Acura became a real contender in the world of luxury sedans with the introduction of the TL in 1999. A few years later, in 2004, Acura redesigned the TL with a fresh new look in order to attract a younger audience looking for a sport sedan with luxury amenities. This model comes standard with many popular, new features that combine to produce a solid blend of luxury, value, and performance.
The Acura TL offers only one engine choice, a 3.2-liter V-6, but you can choose between either the six-speed manual transmission or the five-speed automatic. Acura designed the manual transmission models with a firmer suspension and limited slip differential.
Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 3.2-liter V-6
Transmissions: six-speed manual, five-speed automatic
Models: Acura TL
Acura made some minor modifications to the body in 2004, and in 2006, Acura increased the warranty coverage to provide protection for six years or 70,000 miles, whichever came first. The TL features a new tire pressure monitor and an updated engine designed to lower torque steer. A slight reduction in horsepower helps to accommodate the changes in the 2006 Society of Automotive Engineers testing procedures.
Standard exterior features of the Acura TL four-door sedan include, 17-inch wheels, all-season tires, high intensity discharge (HID) headlights, variable intermittent windshield wipers, a rear defogger, and a chrome grille. The cargo area has a maximum capacity of 12.5 cubic feet.
The exterior is available in seven paint colors, and the body silhouette has the classic Acura long, sloping hood line and short rear. The Acura plaque is displayed prominently in the chrome grille and the headlights seem to wrap around the sides of the car. The 2006 model is 3.5 inches shorter than the pre-2004 models, but the wheelbase length is the same. The roof is an inch taller, and the track is wider to improve handling and stability.
Standard features for the 2006 Acura TL Base model include, leather upholstery, power-adjustable heated front seats with driver seat memory, a voice-activated navigation system, satellite radio, a telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, keyless entry/startup, an in-dash stereo with an eight-speaker Bose surround sound system and six-disc CD changer, and wireless connectivity for cell phones. The standard automatic climate control system uses satellite data to monitor the outside temperature and adjust the interior temperature accordingly.
The cockpit in the TL is well-designed and organized. The gauges in the control panel of the cockpit have a bright blue electroluminescence and are recessed in three pods with blue backlighting. The curved dashboard is trimmed in leather and genuine aluminum metal, which accentuates the blue lighting. The quality of the interior materials would rival some of its more costly competitors. The leather seats are comfortable and supportive and the rear seating area can comfortably seat two adults with adequate leg and head room.
Performance & Handling
The 2006 Acura TL has a 3.2-liter, V-6 engine that produces 258 horsepower and 233 lb-ft of torque. The six-speed manual transmission is standard and the five-speed automatic transmission is optional. Shifting between gears is smooth and effortless with the manual transmission. Acceleration is impressive, and the vehicle is highly capable of passing highway traffic with easy merging abilities. The car can sprint with manual transmission from zero to 60 in 6.2 seconds.
The TL handles well on the road, and both transmissions ensure smooth and effortless shifting between gears. The engine delivers abundant power, although the automatic transmission seems to slow the car down. The ride is comfortable and firm, the handling is controlled and stable, and the steering is responsive. However, there is a lag in performance when accelerating rapidly out of tight corners. The braking system provides strong stopping power.
Standard safety equipment for the 2006 Acura TL includes stability/traction controls, side curtain airbags for front and rear passengers, four-wheel antilock disc Brembo brakes with BrakeAssist, and an Electronic Brakeforce Distribution System.
The National Highway and Traffic Safety Association awarded this car five out of a possible five stars for protection in frontal-impact collisions for all passengers, and four out of five stars for side-impact collision protection.
EPA Fuel Economy
Acura TL Base: 20/29 mpg city/highway
- Luxury interior with quality materials
- Powerful engine
- Comfortable ride
- Clean interior design
- Long list of standard features
You Won't Like
- Not as nimble as competitors
- Limited cargo space
The 2006 Acura TL offers a solid balance of performance and luxury, but buyers should consider some competing vehicles on the market before settling on this model.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Cadillac CTS
- Infiniti G35
- Lexus ES 330
- Mercedes-Benz CLS
- Lincoln Zephyr