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2013 Acura TL

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2013 Acura TL Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.6

Despite a subtle reshaping last year, the 2013 Acura TL retains its rather distinct, some might even say polarizing, exterior. For Acura purists, however, it's what's underneath the skin that counts. Acura is masterful at packing a lot of content into its cars, helping a fully loaded model stay thousands less than a comparable BMW or Audi. Less money doesn't mean less performance, with the 2013 TL offering Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) mated to a 300-plus-horsepower V6 engine. Acura hopes the freshened TL will lure even more buyers from varied temptresses like the BMW 5 Series, Cadillac CTS and Infiniti M. But, with no rear drive model in the lineup, driving purists probably won't be rushing to make the switch.

You'll Like This Car If...

The TL comes very well equipped and even fully loaded its price tag remains a bargain. The TL's excellent repair and reliability ratings promise a low cost of ownership even after the warranty expires.

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 as rear-drive cars like the Infiniti M or BMW 5 Series.

What's New for 2013

There are no major changes to the Acura TL for 2013.

Driving the TL
Driving Impressions

The 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...

... (FWD) 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 TL behaves like most other performance-oriented mid-size sedans.

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 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.

2013 Acura TL Details
Interior

We find the 2013 Acura TL's interior luxuriously sporty. Platinum-plated trim pieces on the dash, center console and doorsills are a nice touch, but what we like most are the excellent sport front seats. 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

The Acura TL's unique appearance includes a beak-like grille surround with a large chrome plate on the upper portion. Other features of note include darkened headlights, narrow side turn signals and recessed fog lights. Out back the TL's bumper includes a relocated license-plate frame that sits higher, making way for a rear diffuser.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2013 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 2013 Acura TL is available with two option packages: the Technology Package and the Advance Package. The Technology Package includes a hard-drive-based navigation system with AcuraLink traffic and weather updates, 440-watt surround-sound system, Milano premium leather seating surfaces and the 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 2013 Acura TL include a 280-horsepower 3.5-liter or a 305-horsepower 3.7-liter V6. A Sequential SportShift 6-speed automatic is available on both trims, but the 6-speed manual transmission is exclusive to the SH-AWD trim level. The 6-speed automatic features a "double-kick-down" feature that lets the driver downshift twice (from 5th to 3rd gear, for example) to aid performance in spirited driving situations. The 6-speed automatic also improves the city/highway fuel economy of the 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 1 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 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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2013 Acura TL Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.5
Out of 10

Based on 179 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

Awesome car in perfect condition!

By on Sunday, July 24, 2016

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
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"I leased car in 2010; then bought it out in 2013. Only has 35,000 miles on it. A couple of scratches,put perfect mechanical condition.No accidents."

A great car and great value

By on Thursday, July 21, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fun, performance, reliability and great price"

Cons: "Rear wheel drive would be even better"

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

"This is definitely one of the best (if not THE best) values out there for a luxury sports sedan. Plenty of power, fun to drive, excellent handling (drive almost as well as a BMW, my previous car), great reliability (definitely MUCH better than the BMW 535), and very attractive price (for what you get with your money). I am so happy I bought this car, it's going to be with me for a long time. I wish Acura had continued with this car."

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!

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