New Acura TL Review

2013 Acura TL SH-AWD Sedan Exterior

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The Acura TL has traditionally been one of the better choices available for a midsize luxury sport sedan. Though the TL typically does not deliver the excitement or prestige of competing European sedans, it counters with exceptional value and above-average durability and reliability.

The current (fourth) generation may have upped the ante, but cutting-edge technology and bracing performance are nothing new for the TL. Older TLs are still known for their engaging handling and plentiful amenities and should make a fine choice for a used luxury sport sedan.

Current Acura TL
As Acura's midsize sedan offering, the TL offers a roomy interior, a powerful V6 engine and available all-wheel drive. It also boasts a host of gadgets and gizmos that should keep most luxury shoppers satisfied.

There are two trim levels: a base model and the sportier SH-AWD. Base cars (which are front-wheel drive) are motivated by a 3.5-liter V6 that kicks out 280 horsepower. As its name suggests, the SH-AWD version is all-wheel drive, and it's powered by a 3.7-liter V6 good for 305 hp. A six-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters is standard on both trims and a six-speed manual is available on the SH-AWD.

Base models are pretty well equipped, offering standard features such as 17-inch wheels, xenon headlights, a sunroof, leather upholstery and an eight-speaker stereo with an in-dash six-CD changer. In addition to all-wheel drive and a more powerful engine, the SH-AWD adds upgraded brakes, 18-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, sportier steering feel and performance-themed upholstery and metallic trim.

TL enthusiasts cherish the car for its cutting-edge gadgetry, and the current model does not disappoint. Standard features on base models include Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio, a USB port and a dedicated iPod interface. Optional tech treats include a navigation system that offers real-time traffic and weather updates and a sound system with digital music storage capability.

In reviews of the Acura TL, our editors hailed its abundance of high-tech amenities, its roomy cabin and its sophisticated stereo system. They called out a few missteps as well, such as the car's bland interior and the fact that base models are hampered by uncommunicative steering and unremarkable brakes. Thanks to its much crisper handling and braking, the SH-AWD TL is a more compelling choice than the base model. The current TL is also one of just a few vehicles to earn a top grade in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's revised crash test standards.

Read the most recent 2014 Acura TL review.

If you are looking for older years, visit our used Acura TL page.

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