Just three model years after a full redesign — relatively soon — Acura restyled its TL midsize sedan last year to address objections to the "aggressive styling [that] may have been a bit too bold in the evolving market," said Jeff Conrad, vice president of sales for Acura. The car also got a new transmission, higher mileage and numerous interior upgrades. It competes with the Audi A6, Lexus ES 350, Lincoln MKZ, and Volvo S60 and S80.
New for 2013
There are no changes for 2013 following its refresh for the 2012 model year.
As part of the TL's 2012 update, Acura reduced the silver shield grille and added a horizontal crease in the bumper that makes the silver segment seem smaller still. The front overhang is shorter, and the headlights and turn-signal lights have been revised. Around back, Acura removed the chrome-under-glass look of the taillights and shaved some mass out of the bumper below them to make the car less blocky. The license plate position also migrated, and the silver trim on the trunk lid was downsized. Other exterior features include:
- Standard 17-inch alloy wheels; 18- and 19-inch wheels available
- Available backup camera
The TL's well-appointed interior got some upgrades last year, including a brighter display and more expansive navigation map coverage in the optional Technology Package, along with a faster USB port. The package includes real-time traffic with automatic rerouting, weather information and a premium stereo. Other interior features include:
- Leather-trimmed seats
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Available heated and ventilated front seats
- Available keyless start
Under the Hood
The TL's standard six-speed automatic transmission uses rev-matching for smooth downshifts, even across two gears. A manual mode is offered, and buyers can also opt for a conventional six-speed manual transmission — the stick-and-clutch-pedal variety — in all-wheel-drive versions. Mechanical features include:
- 280-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 base engine
- 305-hp, 3.7-liter V-6 for all-wheel-drive models
Safety features include:
- Front-seat side-impact torso airbags
- Side curtain airbags
- Antilock brakes
- Electronic stability system
- Available blind spot warning system
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