Review: 2009 Acura TL
What’s New: Besides fresh styling and greater dimensions, the 2009 Acura TL luxury sport sedan features a choice of V-6 engines pushing up to 305 horsepower, a feature-laden Technology Package, a new SH-AWD all-wheel drive model, and a base price of about $34,000. The Type-S and manual transmission have been dropped.
What We Think: The 2009 TL proves once again that Acura knows how to build an entertaining daily driver, one that makes you think you drove home a bargain. Reflecting an effort to dial up the sport factor, the new SH-AWD delivers overall, but lacks the visceral connection offered by the BMW 3 Series and Infiniti G35.
Overview: 2009 Acura TL
Change can be a scary proposition. Whether looking to take a business in a new direction, visit a doctor that will transform Dan into Danielle, or even elect the next leader of the free world, the outcome is, at best, an educated guess. But, to move forward and progress, change is a necessity, and with the debut of the 2009 TL, Acura is one company that has demonstrated its clear understanding of this concept.
Until now, the TL sport sedan has been Acura’s best-selling model, using an attractive design, fuel-efficient powertrain, quality materials, and desirable features to lure in tens of thousands of car buyers who wanted the reliability of a Honda Accord in a more luxurious package. The TL has long fit that bill, and even brought some enthusiasts into the fray with the sportier, more aggressive Type-S variant. However, like the rest of us, cars, regardless of how successful they may be, can’t rest on their laurels forever, and thus we have the all-new 2009 Acura TL.
The fourth-generation TL scraps the safe approach to style and races onto the streets with greater exterior dimensions, a wider track for improved stability, a bit more interior room, a more powerful base engine, and, oh yeah, a 305-horsepower all-wheel-drive model firmly attempts to stamp the notion of Acura performance into the populace’s vernacular.
For the most part, the TL meets the challenge, delivering an enjoyable driving experience, admirable performance from its new star, the SH-AWD model, and as is the Acura way, packing all but a select few of the most sought-after features into the base price, which is estimated to be about $34,000. Yes, the TL has changed, but in this case, the outcome is a good one.
The base 2009 TL goes on sale in late September, while the TL SH-AWD will hit lots in November.