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2008 Acura TL

Overview
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2008 Acura TL Review

By

Acura's answer to premium performance sedans like the BMW 3 Series, Infiniti G35, Audi A4 and Lexus IS is the TL, the only car in that category offered exclusively with front-wheel drive. While rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive vehicles can enjoy some performance advantages, the TL explores the limit of what is possible with front-wheel drive and a torquey V6. The TL is also comfortable, roomy and packed with a sophisticated lineup of standard equipment. It returns up to 27 miles per gallon on the highway and is priced considerably below its competitors. In 2007, enthusiasts celebrated 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 some---especially those in wetter climates---other enthusiast buyers might prefer the driving dynamics associated with rear-wheel drive.

What's Significant About This Car?

In 2008, the TL is offered in two new paint colors, Polished Metal Metallic and Bold Beige Metallic.

Driving the TL

Driving Impressions 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-S---which also gets steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters---to 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. With the six-speed manual transmission there is some torque steer (pulling on the steering) under hard acceleration in the lower gears. The TL has a pleasant around-town demeanor and reactive but comfortable highway manner.

Comprehensive Navigation System
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.

2008 Acura TL Details
2008 Acura TL photo Interior

The TL's interior remains one of the roomiest, most comfortable cabins in the category (especially for rear-seat passengers). The DVD-Audio Surround Sound system provides a sublime listening experience, and an updated voice-activated navigation system provides real-time traffic information and includes an integrated rear-view camera. Type-S models have 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.

Exterior

Though the 2008 TL is essentially unchanged from its 2007 predecessor, the bold sedan, designed in California, can be confused with no other in the segment. That's thanks partially to its prominent grille and aggressive front and rear lower fascias. 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 Equipment
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, Bluetooth hands-free phone integration, steering wheel-mounted controls and six airbags.

Optional Equipment

A navigation system is the only option available on the base 2008 Acura 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 has the excellent 3.2-liter engine and a slightly softer suspension, the Type-S gets a 3.5-liter version that delivers outstanding performance with almost no loss of fuel economy. 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.

3.2-liter V6
258 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
233 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/26

3.5-liter V6
286 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
256 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27 (manual), 17/26 (automatic)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2008 Acura TL Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.4
Out of 10

Based on 688 Ratings for the 2004 - 2008 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.5/10
    Quality
    9.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.6/10
    Performance
    9.4/10
  • Comfort
    9.4/10
    Styling
    9.6/10

I love this car and most everything about it.

By on Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "pretty, great handling car; holds its value;"

Cons: "would like full back seat open to trunk"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Ever since I bought my loaded Acura TL in 2004, complete with mud flaps, navig, spoiler, gold pkg and tech package...I have never, for one instant regretted it. In 2004, it was a new design year and even in 2014, 10 years later, it still looks stylish and not outdated in any way. It is gently used, < 48,000 mi...mostly in Florida...no scratches or dents and a beautiful Redondo red pearl color. The engine acts and sounds like new; with brand new Michelin tires, it has fabulous pick up, and handles like a dream. With the front wheel drive, it is fabulous in the snow. It is time for me to downsize to one car, and as I have another car only 2 years new, this one will be for sale. I am looking for full Kelly blue book value for my car...best offer dealership or private, get the car."

Best value around!

By on Friday, August 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 116,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Exceptional value"

Cons: "Can get speeding tickets if you're not careful!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

got windows tinted by a professional

"I've always had faith in the Honda/Acura line, but this TL has proved to be the best value ever, and with the added luxuries has been comfortable and extremely enjoyable to drive. If I didn't need more room at this point I wouldn't even consider giving it up. The reliability is exceptional, as you'd expect, and it's never left me stranded."

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

got windows tinted by a professional

I love Acura

By on Saturday, July 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, great value and they run forever"

Cons: "No sunglass holder like the older models"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

Just detailed, a hobby of mine.

"I've been driving Hondas and Acura's for over 25 years. You cannot beat the value you get for your money! I am considering a TLX however Acura has moved into the same pricing structure as most manufactures, everything is an upgrade, I liked it when you had a choice of two types, with or without the Tech Package and everything else was standard. Acura is still a great car and a great value!"

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Just detailed, a hobby of mine.

Great car, great quality

By on Friday, July 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 105,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Technology package awesome, quality ride"

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Bought CPO in 2007, only did oil changes, tires and brakes before the 100k stuff (timing belt, etc.) Amazingly trouble-free. This car was ahead of its time, fully loaded with Nav, integrated phone, satellite radio, etc. Great job Acura! Will be looking at another soon!"

5 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Great Car!

By on Wednesday, July 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 107,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "comfortable, fun to drive, reliable, sporty"

Cons: "they don't make them like this anymore!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought my 04 TL used with 90K on it and have about 110K on it now.. runs amazing.. regular oil changes and new tires this past summer are all that I've had to do. Won't sell this car.. will drive it as long as I can."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

So sad to see her go!

By on Tuesday, July 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 233,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought my 04 Acura TL with 78k miles on it. I paid 12k cash and drove it to 233k miles without EVER fixing one thing! Just regular maintenance like tires, brakes and rotars. Best car I ever owned. Leather started to breakdown from the heat and humidity as soon as I moved to Florida. But the car had 200k miles already. This has been an amazing vehicle. Never broke down! Transmission issue at 233k miles so I had to get rid of. But I think I got my moneys worth! I will Always buy Acura!"

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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