2007 Acura TL Review
2007 Acura TL Review
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Used TL for sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Roomy and well-appointed interior, excellent handling for a relatively large front-drive sedan, sweet-natured V6 engines matched to outstanding transmissions, fantastic sound system, top crash-test scores.
- Front-drive handling limitations are apparent when the car is driven aggressively, lack of low-end torque in some situations.
After a three-year absence, the performance-oriented "Type-S" trim level returns. It features a 286-horsepower, 3.5-liter version of Acura's SOHC 32-valve VTEC-equipped V6, a sport-tuned suspension and Brembo high-performance front and rear disc brakes. The Type-S also gets a unique front fascia, quad tailpipes, specific 17-inch wheels and paddle shifters for the five-speed automatic transmission when that option is ordered. The regular TL continues forward with freshened exterior styling and a revised center stack and instrument panel. However the six-speed manual transmission and Brembo brakes are now restricted solely to the Type-S model.
Few entry-level luxury cars pack the level of equipment the 2007 Acura TL carries as standard. Well-built and exceedingly easy to live with as an everyday companion, the TL is an excellent choice overall.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2007 Acura TL 4dr Sedan w/Navigation (3.2L 6cyl 5A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $4.15 per gallon for premium unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
Avg. Midsize Car
With the introduction of the distinctively styled, well-detailed third-generation TL back in 2004, Acura finally established its place in the midsize luxury market. Sharing much of its engineering with the Honda Accord (and built alongside it at Honda's Marysville, Ohio assembly plant), the TL is an exquisitely competent front driver that comes carrying just about the most comprehensive list of standard equipment in its class. It's always been a solid performer, and for 2007 it gets better with the reintroduction of the performance-oriented Type-S.
With a 286-hp, 3.5-liter version of Acura's SOHC 24-valve VTEC V6 thumping away under its hood, an all-independent suspension tuned to match, big Brembo disc brakes and a uniquely aggressive appearance, the Type-S instantly becomes the Acura TL to lust after. It's also now the only way to get a TL if you want the six-speed manual transmission and its accompanying limited-slip differential or paddle shifters to go with the available five-speed automatic.
Still, the regular old TL is a wonderful environment in which to survive a daily commute The front seats are among the very best in any car, the stereo is so good it alone is almost enough to justify buying the car, all the switches and controls operate with precision, the engine operates with utter serenity but still manages to have an engaging character, the suspension is well-controlled without being brutal and there's enough room in the trunk to hold the lighting section of a good-size Home Depot.
The 2007 Acura TL is not a car without limitations, but for many buyers they're the sort of limitations that don't really matter.
Performance & mpg
Base TL sedans have a 258-hp 3.2-liter V6 under their hood, lashed to a five-speed automatic transmission with sequential manual shifting that drives the front wheels. The TL Type-S has a 286-hp 3.5-liter version of the same V6 hooked to either a six-speed manual transaxle and limited-slip differential or the five-speed automatic with paddle shifters for manual operation.
The driver side and passenger dual-stage, dual-threshold airbags are supplemented by side airbags for the driver side and front passenger and side curtain airbags for both front and rear passengers. A Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) program helps keep the car upright while antilock and electronic brakeforce distribution systems ensure the four discs aboard stop the car. The 2007 Acura TL gets the top five-star rating from NHTSA for frontal impact and side impact safety. The IIHS rated the TL "Good" (the best rating possible) for protection in frontal-offset crashes and gave it a "Best Pick" designation after its front-offset crash tests.
Both the TL and TL Type-S receive suspension revisions for 2007. Collectively, the effect is a crisper and more controlled car without the harshness usually associated with sport tuning. We've driven all its competitors and the TL is definitely the smoothest operator on all types of pavement. The Type-S is just slightly edgier but still within the acceptable range. However, dedicated driving enthusiasts will likely be a little disappointed with the front-drive layout, as it prevents the car from being as fun to drive as other sport sedans like the BMW 3 Series and Infiniti G35.
Among its peers, the TL luxury sport sedan has one of the best interiors with an elegant design, excellent material quality and nicely shaped seats. The cockpit has a stylish two-tone color scheme, aluminum inlays and an attractive set of bright blue electroluminescent gauges. There's plenty of room for a pair of adults to ride in back, and the trunk holds 12.5 cubic feet of cargo.
2007 Acura TL models
The 2007 Acura TL is a midsize entry-level luxury sport sedan. There are two trim levels: base TL and Type-S. The base TL comes well equipped with a moonroof, heated side-view mirrors, automatic headlights, leather upholstery, power and heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, HomeLink and full power accessories. The astounding ELS Surround Premium eight-speaker sound system with DVD audio capability is also standard. The sole option is Acura's satellite-based navigation system that integrates both a rearview camera and voice-recognition ability with the "AcuraLink" real-time traffic-reporting system.
The TL Type-S receives a more powerful engine, a sport-tuned suspension, performance tires and more powerful brakes. The navigation system is standard, the interior is trimmed with aluminum and fake carbon fiber instead of fake wood, special sport seats promise more lateral support, the LED instrumentation glows red and blue and the pedals are finished in aluminum. On the outside the front fascia has a deeper front airdam, the side skirts are more pronounced, there's a deck lid spoiler, the taillights glow with LED brilliance, there are four exhaust outlets and the special 17-inch wheels, front grille and other trim all feature a dark matte finish.
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
2007 Acura TL type-S
Type-S 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
Great car overall. Purchased new for $5K below MSRP. Very reliable but watch out for Bluetooth connection to cell phone. Known to actually kill battery by failing to disconnect properly. Continues searching for connection when you leave vehicle (24/7!). $375 to fix plus new battery! Engineered to go 300k miles with proper maintainence. Brembo brakes fantastic but pads AND rotors wear … very quickly. Remember the $1,100 cost to change out timing belt and water pump at 105,000 miles or 7 years!
4.88 out of 5 stars
Great All Around Car
Type-S 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
I have owned Honda/Acura products for over 10 years, so when it came time to replace my TSX, the TL was the logical choice. I looked at the 335i, G35, and IS 350. They are all great cars, but each one had a few annoying features. The TL Type-S has all the performance I need, with a great interior and proven Acura reliability. I have had the car for 2 weeks now, and I do not regret any … part of my decision.
5 out of 5 stars
Excellent Value Packed Sports Sedan
4dr Sedan w/Navigation (3.2L 6cyl 5A)
What's with all the whining? Enough with the complaints about turning radius..... Please. Learn how to drive and execute a 3 point turn. The day I base my decision to buy a car on turning radius, please shoot me. As for rattling, my '07 has none. Everything works perfectly. Nothing ever breaks, and it's got 73,000 miles on it! You shant find another car with all the features of the TL in … it's price range, or even higher.
5 out of 5 stars
2006 TL vs 2007 TL Comparison
4dr Sedan (3.2L 6cyl 5A)
After driving a 2006 TL for several months and purchasing a 2007 base model, here is my take on the differences. The 2007 is a little better overall. Its suspension absorbs bumps better than before while still maintaining its sportiness and handling. It's quieter on the highway and its seats are more comfortable (softer) - especially on longer rides. From the front, the separate fog … lights, chrome-like strip along the bottom and integrated blikers in the side mirrors, give the car a more elegant look. The sporty body style, sporty handling and very comfortable ride made it a good choice for me. Notes: No squeaks or rattles, the new transmission is now derived from the RL's tranny.
Features & Specs
NHTSA Overall Rating
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverallNot RatedDriver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverallNot Rated
- Side Barrier RatingOverallNot RatedDriver4 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront SeatNot RatedBack SeatNot Rated
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of RolloverNot Rated
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Side Impact TestGood
- Roof Strength TestNot Tested
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintMarginal
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
More about the 2007 Acura TL
More About This Model
A tool is an object designed to do a particular kind of work. The type of work the 2007 Acura TL is designed to do is maintain its leading sales position within the Acura lineup and close the gap on the entry-lux sport sedan sales leader, the BMW 3 Series. While Acura is pleased with current TL progress, holding steady at around 80,000 units a year, it seems the product planners at Acura have been watching the success of their recently rereleased European and Japanese counterparts in the entry-lux segment. BMW 3 Series sales shot up at the end of 2005, and the new Lexus IS Series is gaining ground every day. Infiniti just made public the all-new G35 and we predict nothing but well-deserved success.
But unlike the headline-grabbing rear-drive sedans — some of which are or will be available as a coupe, convertible or wagon, with a turbocharger, AWD and even with rear-wheel steering — Acura's TL comes in front-drive-only, V6-only and sedan-only forms. But for 2007, the TL will arrive in regular and maximum-strength versions. The standard-issue 2007 TL maintains a 258-horsepower 3.2-liter V6 and an all-new five-speed automatic with a host of other improvements. The big news is that the range-topping TL Type-S returns after a three-year hiatus, with more than just tire and suspension upgrades.
To the power of RL
What's the best way to motivate a TL Type-S back to the top of the charts? Power, baby; and the high-revving 300-hp 3.5-liter V6 doing its best to propel the too-heavy, two- wheels-too-many-driven RL would seem like a good choice, and it is. Tuned to 286 horses, the happily unencumbered engine now breathes and revs freely in the svelte nose of the TL Type-S. It can be paired with either the purist's choice six-speed manual or newly upgraded five-speed automatic with paddle shifters and matched-rev downshifts.
In the TL the engine feels bright and responsive throughout the rev-range and gets only slightly more intense at the 4950-rpm VTEC changeover point where the high-lift and long-duration cam lobes come on. Then there's that wonderful Honda engine note made all the better with the Type-S's cold-air induction, dual-stage intake manifold and high-flow exhaust system. It's one of the best-sounding Honda/Acura products since the dearly departed NSX. Truth be told, it could stand to be a little louder, however.
The six-speed manual is of the type we've all admired from Honda. In the tradition of the S2000, but more like that found in the recent Civic Si, the light shifter finds its home with a reassuring clickity-thump. The gear ratios are well considered and take full advantage of the Type-S's enthusiastic new engine. The extensive mechanical science applied to quiet gear whine and smooth gearchanges is evident.
Putting the power down
You might suspect a front-driver with 256 lb-ft of twisting torque to be a tarmac-nibbling handful and it would have been had it not also included a helical-gear-type limited-slip differential (LSD) in the six-speed manual transmission. This long-standing torque-steer-reduction scheme works by dividing the driving force more equally between the two front wheels.
In the case of the TL Type-S, it works very well. The only time we noticed the steering affected by the throttle was at the very top of both 1st and 2nd gear under full throttle. Otherwise, the car's cornering was tack-sharp both off and on the gas. The LSD also does an admirable job of diminishing understeer.
Both the TL and TL Type-S receive suspension revisions for 2007. Collectively, the effect is a crisper and more controlled car without the harshness usually associated with sport tuning. We've driven all its competitors and the TL is definitely the smoothest operator on all types of pavement. The Type-S is just slightly edgier but still within the acceptable range. We'd even go out on a limb and say the Type-S settings could've been successfully incorporated into the standard TL, and Acura could've been more aggressive with the Type-S with some room to spare. The Type-S rides on grippy Bridgestone Potenza RE030 tires (235/45R17 93W) at all four corners.
Utilizing a classic high-mount upper and lower A-arm front suspension with rear multilink and stabilizer bars, the TL Type-S suspension is tuned to near perfection. Damping rates and body control are outstanding while the suspension's ability to acknowledge road imperfections without changing direction is excellent.
A heavily revised variable-assist rack-and-pinion steering system is incalculably precise and thankfully old school. In other words, Acura hasn't resorted to an electromechanical system with all its nifty variable-ratio and numbing-isolation tricks and compromises. The ratio is fixed to a tidy 15.4:1 ratio and only the steering effort changes with speed. Additionally, the power steering fluid flows through a new aluminum cooler and is kept in check through one-way kick-back damper valve to minimize the possibility of road irregularities making their way to your hands. This is as good as front-wheel drive gets.
Along with all the significant hardware upgrades, both the TL and TL Type-S feature subtle exterior and interior cosmetic changes only the most encyclopedic will detect. The Type-S is differentiated most distinctly by quad exhaust tips and "black-chrome" exterior trim — and the badge, of course.
Inside, the Type-S further receives more highly bolstered and "Type-S"-embossed front seating and active noise-cancellation through the otherwise standard XM satellite Acura-ELS premium six-disc CD/DVD-audio sound system. Navigation is optional to either.
Prices have yet to be announced, but we were shown a range from $34,000 to $39,000 for the entire line. Going from Acura's '06 pricing, expect a 2007 TL Type-S's base price to be at $37,000 without sat-nav and top out at $39,000.
The bad news
All this is great news, and the TL Type-S would have been big news before the release of the 306-hp '06 IS 350 and '07 G35. Furthermore, we suspect the 2007 BMW 3 Series Sedan will receive the 335i Coupe's 300-hp twin-turbo inline-6 engine.
Where does this leave the TL Type-S? On paper, it's still a distant-but-better front-wheel-driven 4th. It'll never convert die-hard rear-drive fans. It'll never be able to precisely manage more than 300 hp through its front tires. Even with its impressive list of year-to-year enhancements, the guys at BMW, Infiniti and Lexus will no doubt continue the evolution of the sport sedan species at an even more accelerated pace — and they're already one step ahead.
As competent as they are, the 2007 TL and TL Type-S are serving as placeholders until Acura takes seriously the entry-lux sport sedan category as it recently proved it can in the sport-utility segment with its astonishingly good 2007 Acura MDX and RDX.
All this outstanding competence is undeniable. There is no question that the TL Type-S is the best TL ever, and it's more car than most entry-lux buyers would ever need or expect. It delivers an astonishing amount of performance and equipment, some of which is unavailable in the competitors, for a price that'll at least rattle the cages of the rear-drive faithful.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.
Used 2007 Acura TL Overview
The Used 2007 Acura TL is offered in the following submodels: TL Type-S, TL Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan w/Navigation (3.2L 6cyl 5A), 4dr Sedan (3.2L 6cyl 5A), Type-S 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 5A), Type-S 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6M), Type-S 4dr Sedan w/Summer Tires (3.5L 6cyl 5A), and Type-S 4dr Sedan w/Summer Tires (3.5L 6cyl 6M). Pre-owned Acura TL models are available with a 3.2 L-liter gas engine or a 3.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 286 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2007 Acura TL comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2007 Acura TL comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 6 yr./ 70000 mi. powertrain warranty.
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Should I lease or buy a 2007 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.