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2009 Acura TL

Overview
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2009 Acura TL Review

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The all-new 2009 Acura TL rolls off its Marysville, Ohio, assembly line with a fresh look that includes substantially more attitude than its predecessor. Gone is the attractive yet sedate styling, replaced by a bolder sedan wearing a love-it-or-hate-it grille borrowed from other recent Acura models. In addition to six more inches of body length, the redesigned TL also features more powerful engines, a new sport-tuned SH-AWD (Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive) variant, and a Technology Package that can blow out eardrums as easily as it guides drivers away from stressful traffic congestion. Though not as engaging as competitors such as the BMW 3 Series and Infiniti G37, the Acura TL continues to impress with its reasonable price, quality feel and all-around abilities.

You'll Like This Car If...

Though its appearance has changed, the TL continues to be a bargain when compared to pricier models from BMW, Cadillac, Infiniti, Lexus and others. There's a bit more room for rear passengers, and the larger engine and all-wheel-drive make the new SH-AWD version very entertaining on twisty roads.

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From a performance-driving perspective, the 2009 TL doesn't offer as much pure fun as some of its competitors despite the addition of Acura's sophisticated SH-AWD system.

What's New for 2009

There's more sport in the 2009 Acura TL thanks to an available 305-horsepower V6, a performance-oriented all-wheel-drive system, and an automatic transmission with paddle shifters. A redesigned chassis provides a safer and quieter ride, while new interior features take some of the sting out of long drives.

Driving the TL

Driving Impressions With two powerful engine choices, the 2009 Acura TL is poised to stake its claim in the affordable performance sedan segment. The SH-AWD model's 305-horsepower V6 – the most powerful...

engine ever offered by Acura – delivers smooth acceleration, and the five-speed automatic transmission promises quick, nearly seamless shifts, regardless of whether the gearbox is set to regular drive mode or being manipulated with the paddle shifters. Competitors offer more torque for better response when the traffic light turns green, but the TL's available all-wheel-drive system helps level the playing field. The SH-AWD can push more power to the outside rear wheel in a corner, transforming the TL into a fun family sedan on winding back roads. On the flip side, the SH-AWD version carries with it a ride that's stiffer than that of the base TL.

SH-AWD
All-wheel-drive capability has been available on other Acura models for years, but 2009 marks the first pairing with the popular TL. Dubbed SH-AWD (Super Handling All-Wheel Drive), the system improves handling in inclement weather while also enhancing cornering ability on dry pavement, and is available only with the TL's 305-horsepower, 3.7-liter V6.

Technology Package
Even in standard guise, the 2009 Acura TL is well-equipped, but the Technology Package ups the game with its DVD-Audio system and 440-watts of surround sound. At the heart of the package is AcuraLink, a satellite system that provides real-time weather and traffic information with a convenient rerouting feature.

2009 Acura TL Details
2009 Acura TL photo Interior

Those already impressed by previous TL interior treatments just might become ecstatic with the 2009 model. There's more than one inch of added rear leg room, and SH-AWD versions feature deeply-bolstered seats and a thick, leather-wrapped steering wheel. The driver's seat in the base TL could use a bit more support for long drives, but there's no need for improvement when it comes to the cabin's quality materials. The Technology Package, with its real-time traffic and weather information, is a handy if pricey addition for busy urban-dwelling commuters.

Exterior

Redesigned for 2009, the TL is longer, wider and taller than the 2008 model and offers a much bolder appearance. Most notable is the large grille, but every body panel features more contours and curves than the previous model...or most other sedans, for that matter. Base TL models ride on 17-inch alloy wheels; the new TL SH-AWD rolls on 18- or 19-inch alloys, and it has cooling ducts on the front bumper, four tailpipes instead of two and unique badges that say, not surprisingly, SH-AWD.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Unlike many of its competitors, the 2009 Acura TL comes with most of today's must-have features as standard equipment. Those include HID headlights, power moonroof, 276-watt sound system with auxiliary and USB input jacks, hands-free telephone interface, power/heated front seats and mirrors, and leather upholstery. SH-AWD models add sport seats with more robust bolsters and contrast stitching and all TLs protect occupants with six airbags and Acura's Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) front body structure, technology designed to dissipate crash energy.

Optional Equipment

For 2009, the TL lineup is available with one major option, the Technology Package. In exchange for roughly $3,700, buyers will enjoy a 440-watt Acura/ELS surround sound system with DVD-Audio and a 12.7-gigabyte hard drive, keyless ignition, and a rearview camera. More impressive is the voice-activated navigation system, complete with an eight-inch high-resolution screen, real-time traffic information and rerouting guidance, and weather reports including Doppler-style radar maps just like you'd see during the six o'clock news. Go with the TL SH-AWD for a sport-tuned chassis, 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels (as opposed to the TL's 17s), and available high-performance tires.

Under the Hood

With a 3.5-liter V6 now under its hood, the base 2009 Acura TL is nearly as powerful as the 2008 TL Type-S. For those not satisfied with that kind of performance, the TL SH-AWD delivers a new 3.7-liter V6 as well as sport-tuned steering, brakes, and suspension systems. There is one transmission offered – a five-speed automatic with a manual-shift mode and paddle shifters. Fuel economy figures are comparable with the TL's primary competitors.

3.5-liter V6
280 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
254 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/26

3.7-liter V6
305 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
273 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25

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2009 Acura TL Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.5
Out of 10

Based on 168 Ratings for the 2009 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.5/10
    Quality
    9.5/10
  • Reliability
    9.7/10
    Performance
    9.5/10
  • Comfort
    9.4/10
    Styling
    9.3/10

Best car I've owned

By on Monday, March 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Overall awesome sedan, sporty and comfortable"

Cons: "No cons"

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

"Own a Lexus RX and C-5 Corvette and must say my TL is even better. Style of 2012 still receives compliments from observers. Top end options package equipped is excellent. AWD is awesome in midwest snow. 19" wheels and low profile 45's give excellent ride. HP is excellent and MPG averages near 26 for my normal mixed road daily driving in suburbs of Chicago. Still love to drive it 2.5 years later."

Great car!

By on Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,400

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Comfort, performance with manual transmission"

Cons: "Road noise"

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

"My only complaint is having to replace the clutch, pressure plate, flywheel, and release bearing at 37000 miles. Other than that it has been a real gem."

18 people out of 34 found this review helpful

Best value and ride ever!

By on Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 98,000

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: "standard luxury, fun to drive, best crash test"

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

"I have had no issues with this car. it drives extremely smooth and the pick up is amazing. i wouldn't trade it for anything. i get so many compliments all the time. people are always asking me what kind of car that is."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Love my 2009 Acura TL

By on Saturday, December 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 59,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, lots of amenities with Tech Package"

Cons: "Premium fuel"

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

"I purchased this car used Dec 2010 with 15K mi, I now have close to 59K mi. Only routine maintenance during my ownership. I love this car so much & don't understand why it's considered a near luxury vehicle mine has the Tech Package offering more amenities than some Mercedes Benz and BMW models. The ride is awesome and interior is spacious, comfortable & quiet, trunk space is pretty large"

19 people out of 31 found this review helpful

diamond brown w/blk leather interior 4 dr sedan

By on Sunday, November 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,100

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

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

"2009 TL SH AWD 4 door sedan with 6100 miles. Perfect condition, loaded except for navigation system. Diamond brown with black leather interior."

12 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Best luxury car with all the features 4 less price

By on Thursday, October 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Better pacakages and Luxury car for less price!!"

Cons: "Less marketing as BMW's,Audi's but very reliable"

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

"Prior to looking at Acura like everyone else I was looking at BMW's & Audi's. Realized that Acura can do everything the other high luxury marketing cars can do, it only differs in the marketing.But this one was the best car I ever owned, very reliable and high dependable on. The best part about Acura's is piece of mind on the warranty, unlike competitors it gives 5yrs/60,000 miles. Oh and I totally forgot unlike the other cars I like the leg room coz I'm 6 feet, may be to do with the high dash board."

23 people out of 45 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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