KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors
Acura's answer to premium performance sedans like the BMW 3 Series, Infiniti G35, Audi A4 and Lexus IS, the TL is the only one of that category offered exclusively with front-wheel drive. While rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive vehicles can enjoy some performance advantages, the TL mitigates those differences with an unparalleled front-wheel-drive system. In addition to exhilarating performance, the TL is also comfortable, roomy and packed with a sophisticated lineup of standard equipment. It even returns up to 29 miles per gallon on the highway and is priced considerably below its competitors. In addition to some notable interior and exterior updates for 2007, enthusiasts are celebrating the return of a TL Type-S, with more power, a stiffer suspension and distinctive styling touches.
You'll Like This Car If...
Fast, fun, comfortable and convenient, the TL is arguably the category's most well-rounded entry and almost certainly its best value.
You May Not Like This Car If...
While the TL's front-wheel-drive architecture is an advantage for someespecially those in wetter climatesother enthusiast buyers might prefer the driving dynamics associated with rear-wheel drive.
What's Significant About This Car?
A host of moderate changes inside, outside and beneath the sheetmetal add up to a more sophisticated TL. The big news for enthusiasts is the return of a Type-S model, which features more power, a sportier suspension and unique styling touches.
One of the great beauties of the TL lineup is that, 95 percent of the time, the Type-S is just as comfortable as the base model and the base model is just as much fun as the Type-S. Still, when the road starts to get curvy and your right foot gets heavy, the quicker, grippier, more responsive Type-S easily earns its price premium. The five-speed automatic has been enhanced for the Type-Swhich also gets wheel-mounted paddle shiftersto deliver smoother, rev-matching downshifts and quicker, crisper upshifts, while the six-speed manual is as tight and precise as you'd expect in an all-out sports car. Without question, no other manufacturer has ever combined this much horsepower and front-wheel-drive running gear with such satisfying results. Rounding out the TL's impeccable behavior are its pleasant around-town demeanor and reactive but comfortable highway manner.
Comprehensive Navigation System
Newly upgraded for 2007, the TL's voice-activated navigation system provides real-time traffic info, Zagat restaurant reviews and includes a rearview camera. It even allows you to upload your entire personal phonebook into the Bluetooth hands-free phone system in one step.
Enhanced DVD-Audio System
The TL's impressive eight-speaker, 225-watt DVD-Audio surround sound system features DTS and Dolby Pro Logic II decoding, plus a six-disc CD changer that plays WMA and MP3 files. There's also an auxiliary input for portable MP3 players and such.
The TL's interior remains one of the roomiest, most comfortable cabins in the category (especially for rear-seat passengers). The list of upgrades for 2007 includes a new three-spoke steering wheel (in place of a four-spoke model), softer seat leather, revised information displays, improved DVD-Audio surround sound system and an updated voice-activated navigation system that provides real-time traffic information and includes an integrated rear-view camera. Type-S models get sportier seats with contrasting stitching, stainless-steel pedals, red (not blue) instrument illumination, dark aluminum and carbon fiber trim and an active noise canceling system that generates sound waves to counteract the bigger engine's additional noise at cruising speeds.
Cosmetic changes for 2007 include a larger grille, revised front and rear lower fascia, the addition of independent fog lights, mirror-integrated turn signals, redesigned taillight lenses and new 17-inch wheels. The more assertive Type-S is distinguished by a collection of darker trim elements, including black chrome grille and lamp treatments plus wider side sills, a rear spoiler, dual circular exhaust outlets, dark 17-inch wheels and Type-S badges.
Notable Standard Equipment
Except for the navigation system, a base Acura TL is fully loaded with an impressive DVD-Audio surround sound system, power moonroof, HID headlamps, leather seating, power/heated front seats, steering wheel-mounted controls and six airbags.
Notable Optional Equipment
A navigation system is the only option available on the base TL. The step up to the Type-S includes navigation, a host of performance-oriented hardware and cosmetic upgrades, a choice of a more responsive five-speed automatic or a six-speed manual transmission and the availability of high-performance tires.
Under the Hood
While the base TL keeps the same excellent 3.2-liter engine from last year (coupled with a slightly softened suspension), the Type-S gets a 3.5-liter version that, according to Acura, gives it faster zero-to-60, quarter-mile and passing acceleration than the 2006 Infiniti G35 and 2006 BMW 330i. The Type-S also gets a stiffer suspension, Brembo brakes, a more aggressive exhaust note and is the only model available with a manual transmission (which includes a limited-slip differential) and high-performance tires.
258 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
233 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/29
286 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
256 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/29 (manual), 19/28 (automatic)
The 2007 Acura TL starts at a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $34,295 and tops out at $38,995 for a Type-S with high-performance tires. The navigation system is a $2,500 option, while the Type-S works out to a $2,000 premium. In light of the recent improvements and the car's general desirability, we expect our Fair Purchase Prices to reflect real-world transaction prices close to MSRP. Compare pricing and equipment with that of the BMW 3 Series, Lexus IS, Infiniti G35 and Audi A4, and you might consider the TL one of the best values on the road. We expect the TL's resale values to perform comparably to the 3 Series, G35 and IS and better than the A4.