I never really did write about the Acura TL in 2011. Since I recently had a week in the stunning 2012 TL I thought I’d finally get around to writing about the experience.
I was able to take the 2011 Acura TL for an extended loan. I loved the car. I didn’t like it, I loved it. I love the performance, the handling, the size and the luxury. I couldn’t get over the contrast stitching on the soft leather seats or the intuitive navigation system. I went wild for the car.
Unfortunately I was the only one.
My husband wanted something a little flashier. In retrospect I do understand, but when a TL passes me on the street and I see it’s little happy face back end I can’t help but feel a little mocked.
The all wheel drive TL is a beast. The only aggressive styling can be found in the exhaust pipes but don’t let that fool you. It’s a quiet and unassuming ride until you engage the Tiptronic (manumatic system) and challenge this car a little. I had a long drive out on the 10 freeway early on a Sunday morning and this TL climbs hills at crazy (don’t worry it was legal) speeds without batting a virtual eyelash.
One of my favorite things to try is driving in third gear at 50 or so and then a quick acceleration to really play with the torque. The TL has it in spades. I cannot tell you how much fun it was to leapfrog along the highways. Of course this is a horrendous way to drive for the passengers. The car gently glides along and then lurches forward. As the driver I find it exhilarating.
The rear seat has plenty of leg room. My passenger was 5’4” and was very comfortable. One thing about the TL is that the center rear seat is on a bit of a bump. It’s fine for around town but I don’t know how it would work with car seats or on very long trips.
The sound system on the car I drove was spectacular and the dashboard is both ergonomic and sensible. As I recall you can actually use the navigation while the car is going. Finally, someone recognizes that passengers can enter data too. If you’re a fan of beautiful design this just might be the perfect interior for you.
I think the TL is sexy as all get out, but what made me wish we’d bought it (I’d have bought this car, not leased it because of Acura’s incredible maintenance record) is the price tag. The 2012 Acura TL starts at $35,600 and tops out near $50,000. If I had to choose between a 5 series BMW, a 6 series Audi and the Acura TL I would say that the Acura TL is the nicest of the three cars and probably should cost the most. Fortunately that is not the case and the Acura TL is the most modestly priced of the trio.
The valets won’t freak out when you pull up in a TL, but they should.