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2011 Acura TL

Overview
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2011 Acura TL Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.3

If you placed the current Acura TL next to the first generation TL, you'd be hard pressed to equate the two as related. Why, you ask? Because the current TL exudes substantially more attitude than its predecessor, that's why. Gone is the attractive yet sedate styling of previous design, replaced by a bolder sedan wearing a love-it-or-hate-it grille that is now the face of Acura. In addition to six more inches of body length, the latest TL also features more powerful engine choices, an available 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...

The daring 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, as well as supremely confident on slick surfaces.

You May Not Like This Car If...

From a performance driving perspective, the 2011 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 2011

The Acura TL sees no major changes for 2011.

Driving the TL

Driving Impressions With two powerful engine choices, the 2011 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.
Favorite Features

SH-AWD
All-wheel-drive capability has been available on other Acura models for years, and now it's available on 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 2011 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.

2011 Acura TL Details
2011 Acura TL photo Interior

Those already impressed by previous Acura interior treatments just might become ecstatic once they get a look inside the 2011 TL. There's more rear leg room than ever before, 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. Oddly, Acura still does not provide the passenger with any form of adjustable lumbar support (the driver gets a power-operated unit), a strange omission at this price point.

Exterior
2011 Acura TL photo

New from the ground up in 2009, the 2011 Acura TL is longer, wider and taller than any TL model before it and projects a bold, almost concept car-like persona. Most notable is the large "grinning smile" grille, and body panels featuring accentuated contours and curves setting it far apart from most other sedans in this category. Base TL models ride on 17-inch alloy wheels; the 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 2011 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 2011, 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 2011 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 are two transmissions offered – a five-speed automatic with a manual-shift mode and paddle shifters, or a newly designed close-ratio six-speed manual with Hill Start Assist. 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 (automatic), 17/25 (manual)

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2011 Acura TL Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.5
Out of 10

Based on 142 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

High performance vehicle and a great drive

By on Thursday, March 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,035

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: "Performance, controls, value, cooled heated seats"

Cons: "None"

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

"this car was purchased in 2010 new I have been driving quite few miles inside this car. A very nice car with perfect options and ride is very superb. The TL is upgraded in everything got a interior cluttered with buttons love the design of it even all wheel drive makes have greatest performance ever. This car might be a expensive Honda but they are so excellent in resale values and having the luxury badge to it. I got the SH ''AWD'' includes navigation, 6 in dash changer, blue tooth, cooled and heated seats, mirrors, Bose stereo system, xenon headlights. Its quiet driving 80 mph on a excellent ride I get from it while driving my TL love this gorgeous car on so much standard the styling is upscale and lots of options and value makes it more a flagship sedan ever the performance ride have out car a really top of the line vehicle although feels more sportier instead because what performance gets on it."

6 people out of 10 found this review helpful

This is the best cars I have ever owned

By on Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000

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: "great gas mileage fun to drive"

Cons: "n/a"

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

Nice!

"This is the best car I have ever owned, its reliable, good on gas, zero maintenance cost other that oil changes which is so easy I do it myself. It has incredible power and it is also very luxurious. it also looks incredible going down the road or at a stand still....Its near perfect!"

7 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Nice!

Driver seat very uncomfortable.

By on Monday, March 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,200

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "fun to drive and excellent handling"

Cons: "front seats are uncomfortable for short people"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"Cars is of excellent quality, very nice lines. I have had problems getting comfort out of the driver seat over long journey(200 + miles) I tried every combinations with seat control and lumbar settings. I owned a 2002 3.5RL before this TL and must say, bring my RL back. I read that the 2012 Honda Accord had seat comfort problems, now there are 2 out of the comfort zone."

Awesome Sport Sedan

By on Wednesday, March 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 287,500

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, reliable, try it."

Cons: "None"

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

"Great car, the SH-AWD (super handling is still today one of the greatest around) reliability and comfort is amongst the best. The TL SH-AWD tops most cars in adverse weather. The Acura TL SH-AWD has 5 stars and has been awarded for safety many times. 287.500 Miles today without a problem; a awesome sport sedan, nothing else to say."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Dollar per comfort the best value around

By on Monday, January 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,072

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Comfort, Quiet, Responsive, Spacious, Value"

Cons: "small delay on paddle shifts, underlock from 2-1"

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

"Comparing this to cars of similar class but higher value, I would take this car 10 times over one against A4's, 325i,335is,the IS 250/350. It has been a perfect car for quietly romping about in town, long 5 hour drives to mammoth, and pushing on winding roads. It is not an Evo X, my former car, but has better class, comfort, and reliability than everything else in its segment. This is not better than an A7 or 5 series, but will be more affordable to drive because of its refinement and quality."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Love this car!!!

By on Saturday, January 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,900

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great price, sporty, really fun to drive, comfy"

Cons: "Dash has many buttons."

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

"I love this car! Perfect cross in between luxury and sportiness. Pretty good handling and get up and go. I've owned Mercedes and BMW before. I love it more than Mercedes and about the same as BMW. If you're looking for a more upscale car but want to spend less than 50k, I would highly suggest checking out this car. The only thing that irritates me is this feedback noise through the speakers when the doors lock. Every TL I've been in does this. Hoping someday they'll know how to fix it."

4 people out of 6 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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