I bought this used - it was 5 years old with 50,000 miles and one owner and I got lucky because she took such good care of it that it was like buying a new car - it even smells new. I love everything about it, especially since my prior car was a Prius - this is much "zippier" :-) As one other reviewer said, the only annoying things are somewhat rough downshifting and no detailed info on the Bluetooth - all you see is a tiny number in the odometer area. But it is a 6 year old car with 6 year old technology, so I guess that's to be expected. Other drawback is the gas mileage (I average about 22 mpg overall) and the need for premium unleaded - but I knew this going into the purchase.
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.
1-year, 22K mile update - Not sure if I would buy again.
written on 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 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!
With so little tangible feel from the pedals, it's almost a robotic experience to launch the TL SH-AWD 6MT. The best launch was from an indicated 3,750 rpm with a wisp of wheelspin. The shifter is light and makes upchanges easy but not confident. Power is linear and tapers off very little near redline. Engine sounds better (less thrashy and smoother) than the Nissan/Infiniti VQ.
Firm pedal, little idle stroke, flat and straight stops. Some brake-pad odor, but no observed fade from six total stops (or after four quarter-mile runs). Very quick ABS motor so zero buzz or vibration during panic stops.
Skid pad: With ESP off and in 2nd gear, I found maintaining a line a little difficult as the AWD system was busy shifting power all over. Switched to 3rd and it was better behaved and more consistent, but then using throttle to adjust yaw angle to skid pad arc required more patience and felt a little delayed. With ESP on, the car was even more difficult to place precisely on the line as it merely added another (electronic) layer between the driver and the mechanicals. Steering effort/build-up feels a little springy. Slalom: There's little doubt this is a tremendously capable sport sedan, but I just wish for equally tremendous feedback, and that's lacking. Steering is quick and direct, but lacks vocabulary. With the ESP off, the car was mostly neutral -- neither under- nor oversteering -- right up to the last cone where a "lift-stab" on the throttle worked to coax some useful rotation. The ESP system is remarkable in that it merely "trims" your heading slightly with brake applications, but kills the enthusiastic WOT exit.