Based on the current Honda Accord, the new TL is a bigger car than the outgoing model. Key stats include six inches more length, a wheelbase that is 1.4 longer, and 1.8 inches greater width. Despite the larger size, the car is only 80 pounds heavier thanks to the use of aluminum in the hood, front bumper beams, subframe and steering hanger beam.
The new TL features Acura’s “Motion Surface” body design. The overall look is bolder than any Acura of recent memory, though it may turn off some customers and I’m not quite sure if I like it yet. The most prominent trait is the beak-like front grille assembly. The grille is flanked by a set of slit-like headlights that rise up toward the edges of the front end, making the TL look like it’s grinning. A pair of lower air intakes house the fog lights. The SH-AWD incorporates brake cooling ducts into these intakes at the outside corners.
On each side, a character line starts at the headlight and flows upward to the taillight, giving the TL a sporty, raked appearance. Prominent flares surround the front wheels, and these are especially noticeable up front, making the sheet metal look like it was draped over the tires. The base model’s 17-inch wheels are pretty plain, but the SH-AWD’s 18s and optional 19s look cool and do a better job of filling out the wheelwells.
The TL’s greenhouse is reminiscent of Infiniti and Nissan designs. It balances maximum interior space with a sporty coupe-like rake. At the rear edges, the rear window is inset slightly, giving the rear pillars a flying buttress look.
The TL actually has the most presence from the rear. The angled trunk shape reflects the beak-like look of the front end and takes on a bit of a boattail appearance. Choose the Technology Package, and you also get a tasteful rear spoiler. The SH-AWD model has quad instead of dual exhaust outlets.
The TL has always been a great value, and this one is no different. The larger size and the addition of available all-wheel drive move the TL upmarket a bit. In fact, with those changes, the TL really infringes on the RL’s territory. And yet the TL is cheaper and more fun to drive. It’s definitely a better value than the RL.
While the TL may not handle quite as well as a BMW 3 Series or 5 Series, it still handles very well and the prices don’t rise as high, especially compared to the 5 Series. Other competitors might include the Infiniti G37 sedan, Audi A6, and Mercedes-Benz E Class. The TL is built just as well as any of those cars, and is less expensive than most. It’s a must see if you’re in the market for a sporty luxury car.
Who should buy it?
The TL has a lot of virtues, including excellent handling, an impressive interior, powerful engines, and striking looks. It will be a fine choice for singles or small families, and the rear seat offers enough room to take clients to lunch in style.
Without a split-folding rear seat, the TL may not be the best choice for active lifestyle folks who like to tote their equipment around with them. And while fuel economy is decent, the TL will not be the best choice for those who want to save money on gas.
The TL is a big car with handling characteristics of a car much smaller and lighter. It’s a joy to drive in daily commutes or on twisty mountain roads. Both engine choices provide ample power, and the newly available all-wheel-drive system gives the TL that something extra it has been missing. The interior has a plenty of space, plus the look and feel of a well-built luxury car. If I were in the market for a car, the TL would be on my short list, along with its BMW 335i and G37 coupe and sedan competitors. Though I’m not sure I’d choose the Acura, if I did, it would be the SH-AWD model for its better looks and capability.
|The official website of Acura – www.acura.com|