The 2014 Acura TL is a fine alternative to the luxury sedans offered by the likes of BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Acura. It comes with a powerful 3.7-litre V6 engine and Acura's Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive system. On top of that, the sedan offers a plethora of special features along with a well-designed cabin and slick body.
If you're looking a midsize luxury sedan with a stylish look, a ton of features and excellent performance on the road, then the 2014 Acura TL is the car you've been searching for. It may not be luxurious in the way you're used to, especially if you compare it to its German or even American rivals, but it can still hold its ground.
On the outside, it almost looks like a robot, as crazy as that sounds, due to its prominent yet highly controversial metallic break. The feature in question was actually even more pronounced in the models released prior to 2012, so it looks a little more mainstream now. As such, if you prefer a car that appears more or less conventional, you'll probably hate this design. On the other hand, if you're looking for something unique-looking, then you'll feel right at home.
In terms of external features, the TL base model gets 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic xenon headlights, fog lights, a sunroof, heated side mirrors and keyless entry. The TL SH-AWD model provides 18-inch wheels and sport-tuned suspension. There's also the option adding 19-inch wheels, if that's something that interests you.
Once you step inside, you'll find a very competently-constructed cabin that features intuitive design and controls. The design doesn't feel over-the-top like in so many other cars or overly conservative like in certain European vehicles, so it may take time to get used to it. For instance, you may at first be turned off by the excessive amount of buttons, which is a flaw in all the modern Acuras, but it wouldn't take long for you to get accustomed to them. That said, TL's rivals like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5-Series are much "simpler" in this regard.
The features in the base model, which are plentiful, include a standard USB iPod/MP3 interface, an eight-speaker audio system and a clear high-definition centre display that controls the infotainment system. You can also add a navigation system with live weather, traffic and rerouting, a rearview camera, solar-sensing temperature control and a 440-watt Acura/ELS surround sound system. The SH-AWD model, which comes with all the aforementioned features, make for a very decent purchase. Plus, it costs almost the same amount as a base Mercedes-Benz E-Class or a BMW 5-Series, which should make the car even more appealing to you – unless you just like spending money.
Under the hood, the new Acura TL comes with a selection of two engines. The base model gets a 3.6-litre V6, which can produce 280 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque. This one is available as a front-wheel drive and paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. It take roughly less than seven seconds to accelerate to 100 km/h, which is not bad – but not great either.
The TL SH-AWD model comes with a bigger 3.7-litre V6 engine that can pump out 205 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Unlike the other engine, this one can be paired either with a six-speed automatic or a six-speed manual transmission. This particular model also features Acura's Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive system that shifts power between the front and back wheels and adjusts the power flow in the back wheels to make cornering more fluent. Both engines offer average fuel economy for this car class, so don't expect to save money on fuel.
Overall, the 2014 Acura TL is a very respectable car. It's powerful, unique-looking and feature-rich – it has everything a luxury sedan should have. So, if you're looking for an alternative to a BMW, Audi or Mercedes-Benz, then this can be it.
|Trim / Style||MSRP||Est. Monthly Payment||Average Price||Invoice Price|
|6AT||$39,990||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|A-Spec 6AT||$41,490||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|A-Spec SH-AWD 6AT||$45,490||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|SH-AWD 6AT||$43,990||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|SH-AWD Elite Package 6AT||$49,590||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|SH-AWD Technology Package 6AT||$47,590||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|SH-AWD Technology Package 6MT||$47,590||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|Technology Package 6AT||$43,590||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|Fuel Type||Premium Unleaded|
|Number of Doors||4|
|Drive Train||Front Wheel Drive|
|Power and Performance:|
Two V6 engines are available for the 2014 Acura TL. Front-wheel-drive models use a 280-horsepower 3.5-liter, while all-wheel-drive versions employ a 305-horsepower 3.7-liter. Most buyers will opt for Acura's smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic transmission that is eager to kick down and also features paddle shifters for those rare times you want to imitate Mario Andretti. The most engaging (but least fuel-efficient) TL is the 6-speed manual-transmission model, only available on AWD models. The 2014 Acura TL returns up to 29 mpg, respectable given its power. All models require premium-grade gasoline.
Originally appeared on Kelley Blue Book.
|Interiors and Special Features:|
The 2014 Acura TL offers a roomy interior with a decidedly modern look, thanks in large part to designers' use of crisp lines and nicely sculpted aluminum trim. Though some potential buyers may miss the warmer look that comes with traditional wood accents, no one can fault the quality of the other materials here, including the leather upholstery with contrasting stitching and soft-touch surfaces throughout. Taken together, the overall effect can best be described as understated yet classy.
The TL's interior also gets high marks when it comes to function. Despite the amount of technology on offer here, the design and layout of gauges, displays and controls makes accessing all these features a lot easier than you might expect at first glance. Voice commands that come as part of the Technology option package also work well, allowing the driver to keep both eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel.
Up front, the nicely bolstered seats are as comfortable and supportive as they are good looking. The rear seats are also generously sized, offering accommodations that are much kinder to adult passengers than those in many comparable models.
Out back, you'll find the TL's trunk a bit on the small side. Base models offer a mere 13.1 cubic feet of space, while the TL SH-AWD's trunk shrinks to just 12.5 cubic feet.
Originally appeared on Edmunds.
For 2014, the TL features six airbags and active head restraints for both the driver and front passenger. And like most of the Acura lineup, the TL is built with Acura's Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure technology.
In tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the TL scored four out of five stars if the frontal and side-impact crash tests, and five stars in the rollover test. The independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awards the 2014 Acura TL its highest rating of Good in all its tests, and ranks the TL a Top Safety Pick.
Originally appeared on Auto Trader.