Acura Tl 2009 Detail Specification Video Reviews


From $34,955
Tons of user-friendly high-tech features, spacious cabin, smart all-wheel-drive system, superb available surround-sound stereo.

Interior lacks panache, lifeless steering in base model, polarizing styling.

The 2009 Acura TL has been completely redesigned. It’s bigger than last year’s model and boasts a more powerful V6, available all-wheel drive and new technology features.

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From now on, there will be no more chicken-(expletive) designs from Acura. At least, that’s what one company official tells us. Acura’s new goal is to be bold and brash, with aggressive lines and audacious details. The 2009 Acura TL accomplishes just that. Gone is the previous TL’s wedge shape with side cut lines, replaced by prominent wheel arches and a new-look front end dominated by a shiny alloy grille. Some say the grille resembles a guillotine, or a vegetable slicer. Folks have gotten creative in their derision, but as BMW has proven, changing the status quo with a bold new styling direction can pay dividends. Acura is hoping to follow in those footsteps.

Underneath the midsize TL’s radical new styling is a car that addresses many key customer complaints and requests. There’s more interior room, a more powerful V6 engine, new technology features and lighter steering weighting to help with parking lot maneuvers. There are also two TL models available: the base car and the more athletic SH-AWD model. The latter’s name indicates the sophisticated all-wheel-drive system that manages the model’s 306 horsepower (the base car makes 280) by eliminating torque steer and providing impressive cornering abilities. Though last year’s TL Type-S and its available manual transmission are no more, the SH-AWD carries on most of that car’s finely tuned performance characteristics.

Like all Acuras, the TL is a showcase for the latest automotive gadgets. The base car comes standard with iPod and Bluetooth connectivity, and the optional Technology Package is a cornucopia of electronics goodies. An excellent hard-drive navigation system, real-time traffic and weather forecasts, adaptive climate control and a superb surround sound system will have technophiles playing around in their car while it’s parked. Given the TL’s price, it all comes at quite the bargain and Acura predicts most TLs will be so equipped.

Our opinion of the 2009 Acura TL varies depending on the model. The base TL with no options is really nothing more than a dressed-up Honda Accord V6, and as such, it’s not the best choice. The Technology Package makes it slightly more persuasive, but we really think the SH-AWD model with its more powerful V6, better handling and all-wheel-drive traction is the one to get. But there are many other choices in the entry-level luxury sedan game such as the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Cadillac CTS, Infiniti G35 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, along with non-luxury choices like the Hyundai Genesis, Nissan Maxima and Volkswagen CC. Acura’s new TL stands out thanks to its roomy interior, competitive price, high-tech features and reputation for reliability, but we certainly suggest taking a good look around as each vehicle here has its own area of appeal.