By Cars.com EditorsMay 13, 2009
About the video
Cars.com's Dave Thomas takes a look at the 2009 Acura TL. It competes with the Toyota Avalon and Volvo S60.
(upbeat music) Hi, I'm Dave Thomas with cars.com. And we're here with the all new 2009 Acura TL. You can't tell just by looking at it that it's been radically redesigned for the new year.
For the first time ever Acura's, including an All Wheel Drive line. The styling element everyone is talking about is Acuras new trademark grill. It's a love or hate design for sure. On a black car, it's a little more love than hate in my opinion. One elegant touch that Acura added is this flare over the front fender. It's not repeated in the back and you have either a standard 17 or 18 inch wheels. It looks really nice. But it's one thing to remember when shopping for new Acura TL, there are now, two distinct separate models. There's a Base TL with a 280 horsepower V6 engine, starts around $35,000. There's an up level performance model that we have here called the TL SH All Wheel Drive. It's a lot to remember. starts at $38,500, but it has a 305 horsepower V6 engine, it's performance tuned, and of course, it has all wheel drive. The 2009 TL comes with a lot of standard luxury features like leather seats and a power moon roof. And that's what Acura's all about. Giving standard luxury options at a low base price, $35,000. Now it's not as high grade as a BMW or Mercedes, but it's right up there with the Japanese competition, The two different tail models drive completely differently. The SH All Wheel Drive, drives like a performance car. The ride is rough, but the steering is really sharp. It handles superbly. Even as big bolsters on its seats to hold you in a little tighter. The Base TL's on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. It is a softer ride. It is a more comfortable daily driver. The steering is still sharp, but not as tuned in as the SH All Wheel Drive. Cool tech features like Bluetooth and iPod integration comes standard on any TL, but for about $4,000, you can move up to a tech package on either the Base model or the all wheel drive version. Now, what that gives you is navigation, a 10 speaker surround sound system, which believe me, sounds really good. And some exterior features like chrome door handles and a spoiler. The new TL is a lot larger than the old version. It's actually 195 inches long, which is bigger than a Mercedes E-Class or Toyota Highlander SUV. Where you really feel that space is in the back row. You have a lot more leg room than you did before. And I had the front seat here exactly where I had it when I was driving. So I haven't moved it at all. And you can just see there's lots of space between my knees in that seat. It's really comfortable back here. And for a long drive, it'd be a great place to be. Despite its incredible size. The new TLs trunk is a little lacking. It has all these bumps and crevices, which really don't make any sense. And there's not really a large flat floor. So when you put in big suitcases, you can't really stack them. Chances are after watching this video, you've already made up your mind on the new TLs looks. So if you decided to go check one out, remember do you want to go check out that Base TL that's a good daily driver, or the SH All Wheel Drive performance model? Either way, they offer a lot of value for the money. <v Narrator>For additional information on this car or any other, go to cars.com and our blog KickingTires.