2010 Acura TL Review

Pros & Cons

  • Many user-friendly high-tech features, spacious cabin, smart all-wheel-drive system, superb available surround-sound stereo, excellent crash test scores.
  • Polarizing styling, base model's numb steering.
List Price Range
$8,995 - $12,900

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Edmunds' Expert Review

For those who can get past the unusual styling, the 2010 Acura TL is a strong choice among midsize luxury sedans.

Vehicle overview

The 2010 Acura TL has a lot going for it -- athletic leanings, enough interior volume to accommodate adult-sized passengers, plenty of luxury features and Acura's traditional reputation for reliability. Unfortunately, all of this is wrapped in a skin that evokes a love-it or hate-it response. While we would all certainly like to think that aesthetics aren't everything, appearance does play a major role in choosing a car.

The TL was redesigned just last year, gaining its oddly beveled nose and chunky rear end but also more interior room, more power and a new option for all-wheel drive. We're especially fond of the SH-AWD (which stands for super-handling all-wheel drive) version that comes with a 305-horsepower engine and the type of road-holding grip one might normally associate with a rear-drive sport sedan. For those seeking additional driving enjoyment, a traditional six-speed manual transmission has been added to the SH-AWD mix for 2010.

The base 2010 Acura TL is also praise-worthy for its quiet and comfortable cabin. In terms of acceleration, it's a dead heat when pitted against the SH-AWD. Adding the optional Technology package, with its high-tech gadgetry, evens the playing field even more, and for the majority of drivers, the base model will most certainly appease. It's only when you're looking for a truly engaging driving experience that the base model will disappoint, especially since its steering is numb and not particularly communicative.

Either TL model, however, is a competitive choice in the entry-level luxury sedan segment that also includes such luminaries such as the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Cadillac CTS, Hyundai Genesis, Infiniti G37 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Particularly in this set, the Acura's well-rounded demeanor and lower price makes it stand out as the sensible choice. You're not going to go wrong with any of these cars, but you will need to make sure you're down with the TL's new sheet metal.

2010 Acura TL models

The 2010 Acura TL is a midsize luxury sedan that is available in base or sporty SH-AWD trim levels. The base TL comes equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, foglights, a sunroof, heated side mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear ventilation controls, heated power front seats, driver memory functions, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leather upholstery, Bluetooth phone connectivity and steering-wheel-mounted audio, phone and trip computer controls. Also standard is an eight-speaker stereo with in-dash six-CD changer, satellite radio, streaming Bluetooth audio, an auxiliary audio jack and USB port.

The TL SH-AWD adds all-wheel drive, a more powerful engine, 18-inch alloy wheels, upgraded brakes, hill start assist, more aggressively bolstered front seats and upgraded metallic trim.

The optional Technology package is available on both trims and adds a hard-drive-based navigation system with voice recognition, real-time traffic, real-time weather forecasts, a GPS-linked and solar-sensing adaptive climate control system, keyless ignition/entry, a rear spoiler, rearview camera and a 10-speaker Panasonic/ELS surround-sound system with 12.7GB of digital music storage. Optional 19-inch wheels with high-performance summer tires are available, but only on SH-AWD models.

2010 Highlights

After a complete redesign last year, the 2010 Acura TL receives a six-speed manual transmission that is available on SH-AWD models.

Performance & mpg

The base model 2010 Acura TL is front-wheel drive and is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 280 hp and 254 pound-feet of torque. The all-wheel-drive TL SH-AWD gets a 3.7-liter V6 that makes 305 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. The all-wheel-drive system is capable of transferring different levels of power to individual wheels to maximize traction and grip through turns and in inclement weather.

Both TL models come standard with a five-speed automatic that includes steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. New for 2010 is a six-speed manual transmission that is available only on SH-AWD models with the Technology package.

Despite the SH-AWD's horsepower advantage, acceleration is virtually identical to the base TL. In recent testing, both models reached 60 mph from a standstill in 6.7 seconds. Fuel economy for the 3.5-liter TL is 18 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 21 mpg in combined driving. The SH-AWD returns 1 mile per gallon less across the board, regardless of which transmission is specified.

Safety

All 2010 Acura TL models come with antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front restraints. In government testing, the TL scored a perfect five out of five stars for frontal and side impact protection for all occupants. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety returned similar results, awarding its top score of "Good" for frontal-offset and side-impact protection.

In Edmunds brake testing, the base TL came to a stop from 60 mph in an average 122 feet. The SH-AWD came to a stop in an exceptional 106 feet.

Driving

Given the divergent handling characteristics of the 2010 Acura TL models, they can almost be thought of as two distinctly different cars. The base TL should appeal to drivers with more comfort and luxury in mind. Ride quality is excellent -- bumps, holes and expansion joints are eaten up with a reassuring, almost Germanic thump that befits a luxury car with the TL's price tag. The 280-hp V6 should prove more than adequate for daily drives, and the steering, though lacking in feel, has plenty of assist to make parking easy.

For those with more sporting intentions, the SH-AWD lives up to its "Super Handling" acronym by delivering considerably more grip and control than the base car. The complex all-wheel-drive system directs more power to the outside wheels when cornering for improved handling dynamics, while the communicative and well-weighted steering adds a more confident driving experience.

Interior

The 2010 Acura TL's interior features a more contemporary design language than some of its competitors. Aluminum trim adorns the cabin instead of the glossy wood treatments found in the Cadillac CTS, Hyundai Genesis or Lexus ES 350. Overall, the surroundings have a more austere look and feel, much like an Audi. Materials quality is top-notch, with plenty of soft-touch surfaces. Some have commented that the aluminum trim has a cheap look about it -- noting that it would look more at home in a range-topping Honda Accord. The metallic trim in the SH-AWD model is of a higher quality and the available two-tone color scheme helps to dress things up.

In terms of comfort, the TL's cabin is roomy and quiet, on par with some of the finer European brands. The driver seat offers plenty of adjustment and side bolstering, while the rear seats can easily accommodate taller passengers. Large flip-up headrests provide comfort and protection for those seated in the rear and, when not in use, they slide down flush with the seatbacks for an unobstructed view. The 13.1 cubic feet of trunk capacity is a bit less than other cars in this class, but the wide opening makes loading a few golf bags and suitcases easy.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2010 Acura TL.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Great Car
Slm,02/06/2016
Technology Package 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
I have owned this car for a few years now and the worst thing I can say is that I have to depart ways with it soon. I mostly trade every three to four years however drove this Acura longer. It's not the most appealing on the eyes but the tech is tremendous and it rides very well. The gas mileage is ok but that's all the only downfall about this vehicle. I actually love this car so much I'm considering buying a 14 with the awd/tech package.
A Great Acura, and I have driven most
critter441,08/15/2012
I love Honda and Acura. I have owned everything from the CR-X, CR-V, Civic, Accord, TSX, RDX, and MDX. Out of this long list of cars, the TL is right up there with the MDX as the Acura best of the best. In terms of performance, price and reliability nothing beats it. Strongly considered moving into a BMW 335 xDrive or C300 series MB and moving away from Acura after some boring experiences. However, the standard options, performance and cost of ownership cannot be beat by the Honda/Acura line up. If you want sport performance the MT is a must! Honda has the best clutch and throw feel shifter and can hands down blow you back into your driver's seat. The 19" wheels hug the road, smooth, fast!
1-year, 22K mile update - Not sure if I would buy again.
jimmyt_2,02/23/2011
I took delivery on 3/1/2010 and have put 22K on the car since. Overall I love the car and think it is an amazing value. BUT...the car has a noise that is related to tire speed. It ranges from the sound of a thousand crickets to something that sounds like a squealing belt. Of course every time I take it to the dealer, they can’t hear it, or by the time they have someone that can ride with me, the noise subsides. I’m concerned that they will not get it fixed before the warranty is up. The dealer mentioned that they are replacing a lot of the AWD shafts due to noise but he didn't think that was my problem.
I'M IN LOVE!
I'M IN LOVE!,11/18/2010
Never ever been in love with a car before this one. It's just beautiful inside and out. Love it's controversial looks, high tech interior and smooth, fast ride. I just love it.

Features & Specs

MPG
18 city / 26 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
280 hp @ 6200 rpm
MPG
18 city / 26 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
280 hp @ 6200 rpm
MPG
18 city / 26 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
280 hp @ 6200 rpm
MPG
17 city / 25 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
305 hp @ 6300 rpm
See all Used 2010 Acura TL 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
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover5 / 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
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2010 Acura TL
More About This Model

The 2010 Acura TL SH-AWD with the Technology Package and the new six-speed manual transmission brings some familiar adages to mind. "Don't judge a book by its cover." "Beauty is more than skin deep." You get the idea. From behind the wheel, this TL is a revelation, a world-class performance sedan that Acura somehow derived from the plebeian Honda Accord. It also boasts plenty of technology and room for four full-size adults. But the question is: Will those heartwarming adages still be convincing when $44,000 of your hard-earned money is on the line?

We'll hold open the possibility, because we've certainly met people who like the way the TL looks. Some find the pointy grille refreshingly different; others favor the unusual metallic V-shaped insert below the trunk. If you're a fan of the styling, the TL SH-AWD 6MT definitely belongs at the top of your shopping list. After all, its performance is competitive with that of the BMW 535i xDrive, which runs $10,000-$15,000 more when comparably equipped. And the TL SH-AWD is bigger and more comfortable than the marginally better-performing but pricier Audi S4.

Though more conservatively styled, the above-mentioned BMW and Audi are the only truly comparable luxury performance sedans with manual transmissions and the year-round versatility of all-wheel drive. Even if you're not high on the TL's brave design language, you might still want to give this car a chance. As one of the best-driving luxury performance sedans under $60,000, the 2010 Acura TL SH-AWD 6MT is proof that beauty is more than skin deep.

Used 2010 Acura TL Overview

The Used 2010 Acura TL is offered in the following submodels: TL Sedan. Available styles include Technology Package 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 5A), 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 5A), Technology Package and 18 Inch Wheels 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 5A), SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD (3.7L 6cyl 5A), SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD w/Technology Package (3.7L 6cyl 5A), SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD w/Technology Package and HPT (3.7L 6cyl 5A), SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD w/Technology Package (3.7L 6cyl 6M), and SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD w/Technology Package and HPT (3.7L 6cyl 6M).

What's a good price on a Used 2010 Acura TL?

Price comparisons for Used 2010 Acura TL trim styles:

  • The Used 2010 Acura TL SH-AWD is priced between $8,999 and$12,900 with odometer readings between 97085 and133395 miles.
  • The Used 2010 Acura TL Base is priced between $8,995 and$9,995 with odometer readings between 96147 and113052 miles.
  • The Used 2010 Acura TL SH-AWD w/Technology Package and HPT is priced between $12,595 and$12,595 with odometer readings between 125529 and125529 miles.
  • The Used 2010 Acura TL Technology Package is priced between $9,375 and$9,375 with odometer readings between 110794 and110794 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2010 Acura TLS are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2010 Acura TL for sale near. There are currently 8 used and CPO 2010 TLS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $8,995 and mileage as low as 96147 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2010 Acura TL.

Can't find a used 2010 Acura TLs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Acura TL for sale - 12 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $25,274.

Find a used Acura for sale - 5 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $21,909.

Find a used certified pre-owned Acura TL for sale - 8 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $21,352.

Find a used certified pre-owned Acura for sale - 6 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $24,549.

Should I lease or buy a 2010 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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