2008 Acura TL

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$33,725

starting MSRP

2008 Acura TL

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

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

4 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2008 Acura TL trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • 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

2008 Acura TL review: Our expert's take

By Courtney Messenbaugh

The verdict:

Versus the competiton:


The 2008 Acura TL Type-S didn’t rock my world. I was really expecting sparks to fly, but I’m a few weeks away from giving birth and probably a bit crabby, which undoubtedly affects my worldview. While the car performed relatively well, there were too many things that disqualified it from being my perfect mommy-mobile. In short, the TL was fine, but not fabulous.

I drove the TL Type-S to Crested Butte, Colo., for the Fourth of July weekend, and my trip fell short in some respects, too. I know I sound implacable, so please don’t get me wrong – I’m not that hard to please. But I like things the way I like them, so when they’re not that way, I don’t like them. Got it?

Acura says the TL Type-S has gas mileage of 17/26 mpg city/highway, but it seemed to perform considerably worse than that for me. I can understand the lower mpg when driving on mountain roads, but it didn’t get any better off the mountains. Given current gas prices, I need better fuel efficiency. And speaking of mountain roads, I’d love to see Acura make an all-wheel-drive TL Type-S. Currently, it’s only available in front-wheel drive, which is impractical for this Colorado girl.

Another impracticality is that the TL’s storage is limited. Cargo space in the trunk is 12.5 cubic feet, which is a little smaller than most other cars in its class. I got by, but a bit more trunk space would have been better. Adding to the storage shortage is the fact that the backseat doesn’t fold down. There is a pass-thru, which would be handy for toting skis (though they couldn’t be very long skis, which rules out my hubby’s pair), but the ability to fold the backseat down is something I need.

The flat, plastic look of the dashboard and instrumentation was kind of dullsville. For a car that wants to be sporty (note the charcoal-colored spoked rims and small spoiler on top of the trunk), the interior deserves a dash of panache.

There were some good things about the TL Type-S, including the standard rearview camera and navigation system. They make up a $2,500 package on the base TL.

Also, the headlights are excellent. They were particularly handy in shedding light on a couple of deer crossing the highway in the dead of night on the way to CB. Had it not been for the headlights’ luminosity, I would’ve had some explaining to do about the large deer imprint on the car.

The seats were also nice; they were a buttery soft taupe leather that weren’t too uncomfortable. It’s a big deal for a nine-months-pregnant lady to say she wasn’t too uncomfortable driving for four hours in any car. That’s as good as comfort gets at this point, so trust me on this! I really liked the driver and front-passenger door storage “pockets” that slid in and out, making it easy to retrieve stuff from them.

The cons, though, outweighed the pros enough on this car that I couldn’t see myself buying the TL; there are plenty of other cars in this price range that would be more amenable to my mountain mama lifestyle. Call me hard to please, but like I said, I like what I like!

*For more information on the 2008 Acura TL and its safety features, visit Cars.com. With questions or comments regarding this review, write to editor@motherproof.com.

LET’S TALK NUMBERS

Latch Connectors: 2

Seating Capacity (includes driver): 5

IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT

Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Fair

Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Ample

SENSE AND STYLE

Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Fair

Fun Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove On): Good Times

Specs

2008 Acura TL Type-S

Base price: $38,225

Price as tested: $38,225

Engine: 286-hp, 3.5-liter V-6

Fuel: 17/26 mpg

Length: 189.8″

Width: 72.2″

Ground Clearance: 5.8″

Turning Radius: 19.8′

Cargo space: 12.5 cu. ft.

NHTSA Crash-Test Ratings

Frontal Impact

Driver’s side: 5 stars

Passenger’s side: 5 stars

Side Impact

Front occupant: 4 stars

Rear occupant: 5 stars

Rollover resistance: 4 stars

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.7
  • Interior design 4.6
  • Performance 4.7
  • Value for the money 4.7
  • Exterior styling 4.7
  • Reliability 4.8

Most recent consumer reviews

5.0

Very reliable

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

5.0

Nice and cleAn

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

3.6

Interior and running

The interior in this car is awful I started cracking not too long after I bought And for what I paid for it it should never have done that. I was very disappointed can not figure out why it is running so rough after having a tuneup. I do not feel like I got what I paid for at all

See all 110 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Acura
New car program benefits
Bumper-to-bumper
48 months/50,000 miles
Corrosion
60 months/unlimited distance
Powertrain
72 months/70,000 miles
Roadside assistance
48 months/50,000 miles
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
Six model years and less than 80,000 odometer miles
Basic warranty terms
Precision Certified: 24 months or up to 100,000 miles
Powertrain
7 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
182-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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