2010 Acura TL Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2010 Acura TL Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Acura TL Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.7 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 305 hp @ 6300 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/25 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2010 Acura TL

  • For those who can get past the unusual styling, the 2010 Acura TL is a strong choice among midsize luxury sedans.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Many user-friendly high-tech features, spacious cabin, smart all-wheel-drive system, superb available surround-sound stereo, excellent crash test scores.

  • Cons

    Polarizing styling, base model's numb steering.

  • What's New for 2010

    After a complete redesign last year, the 2010 Acura TL receives a six-speed manual transmission that is available on SH-AWD models.

Full 2010 Acura TL Review

What's New for 2010

After a complete redesign last year, the 2010 Acura TL receives a six-speed manual transmission that is available on SH-AWD models.


The 2010 Acura TL has a lot going for it -- athletic leanings, enough interior volume to accommodate adult-sized passengers, plenty of luxury features and Acura's traditional reputation for reliability. Unfortunately, all of this is wrapped in a skin that evokes a love-it or hate-it response. While we would all certainly like to think that aesthetics aren't everything, appearance does play a major role in choosing a car.

The TL was redesigned just last year, gaining its oddly beveled nose and chunky rear end but also more interior room, more power and a new option for all-wheel drive. We're especially fond of the SH-AWD (which stands for super-handling all-wheel drive) version that comes with a 305-horsepower engine and the type of road-holding grip one might normally associate with a rear-drive sport sedan. For those seeking additional driving enjoyment, a traditional six-speed manual transmission has been added to the SH-AWD mix for 2010.

The base 2010 Acura TL is also praise-worthy for its quiet and comfortable cabin. In terms of acceleration, it's a dead heat when pitted against the SH-AWD. Adding the optional Technology package, with its high-tech gadgetry, evens the playing field even more, and for the majority of drivers, the base model will most certainly appease. It's only when you're looking for a truly engaging driving experience that the base model will disappoint, especially since its steering is numb and not particularly communicative.

Either TL model, however, is a competitive choice in the entry-level luxury sedan segment that also includes such luminaries such as the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Cadillac CTS, Hyundai Genesis, Infiniti G37 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Particularly in this set, the Acura's well-rounded demeanor and lower price makes it stand out as the sensible choice. You're not going to go wrong with any of these cars, but you will need to make sure you're down with the TL's new sheet metal.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2010 Acura TL is a midsize luxury sedan that is available in base or sporty SH-AWD trim levels. The base TL comes equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, foglights, a sunroof, heated side mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear ventilation controls, heated power front seats, driver memory functions, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leather upholstery, Bluetooth phone connectivity and steering-wheel-mounted audio, phone and trip computer controls. Also standard is an eight-speaker stereo with in-dash six-CD changer, satellite radio, streaming Bluetooth audio, an auxiliary audio jack and USB port.

The TL SH-AWD adds all-wheel drive, a more powerful engine, 18-inch alloy wheels, upgraded brakes, hill start assist, more aggressively bolstered front seats and upgraded metallic trim.

The optional Technology package is available on both trims and adds a hard-drive-based navigation system with voice recognition, real-time traffic, real-time weather forecasts, a GPS-linked and solar-sensing adaptive climate control system, keyless ignition/entry, a rear spoiler, rearview camera and a 10-speaker Panasonic/ELS surround-sound system with 12.7GB of digital music storage. Optional 19-inch wheels with high-performance summer tires are available, but only on SH-AWD models.

Powertrains and Performance

The base model 2010 Acura TL is front-wheel drive and is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 280 hp and 254 pound-feet of torque. The all-wheel-drive TL SH-AWD gets a 3.7-liter V6 that makes 305 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. The all-wheel-drive system is capable of transferring different levels of power to individual wheels to maximize traction and grip through turns and in inclement weather.

Both TL models come standard with a five-speed automatic that includes steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. New for 2010 is a six-speed manual transmission that is available only on SH-AWD models with the Technology package.

Despite the SH-AWD's horsepower advantage, acceleration is virtually identical to the base TL. In recent testing, both models reached 60 mph from a standstill in 6.7 seconds. Fuel economy for the 3.5-liter TL is 18 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 21 mpg in combined driving. The SH-AWD returns 1 mile per gallon less across the board, regardless of which transmission is specified.


All 2010 Acura TL models come with antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front restraints. In government testing, the TL scored a perfect five out of five stars for frontal and side impact protection for all occupants. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety returned similar results, awarding its top score of "Good" for frontal-offset and side-impact protection.

In Edmunds brake testing, the base TL came to a stop from 60 mph in an average 122 feet. The SH-AWD came to a stop in an exceptional 106 feet.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2010 Acura TL's interior features a more contemporary design language than some of its competitors. Aluminum trim adorns the cabin instead of the glossy wood treatments found in the Cadillac CTS, Hyundai Genesis or Lexus ES 350. Overall, the surroundings have a more austere look and feel, much like an Audi. Materials quality is top-notch, with plenty of soft-touch surfaces. Some have commented that the aluminum trim has a cheap look about it -- noting that it would look more at home in a range-topping Honda Accord. The metallic trim in the SH-AWD model is of a higher quality and the available two-tone color scheme helps to dress things up.

In terms of comfort, the TL's cabin is roomy and quiet, on par with some of the finer European brands. The driver seat offers plenty of adjustment and side bolstering, while the rear seats can easily accommodate taller passengers. Large flip-up headrests provide comfort and protection for those seated in the rear and, when not in use, they slide down flush with the seatbacks for an unobstructed view. The 13.1 cubic feet of trunk capacity is a bit less than other cars in this class, but the wide opening makes loading a few golf bags and suitcases easy.

Driving Impressions

Given the divergent handling characteristics of the 2010 Acura TL models, they can almost be thought of as two distinctly different cars. The base TL should appeal to drivers with more comfort and luxury in mind. Ride quality is excellent -- bumps, holes and expansion joints are eaten up with a reassuring, almost Germanic thump that befits a luxury car with the TL's price tag. The 280-hp V6 should prove more than adequate for daily drives, and the steering, though lacking in feel, has plenty of assist to make parking easy.

For those with more sporting intentions, the SH-AWD lives up to its "Super Handling" acronym by delivering considerably more grip and control than the base car. The complex all-wheel-drive system directs more power to the outside wheels when cornering for improved handling dynamics, while the communicative and well-weighted steering adds a more confident driving experience.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Really fun but.....

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Acura TL SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD w/Technology Package (3.7L 6cyl 5A)

Driven SH-AWD TL now for 2 years. The car is awesome if you have for the right purpose; this is a sports car not a cruiser. It gets horrible mpg and really crashes on speed bumps. I highly recommend using sport mode and paddle shifters to complete the sporting feel. The engine signature and agility of this car is really impressive. Again, I love the car but am now wanting a more comfortable car to ride in as my daily commute has gotten longer with the new job. Also the road noise at highway speeds is so loud, I can't use my Bluetooth.

When it works it's great!

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Acura TL 4dr Sedan w/Technology Package (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

So I bought this car as a certified pre-owned 3 months ago and it broke down on Friday. At first the car wouldn't start but then when I did get it going I had no power breaks, power windows, or power steering and to top it off the car wouldn't turn off once I got it going. The loaner car they gave me (another TL) also has it fair share of problems. The air bag warnings keep coming on and when I picked it up 3 tires where under 20psi, etc.. Anyway, besides the reliability issues the car is very comfy, has plenty of power and is visually appealing.

Great ride love it! sh-awd

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Acura TL SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD w/Technology Package (3.7L 6cyl 5A)

I switched to this TL from a Lexus LS. It is obviously a hugeeee difference but I am a fan of the 'sportiness.' The TL turns heads everwhere I drive and the exhaust note is beautiful. The design is great and it is really a fun car to drive. I am a fan of Acura now. I will probably never turn towards german. I like my japanese cars and will always stay with acura and lexus. Havent drove the car in the snow yet (excited to try it out). Great car overall. Fun ride. Reliable. Worth the price. Turns head. Overall 9/10 overall happiness.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

A great acura, and i

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Acura TL SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD w/Technology Package, HPT (3.7L 6cyl 6M)

I love Honda and Acura. I have owned everything from the CR-X, CR-V, Civic, Accord, TSX, RDX, and MDX. Out of this long list of cars, the TL is right up there with the MDX as the Acura best of the best. In terms of performance, price and reliability nothing beats it. Strongly considered moving into a BMW 335 xDrive or C300 series MB and moving away from Acura after some boring experiences. However, the standard options, performance and cost of ownership cannot be beat by the Honda/Acura line up. If you want sport performance the MT is a must! Honda has the best clutch and throw feel shifter and can hands down blow you back into your driver's seat. The 19" wheels hug the road, smooth, fast!

2 of 6 people found this review helpful

Rattles, rattles, and rattles!

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Acura TL 4dr Sedan w/Technology Package, 18 Inch Wheels (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

I bought a 2010 Acura TL w/Tech brand new and only 100 miles into it, the pillar by the driver side begins to rattle/crack! The car was given back to the dealer 7 times and it was never fixed. Acura sent out one of their "experts" who was nothing but a disrespectful, arrogant liar to help fix the issue. He ignored the issue and even told Autowest Acura located Santa Clara, CA to not look into it. Horrible experience! Customer service definitely does not exist in Acura from corporate to dealership apparently.. I wish I would have purchased the BMW 3 series or the Infinite G. The main problem is the quality of this car and Acura's client service. Horrible, stay away!

Best looking plus sedan out

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Acura TL SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD w/Technology Package (3.7L 6cyl 5A)

I'm in my third year of a lease of an Acura TL. I love to drive it for a number o reasons but I love it's performance and the way it drives. I get many compliments on the style and design. I have a black exterior with a light grey interior sedan and it's the sharpest car out there. Smithtown Acura sales and service department is top notch. Colleen is a caring and knowledgable sales representative. Her goal is to make you happy with your selection and she continues to provide help when needed and she gives my family good advice on future cars. The omly service I had to do on my car was a broken front speaker. I got an appointment quickly and the speaker was replaced. They are the best

Talk About The 2010 TL

2010 Acura TL Discussions See all Started By

2010 RDX will get a facelift. It will get that Power Plenum grille that Acura really likes. The Power plenum grille is the same grille as the 09 TL, RL, and TSX. Acura has decided to build a cheaper F...

I am about to get a TL but it does not have the tech package....

Just got the Acura TL with tech. Got black on black. Car looks very sharp with the chrome etc. Personally I think the car has a bold distinctive look. Definitely a mans car. 36 Month Lease 12K miles. ...

Read more about the 2010 Acura TL

Gas Mileage


  • 17
  • cty
  • 25
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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