The Acura division of Honda Motor Company was the first Asian attempt to market upscale cars in the United States. While Lexus and Infiniti may garner the lion’s share of publicity these days, when it comes to Japanese luxury cars, the fact remains Acura was first.
March 1986 saw the introduction of the Acura Legend and the Acura Integra. Six years later, in 1992, a midsize Acura was added to the lineup. Called the Vigor, this was the car that would eventually evolve into the subject of this retrospective; the Acura TL. The first Acura product to actually wear a TL badge was introduced in 1995 as the 1996 Acura 2.5 TL and 3.2 TL (3.2 TL = 3.2-liter Touring Luxury car).
The TL was the first Acura product to step away from the original Acura model names in favor of an alphanumeric nomenclature. Eventually, Acura dropped references to engine displacement in its model naming schemes as well. With that change, the model became known as simply the Acura TL.
Over the four generations the model has been offered to date, the TL has been among Acura’s best selling models. The TL has also been one of the best selling luxury sedans in the United States, generally second in sales only to BMW’s 3 Series.
While the Acura TL goes back to 1996, this guide focuses on the second-generation cars forward, models built between 1999 and 2012.