Thursday, December 23, 2010
Acura TL is Refined, Sporty and Powerful
With outstanding luxury and performance, the 2011 Acura TL is a midsize sport sedan that offers understated elegance and scintillating driving character.
The TL comes in a base front-wheel-drive or Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive trim level.
Choose between two strong engines: a 280-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 or a 305-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6.
Those power plants are linked to a five-speed automatic transmission with auto-manual mode or a six-speed manual transmission. The SH-AWD sends more torque to the outside rear wheel to give the TL the ability to turn more quickly and make the ride more balanced. Gas mileage is solid, with the TL ranging from 17-18 mpg in the city and 25-26 mpg on the highway.
The TL has standard 17-inch aluminum wheels or optional 18- or 19-inch aluminum wheels that improve handling. The beautifully appointed interior has leather trim and a power moonroof, dual-zone adaptive climate control, 10-way power adjustable driver seat and eight-way power adjustable passenger front seat.
Acura says an eight-speaker audio system with a six-disc CD changer, AM/FM tuner, XM Satellite Radio, Bluetooth connectivity and HandsFreeLink wireless telephone interface are standard, and an optional Technology Package includes a navigation system with voice recognition, real-time traffic alerts and rerouting capabilities, and a 10-speaker premium sound system. The hill start assist system keeps the car from rolling backwards when you let off the brake while stopped on a hill.
The TL gives a nice set of safety features that includes dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags, dual-chamber front-seat side airbags with front passenger seat occupant position detection system and side-curtain airbags for front and outboard rear seating positions. Also, Acura says its Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure enhance passenger protection. Added standard safety gear includes four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist, vehicle stability assist, a tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights.
The TL competes against formidable opponents such as the Lincoln MKS, Infiniti M37 and Hyundai Genesis.
The sticker price on our test-drive model, which had front-wheel drive and the tech package, was a reasonable $40,895.
With its sportiness and sleekness, the Acura TL is a powerful and technologically advanced entrant in the midsize sedan performance luxury market.