KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 10/7/2013
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.
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.
For vehicle details and pricing notes…