The 2005 Acura TL is designed with family use in mind, and family-minded buyers constitute the bulk of this entry-level luxury sedan’s audience. However, that doesn’t mean the TL has nothing in the way of power and excitement to offer. This may be a family-friendly vehicle, but it’s also a true sport sedan with plenty of spirit, muscle, and refinement to please any adventurous driver. It leads its class in terms of horsepower (hp), thanks to its upgraded V-6 engine rated at 270 hp, which is a full 10-hp lead on the G35, the former class leader. Most of its closest competitors don’t even come close to reaching this level of power. The option of a six-speed manual gearbox also expands its appeal to drivers looking for a more hands-on, dynamic experience. It is, by any standards, one of the all-around best vehicles found in the Acura lineup, not to mention one of the best premium sport sedans on the market. This isn’t just Acura’s most popular model; it’s also the nation’s best-selling mid-luxury sedan to date. With its fine balance of sporty performance, comfort, and safety, it is one car that everyone in the family will love to drive.
Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 3.2-liter V-6
Transmissions: six-speed manual, five-speed automatic
Models: Acura TL 3.2
The 2005 Acura TL receives only a couple safety improvements. The front seatbelts have been redesigned with buckles now mounted to the seat frame. There are also new sensors in the front passenger seat, which alert the driver if an occupant is not in a safe position for the side airbag.
The 2005 Acura TL carries itself on a wider, firmer stance than previous models. The pronounced cabin-forward profile is accentuated from the front by a shield-shaped grille featuring a large Acura logo. It sits on 17-inch alloy wheels with optional high-performance tires available. Standard exterior equipment for all TL models includes automatic HID headlights, fog lights, a front air dam, heated and power-adjustable exterior mirrors, interval wipers, and a rear window defogger. Mud guards and a rear spoiler are optional.
The five-passenger 2005 Acura TL comes with an impressively long list of standard interior offerings. Features included on all models include cruise control, a tachometer, tilt steering, leather upholstery, a leather steering wheel with mounted controls, air conditioning with dual-zone automatic climate control, a trip computer, powered and heated front seats, and cargo area tie-downs. The ELS eight-speaker surround-sound system comes with an in-dash six-CD changer and DVD audio with a cassette player and subwoofer. The seats are firm but comfortable, offering exceptional support, with a generous amount of room available throughout. An optional navigation system is also offered on all models, which includes voice recognition and an eight-inch display screen.
Performance & Handling
While not much has changed for the 2005 Acura TL, this luxury performance sedan’s admirable power and handling keep it in its position as Acura’s best-selling model. It gets its good reputation with the help of a 3.2-liter, V-6 engine, which delivers 270 hp and 238 lb-ft of torque. This energy is distributed with the help of either a five-speed Sequential SportShift automatic transmission or a close-ratio six-speed manual. Either way, the end result is nothing short of excellence. Furthermore, this refined touring sedan delivers a driving experience that’s next to flawless. The only weak point is in the automatic transmission, which sometimes downshifts a bit harshly. Its pliant suspension absorbs most of the bumps and knocks of normal road conditions, while handling is sharp and sure. Even as a good-sized sedan, it behaves much like a lithe sports car in demanding driving situations.
The list of standard safety equipment for the 2005 Acura TL includes power windows and locks, child safety door locks, a vehicle anti-theft system, and a trunk anti-trap device. Front side airbags and side head curtain airbags both come standard. An electronic parking aid is optional for all TL trim levels. All models come standard with anti-lock brakes for either two or four wheels with electronic brake assist. Traction control and vehicle stability control are also standard. It boasts a perfect five-star rating from the NHTSA for frontal crash tests for both the driver and passenger. Four stars have been awarded to all models for front-side crash tests and five stars for rear-side protection.
EPA Fuel Economy
Acura TL 3.2: 18/26 mpg city/highway
- Luxurious cabin
- Lots of standard features
- Impressive sound system
- Powerful V-6
- Strong manual transmission
You Won't Like
- Lacks the athleticism of some European competitors
- Not much low-end torque on the V-6 engine
A well-equipped luxury offering at a reasonable price.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Audi A4
- Volvo S40
- Chrysler 300
- Volvo S60
- Nissan Maxima