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2012 Acura TL

Overview
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2012 Acura TL Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.7

When the current-generation Acura TL bowed in the 2009 model year, its bold aesthetics garnered mixed feelings from car reviewers and the buying public alike. Some liked the sharp angles, while detractors were particularly critical of the large beak-like front grille. For the 2012 model year Acura has softened the TL's face and made a few other exterior refinements. With a mild facelift and improved fuel economy, Acura hopes the freshened TL will lure even more buyers from varied temptresses like the BMW 5 Series, Infiniti M and Lexus ES.

You'll Like This Car If...

Compared to competitors from BMW, Infiniti and Lexus, the Acura TL is a bargain; offering a lot of technology, performance and luxury for less than the rest.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Even with its Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system, we found that the Acura TL still isn't as engaging rear-drive cars like the Infiniti M or BMW 5 Series.

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Acura TL upgrade is a little show, a little go. Underneath the exterior changes the TL sports a new six-speed automatic transmission that delivers more miles per gallon. The TL is still available in base and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive trim levels, and a new Advance Package has been added to the option list.

Driving the TL

Driving Impressions The 2012 Acura TL marries the size of a BMW 5 Series with the lower price of an Infiniti G37 Sedan, but doesn't capture the performance feel of...

either. Front-wheel drive and synthetic steering feel combine in a car that's neither as engaging around town nor as capable at the limits compared to some of its more storied rear-wheel drive competitors. On the flip side, the Acura TL is about 100 times more fun than the soft-tuned Lexus ES 350 with which it also sort of competes. Stepping up to the SH-AWD version nets more horsepower, a sportier suspension and Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system that directs more energy to the outside rear wheel while cornering. You have to push the TL pretty hard before you can feel SH-AWD working, but that's exactly when you need it. Otherwise, around town and on the highway the 2012 Acura TL behaves like most other performance-oriented mid-size sedans.
Favorite Features

Six-speed Automatic Transmission
The new six-speed transmission is the sole contributor to the overall increase in fuel economy. More gears also equal more fun as the transmission is able to keep the engine in its sweet spot during spirited driving. As a bonus, the revised gearing results in lower engine rpm while cruising, resulting in lower cabin noise.

Blind Spot Information System
We like everything that comes with the Advance Package, but if we had to choose one thing, it would be the blind spot information system. These indicators tell the driver if there is a car in the blind spot, which is a handy reassurance when changing lanes.

2012 Acura TL Details
2012 Acura TL photo Interior

We find the 2012 Acura TL's interior luxuriously sporty. And for the new model year, it's even more luxurious as new platinum-plated trim pieces on the dash, center console and door sills have been thrown in to update the look. In addition to being heated, the front seats are now ventilated (Advance Package only) and the overall interior noise level has been reduced by 2.7 decibels thanks to an increased amount of body-sealing points.

Exterior
2012 Acura TL photo

At first glance the 2012 Acura TL looks largely the same as the 2011 edition, but a closer inspection reveals the changes. The front and rear overhangs have been shortened by an inch. Up front, the grille surround has been shaved down and the upper portion of it smoothed out, addressing the exterior's most obvious pain point. Other new additions include darkened headlights, new turn signals and a new fog light design. Out back is a new rear bumper, which includes a relocated license plate frame that sits higher making way for a rear diffuser. The taillights received a color change and the trunk trim is thinner, which we think gives the car a more sophisticated look.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2012 Acura TL comes well equipped right out of the box, which can't be said for many of its competitors. Some of the most notable features include heated leather seats, a power moonroof, 276-watt audio system with Bluetooth and USB connectivity, a 10-way power driver's seat and 17-inch alloy wheels. In addition to all-wheel drive and more horsepower, the TL SH-AWD trim adds to the list by offering additional seat bolstering for a sportier feel and French stitching on the steering wheel, seats, shift lever and parking brake.

Optional Equipment

The Acura TL is available with two option packages: The Technology Package and the new-for-2012 Advance Package. The Technology Package includes a hard drive-base navigation system with Acuralink traffic and weather updates, 440-watt surround sound system, Milano premium leather seating surfaces and keyless access system. The Advance Package comes with a Blind Spot Information (BSI) system, ventilated (cooling) front seats and plus-one wheel sizes (equals 18-inch wheels for the base, 19-inch wheels for the SH-AWD trim).

Under the Hood

Engine choices available for the 2012 Acura TL include a 280-horsepower 3.5-liter or a 305-horsepower 3.7-liter V6. A new Sequential SportShift six-speed automatic is available on both trims, but the six-speed manual transmission is exclusive to the SH-AWD trim level. The six-speed automatic features a "double-kick-down" feature that lets the driver down shift twice (from fifth to third gear, for example) to aid performance in spirited driving situations. The six-speed auto also improves the city/highway fuel economy of 3.5-liter versions by 2/3 miles per gallon, respectively. When matched with the 3.7-liter engine the new transmission ups fuel economy by one mpg city and highway.

3.5-liter V6
280 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
254 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/29

3.7-liter V6
305 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
273 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25 (manual), 18/26 (automatic)

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2012 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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