2013 Acura TL Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2013 Acura TL Sedan

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Acura TL Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.7 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 305 hp @ 6300 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/26 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2013 Acura TL

  • Although its design is aging, the 2013 Acura TL's top-quality interior and above-par performance make it a solid luxury sedan value.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Abundant user-friendly high-tech features; spacious cabin; smart all-wheel-drive system; superb optional sound system; solid construction.

  • Cons

    Communication with driver a little antiseptic; rear-drive competitors offer better dynamics.

  • What's New for 2013

    Apart from the debut of the Special Edition trim level, the 2013 Acura TL is essentially unchanged, though its crash test safety scores have improved this year.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (36 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

Owned since april '12

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Acura TL

great TL and best Acura owned since Legend Coupe which wasn't close to this model in drivability and comfort. blind spot is horrible and side view cam is a must for this model Rear cam is wonderful.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Great all around

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Acura TL

In general we are extremely happy with this vehicle. We've had it for a year and a half. Build quality has been very sound, as expected. For example: a rock broke one of the fog lights. I bought the replacement and installed it myself. The underbody panels were effectively woven together requiring me to loosen three panels to get one out to install the light. The vehicle is designed and built to not come apart. When alone I drive the car very hard, as in like I stole it. Though the front/rear torque split is 70/30, getting the back end to step out is surprisingly easy. That said, it is great for hauling kids, or for date night. My mood improves every time I drive this car!

Not bad, but needs improvements

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Acura TL

I have had my 2012 TL for a year now. I bought it as a CPO for $28K...4K miles on it. I traded in a BMW 328I. Ok, it is a nice car with a lot of options. The interior is nice and very modern. Been on a few long trips and it is very comfortable. Where I have issues is with it's performance. Two things right off the bat, 1) The transmission, second gear to be exact seems sluggish on take off. It really drags the the engine down and makes for a jerky ride. Granted, coming from a BMW...the Acura's performance is not even close. But it makes up for it in other areas. 2) The steering is not sport-tuned and you will feel torque-steer if you get in the gas. Feels like a Buick at times.

4 of 14 people found this review helpful

Tech package overkill

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Acura TL

this is our 3rd acura and we are pleased overall.smooth and quiet,handles well.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Too many problems in 1

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Acura TL

During the year I have had this car, I have had to have the battery, navigation system, stability, push ignition, and a bearing replaced. Acura's response, there is nothing they can do. This is not what I expected from a brand new car. Additionally, the car does not sense when my mom is in the passenger seat. She weighs 130 lbs. this is a big safety concern. I would not Uyi this car!!!

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

Clunking noise from rear suspension

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Acura TL

Loud "CLUNKING NOISE" came from passenger side rear suspension. It got louder as the car getting more miles on it. Took it in four times at the local dealer: 1st Attempt: Local dealer changed the strut but noise still there, 2nd Attempt: acura agent came in to verify the problem and took the entire assembly rear suspension apart and found nothing wrong with it but the noise still present so they concluded that it is a normal noise on the TL (Which I don't agree because only one corner of the car is making the noise, left rear suspension is nice and quiet when ride over bump) 3rd attempt: Service manager refused service because he told me that Acura is will not fix the "clunking noise" because they think it is a normal sound. 4th attempt: I took the car to a small local shop which is not Acura and some mechanic friends to check out the noises that I am hear from the one corner of the car (passenger rear suspension). They all confirmed the noise is an irregularity of a suspension and suspected something is wrong with the strut and it assembly/bushing but inconclusive with the problem because it could be many things that can go wrong with it and recommended me to bring it back to Acura. Acura refused service again and said the same thing like the 3rd attempt. File a claim with BBB and the same Acura Claim representative that I dealt with earlier said the same thing again, that they will not fix anything regarding the clunking noise I hear because they think it is normal. My opinion: This is an Acura and it is over $40,000 dollars car so I expected a nice quiet and comfortable car but the "Clunking noise" really killed my excitement about owning this car. Just a headeache everytime I look or drive it. I am definately upset with Acura about how they handle this situation because they did not offer me any solution but they basically tell me live with the "clunking noise" from that one corner of the car. and if the noise was normal, Acura mechanic wouldn't have change the strut the 1st time I brought it in...Why is Acura doing this?? and How can I get them to fix the problem I am having now, can anyone help? my frustration with Acura is to the roof now and hope to get this handle the sooner the better.

Gas Mileage


  • 18
  • cty
  • 26
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2013 Acura TL Review

What's New for 2013

Apart from the debut of the Special Edition trim level, the 2013 Acura TL is essentially unchanged, though its crash test safety scores have improved this year.


There aren't many better all-around luxury values than the 2013 Acura TL. Fresh off last year's styling tweak that brought the midsize sedan's front grille in line with the rest of Acura's lineup -- particularly its popular RDX and MDX crossovers -- the TL does just about everything well. It's also priced quite attractively when measured against comparable rivals.

Meanwhile, if you believe paying for a midsize luxury sedan should by definition mean you get an engine with more than four cylinders, the TL sets itself apart from its European rivals with standard V6 power. The TL also offers the option of a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system paired with an even stronger V6 to fully cement its credibility as a luxury sedan that delivers plenty of "sport."

Acura has become renowned for the meticulous quality of its interiors, and the TL is no exception. Just don't expect a lot of soft wood and tufted leather, since the TL's ambience is modern, tech-oriented luxury. Its interior teems with the best electronic features Acura can conjure, while surfaces and textures are inviting but minimalist in spirit. And because the TL is one of the wider midsize luxury sedans you'll find, there's plenty of stretch-out space, even in the back.

The front-drive base TL competes with luxury cars such as the Lexus ES 350 and Volvo S60, while the all-wheel-drive TL is comparable to slightly more costly luxury nameplates such as the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series. Although the TL isn't quite as flashy or sporty as some of these cars, we think it remains a solid choice overall for an unpretentious luxury sedan.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Acura TL is a midsize luxury sedan offered in two trim levels: TL and TL SH-AWD.

The standard TL comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic xenon headlights, a sunroof, heated side mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated eight-way power front seats (with driver lumbar adjustment and memory functions) and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and an eight-speaker sound system with a six-CD changer, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface also are standard for the base TL.

The TL Special Edition also features 18-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, keyless ignition/entry and leather upholstery with contrasting stitching.

The TL SH-AWD adds a more powerful V6, all-wheel drive, 18-inch alloy wheels, sport-tuned suspension and steering, upgraded brakes and contoured front sport seats with contrasting leather stitching.

The Technology and Advance option packages can be added to either the standard TL or the TL SH-AWD, but not the Special Edition. To get the Advance package, you must purchase the Technology package. The Technology package brings keyless ignition/entry, a navigation system, voice commands, a rearview camera, GPS-linked adaptive climate control, perforated leather upholstery and a 10-speaker premium surround-sound audio system.

The Advance package includes the content of the Technology package as well as bigger wheels (18-inch wheels for the base TL and 19-inch wheels on the SH-AWD), ventilated front seats and a blind-spot warning system.

Powertrains and Performance

The base 2013 Acura TL has a 3.5-liter V6 that generates 280 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque, and it drives the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. At the test track, a TL with this powertrain sprinted from zero to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds, a competitive time for the class. Fuel economy is estimated by the EPA at 23 mpg combined (20 city/29 highway).

The 2013 TL SH-AWD model features Acura's Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive system, which not only shifts power between the front and rear wheels but also adjusts the power flow between the rear wheels to improve how the TL SH-AWD corners. It also gets a larger 3.7-liter V6 that develops 305 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. The six-speed automatic continues as standard, but a six-speed manual transmission is optional. A manual-equipped TL SH-AWD zips to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, but at the expense of some fuel efficiency. The EPA estimates the TL SH-AWD with an automatic gets 21 combined (18 city/26 highway) while the manual rates 20 mpg (17/25).


Every 2013 Acura TL comes with antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability control and traction control, front-seat side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. Under braking, the TL performs about average for the class, with a front-drive TL stopping from 60 mph in 122 feet and the TL SH-AWD taking 120 feet.

In government crash tests, the 2013 TL received four out of five stars for overall protection, with four stars for total frontal-impact protection and four stars for total side-impact protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the TL earned the highest rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests. It's also one of just a few vehicles that earned a top mark of "Good" in the IIHS's newly instituted small-overlap front crash test.

Interior Design and Special Features

In a word, the 2013 Acura TL's interior is best described as "contemporary." Acura puts the TL at the vanguard of its high-tech image, so those looking for the traditional luxury-car wood trim trappings won't find them in the TL. Aluminum trim and austere detailing prevails, perhaps at the expense of some warmth.

You can't criticize the TL's interior materials or build quality. Even in areas where more expensive luxury vehicles slide in some cheaper plastics, the TL comes through with soft, inviting surfaces that have a high-quality appearance.

You immediately notice the extra width of the TL fronts in relation to most rivals. There's a noticeable amount of extra shoulder room, both front and rear. The driver will find it easy to find a comfortable driving position and the rear seats are plenty roomy, at least for two occupants.

Acura's infotainment controls are among the most efficient and straightforward in the business; though the car's advanced-looking dash and controls may seem intimidating at first glance, they're remarkably friendly to use. The Tech package's voice-controlled navigation system works flawlessly and doesn't require you to learn complicated or special commands. Trunk space is mediocre, however, with just 13.1 cubic feet of space (12.5 cubic feet for the TL SH-AWD).

Driving Impressions

Befitting its luxury sedan status, the 2013 Acura TL has an excellent ride quality. Bumps, potholes and expansion joints are dismissed with reassuring, almost Germanic competence. The sedan is also appreciably quiet on the freeway. Few luxury sedans have truly communicative steering anymore, and the TL holds to that standard, although the lack of feedback shouldn't be confused with lack of response; the TL turns accurately and directly.

If you have higher expectations for pure sport driving, the TL SH-AWD amps up the experience, largely by benefit of its all-wheel-drive system. There's a noticeable upgrade in agility and response, particularly during brisk driving when the system's cornering abilities are most evident. The extra 25 hp generated by the TL SH-AWD's 3.7-liter V6 isn't a huge upgrade, but combined with the engine's additional torque, it does make the TL feel quicker.

Talk About The 2013 TL