It’s no secret that folks didn’t like the Acura TL’s beak-like grille when the sedan was redesigned for 2009. For 2012, that beak gets filed down, and overall the front end looks stubbier, thanks to a shorter front overhang. The car loses 1.5 inches in length overall.
Will the changes win back fans of the once-popular premium sedan? We’re not sure. However, there are also updates under the hood. If the looks are dialed down enough to attract more buyers, the 3.5-liter V-6 base model with front-wheel drive will certainly hit other practical points. It gets improved mileage — up 3 mpg on the highway to 29 mpg — thanks to a new six-speed automatic transmission. That transmission also is now standard on the all-wheel-drive performance trim, the TL SH-AWD, along with the larger 3.7-liter V-6 making 305 horsepower; the base model generates 280 hp. You can still get a six-speed manual transmission on the SH-AWD.