Acura’s TL may seem like the cool prep school kid who rolls up his sleeves and smokes cigarettes out back during break, but it still comes home to a well-rounded meal at the luxury dinner table. First impressions make this option seem like an edgy deviation, but inside you’ll find all the class and comfort that’s expected of a luxury midsize sedan. Nose up for a few and check it out.
Acura TL Trims and Feature Highlights
The TL is an upscale midsize sedan that comes in base TL and TL SH-AWD trims, the latter being short for Super Handling All-Wheel drive. Base trims get a 280 horsepower V6, while SH-AWD models are given 305 horses and the aforementioned all-wheel drive capability. TL’s exterior receives a mystifying amount of attention that’s highlighted by the Transformers badged grille, which has been toned down recently. Still, the unique style creates two camps that preach equal amounts of aesthetic love and hate. Inside, you’ll find a more positive consensus.
Standard luxuries include 17 inch alloy wheels, sport seats with leather trim and heating up front, dual-zone climate control, and Bluetooth. Upgrades come courtesy of Technology and Advance Packages that offer bigger wheels, navigation, and surround sound audio (Technology), as well as ventilation for the seats and a blind spot warning system (Advance). 2013 models begin at $35,905.
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Acura TL Performance
Acura provides the 2013 TL with two variations of a 6-cylinder engine. Base front-wheel drive trims get 3.5 liters and 280 horsepower alongside 254 lb.-ft. of torque. Go for the SH-AWD model and it’s 3.7 liters producing 305 horses and 273 lb.-ft. Both engines are equipped with a standard 6-speed automatic transmission fitted with paddle shifters; SH-AWD trims with the Technology Package get a 6-speed manual option, the combination of which is good enough for around 5 ½ second 0 to 60 times.
Acura TL Fuel Economy
No surprise, base front-wheel drive TL trims achieve the highest MPG ratings, with 20/29/23 (city/highway/combined) MPG as designated by the EPA. SH-AWD trims driven by the 6-speed auto drop to 18/26/21, and the manual SH-AWD loses 1 MPG in each category for 17/25/20.
Acura TL Interior Highlights
Say what you want about TL’s extraterrestrial exterior, it’s the cabin that conjures up thoughts of space. Acura fits TL with dimensions that sneak into large sedan territory, and this openness is made all the more refreshing due to quality cockpit materials. Strong aesthetics work well with the standard dual-zone climate control, and if you upgrade to the Technology Package you’ve got GPS monitored temperature control keeping outside conditions at a comfortable distance. The center console and infotainment display can appear intimidating at first, though a few drives around the neighborhood should familiarize you sufficiently enough for confident control.
With all the busyness up front, rear passengers can sit back and enjoy 36.2 inches of legroom. Space is toned down just a bit for storage; front-wheel drive TL models get 13.1 cubic feet worth of trunk space; go SH-AWD and space shrinks slightly to 12.5 cubes.
Acura TL Safety
Standards for all 2013 trims include 4-wheel antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability & traction control, HID headlights, hands-free Bluetooth versatility, and six airbags. It’s a prerequisite for the upscale sedan segment to offer at least a bit of extra safety tech, and Acura delivers with two solid options. Choosing the Technology Package adds a rearview camera, and the Advance Package tacks on a blind spot warning system.
The 2013 TL does well with the folks at the NHTSA, warranting 4/5 stars for overall crash test durability.
Acura TL Summary
Love or despise its exterior characteristics, the 2013 Acura TL provides plenty of interior plush and more than enough room in which to find some love. Luxury goes more than grille deep.
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