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2008 Acura TL

2008 Acura TL

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$3,322 — $12,850 USED
20
Photos
Sedan
5 Seats
21-22 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 2 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Ride comfort in base model
  • Steering and handling
  • Interior space
  • Interior quality
  • Manual-gearbox operation
  • Readability and layout of controls and gauges

The Bad

  • Wide turning circle
  • Torque steer
  • Smallish trunk
  • Backseat doesn't fold
  • Not as sporty as rear-drive competitors

What to Know

about the 2008 Acura TL
  • New paint colors
  • Real-time traffic navigation
  • Optional 286-hp V-6 and six-speed manual
  • Acura/ELS DVD Audio 5.1 surround sound
  • Bluetooth wireless connectivity
  • XM Satellite Radio

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2008 Acura TL Review

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
Updated significantly for 2007, Acura’s best-selling sports sedan changes little in 2008. The base TL comes with a 258-horsepower, 3.2-liter V-6 engine, and the performance-oriented Type-S edition has a 286-hp, 3.5-liter V-6. The TL retains its front-wheel-drive status, even as more than half of Acura’s models now feature Super Handling All-Wheel Drive.

The 2008 model’s changes include new paint colors and interior/exterior color combinations and an updated immobilizer security system. Acura also offers its navigation system in Hawaii and notes that the real-time traffic feature has spread to almost twice as many metropolitan areas for 2008, making a total of 76.

Exterior
The TL sedan exhibits a wide, aggressive stance. The body has a pronounced wedge-shaped cabin-forward profile, led by a shield-shaped grille that incorporates a large logo. High-intensity-discharge headlights are bi-xenon, meaning they operate with both low and high beams. The TL Type-S adds front ground effects and black chrome trim on the grille and bumper in place of the bright chrome elements. Its taillights are all-red, delineated by a smoked-chrome bezel, where the regular model’s have large white segments. The trunklid has a small, tasteful spoiler, and the quad exhaust has protruding tubular pipes in place of the regular model’s flush-mounted trapezoidal pair.

The standard alloy wheels are 17 inches. The Type-S has charcoal-colored rims with matrix-style s...

Vehicle Overview
Updated significantly for 2007, Acura’s best-selling sports sedan changes little in 2008. The base TL comes with a 258-horsepower, 3.2-liter V-6 engine, and the performance-oriented Type-S edition has a 286-hp, 3.5-liter V-6. The TL retains its front-wheel-drive status, even as more than half of Acura’s models now feature Super Handling All-Wheel Drive.

The 2008 model’s changes include new paint colors and interior/exterior color combinations and an updated immobilizer security system. Acura also offers its navigation system in Hawaii and notes that the real-time traffic feature has spread to almost twice as many metropolitan areas for 2008, making a total of 76.

Exterior
The TL sedan exhibits a wide, aggressive stance. The body has a pronounced wedge-shaped cabin-forward profile, led by a shield-shaped grille that incorporates a large logo. High-intensity-discharge headlights are bi-xenon, meaning they operate with both low and high beams. The TL Type-S adds front ground effects and black chrome trim on the grille and bumper in place of the bright chrome elements. Its taillights are all-red, delineated by a smoked-chrome bezel, where the regular model’s have large white segments. The trunklid has a small, tasteful spoiler, and the quad exhaust has protruding tubular pipes in place of the regular model’s flush-mounted trapezoidal pair.

The standard alloy wheels are 17 inches. The Type-S has charcoal-colored rims with matrix-style spokes. High-performance summer tires are optional on the TL Type-S.

Interior
The TL seats five. Leather-trimmed seats are standard, and the 10-way power driver’s seat includes power lumbar support. Each TL includes dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel and an Acura/ELS eight-speaker surround-sound stereo with an in-dash six-CD changer and DVD audio. Steering-wheel buttons operate audio, cruise-control and voice-recognition functions.

Brushed-aluminum trim accents the dashboard. Acura’s optional navigation system features voice recognition, real-time traffic monitoring and an 8-inch display; it’s optional on the base TL and standard on the Type-S. The TL includes wood trim and blue cockpit lighting, while the Type-S has red lighting, embossed headrests and carbon fiber trim.

Rear visibility is aided by a backup camera, which in cars equipped with the navigation system (standard on the Type-S) shows the area behind the car on the dashboard screen.

Under the Hood
Acura’s 3.2-liter V-6 produces 258 hp at 6,200 rpm and 233 pounds-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm. In the TL Type-S, the 3.5-liter V-6 from Acura’s larger RL sedan makes 286 hp at 6,200 rpm and 256 pounds-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm. The TL’s five-speed Sequential SportShift automatic transmission permits manual gear changes. A six-speed manual, which works with a limited-slip differential, is available in the TL Type-S but not the base TL.

Other Type-S enhancements include a stiffer suspension with thicker stabilizer bars, and stronger brakes with Brembo four-piston front calipers.

Safety
Antilock brakes include electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist functions. Side-impact airbags, dual-stage front airbags and side curtain airbags are standard. A passenger-side position sensor controls airbag deployment. An electronic stability system is standard.

Driving Impressions
The regular TL is a quick car to begin with, and the Type-S is noticeably quicker, but mainly under heavy acceleration and high engine revs. Both versions exhibit some torque steer — where the steering wheel jerks left and/or right under heavy acceleration and/or when traction is lost. Though standard traction control keeps it from getting out of hand, torque steer is one of the reasons more powerful engines are often teamed with rear- or all-wheel drive.

The TL has a pleasant ride. In the Type-S, a combination of firmer springs, shock absorbers and stabilizer bars keeps the car from heaving its weight left and right, and improves roadholding. The standard tires are all-season. Forget about the summer performance tires if you’ll be driving in snow and ice.

One shortcoming is the TL’s wide turning circle of 39.7 feet. The Audi A6 is only slightly better at 39.0 feet, but the Lexus ES 350 turns a 36.7-foot circle. Rear-wheel-drive competitors tend to require still less space. The TL’s trunk offers decent space and accessibility, but its total volume is only 12.5 cubic feet, compared with the Lexus ES 350’s 14.5 cubic feet and the Audi A6’s 15.9 cubic feet. Another disappointment is the exclusion of a folding backseat to extend the cargo area into the cabin. There’s only a narrow pass-thru behind the center armrest.

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.7
110 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.7)
Performance
(4.6)
Interior Design
(4.6)
Comfort
(4.6)
Reliability
(4.8)
Value For The Money
(4.7)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Very reliable

by Michaeldav from Davenport, IA on July 30, 2020

Easy to drive, reliable, good gas mileage, sporty, fun to drive, looks good. Would definitely buy the exact same model again if this car even ever dies Read full review

(5.0)

Nice and cleAn

by 2008 Acura TL on July 26, 2020

Nothing wrong and no issues at all. Clean title on hand . Only two owners . Engine and transmission are strong . Well- maintained and well- kept Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2008 Acura TL currently has 4 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2008 Acura TL has not been tested.

Latest 2008 TL Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The TL received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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