Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000
  • 12 Best Family Cars of 2014
  • 10 Most Affordable Cars of 2014
  • 10 Best Luxury Cars Under $40,000
Go

2009 Acura TL

Overview
Share this page
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?

2009 Acura TL Review

By

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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

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

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?

2009 Acura TL Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.5
Out of 10

Based on 154 Ratings for the 2009 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.6/10
    Quality
    9.6/10
  • Reliability
    9.7/10
    Performance
    9.5/10
  • Comfort
    9.5/10
    Styling
    9.4/10

I love my 2013 Acura TL

By on Thursday, August 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,500

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
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "fast car with a smooth ride. downloads cd's"

Cons: "poor neck support and too much outside noise"

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

"The only two complaints I have are that the headrests are not comfortable at all. They are angled in such a way that prevents good neck and head support, even with available adjustments. The other complaint I have is the poor noise cancellation. It is tough for me to be on a conference call in the car without there being too much background noise."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

My third TL. Great driving machine.

By on Thursday, July 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,500

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
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Good value, reliable, solidly built, rides great"

Cons: "premium fuel, poor side/rear sightlines"

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

"This is my third straight TL. I am convinced that Acura makes a fine automobile. Can't remember having a mechanical issue with the car. Fun to drive, great pickup and road handling. I overbought and underuse the "Tech" package. Sightlines for sides and rear windows are not great. No warning alarm on backup camera is an issue although the camera has a very clear picture. Mileage seems very good but I'm not sure it compensates for premium gas requirement. Exiting vehicle due to low seats in front issue for some. Extremely dependable vehicle."

9 people out of 18 found this review helpful

Bought my first Legend in 89, this is my 6th, now

By on Monday, July 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 124,000

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
9/10

Pros: "Once you get in, it is very comfortable and fun to"

Cons: "Nav system too complex, hard to get in and out of,"

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

"a TL. Very reliable! A little too much to operate on steering wheel and at time the Nav. system is a little too complicated and trunk is a little small. Also is hard for tall (6 Feet) people to get in and out of. Going to MDX this time to shut my wife up!"

I love my New Acura TL

By on Sunday, July 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,000

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: "Love the speed and surround sound system"

Cons: "none"

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

"I had a choice between 2013 GS350 Lexus and the 2014 Acura TL, a Birthday present from my husband. I owned a 1998 GS300 Lexus for 16 years. I thought that I could not find a better car then the Lexus GS300 until I drove the Acura TL. It is amazing and the speed is unbelievable. I get so many compliments about my car. I have had it now about 6 weeks"

Great value for performance, handling and looks

By on Monday, July 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "looks, value, hard drive for musiv"

Cons: "can't think of any"

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

"Cannot complain about the value of the vehicle. I've had it for 2 years and the car handles the same way it did 2 years ago. Great looking car, love the Hard drive storage for music and the HID light make the car look great at night. Buy it. it is worth every penny."

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

This is the best car I have ever owned.

By on Thursday, July 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,000

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: "Powerful, confortable, reliable, easy to control."

Cons: "Sorry, but none."

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

"I have owned a variety of sports cars and sport sedans: MG, Corvette, Jaguar XJ6, and Porsche. This is the best all around car I have ever owned. It is comfortable and ergonomic in design. It never breaks down. It rides like it is a train on rails. It is fast, but it gets 29 mpg on the highway. The SHAWD is amazing and it is always working as it should. I have had this car for 4 years. I intend to keep it for 6 more years and then buy another Acura."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
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?