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Wednesday, 10 August 2011

2012 Acura TL 6-Spd AT

Now in its fourth generation, the TL is Acura's sales leader and far away the brand's most important vehicle; this much can be concluded by simply examining the many configurations on offer. The TL can be had with either front-wheel drive or Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD), a choice of a 3.5- or 3.7-liter V-6 and one of two transmissions; a 5-speed automatic or 6-speed manual.The recently introduced 6-speed is optional on SH-AWD-equipped TLs that come standard with a 305-horsepower 3.7-liter V-6 - the most powerful Acura engine ever built. This TL SH-AWD 6MT, as it's rather inelegantly known, replaces the last generation TL Type S and is the sportiest TL in Acura history. At the other end of the lineup is the base model front driver, which receives the 280 horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 and lackluster five speed auto as standard equipment.Mainstream acceptance has been slow in coming for Acura's signature front grille, but behind this bright beak is a surprisingly capable and composed sports sedan that loves to run hard.

The Range

Bodystyle: Sedan
Engines: 3.5L, V-6 3.7L V-6
Transmissions: 5-speed automatic, 6-speed manual

What's New

TL was completely redesigned in 2009 so changes are at a minimum. The biggest news is the TL SH-AWD 6MT model which features an all-new close-ratio 6-speed manual and clutch, as well retuned front springs and dampers, unique electric power steering tuning, and a recalibrated SH-AWD system. Also added to the 6MT model are heavy duty front drive shafts, CV joints and front differential.


Beyond the beak is a striking, well-proportioned sedan, with a futuristic edge like nothing else on the road. It is best viewed from behind, which is all the more reason to keep viewers back there.


The best view of the new 2011 TL might be from behind the wheel, where cool metallic tones, tight tolerances, and crisp, gauges create a high tech, if button driven, environment. The 6MT is definitely the driver's choice.

Performance & Handling

The TL's 3.7-llter V-6 is a free-revving gem that only reaches full potential with the 6-speed manual. Both automatic versions are deft handling sedans that cruise comfortably and reward spirited driving, but both sorely need the new 6-speed transmission found in the MDX and ZDX. SH-AWD works well, but will not be missed by slow drivers or Sunbelt dwellers.


Four airbags and active head restraints for the driver and front passenger come standard as do various braking aids and stability/traction control. All seating positions have three point belts, while outboard passengers have side curtain airbags.

EPA Fuel Economy

TL: 18 mpg city/26 mpg hwy
TL SH-AWD: 17 mpg city/25 mpg hwy
TL SH-AWD 6MT: 18 mpg city/26 mpg hwy


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