2001 Acura TL Review

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent value, comfortable front seats, powerful and efficient engine, SportShift transmission is fun to use.
  • Cheap interior bits, cramped rear seat room, excessive body roll in turns.
List Price Estimate
$555 - $1,332

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Jack-of-all-trades but master of none, the TL provides an impressive mix of luxury, sport and affordability.

Vehicle overview

Acura's torchbearer into the burgeoning near-luxury sedan market is the 3.2TL, and it's pitted against some stiff competition in the form of the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Infiniti I30, Lexus ES 300, Mercedes C-Class and Volvo S60. Each of these models is well established in the marketplace, which puts the pressure on Acura not only to meet but to exceed what those cars have to offer while simultaneously keeping price in check.

The wildly popular TL, with its promise of luxury, performance and value, has had no problem meeting the challenge, racking up more than 100,000 sales during its first two years on the market. It will likely be front and center for 2001 as well, despite its status as a carryover model.

Based on a Honda global platform shared by the Accord, the TL's wheelbase is 2 inches longer than its pedestrian sibling. Despite this stretch, the rear seat becomes cramped when a tall driver is at the helm, and there's no underseat room for feet. These are not problems in the Accord. We suspect the Acura's more rakish roofline is the culprit, and while some detractors call the TL dull and uninspired in terms of styling, many of our staffers like its angular, chiseled look.

Storage space, unlike rear seat room, is in abundance, including a deep center console and substantial map pockets in the doors. The driver's seat is quite comfortable, although having only the seating surfaces upholstered in leather is disappointing, and the lack of seat height adjustability for the front passenger doesn't win points from our editors.

The only engine is a peppy 3.2-liter V6 that utilizes VTEC technology to produce 225 horsepower and 216 foot-pounds of torque, while still getting 19/29 mpg in city/highway driving. The V6 remains strong in every gear, and it can scoot from zero to 60 in under 8 seconds. This puts the TL ahead of much of its competition in the horsepower race, and we can confirm that it definitely gets out of its own way. The standard SportShift automanual transmission is quite user-friendly, thanks to a shift gate located close to the driver and an intuitive shift pattern.

The TL offers near-luxury equipment without a hefty price, and you get more than just air conditioning and a smattering of leather on the seats. You snag lots of standard equipment, including a power sunroof, a 180-watt sound system with an in-dash CD player, heated front seats, steering-wheel audio controls, rear heat/air vents, micron air-filtration system, traction control, and four-wheel antilock brakes. A super-simple DVD-based navigation system with a smudge-free touch-screen is the only option, and it includes coverage of the entire continental United States on a single disc.

Offering sporty styling and near-luxury features for a price that is well below the class average, the TL continues to deliver both performance and value in an attractive package.

2001 Highlights

Standard equipment now includes floor mats and an emergency trunk release.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2001 Acura TL.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Bad Transmission by Darius Erby
Darius Erby,10/20/2005
I love this vehicle, but the only issue I have with this vehicle is that it has transmission issues. I knew that the Acuras and Hondas from year 98 to 04 had transmission issues, but they extended the warrany out to 100000 miles. My trans went out at 90000 miles. It had 50000 on it when I bought it. I bought it in Atlanta. My trans went out on me in the mountains in Tennessee. I was frightened because my rpm's just started going crazy, I was driving about 70 mph and then my car just stopped accelerating and it started rolling backwards down the mountain, as it was rolling back I was able to roll into the emergency lane, and I almost got hit by a few 18 wheelers.
2001 Acura TL 3.2L (65K miles)
The Acura TL is a basically a Honda Accord with more fit and trim. If that's okay with you, then you'll love this car. Personally, I think the car looks girly. I have it in white, and I'm not a huge fan of the design. I've seen it in blue and black and it looks much better. -Transmission was replaced at 56K miles. -The 3.2L is a reliable engine that has plenty of pep and a surprising amount of power down low. It won't exactly blow your hair back, but it's a quick car if/when it has to be. As per gas mileage, it's not that impressive. Edmund's says 20pmg, and they're pretty much dead on. For a V6, it isn't exactly a gas sipper.
My best car ever
xI have owned this car since it was new, purchased September 2000. I had the transmission replaced at about 34,000 miles by Acura at no extra charge. Since then, I've had no issues with the transmission and mileage currently stands at 153,000 miles. The car still drives and runs beautifully. It is serviced regularly by an Acura dealership and I love their service. For a twelve years old, people who don't know too much about cars think it is just a 3 or 4 years old. Last month, I had the oil changed along with a tire rotation. When I was about to get in my car and leave after the work was done, the mechanic who did the work came outside and offered me $6500 for it! I couldn't believe it.
4 Transmissions in 4 years?
We bough the TL used from the dealer - other than the tranmissions we haven't had a lick of trouble, but 4 tranny's now in a 4 year old car with 67k miles? Acura had done the right thing by us each time - no complaints there - the warrenty has been extended on the transmission to 7 years, 100k miles, but I do not feel like I can trust this car. The service advisor tells me there are spot problem with TL transmissions that were taken care of starting in 2004. I love the car other than this and woudl buy Acura again, but just not a TL built before 2004.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2001 Acura TL features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2001 Acura TL

Used 2001 Acura TL Overview

The Used 2001 Acura TL is offered in the following submodels: TL Sedan. Available styles include 3.2 4dr Sedan (3.2L 6cyl 5A), and 3.2 4dr Sedan w/Navigation (3.2L 6cyl 5A).

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Which used 2001 Acura TLS are available in my area?

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Should I lease or buy a 2001 Acura TL?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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