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Acura TL

Less beak, more balance.

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Acura did just that with its TL. On first review, we found the third-generation model a bit cold and uninspiring, but years of refinement have vastly improved Acura’s mid-size luxury sedan. There aren’t any changes in store for 2013, which isn’t surprising, given how Acura has polished the TL in previous years. Suspension revisions that arrived in 2010, improved handling, and a six-speed manual-transmission option won the hearts of enthusiasts shopping for a performance-oriented machine. Another round of improvements for the 2012 model year tidied up the TL’s geometric styling while reducing the size of its controversial beak-like grille opening. A six-speed automatic was also added last year and boasted improved shift quality and fuel economy. Front-wheel-drive TL models continue to use a 280-hp, 3.5-liter V-6. Stepping up to the all-wheel-drive TL SH-AWD model means an upgrade to a potent 305-hp, 3.7-liter V-6. Enthusiasts will prefer the latter, but not only for the all-wheel-drive system’s ability to increase grip in cornering. It’s also the only way to opt for the crisp six-speed manual transmission.

COMPETITORS

Audi A4

Cadillac CTS

Infiniti G37

Lexus IS

new for 2013

After tweaking the exterior styling and adding a six-speed automatic transmission last year, Acura has no revisions in store for the 2013 TL.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Front, side, and side curtain air bags; ABS; and traction and stability control are standard. Rear parking sensors and a rearview camera are included with the technology package. Blind-spot detection, radar-based cruise control, and a collision-mitigating automatic braking system are included in the advance package.

MPG

CITY 17–20

HWY 25–29

PRO

Attractive front fascia

Six-speed automatic improves fuel economy

SH-AWD available with a six-speed manual

CON

Dated navigation system

Cluttered audio and climate controls

Base Price Range: $36,490–$45,970

SPECIFICATIONS

DRIVE: Front-wheel, 4-wheel

TRIM LEVELS: RL, RL SH-AWD

BODY STYLE: Sedan, 5-passenger

ENGINES: 3.5L V-6, 280 hp, 254 lb-ft

3.7L V-6, 305 hp, 273 lb-ft

TRANSMISSIONS: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic

PASSENGER VOLUME: 98.2 cu ft

CARGO SPACE: 13.1 cu ft

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