The 2009 Acura TL mid-size luxury sedan from Honda’s premium brand looks like an evolutionary step in direction set by the sporty 2009 Acura TSX. Unfortunately, the direction is dead wrong.
The car leaves an impression that its body; the front fascia and the rear part were drawn by three different groups of designers living in three different countries, or even continents (one of them is clearly Antarctic).
While the front bumper is simple to a point of stupidity, the TL’s back is so sophisticated that it looks like it was drawn by a kid who fell in love with one of his Transformer toys.
Don’t take me wrong, I don’t have a grudge against the brand, it just seems that I fell neatly in to the second part of the “love it or hate it” formula contemporary designers are so fascinated with.
Okay, let’s get down to business.
The 2009 Acura TL, Honda says in its press release, is 6.0 inches longer, 1.8 inches wider and 0.5 higher than the outgoing 2007 model. It also features a 1.4-inch longer wheelbase and a track, which wider 1.1 in and 1.8 in front and the rear respectively, offering 1.3 inches more rear legroom and 0.5-inch of added rear shoulder room compared to the 2007 Acura TL.
The TL also employs a double-wishbone independent front suspension and a multi-link independent system in back, so the car will definitely be both fun to drive and nice to ride.
The vehicle will be available with a choice of only two engines, both mated to a five-speed Sequential SportShift automatic transmission with steering-wheel- mounted paddle shifters and Grade Logic Control.
The basic engine is an all-aluminum 3.5-liter, 280hp, V6 VTEC. It features a decent 18 / 26 mpg city / highway fuel economy and meets California’s CARB LEV II ULEV emissions standard. For some extra money, you may also order a car with the new 3.7-liter, 305hp, V6 VTEC that has an estimated fuel economy of 17 / 24 mpg city / highway and is available with Honda’s new SH-AWD system.
Inside the car, you will find a power moon-roof, dual-zone adaptive climate control, 10-way adjustable (8-way power seat with 2-way power lumbar support) driver seat and 8-way adjustable power front passenger seat; 8-speaker, 276-watt audio system with a 6-disc CD changer, AM/FM radio, XM Satellite Radio, Bluetooth, USB port and AUX jack connectivity; six airbags and all the rest of the comfort and safety features buyers of this sort of cars are used to.
Prices and availability will be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch.
See also: 2007 Acura MDX crossover SUV