Pros: "Technology, Handling, Reliability, Comfort"
Cons: "Back seat doesn't fold down."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have been fortunate to own not one, but two 2008 TL Type S's with the ASPEC package.
The first one was purchased with 52,756 miles from Acura in August 2010 as a CPO for $26,001 including tax and title when they were asking for $29,999, and met it's end when ran off the road at 65 mph by an irate driver impacting the rear passenger side wheel well at 164,000 miles in May 2013. The latter was purchased from a Honda used car lot with 38,889 miles for $23,000 in May 2013 and currently has 78,023 on it.
Thankfully I sustained zero injuries (including whiplash) even though I hit 3 trees, snapping one clean in half. There was damage ranging from moderate to severe on every body panel, and the front was moderately crumpled. Walking away from such a crash exemplifies the TL's safety.
Although it had 164,000 miles on it, I still received 16,950 from my insurance company in spite of the driver leaving the scene. ...Talk about retaining value.
The first vehicle was driven very hard. It was driven in every condition including a blizzard with bald tires on a trip from Indianapolis, IN to Philadelphia, PA, a drive from Pittsburgh, PA to New Orleans, LA for Mardi Gras which included heavy rain and minor flooding with top of the line Summer tires, and dirt roads in rural WV and PA. I was always confident when behind the wheel of the Type S no matter the road or tire conditions. On 4 occasions, I noticed a vehicle running a red light while I was crossing through an intersection. The Type S's ability to accelerate with virtually no hesitation got me to safety, with two of the misses being narrow.
Typical highway speeds driven were 80-100mph. When you drive a lot, you tend to minimize your travel time. The gas milage is typically in accordance with what is advertised; sometimes better.
As far as factory suspension options are concerned, the ASPEC is by far the way to go if you have the option, but the Type S original suspension does not disappoint. Both still offer responsiveness and a smooth ride. I for one prefer to have feedback from the road surface beneath me. The 18" ASPEC wheels are noticibly heavier than the Type S 17" wheels, and do offer a better grip through turns. Body roll is minimal for a front wheel drive 4 door sport sedan, and the addition of the ASPEC suspension further mitigates body roll.
Braking is excellent with the Brembo 4 piston disk brakes. However, brake fade is noticible on long drives and high speed driving due to the standard hoses expanding under high heat. It has never caused a problem though. Steering response is superb, and the wheel has a heavier feel than most vehicles on the market. You actually feel like you're in control.
There are plenty of all season tire options, but I opt to run Michelin Pilot Super Sports mid-spring through most of fall, and Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3's winter through early spring. (Pennsylvania temperatures)
Interior styling is impressive for a 2008, and in my opinion still holds its own against 2015 vehicles.
Some technological features are a bit dated, but adequately serve their purpose. The sound system is great! The mid range could be a little bit more pronounced and that is my only small complaint. Using the Dolby will make your audio system quieter.
As far as rattles are concerned, I've only ever gotten them from the rear deck/trunk. It's not unbearable. Additionally, it's a simple in home fix.
Climate control get hot or cold fast, but the front defroster does little to nothing to melt ice that may accumulate on the wiper blades during a freezing rain or snow storm.
I have never been uncomfortable in this vehicle and I'm 6' 215lbs, and I've never had complaints from passengers... the tallest of which was 6'7".
Ground clearance is relatively low for a sedan (lower with the ASPEC suspension and front lip) and the fenders/bumper extend a bit of a distance beyond the wheel well which makes transition to and from some slopes/inclines require an otherwise unnecessary drop in speed. Be ware of driveways with the quarter pipe run off curb at the bottom... Take them at a sharp angle! Turning radius could be better, but it's nothing that isn't manageable.
If you know how to pack, you can comfortably fit 5 individuals and their necessities for a 3 day trip into the vehicle. The only drawback is the lack of a fold-down rear seat. You can fit most anything (with in reason) into the car if you put the front passanger seat in full recline, or don't mind a drive with your seat up a little farther than normal.
The navigation system works well, I'd recommend getting the most current update though. I'm running the one that came with the vehicle at initial purchase, and have encountered a few destinations which it can't find in recent months. Sometimes it will say there's a gas station that's now out of business, or not have a new on ramp/interchange revision. It's never gotten me lost though. One major advantage of the older system is that you can use it while the car is in motion. Current Acura navigation systems require the car to be at a stop to input an address.
I've only had to spend money on routine/schudled maintenance between the two vehicles with two exceptios. The second vehicle had a spark plug eject and fall into the cylinder head at 56,000 miles. Acura ended up eating 86% of the repair cost, even though I was a second owner and the vehicle was out of warranty. I attribute this to the maintenance work done by the previous owner since I was only able to find one service record from an Acura dealership after checking in every state along the east coast. The evap canister was also faulty in the same vehicle, they replaced that as a good will repair even though it's a nonessential part. Considering that the spark plug issues is an anomaly and did not happen in the vehicle which I drove harder, I'd still give it a 9/10 for reliability."
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