By Cars.com EditorsJanuary 3, 2012
About the video
Cars.com's Joe Bruzek takes a look at the 2012 Acura TL. It competes with the Volkswagen CC and BMW 328.
<v Announcer>cars.com auto review. This is Joe Bruzeck from cars.com. The 2012 Acura TL has lost a lot of its awkwardness up front.
For 2012 there's new styling, as well as a bunch of other enhancements inside, they make the TL the more rounded package. You can see our auto show coverage at cars.com for a closer look at what's changed on the styling, but overall I've noticed a lot more people widely accept this. Other than styling, what's also new is a six-speed automatic transmission, now that helps gas mileage jump from 26 miles per gallon on the highway, up to 29 miles per gallon on the highway on base front-wheel drive models. Now we are not in a base front-wheel drive model, we are in the super handling, all-wheel drive manual transmission model. This isn't your standard all-wheel drive, it's not just an option on base models that gets you all weather capability, on the TL, super handling all-wheel drive is the performance package. The suspension is different, the steering is different and we've got a manual transmission, six-speed manual transmission that just makes it really fun to drive. The super handling all-wheel drive TL has an additional 25 horsepower over the base TL. The engine works perfectly with the transmission, and the shifter is smooth and light enough to make driving and heavy traffic not a huge problem, but it still shifts fast and precise enough to be a sports sedan. The inside of the TL is nice with good materials, good styling, but the center stack is very confusing. The climate controls are actually separated, they're not altogether. So you've got one side with fan speed, and one side with defrosters over here, owners will absolutely get used to it, but it's initially frustrating to get everything set up. What's new on the inside is a voice activated music search, and much like Ford Sync, and other automakers who are using voice commands inside of their cars, you can search for albums, artists, songs, composers just by voice activation. The voice activation is executed very well, the commands registered with my phone, which has about three and a half gigabytes of music, in about a minute and a half. What hasn't changed is backseat room, which is still very good. The seat is positioned where I would drive, and I still have plenty of knee room and head room. But the trunk is still small for how big the car is, there's a lot of uneven surfaces that make loading a lot of cargo difficult. The 2012 Acura TL is the same great TL that we liked before, with its more sophisticated styling and better gas mileage in some models should now appeal to a wider audience. <v Announcer>For more car related news, go to cars.com or our blog, kickingtires.net.