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2014 Acura TL

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2014 Acura TL Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.5

The 2014 TL is Acura's entry in the mid-size luxury sedan segment, where it competes with vehicles such as the BMW 5 Series, Infiniti M, Audi A6 and Cadillac CTS. Compared to most of its rivals, the TL has a much lower starting price but more polarizing exterior design. Acura enthusiasts have grown to either like the TL's skin or see the beauty beneath it, where lies a strong V6 engine and an available all-wheel-drive system that offers excellent grip. The Acura TL has a strong reliability record and a good dose of performance with its premium ride quality, but with no rear-drive model in the lineup, driving purists my overlook the Acura in favor of a BMW, Infiniti or Cadillac.

You'll Like This Car If...

In a segment where most prices start in the mid- to high-$40,000 range, the 2014 Acura TL's sub-$37,000 starting price looks like a bargain. Also appealing are its strong safety ratings and fuel economy of up to 29 mpg.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Even with its slick all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, we found the Acura TL not quite as engaging to drive vigorously as rear-wheel-drive competitors such as the BMW 5 Series or Infiniti M. Also unlike the TL, those sedans can be had with a mighty – but costly – V8 engine.

What's New for 2014

No major changes have been made to the Acura TL for the 2014 model year. The mid-level Special Edition model that was introduced in mid-2013 remains as a high-value trim option.

Driving the TL
Driving Impressions

The Acura TL marries the size of a BMW 5 Series with the lower price of the new Infiniti Q50 Sedan, but isn't as performance-oriented as either. A front-wheel-drive (FWD)...

... layout and synthetic steering feel make the TL neither as engaging for errands around town nor as capable at its limits on twisty byways as its rear-drive rivals. On the other hand, the Acura TL feels much livelier than the soft-tuned Lexus ES, so drivers desiring a happy medium may just find it here. Those seeking the most thrills in their TL should opt for one with SH-AWD in its name. That alphabet soup is short for Super Handling All-Wheel Drive, and the system is just that. With power divided among all four wheels, SH-AWD Acura TL models boost confidence while cornering and in inclement weather. Those models are also blessed with a more powerful V6 engine and sportier suspension.

6-SPEED AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
The Acura TL’s 6-speed transmission is a major contributor to the car’s good 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 all the features that come 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.

2014 Acura TL Details
Interior

The 2014 Acura TL's 5-passenger cabin is luxuriously sporty. The heated front seats are comfortable and well-padded, and SH-AWD models feature more aggressive side bolsters to keep you in place. Even at its appealing price point, a leather interior is standard. Less appealing is the TL's center stack, crowded with buttons for climate control, audio, and navigation functions. Rear-seat legroom is adequate, and trunk cargo space is on the small side at just over 13 cubic feet in front-wheel-drive (FWD) models and 12.5 for SH-AWD versions. The rear seats don't fold for additional cargo hauling, but a center pass-through space can accommodate items such as skis.

Exterior

If you haven't looked closely at an Acura TL in a couple of years, you may be relieved to know that its front and rear have been tamed, thanks to modifications implemented for the 2012 model year. Even with the tweaks, the Acura stands out with its beak-like grille, wide cutouts in the front bumper housing, and sharply snubbed rear end. Like other potentially controversial designs, we'll leave it to your eyes to judge the TL's outer appeal. On the non-subjective front, 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels are fitted on base models, with higher trims equipped with 18- or 19-inch versions.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2014 Acura TL comes well equipped right out of the box. Spend the least on a base model, and you'll get a leather interior, power front seats with 2-stage heating, dual-zone climate control, power moonroof, xenon headlights and 8-speaker AM/FM/CD/USB audio system with Bluetooth streaming. All-wheel-drive models add a higher-power engine and larger wheels. Models with the Technology package add a 10-speaker premium sound system with hard drive, navigation, keyless access, rearview camera and a GPS-linked climate-control system. The top-line Advance Package further stuffs the TL with ventilated front seats and blind-spot monitoring.

Optional Equipment

With eight trims available, most options for the 2014 Acura TL are bundled into a particular level. That leaves most traditional options relegated to interior and exterior accessories. Among the former are "wood-grain-look" shift knob and trunk drawer, while the latter include underbody spoilers, special 18- or 19-inch wheels and backup sensors. A remote engine start system is also available.

Under the Hood

Two V6 engines are available for the 2014 Acura TL. Front-wheel-drive models use a 280-horsepower 3.5-liter, while all-wheel-drive versions employ a 305-horsepower 3.7-liter. Most buyers will opt for Acura's smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic transmission that is eager to kick down and also features paddle shifters for those rare times you want to imitate Mario Andretti. The most engaging (but least fuel-efficient) TL is the 6-speed manual-transmission model, only available on AWD models. The 2014 Acura TL returns up to 29 mpg, respectable given its power. All models require premium-grade gasoline.


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

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

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2014 Acura TL Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.5
Out of 10

Based on 177 Ratings for the 2009 - 2014 models.

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

Has been an excellent car-

By on Sunday, June 5, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 176,500

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

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

"Great pick up even at 175K miles, great reliability. Bit of a sports car type ride, ok for us. Great maintence dollar output- never high and always affordable and fair at dealership. My second Acura and may not be my last."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Cant beat the value for the cost

By on Friday, April 1, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

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

"As much as I would like a BMW. I cant pass up the value I receive from the TL for what I paid. Smooth, quiet, handling, power and best of all...RELIABILITY! LOVE IT!"

10 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Well maintained, excellent condition, park inside

By on Monday, December 7, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,000

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great to drive with power when needed"

Cons: "too many gadgets for me!"

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

"This is the 6th Acura we have owned since 1991...I think that says a lot! I'm at a point where I want a 'fun sporty' car and they do not have one. The NSX is coming but that is out of my league."

5 people out of 10 found this review helpful

I love this car! It's fun to drive, and flashy.

By on Thursday, November 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 57,517

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 and fully equipped."

Cons: "Feels like a big car, can be intimidating."

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

Beautiful!

"This is a beautiful car and is equipped an excellent tech package. It handles so well on the road that you have to remind yourself to slow it down. For the experienced and savvy driver who likes total control you will love this car. It stops on a dime, really. Definitely a great choice."

22 people out of 35 found this review helpful

Beautiful!

Great Value for the Price.

By on Monday, July 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

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
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Standard fetaures, hassle , very low maintenance"

Cons: "driving dynamics could be better"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"You get what you pay for. It's in the middling price range, Not as costly as the BMW's or Audi's and not as cheap as the hondas and you get what you have paid for. The features are great like Bluetooth , leather seats and Backup camera which come standard but the driving dynamics leaves something more to be desired. Overall I am pretty much satisfied as I am pretty much aware of what to expect and it has lived up to my expectations."

12 people out of 22 found this review helpful

Defective Paint

By on Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 69,800

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "handles well, comfortable"

Cons: "paint, rough ride due to sport suspension"

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

"Beware, Acura black pearl paint has defects, and Acura WILL NOT stand behind the paint after the warranty expires. Crows feet tick marks on the roof. Also, door locks break often, expect to pay $200-$300 for the repair."

25 people out of 41 found this review helpful

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