars like these, which make the the BMW 3 Series just look better, and better.

  • avatar
    200k-min

    Compared to the old model TL this is an epic failure. Just the other day I saw an ’08 TL – Type S in a parking lot and couldn’t help but think that’s one sexy car. This thing, puke.

    But as someone already mentioned, it will sell because Honda/Acura people will buy on their reputation alone. My in-laws are some of those buyers, who bought the new RL when it came out a few years back. Drove it once and wondered why anyone would spend close to $80k CAD for that thing…just don’t make any negative comments in front of them….they love it…and cross shopped Lexus and Audi against it.

    Do I think the Germans or Lexus/Infinity make great lux cars…not at all for what they cost, but the current Acura lineup is at best a rest stop between Toyota/Honda and BMW/Lexus. Honda just hasn’t figured that out yet.

  • avatar
    Nedmundo

    While I actually like the new TSX’s appearance, this TL is disappointing for sure. I think it looks better on the road than in photos, but in this case that’s not saying much. I’m even more disturbed by the technological overkill and excessive weight, because those tell me just how far Honda has strayed from its roots. To me, Hondas should emphasize Zen-like functional simplicity, efficiency, and agility over gizmos and brute force. The Civic Si and S2000 are true Hondas in this sense, and the TSX, despite its flaws, is close. While I’ll reserve my own final judgment until I drive it, this TL appears far off the mark.

  • avatar

    RF clearly remains the master of the TTAC-style review.

    The TL is merely the latest sign that Acura/Honda has lost its way. Too big, too ugly (especially with the non-S wheels), and too un-fun to drive. I’m not even a fan of the profile lauded here: the front end looks like they took one look at the raw block of clay and decided that the front fenders were done. Influenced by Soviet limo design, perhaps?

    I remain a huge fan of the 2004 TL’s styling.

    On the reliability front, the 2004-2008 TLs continue to require few repairs based on responses to TrueDelta’s Vehicle Reliability Survey. Still waiting for enough owners of the 2009. If you know one, send them on over. If the new TL is like the new MDX, it could require more repairs than the old one.

    We’ve added a Vehicle Reliability Survey results page for each model that includes 5-10 competing models. TL’s is here:

    http://www.truedelta.com/car-reliability.php?stage=pt&bd=Acura&mc=5&email=Guest

  • avatar
    talkstoanimals

    Sad to say, but Honda seems to have lost the thread. My first two cars were a ’92 Honda Civic hatch and a ’90 CRX Si. They were great cars – simple, light (a la Colin Chapman’s dictates), good looking, smart handling, efficient and bullet-proof.

    Most modern Hondas and Acuras are some combination of odd looking, bloated, ergonomically challenged or endowed with strange ride/handling characteristics. I mean the dash of the Insight looks like a tumorous guppy ferchrissakes.

    The Honda of old would never have turned out such a disgrace. Going from the purity of the NSX to such misbegotten products as the RDX is not progress. What a shame.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    At one time Acura filled a void with a sporty car, a near luxury car, and overall appealed to the Honda buyers ready to move upmarket but still have a reliable Honda under them.

    No it seems spaceship styling, “me-too” gizmos, and overall bloated cars are what defines Acura. I also agree the naming of their cars has gotten ridiculous.

    What happened to legend, vigor, etc?

  • avatar
    WaftableTorque

    It used to be that if you wanted a technology laden Japanese car, you bought a Mitsubishi. The Galants, Diamantes, and Legnums had AWD, 4 wheel steering, semi-active air suspensions, and all sorts of electronic doodads. Now Mitsubishi is on the verge of being swallowed up, and Acura has moved into that niche, with the dashboard buttons to match.

    I’ve seen quite a few new TL’s in Edmonton, Canada. Or at least I think I have, I can’t really tell the difference anymore between the new RL, TL, and TSX. What a brand disaster.

  • avatar
    mikeolan

    Who would buy this over a Maxima? I drove both recently and the Maxima ‘feels’ like it costs about 10k more (relatively speaking, both are priced high.)

    Just another crap product churned out by Honda.

  • avatar

    The exterior is aweful in every way. I’m very disappointed. It’s almost like the engineers knew they weren’t getting a V8 anytime soon so they decided to distance themselves from the competitiion by going ugly technological.

    RF +1 — the interior is solid. Both in terms of quality materials as well as a nice balance between classy and athletic. Acura still trumps Infiniti in this very important metric, while Lexus goes the all-lux route.

    Lower body weight: +1. That would be keeping with their heritage. This is a must.

    The technology in Acura’s shouldn’t be knocked. My ’04 6-speed TL (which is FIVE YEARS OLD now) is still on par with the technology of other’s ’09s. Handsfree voice recognition. DVD Audio. Nav which is more than ‘just Nav’ (traffic & weather). VLEV. 30mpg+ capability. We can’t fault the 2.8 for putting too little technology into their cars AND fault Acura for putting too much.

    The 6-speed SH-AWD TL arrives in October. If they can also reskin this cat by then, she will purr again. Granted, that’s a big IF.

  • avatar
    AllStingNoBling

    @ Michael Karesh:

    How about a section on True Delta where the shear ugliness of a vehicle actually causes retinal damage. That could count against a car, ya know!

  • avatar
    eh_political

    Honda with the jiggly suspension again. LJK would probably be able to answer this thought definitively, but from my understanding, the height of the average Japanese person is part of the issue. Being inches shorter than the average American or European, they have a different gait, and so prefer suspension tuning that is a bit jiggly for our tastes. The new Fit handles great, but the ride is rubbish for the wheelbase–it’s my top niggle with the car.

    So perhaps ride is a result of cost cutting. Honda is no longer retuning cars for export markets? Just a thought, but again, this is the second Honda made in Japan in which ride quality stands out as peculiar.

    The car itself is ghastly in terms of styling…clearly there is a problem. Let’s see if midcycle refreshes address these lapses in judgement.

    Another curious effort from Honda.

  • avatar
    Mrb00st

    one out of five stars… ouch.

    I have to say though, the new TL seems like a step backwards over the old one in all respects except… size. And like the old TL was too small?

    I guess I just don’t get it…

  • avatar

    This car wouldn’t be so hideous if the previous car didn’t look so good. Unfortunately, this seems to be a trend in the midsize luxury segment – look at the downhill transitions that happened with the current 5er and upcoming E-class. At least Audi and Lexus seems to be headed in the right direction – making their vehicles more visually appealing.

  • avatar
    suedenim

    A question that came to my mind in a very practical sense: Why, exactly, would anyone inclined toward Honda and Acura choose a TL (or a TSX) over a Honda Accord EX-L V6?

    I had a 2002 Acura RSX, which I loved, but it was time for something new. Looking at Acura’s line, there’s no longer anything like the RSX. The TSX was… OK, at least in the 2007-8 models I drove as dealer loaners a few times. (I understand the TSX too has changed for 2009, but haven’t driven one.) The TL looked OK too, but fairly expensive.

    So I looked at the Accord, and ended up buying one, and loving it so far. I truly can’t figure out why, among the Accord, RSX and TL, anyone would choose one of the two Acuras.

  • avatar
    gcorley

    I guess you meant “seat-of-your-pants” and not just “pants”???

  • avatar
    Brian E

    So perhaps ride is a result of cost cutting. Honda is no longer retuning cars for export markets? Just a thought, but again, this is the second Honda made in Japan in which ride quality stands out as peculiar.

    The TL is made in Ohio. The TSX and RL are made in Japan.

    I haven’t driven the car yet, so I’ll refrain from commenting on that. But am I the only one who doesn’t think it looks bad? I don’t find a whole lot to like in this segment overall. The 3-series looks goofy and cheap (especially the ’09s, with the horribly large and tacky sDrive / xDrive emblems tacked on them). The 5-series, which is actually closest to the TL in size, always looked odd to me. The new G37 managed to take a trim and athletic design and make it look bulbous. The C-class looks like it was left in the dryer too long. The IS was probably the high water mark in the segment, but the design refresh for ’09 apparently consisted of grafting Galant tail lights onto the rear for no good reason. The new A4 is nice, but awfully conservative; the first time I saw one, I thought it was a first-gen TSX. In fact I’d say the most upmarket design in the segment belongs to the Maxima, which would probably be selling like hotcakes if only it were badged as the Infiniti I35.

    Honda’s insistence on developing its own slushboxes is hurting them at this point. Fuel economy and perceived character of the engine would change greatly with better gearing.

  • avatar
    buzzliteyear

    The problem with the new TL (and, to a lesser extent, the new TSX) is the conflict between Honda’s vision for the Acura brand and their willingness/ability to execute that vision.

    Honda wants Acura to be seen as a “Tier 1″ luxury brand comparable to Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, etc.

    However, are they willing to engineer dedicated RWD platforms for Acura? No.

    Are they willing to install leading-edge engineering technologies like direct injection, 6+ speed transmissions, or semi-active suspension? No.

    Are they willing to spend the money to upgrade the interior materials and noise dampening from somewhat-better-Honda to Audi/Jaguar/Mercedes-Benz-competitive? No.

    Instead, they stretch and tweak existing Honda platforms, throw in a bunch of electronic gadgets, and wrap the result in fugly ‘distinctive’ styling.

    Because of the inherent goodness of the underlying Honda product, the results are ‘decent’ cars that will satisfy the vast majority of customers. But the idea that these cars will create ‘conquest’ sales from Audi/BMW/Lexus/Mercedes is laughable.

    Honda needs to go back to Acura’s roots. Almost everyone who bought an Integra, a Legend, a TL, or an RSX understood that they were buying an ‘improved’ Civic or Accord.

    Those buyers were not looking for Lexus-type sensory deprivation, Mercedes-type prestige, or BMW-level ultimate performance.

    Those buyers recognized and appreciated the basic Honda traits underlying the Acura products.

    Those are products that Honda knows how to make and knows how to sell.

    Trying to stretch those characteristics to go ‘toe-to-toe’ with the top luxury brands will simply embarrass Honda (as the new TL demonstrates).

  • avatar
    CarnotCycle

    This is really too bad for Honda. That company has chosen an odd time (and bad market-timing) to bloat-up the line, and this rolling tuna seems to exemplify that. Bangle Bimmers are ugly (girlfriend saw a new 1-Series yesterday…her unprompted reaction? “That’s a BMW!? Ewwwww!), and this Acura is ugly.

    But if I see a Bangled Bavarian roll by I know its an ugly BMW. But when I see one of these roll by, all I know is ugly. To be anonymous and fugly at the same time is maybe the most toxic combo possible for a luxury car. Maybe that’s a good thing for Acura right now no one associates the brand with this can.

    I loved the old TSX, that car really was a driver’s car executed nicely. The last Legend coupe with the 3.2L VTEC RWD layout I think was probably best Acura ever made. Maybe Acura can pull a Caddy and at least have one model they hit out of the park sometime soon, but I don’t see it on the horizon anywheres.

  • avatar
    Brian E

    A question that came to my mind in a very practical sense: Why, exactly, would anyone inclined toward Honda and Acura choose a TL (or a TSX) over a Honda Accord EX-L V6?

    I’ve got an ’06 TSX, so I can answer that question at least about that. I honestly never seriously considered the Accord, simply because it was too large. The inside of the Accord, while made with high-quality materials, was extremely bland. It also didn’t have some of the goodies that the TSX had, such as HIDs or built-in Bluetooth.

    The TSX fits in a niche of cars that are smaller and more agile than a fully loaded family sedan while not costing significantly more. The other cars I looked at also fit in this segment; most had four cylinder engines producing about 200 horsepower.

  • avatar
    Brian E

    The last Legend coupe with the 3.2L VTEC RWD layout I think was probably best Acura ever made.

    The Legend was never RWD. It was a longitudinally-mounted FWD car, which gave it a RWD look.

  • avatar
    wfs100

    Indeed Acura’s have lost their way. TSX turned into Lexus wannabee, and TL looks like it has an identity crisis. RL has never sold well as it’s overpriced for what’s on offer. Lovely car as far as it goes but they are competing in the leasing market, and a BMW535iX is just cheaper and a far more attractive proposition when leasing. Dealers in Canada certainly complain that Honda has never really promoted or actively supported RL sales – too busy chasing the MDX sales. Just ask R Wagoner what happens when you do that.

  • avatar
    Samir

    But how do you really feel, RF?

  • avatar
    hofmeisterkink

    Like someone said, this TL is not Aztec-ugly. It’s an unconventional beauty, with emphasis on unconventional, kinda like the pre-nosejob Tribeca. That said, I wouldn’t buy it though…

  • avatar
    carguy

    One star seems harsh until you compare the new TL with other cars in this class and price range. Then it seems almost generous.

  • avatar
    BobJava

    Great to have a solid one-star review around here. All of the four-star reviews were getting a bit unsettling.

    I can’t stand these designers going for “different” at the sake of good design. This TL is like the really annoying kid in high school/college who acted out just to stand out, and only did so to mask underlying ineptitude and insecurity.

    Long live the Integra, I guess.

  • avatar
    tced2

    I am annoyed by companies that keep making their cars bigger. Others want a bigger engine. I have a ’05 TSX and the new model is bigger. Others want a V6 TSX – it’s called the TL. If you need more room than the TL – it’s called the RL.

  • avatar
    jaje

    As a previous owners of 2 Preludes (’85 DX 5 spd manual – 287k on it when sold and ’92 Si 5 spd – 150k when sold) I agree it was one of the best handling sport compact cars in its day. That aside…

    Acura has just gone bad – no focus but only on technology that very few really care about except S class owners who would never set foot in an Acura showroom unless to buy their teenage daughter a TSX. Frankly – all Acuras were never about good looks (the 1g TSX and 2g Integra and 2g TL and NSX were the only cars that had any beauty) – kinda frumpy and unique but not offensive. It was what was under the skin mechanics and driving dynamics wise that counted and their platforms and cars were very well made and fun to drive (sans RL). Now they have lost their direction and are losing customers by trying to be too many things to too little people.

  • avatar
    Dan

    As the owner of an ’05 Acura TL, it saddens me that Honda has lost the plot. If my car were to be stolen/totaled tomorrow and I had to replace it, Honda/Acura would be unlikely to get the sale. What would get the sale is an interesting question. My wife and I really like the manual transmission, which is hard to find on similar cars. (You can get one in an Audi A4, for example, but the back seat is a bad joke. You can move up to an A6, but then it’s automatic only and costs big bucks.) Maybe we’d need to have a look at a Pontiac G8 GXP. Similar price…

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    Honda with the jiggly suspension again. LJK would probably be able to answer this thought definitively, but from my understanding, the height of the average Japanese person is part of the issue. Being inches shorter than the average American or European, they have a different gait, and so prefer suspension tuning that is a bit jiggly for our tastes. The new Fit handles great, but the ride is rubbish for the wheelbase–it’s my top niggle with the car.

    There’s something like a 2.5″ difference between Japanese and Americans on average, and almost 6″ difference between men and women in both countries… do women prefer a jiggly ride?

    Cars tuned for Japanese roads are just going to come out different. They tend to have much smoother roads – the construction industry has a lot of political clout. Speeds in the city are very low. They also have to do a lot of driving through twisty mountain roads. So twisty that they try to avoid making much use of sway bars, because they might cause the inside rear wheel to lift up and lose traction, with bad results. They control roll with stiff springs instead. That’s especially true of aftermarket suspension companies like TEIN, and I’d say it affects the GT-R too.

    The TL wasn’t designed for Japan though, so no excuses there. I blame it on being designed for America. We’re more used to the idea that smooth=old man’s luxury, and stiff=sporty than Europeans are. The looks are also American, more along the lines of Cadillac’s styling in intent (not in execution, just intent).

  • avatar

    “ra_pro :
    January 22nd, 2009 at 9:33 am
    The car might be ugly”

    Yes it is ugly. Nay, fugly. So fugly that if I passed one of these I would have to look to see what kind of person actualy purchased one. This is designer road-kill.

  • avatar
    k.amm

    So when we’re going to hear anything about the SH-AWD?

    In fact I would LOOOVE to see an AWD shootout: Acura SH-AWD vs Subaru AWD vs Audi Quattro (Torsen) vs MB 4Matic vs Volvo (Haldex) etc

  • avatar
    wsn

    This new TL is certainly not Ferrari gorgeous, but it’s no new E-class ugly either. BTW, it’s more reliable and cheaper than the new E. So, as for me, if I were to pay CND$38k for a car, I will choose this over any MB B-class or BMW 1-series or Audi A3.

    I think Honda is trying to polarize the buying public. It won’t be any good if 100% of the population mildly like this design. The final sales figure could actually be better if 5% totally love it, while the other 95% hate it. This happened with the current gen Civic, and that was a success.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    “The TL offers a few extra inches of lebensraum here and there.”

    I was skeptical, so I went to Edmunds and ran their compare cars ap on the Accord, the TL, and the RL. I did not see this claim supported there, all though — Lord knows — Edmunds is not perfect.

    The three cars are very close in all relevant dimensions. The RL and the Accord are so close that I suspect they are the same car. The differences are the AWD and the the price. I cannot see how the AWD is worth $10,000 based on your report.

    The most expensive Accord is $30K. You can save $4K off that by skipping the leather and the nav system, and getting the EX instead of the EL.

    Personally, I am going to hang on the 2002 Accord for a while longer. Maybe Honda will do better on the next rotation.

  • avatar
    cjdumm

    Just wondering…

    Did they bother to license the Optimus Prime snout from Transformers, or did they just steal it? (Others have noted a Megatron resemblance, YMMV.)

  • avatar
    socsndaisy

    DAVENPORT!!!! Bring Mr. Griswold’s car back around here!

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Sure you just don’t miss the last gen TL?

    Why yes, yes I do.

    This thing is beautiful on the inside, hideous on the outside. Unfortunately, I have to have my eyes open when I walk up to it to drive someplace.

    Unbelieveably, because I always thought Acura was on a mission, they seem to have lost their way.

  • avatar

    I finally saw an new TL on the street, and was not as offended by its styling in the metal. It’s still crazy ugly, but it doesn’t provoke the stare-in-horror response that the current 5-series does, or the audible, “My god, what is that?” exclamation of something like the Aztec.

    Which doesn’t make it a desirable car. Grandiose size, needless gimmickry, tacky styling, numb handling, and premium price scream “Lincoln Continental,” not Acura.

  • avatar
    Porsche986

    OUCH. Why are my eyes bleeding? I actually LOOKED at the picture. This car is just plain hideous.

  • avatar
    buzzliteyear

    cjdumm wrote:

    Did they bother to license the Optimus Prime snout from Transformers, or did they just steal it? (Others have noted a Megatron resemblance, YMMV.)

    No, it was modeled after the anime Mutant Atomic Beaver….

  • avatar
    davey49

    “In reality, the TL’s engine is a sonic affront at anything less than 5000rpm. Whiny. Tinny. Cheap. Although the TL’s five-speed autobox has a class-leading ratio spread (how’s that for a boast?), it’s a couple of bolts short of class-compliant silkiness. ”

    Somebody will have to explain how engines sound cheap.
    To me the best engines sound a bit obnoxious
    like a GM OHV V6 or an L5 Audi, Toyota 2TC

    I hate silkiness

  • avatar
    dwford

    One look at the ugliness and the review kind of writes itself. RF, thanks for calling out the uselessness of the onboard hard drive. Why WOULD you take the time to rip your CDs onto your car’s hard drive? What a waste of time in the iPod age.

    There are so many better choices in today’s market than the new TL.

  • avatar
    carguy622

    To those who ask why anyone would would buy an Acura over a loaded Accord, I have my own personal story.

    My previous car was a ’04 Accord EX V6, very nice, too big, kind of boring (save for that gem of an engine), a jumpy ride, and lots of problems. So I traded it for a ’06 TSX 6-speed. Perfect size, very fuel efficient, smooth modestly powerful engine, sweet 6 speed, and good handling/ride. Plus I was tired of seeing Accords everywhere.

    I also tested the IS250, Audi A4, and Volvo V40, all were inferior to the ’06 TSX in my experience. Unfortunately the new TSX, TL, and RL are disappointing.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    I love Hondas but even I have to admit that Acura has lost its way. They need to figure out what their niche is, now that the G35 and Genesis stole their lunch. Pity.

  • avatar
    thoots

    Brian E:
    ….am I the only one who doesn’t think it looks bad?

    So far, yes.

    Sounds like a job for LensCrafters. :-)

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    What is up with all of the “great interior!” posts? Have any of you even LOOKED at the interiors of any of the competition? Even the CTS blows this thing out of the water on the inside. The dash in the new TL is 100% plastic, including big strips of fake plastic aluminum. At least in the old car you got a bit of real aluminum to go with your plastic wood or plastic carbon fiber.

    Aside from that, it’s an ergonomic disaster area, with 800 buttons plastered all over the steering wheel, and 900 buttons plastered all over the center stack. The TL has THE WORST interior in the entry lux class, bar none.

  • avatar
    V6

    can you fit more than a briefcase through that ridiculous trunk opening?

  • avatar
    jkim23

    At least with the recession we won’t see many of these on the road. Hopefully Acura will do what Subaru did with the WRX and release another new version in 2010.

  • avatar
    George B

    Test drove several 2005 and 2006 Acura TLs. Drove like what they were, a Honda Accord with more power. However, the 2004 through 2008 TL had the advantage of attractive styling. Can’t imagine buying a 2009 TL.

    The solution for Acura may be to upgrade the now larger TSX. It would look much better with the European Accord grill.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2S4muxlI1bI
    Making the turbocharged engine from the RDX available on the TSX would help fix any power deficit. Doesn’t fix ugly on the TL, but a less ugly and more powerful TSX could capture some otherwise lost sales for Acura.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    can you fit more than a briefcase through that ridiculous trunk opening?

    That’s a valid criticism of a lot of sedans (the Saturn Aura is the next worst, but not by much): the rear windshield rake is so extreme that trunk opening ends up uselessly small. Narrowing it at the taillights just adds insult to injury.

    I think my 9-3 hatchback has more of a rear deck than some sedans.

    Actually, if this was a hatchback, it would be tolerable. Since rooflines are effectively hatchback-able now, why not just go the extra 10% and hinge the trunk at the roof. With Saab on it’s deathbed, Acura could fully exploit the market for weirdness.

  • avatar

    Let me join my voice to the chorus that sings “The New TL is Fugly!” No exaggeration, I became a little nauseated the first time I saw a picture of the TL. Now that I have I have seen it a while, I don’t feel like I want to puke, but good god is it ugly.

    The 09 TL is just cements the fact that Honda/Acura has lost its way. TSX, Pilot, RL, Accord – all bigger, fatter, and way more buttons. ARGH!

  • avatar

    I recently checked out the worlds ugliest cars. It was a blog site like this and the readers had to vote.I wonder where the 2009 TL would place

    1. Pontiac Aztec
    2. AMC Pacer
    3. Ford Pinto
    4. AMC Gremlin
    5. Fiat Multipla
    6. VW Thing
    7. Ford Mustang II
    8. Chevrolet Citation
    9. Chrysler PT Cruiser
    10.The Yugo

  • avatar
    wpaulson

    A face only a mother could love.

  • avatar
    scartooth

    That is one UGLY dinosaur.

  • avatar

    Bring back the Integer

    Let the rest go on a diet.

  • avatar
    MadDoc

    Just get a new G37S sedan and be done with it, or if you want a 335i.

    Acura isn’t doing well with this new TL. It used to be a sales leader.

    Entry-Level Sales December 2008
    1. 3-Series – 8,490
    2. C-Class – 6,090
    3. G35/37 – 4,982
    4. A4/5 – 4,511
    5. CTS – 4,396
    6. TL – 3,607
    7. IS – 3,539
    8. MKZ – 2,089
    9. 9-3 – 684
    10. S60 – 266

  • avatar
    jybt

    Sigh. Why must TTAC always trash cars and attributes of cars everyone else likes? It’s not that hard to determine whether the ride of a car is stiff or supple, yet two different sites publish those two opinions of the same car. It’s not hard to determine whether the TL “exudes quality”. C/D found it did in their road test. TTAC finds that it feels cheap on the highway.

  • avatar
    PG

    I truly think Audi makes the best looking cars on the road today. The worst? Probably Acura or Subaru, although as bad as the new Impreza is, it’s a beauty queen compared to this TL. The car is simply hideous, and grafting that stupid nose onto their other vehicles has made the whole line look terrible.

    I miss the Integra/RSX.

  • avatar
    potatobreath

    >Why would I want to burn CDs onto a built-in hard drive when I can just plug-in my iPhone?

    Rip a CD?

  • avatar
    Jaeger

    A wretchedly ugly gimmick-mobile. Thanks again to TTAC for telling it like it is.

    Davekaybsc – thanks for pointing out the interior. Honda / Acura seem to have adopted a “more is better” philosophy when it comes to buttons, knobs, switches and toggles. I thought the new Accord was bad for the Starship Enterprise approach – but with a few extra gimmicks ladled on, this thing REALLY takes the cake.

  • avatar
    klossfam

    Damn – I was out of town and I love to jump into the fray on these reviews – especially as a former dedicated Acura owner (2004 TSX and 2002 TL-S)…but the TL is Aztec-level in the ugly stick dept. Acura REALLY picked the wrong time to make BIG mistake…Especially considering a primary competitor is the G35 – now G37 Sedan. Less expensive, RWD-based, better sized for the class, more powerful, lighter, a REAL 3-Series and even 5-Series competitor…I drive a 2008 G35xS and the G-Series is simply in a different league now than Acura’s FWD-based button-filled blobs…

  • avatar
    wsn

    klossfam said:
    Less expensive, RWD-based, better sized for the class, more powerful, lighter, a REAL 3-Series and even 5-Series competitor…I drive a 2008 G35xS and the G-Series is simply in a different league now than Acura’s FWD-based button-filled blobs…

    Let’s compare apples to apples please. The Acura TL is cheaper than a BMW 1-series, at least in my city. It’s not fair to say a 3-series is better, since it’s so much more expensive.

  • avatar
    klossfam

    wsn – Do you know what these cars list for in the “artifical” world of list price? I think not…Actual prices, regardless of brand or city will be less, of course…Please check your info before posting erroneous replies…The 3-Series is now close to 18″ shorter than a TL, so they are a tough to compare anyways, but believe me, the 3 is way better (and having driven both 335′s and G’s A LOT – I still like the G better)…

    This LIST comparison very similarly equips the TL and G – and only uses base on the x Drive Bimmers (too many crazy options to figure in)…

    TL SH-AWD – no Tech – $38,505

    G37x with Premium/No Tech – $38,050

    BMW 335ix – Base $42,300

    BMW 328ix – Base $37,400

  • avatar
    wsn

    klossfam:

    I live in Edmonton, Canada.

    An Acura TL without SH-AWD typically cost $38k after rebate. The one with SH-AWD maybe a couple grand more.

    A BMW 335ix, typically > $60k, or even $70k.

    If you know for sure there is any new BMW 335ix can be found for $42.3k (I assume it has leather seats, since the TL has it), please tell me the name of the dealer and the phone number. I am very interested.

  • avatar
    klossfam

    wsn: Now I’m with you…Didn’t know you were from the Great White North…I live in Buffalo, so I’m well aware of the screw job the Canadian consumer gets by most auto makers. In fact, one of my Canadian friends tried to buy a 328i from our local dealer here in BUF and was told “no” due to BMW franchise rules for N. American…He eventually worked himself far enough away from the border (White Plains by NYC) to get a dealer to do it…still owed GST/PST, duty, etc but he saved a bundle. Some lines like Infiniti will do the deal regardless of location but with the incentives in place in Canada – to keep the pricing close to US – you don’t necessarily save a ton of money. A vendor of mine in Montreal only would have saved about $2,500 CAD on a fully loaded G35xS – so he just bought local in QC. The BMW prices I listed were FULL US list at base price (no BMW is that “de-optioned” but with the economy, you can get a 335ix for low $40s with several options). Obviously, they need to move iron at any reasonable offer…I’m sure things are a lot less flexible in “oil rich” Alberta…

  • avatar
    klossfam

    wsn: Additional info…A mostly loaded 2009 BMW 335ix here in BUF with Prem Pkg, Sport Pkg, 6 Spd Auto, Shift Paddles, etc that lists for $49,050 USD would run around $46,500 USD – or a little less…That would be around $56,900 CAD at today’s exchange rate plus GST/PST, 6% duty, etc. So still a savings but still a pain in the ass to do…

  • avatar
    CoffeeJones

    @psarhjinian
    The Legend to RL was handled badly. The first RL was nice enough, but really dull. I don’t know why the second one doesn’t sell: it’s actually a nice car, if anonymously styled. Every time I see one (pre-nosejobbed) I think it’s a handsome, understated car. They drive well, too.

    If you ever wanted to pick up a previous generation RL there are loaded 06 models with < 20k miles going for < $25k, and Consumer Reports talks about Lexus like reliability.
    I want one, but this economy…

    Aaaaaah WTF, Japan gets a decent front grill.
    http://www.honda.co.jp/LEGEND/

  • avatar
    Lbart

    What is Japan thinking these days. The 2009 Acura TL is just plain nasty to look at. Has anyone seen the 2010 Mazda 3 can anyone say fish face, or how about clown face. Just nasty!!!

  • avatar
    wsn

    klossfam said:

    wsn: Additional info…A mostly loaded 2009 BMW 335ix here in BUF with Prem Pkg, Sport Pkg, 6 Spd Auto, Shift Paddles, etc that lists for $49,050 USD would run around $46,500 USD – or a little less…That would be around $56,900 CAD at today’s exchange rate plus GST/PST, 6% duty, etc. So still a savings but still a pain in the ass to do…

    I don’t know BMW’s policy here. But I did hear that to bring a MB from the US to Canada, you need a MB dealer to “modify” the car and give you a permission letter so that you can register it in Canada. And it will cost you $5,000 (<$100 for most economy car).

    So, between the $57k base+unwanted options+modification cost+transportation+duty for a 335xi, and $40k (sticker is $50k) no hassle local price for a TL SH-AWD, the latter is very attractive.

    This is maybe the best part about the recession: $8k~10k off sticker for a TL or MDX, if you don’t require financing. BMW didn’t offer such a discount, yet. I don’t know if they can sustain much longer. I have never been so close to buying a luxury car. I sure hope there will be a real price war.

  • avatar
    brucek

    Although we hadn’t planned on buying until this spring, we bought a new ’08 TL on Nov. 28 because we refused to get one of the new model. The styling is as bad or worse than in the photos, and the center stack is awful (as is the new Accord’s). We also got it for about $3500 under invoice, so it wasn’t a bad deal. I really like the styling, and the HVAC and audio controls are pretty well laid-out, except for some of the dual-purpose cassette player buttons. It’s not perfect, but we like its Honda-ness.

  • avatar
    Jaeger

    brucek – that was a VERY smart move.

  • avatar
    Dr. No

    What the HELL was Acura thinking. When I see the front end, I reach for a beer bottle to open it on the TL’s grille.

    Dare to be different = Dare to be laughed at.

  • avatar
    Lantern42

    Davekaybsc:, Jaeger
    Last I counted, the 2009 TL w/Nav has FEWER buttons than the 2008 w/nav on its center stack.

    What makes you say they’ve gone “button happy”?

  • avatar
    musah

    The actual shape of this marque put me off. Why the boxy shape with sharp corners?

  • avatar
    ChrisDC

    I really disagree with this review. I bought the new ’09 TL SH-AWD in December and have been very pleased. Just to put it in perspective, I also own a 2002 BMW M5, and have had a BMW 330i in the past as well. I’m not somebody who has never been in a true performance car. I drive on the track and do a lot of events in the car clubs, etc.

    I can agree the looks aren’t for all, but this car has a lot to offer. I get compliments on the looks and in person, most agree it is unique and bold. Just as many love the looks as hate it.

    My goal was to find an AWD sedan that still had performance and handling. I drove the new 335xi, the Audi A4 and the Infinity G37x. All nice cars, but I actually liked the TL AWD best and found it to be different than these others that really haven’t changed much in the past 5 years.

    Is it a BMW-bashing all out performance giant?…no. However, it’s definitely one of the best balanced, solid and stable cars I have driven. It’s a great compliment to the M5 for me on those days when it rains, snows or even when I just want a more comfortable ride on a long trip.

    I don’t think editors writing “As far as I can tell, K Mart supplied the Acura’s independent double wishbone….” and some of the other colorful language is a fair and accurate statement. It’s pretty far off the mark…

    Drive this car before you make your own assessments. I’m very pleased with the ’09 TL AWD.

    Thanks

  • avatar
    energetik9

    It is an interesting trend to watch where Acura is going. Seems to me that Acura is beginning to suffer what Infinity went through a number of years ago. A brand that’s diluting its image without a clear sense of direction. Acura has always seemed to me to be too closely connected to Honda in looks, image, and in spirit. While I will never understand why Acura got rid of the Legend, why they brought us the Vigor and the CL and why they ever thought the Integra fit into the brand image of the Acura I will never know. To diffuse the statement here, I am not saying the Integra was a bad car, but purely from a marketing perspective, the Integra was too closely related to the Prelude and Accord and did not bring added value to the brand. So all that being said, it seems Acura is slowly driving to the periphery with good but unremarkable cars. Cars like the TL seem lost, the RSX and MDX are simply average and even my wife’s RDX, although a good car in general (but with its own noticeable deficiencies), seems to be just a decent car lost in a field of many.

  • avatar
    lekar

    1/5 star review for a Honda product? And I was thinking Car&Driver reviews were biased.

    I just test drove the car yesterday. It has unreal handling. The car just won’t dive no matter how hard I push it. It is like an affordable and reliable 5-series with larger interior and better ergonomics. Handling is nearly as good, if not better.

    However, I still criticize Acura for not having a dedicated rear-wheel-drive platform like other luxury brands do. But the SH-AWD is definitely good enough for most people. It is even good enough for me (my daily driver is an S2000).

    I don’t like the looks either. But looks can, and will be fixed in future. What matters for me is handling, price, reliability, build quality, interior volume, quality and ergonomics. No other current car can compete with Acura SH-AWD TL in these aspects.

  • avatar
    ever_green

    i have always owned an acura in my life since 2000. Currently own two of them and im glad to say that i do not own this one (tl 2009). I did a test drive after i need another car. I have the 2003 tl full package. I was horrified and decided to keep the 2003 tl as i only had 40,000 miles on it. I gave it to my son to help him with transportation to work and university. As for my self i really liked the acura RDX. Its a real blast driving it. doesn’t feel like your driving an suv at all, more like a sports sedan. 5 stars for rdx and 5 stars to 2003 tl. The 2003 has real italian leather unlike the new one and it has extremely comfy furniture. the new 2009 tl is brutally stiff in corners and terrible on gas. RDX is a really great car, the best i have ever owned. Has great acceleration, comfy seats and excellent handling. Only problem is fuel economy. Acura’s SUV market (MDX & RDX) has enjoyed great success here in Canada and i agree they are fabulous.

  • avatar
    fps_dean

    While I have not driven one of these, and while Acuras are far from my style, one-star does seem a bit harsh!

    Then again, as I said I have not driven the new TL. It might be too heavy. It may no longer handle like how Acura customers would expect. It might not shift smooth. It might suck down way too much gas for the power. And it might be the ugliest sedan ever created, with its only competition from the Subaru Impreza and some Chrysler vehicles from the 80s.

    However, is it really that bad? I mean for what Acura is — faster, lighter cars that are fun to drive with large appeal to the younger audience, many of whom put 6 foot tall spoilers on the backs of their cars so the fact that it’s probably the ugliest production sedan ever won’t even make them look at it twice.

  • avatar
    ohsnapback

    I thought, initially after the release, it was possible that my eyes would adjust to what I perceived as a monstrosity.

    That won’t ever happen. The TL is as hideous now as it was at inception.

    I finally got a chance to drive in one again. My initial driving impressions remain intact, also.

    Different strokes for different folks, but all I can say is that it is simply mind boggling to me that people are paying what they are for this car, because I wouldn’t want it for free.

    Yes, it’s that bad.

    I fear the direction both Honda and Acura are headed in. For their sake.

  • avatar
    msrsx

    okay first of yes its not the best looking acura out there but like honda did to the civic they are trying to branch out and figure out what their consumers like..
    i believe that psarhjinian is correct…my first car was a 98 integra ls and i loved it..great on gas good looks i did some after market things to it (tein lowering new rims strut bars) this car was so great when it came to buy car number 2 i had to go with the rsx..acura made the new integra the rsx and upgraded it with better interior bose sound systems (types) but i do wish that they continued the line..i think its time to ressurect the dead here and get some of the younger people in…im 20 and theres no way i would be able to afford a tl or tsx the rsx was priced great esp a great buy for the money!

    if people honestly cannot understand that if you want a Acura tsx tl why would you buy a Honda Accord? Acura is luxury for a reason..Honda is great but they dont compare luxury wise there are resons why acura is above honda just like lexus is above toyota..
    also just to throw this out there..the G35 drives like shit, the interior is plastic-y and just made me appreciate my RSX..my next car will be the 2008 tl type-s for sure…if you drive and love acura why would you want the hassle of owning a bmw? 200 dollar oil changes? 400 dollar breaks? im good =) acura will hopefully give the new tl tsx a face lift and then you’ll have a all around lovely car


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