Used 2008 Acura TL Type-S

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Pros & Cons

  • Roomy and well-crafted interior, impressive handling for a relatively large front-drive sedan, sweet V6 engines matched to excellent transmissions, fantastic surround-sound system, lots of standard high-tech features, top crash test scores.
  • Not as traditionally luxurious as other models in its class, front-wheel-drive handling limitations are apparent when driven hard, lack of low-end torque in some situations.
List Price Range
$8,995 - $9,900

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Edmunds' Expert Review

If getting lots of bang for your buck is important, it's hard to beat the 2008 Acura TL, as few entry-level luxury cars pack its level of standard equipment. Well-built, reliable and exceedingly easy to live with as an everyday companion, the TL is a superb choice.

Vehicle overview

The 2008 Acura TL is increasingly becoming an oddball. While there are a handful of front-wheel-drive, entry-level luxury sedans, a scant few can claim to be truly sporty. A real high-performance driving experience can usually only be had when the power is sent to the rear wheels and occasionally all of them. The TL, particularly the Type-S model, sets itself apart by being a front driver that can keep up with (although still not surpass) such rear-drive thoroughbreds as the Infiniti G35. Yet despite this sporty nature, the TL still provides a wonderfully smooth ride and luxury appointments that will make comfort-minded customers happy.

After substantial changes last year, including the return of the Type-S model, the TL carries over unchanged for 2008. That's certainly OK, as Acura's best-selling car has always stood out from the pack since being redesigned for 2004. The TL's wedge-like shape is still attractive as ever, and its spacious interior remains a model of craftsmanship and ergonomics. The base engine operates with utter serenity but still manages to have an engaging character, while the suspension is well-controlled without being a rough rider. Its surround-sound stereo is so good, it's almost enough to justify buying the car alone.

If the TL has a particular forte, it's value. A package that bundles a voice-activated navigation system (with real-time traffic information) and a rearview camera is the lone option on the base car (standard on the Type-S), while features like Bluetooth, leather seating, power front seats, sunroof and that surround-sound system are included on all TLs. Those features are usually options on rivals that typically start at a higher base price.

For a front-wheel-drive, entry-level luxury sedan with sporting tendencies, the 2008 Acura TL is the best choice around. Its mix of driving fun, comfort, quality and value can't be beat. But if maximum handling and performance are priorities, the BMW 328i, Infiniti G35 and Lexus IS 350 are better choices. In the end, it could very well hinge on how you feel about oddballs.

2008 Acura TL models

The 2008 Acura TL is a midsize entry-level luxury sport sedan available in two incredibly well-equipped trim levels. The base TL comes standard with 17-inch wheels, bi-xenon headlights, foglights, sunroof, leather upholstery, eight-way driver and four-way passenger power/heated seats, driver memory functions, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker surround-sound system with in-dash six-CD/DVD audio changer, auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio. The lone factory option is a navigation system that comes with a voice command interface, real-time traffic updates and a rearview camera.

The TL Type-S is the more performance-oriented trim level, adding a more powerful engine, a sport-tuned suspension and more powerful brakes. The exterior is also treated to more aggressively styled fascias and side skirts, along with a deck lid spoiler, quad exhausts and special 17-inch wheels. The navigation system and its accompanying features are standard on the Type-S, which also gets sport seats, special interior trim and different lighting. High-performance tires are the Type-S model's lone option.

2008 Highlights

After big changes last year, including the return of the Type-S model, the 2008 Acura TL receives no significant changes.

Performance & mpg

All TL are front-wheel drive. The base TL is powered by 3.2-liter V6 that produces 258 horsepower and 233 pound-feet of torque. Unlike in the past, a five-speed automatic is the lone transmission available. Despite this being the "base" engine, it's still capable of bringing the TL from zero to 60 mph in around 6 seconds. For an even quicker experience, the Type-S is motivated by a 3.5-liter V6 good for 286 hp and 256 lb-ft of torque. Buyers have a choice of either a slick-shifting six-speed manual with a limited-slip differential, or a five-speed automatic that features paddle shifters. Expect either combination to deliver a 0-60-mph time in the mid to high 5-second range.

Fuel economy for the base 2008 TL is 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. The manual-equipped Type-S actually returns better mileage at 18 city and 27 highway, while the five-speed automatic gets 17/26.

Safety

The 2008 Acura TL comes standard with stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags and full-length curtain airbags. A rearview camera comes along with the available navigation system. In crash tests, the TL gets five out of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for both frontal impact protection and rear side impact protection. Front side impact testing resulted in four out of five stars. In the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's side and frontal-offset crash tests, the TL received top scores of "Good."

Driving

It's a well-known fact that front-wheel-drive cars tend to only take so much power before torque steer takes over and the car darts off in whichever direction it chooses. Despite healthy doses of 258 hp and 286 hp, respectively, both the base TL and Type-S manage to feel no worse for wear. Its steering is incalculably precise, and the car's cornering is tack-sharp. The Type-S in particular is the best that front-drive gets. In fact, only when driven aggressively back to back with rear-wheel-drive competitors like the Infiniti G35 or Lexus IS does the TL start to suffer from its drivetrain. Yet for a majority of buyers, the TL provides a tremendously sporty driving experience that nevertheless is the smoothest operator in its segment. Even the edgier Type-S is well within the acceptable range of ride comfort. Whether on a straight slog from K.C. to Denver or on a high-speed tour of the Smoky Mountains, the 2008 TL delivers.

Interior

For those who define "luxury" as prominent swaths of wood trim and chrome accents, the TL is likely to disappoint. Subtle wood trim can be found on the base model's center console, but otherwise, this Acura goes for more of a sporting motif with dominant alloy trim, and in the Type-S, faux carbon fiber. Both TL models are beautifully crafted, and that's where this luxury sedan really shines, with near bulletproof build quality and top-notch materials. The Type-S differentiates itself with more aggressively bolstered seats, red instrument lighting (versus cobalt blue) and two-tone leather.

Crammed full of electronics, the TL is thankfully pretty easy to operate -- even for those who wouldn't know the difference between an iPod and an iPhone. As Acura and Honda slowly migrate to an iDrive-like electronics interface, the TL features the good-old touchscreen setup (bolstered by voice commands) for navigation-equipped models that's easy to figure out and operate. Enjoy it while you can.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2008 Acura TL.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

highly satisfied customer
Dag,02/12/2018
Type-S 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
this is very good car if its well maintained, over all i am satisfied, it looks outstanding, even in 2018 it gets complements a lot, very reliable, acceleration is great, its fast car for US highways, but the thing other people might not like is the ride quality, it feels like a track car, it has stiff suspension so keep that in mind, and also the ground clearance is low, the car seats lower than the average sedan, so its good to know these things before buying, for me personally i like the car more for these reasons but other people might not,
Solid Car
mtlpa,07/22/2009
Basically bought this car from the inside out. Compared to 330i, Audi A4 and felt the TL was a better value and much more spacious. After a year there have been no defects to speak of, so quite satisfied with build quality. Performance is quite good although torque steer is evident under hard acceleration. Ergonomics are excellent and runs fantastic on the highway. Manual mode transmission is a little disappointing as it does not force the transmission into quicker gear shifts.
Great value for the money
Brad,05/24/2009
I purchased my TL-S in July 2008 after seeing the spy pictures of the 2009 models. So far I have 7,500 miles on the car and it has been flawless. The 3.5L makes this car a sleeper, it's plenty fast for me. I shopped the G35, Lexus IS350 and BMW 3 Series before buying the Acura. The nice part about the car is the value for the money, this car comes loaded. With Lexus, BMW and Infiniti the options are expensive and add up quickly. An IS350 with the same equipment as this car stickered at over $45k, same with BMW. I was able to purchase my TL-S for $33k, that was $5,800 off the sticker. Was able to get a good deal with the ugly 2009's ready to hit the market.
Absolutely Incredible.
Dhruv,06/22/2019
Type-S 4dr Sedan w/High-Performance Tires (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
The 2008 TL Type-S is my first car and I can't even explain how much I love it. It is so beautiful and is often regarded as one of the best looking sedans ever made. The quad exhausts look very aggressive and the waffle rims are truly gorgeous. The car looks both sinister and beautiful at the same time, which is what I adore. The interior is very nice as well, but over time many owners have experienced cracked dash, ripped seats, etc. However, in my car, the only thing that broke is a small piece of the cupholder. Other than that, the interior is very roomy and overall a great place to spend time. The steering wheel looks great and sporty. The acceleration is very thrilling with the 286 hp V6, but I am not a fan of the wheel-spin. I wish it was AWD. The engine sounds amazing, as the Vtec induction howl is addicting to listen to. The ride is incredibly smooth and my passengers always say that they really enjoy the ride, and even non car-enthusiast passengers tell me that the car sounds good. :-) The Brembo rotors in the front provide the car with phenomenal stopping power and the calipers look very stylish and sporty. The car handles so well for a sedan, and I have major confidence when I take the car in a heavy corner at high speeds. It feels very planted and I feel really excited and secure at the same time. The ELS sound system is amazing, despite the bluetooth not working and me having to use aux. However, these little problems are totally outweighed by the immense pleasure this car evokes. The complaints I have follow- Poor quality dash, cheap cupholder, timing belt and water pump replacement, bluetooth not working. Other than these issues, the car is amazing. Overall, the TL-S is one of the greatest sport sedans ever made and Acura hit a home run. This car marks the end of an era, as after this car stopped being made, Acura has gone downhill in the past 11 years. None of their cars today give the feeling of sportiness except the NSX and MAYBE the TLX A-Spec. I hope the new Type-S models bring back the specialty that the TL-S carried. This car is also so uncommon, which is what I LOVE. I am the only one I know who owns one, and people gawk at it. I only see another TL-S maybe once or twice a month, and the owners and I have some fun talks. Its rarity, value, design, and performance make it a wondrous piece of automotive art. I love this car more than I can even explain. Please bring back the fun that the TL-S evokes Acura, please.

Features & Specs

MPG
17 city / 26 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
286 hp @ 6200 rpm
MPG
18 city / 27 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
Gas
286 hp @ 6200 rpm
MPG
17 city / 26 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
286 hp @ 6200 rpm
MPG
18 city / 27 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
Gas
286 hp @ 6200 rpm
See all Used 2008 Acura TL Type-S features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 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
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Marginal
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2008 Acura TL

Used 2008 Acura TL Type-S Overview

The Used 2008 Acura TL Type-S is offered in the following styles: Type-S 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 5A), Type-S 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6M), Type-S 4dr Sedan w/High-Performance Tires (3.5L 6cyl 5A), and Type-S 4dr Sedan w/High-Performance Tires (3.5L 6cyl 6M).

What's a good price on a Used 2008 Acura TL Type-S?

Price comparisons for Used 2008 Acura TL Type-S trim styles:

  • The Used 2008 Acura TL Type-S Type-S is priced between $8,995 and$9,900 with odometer readings between 117287 and130682 miles.

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Which used 2008 Acura TL Type-SES are available in my area?

Used 2008 Acura TL Type-S Listings and Inventory

There are currently 3 used and CPO 2008 Acura TL Type-SES listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $8,995 and mileage as low as 117287 miles. Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2008 Acura TL Type-S.

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Can't find a used 2008 Acura TL TL Type-S you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Acura TL for sale - 9 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $22,214.

Find a used Acura for sale - 3 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $22,036.

Find a used certified pre-owned Acura TL for sale - 6 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $10,111.

Find a used certified pre-owned Acura for sale - 3 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $22,288.

Should I lease or buy a 2008 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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Check out Acura TL lease specials