The fourth generation Acura TL has been refreshed for the 2012 model year, tweaking styling inside and out. Acura claims the car is quieter, too, and with redone front and rear bumpers, the 2012 Acura TL
is now shorter as well.
Acura's popular midsize sedan is offered in different trims with front-wheel drive or the so-called Super Handling All-Wheel Drive. Two engines, a 3.5-liter or 3.7-liter V-6, are offered for the Acura TL along with a six-speed manual or new six-speed automatic transmission. That manual transmission is optional on the SH-AWD-equipped TLs and that comes with a standard 305-horsepower 3.7-liter V-6, the most powerful Acura engine ever built.
The SH-AWD 6MT model replaces the Type S in earning the title of sportiest TL in Acura history. At the other end of the spectrum, the base front-wheel-drive model is equipped with a 280 horsepower 3.5L V-6 and a new six-speed automatic transmission that improves fuel economy.
If there was anything that would put a kink in the flow of the new Acura's exterior and interior is the chrome beak sitting in the middle of the grille. While the styling has been refined a bit for the 2012 Acura TL, if you can get past the beak you'll find a sports sedan that hits the pavement running with an engine note that would make any enthusiast smile.
Engine: 3.5L V-6. 3.7L V-6
Transmission: 6-speed automatic, 6-speed manual
Models: TL, TL SH-AWD, TL SH-AWD 6MT
The 2012 Acura TL ties in a new look with its impressive performance with a new front bumper that holds up a newly refined grille. Updated headlights, turn signals, and a new fog light design also gets a facelift improving the front-end's aerodynamics.
Looking past the grille is a sedan that is a force to be reckoned with. The 2012 Acura TL gives the perception it is moving even when it is at a standstill thanks to sharp lines running down the sides. A 2012 model rides on 17-, 18-, or 19-inch aluminum wheels. The TL SH-AWD is distinguished with a trunk emblem and special 19-inch five spoke aluminum wheels wrapped in Goodyear Eagle RS-A tires.
The 2012 Acura TL's interior boasts a leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel with controls that illuminate help traverse the road in front. The driver's seat is heated and adjustable in 10 ways while the passenger seats has eight and are wrapped in Milano leather on the Acura TL's Technology Package. Seats that cool and heat are optional. With the Technology Package, Keyless Access System, Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition and rear view camera, AcuraLink Satellite Communication System, Real-Time Traffic with Traffic Rerouting, Real-Time Weather and radar image maps are offered. If you opt for the Technology Package you'll get two more speakers with the Acura/ELS Surround premium audio system. The SH-AWD offers unique sport seating and a new blind spot information system.
Performance & Handling
The Acura TL only reaches its full potential when a 3.7-liter V-6 is mated with the six-speed manual. The automatic versions nimbly steer around corners and give a comfortable ride and reward driving with a sense of urgency. Electronically controlled hydraulic engine mounts reduce vibration and Advanced Shift Hold Control minimizes unwanted shifting during spirited driving. A sport-tuned exhaust system with dual tips produce a strong engine note and paddle shifters function in drive and sport modes. Both Acura TL engines feature Programmed Fuel Injection that frequently regulate fuel delivery to attain the best power, fuel efficiency and low emissions.
A number of airbags and active head restraints for the driver and front passenger are standard. Various braking aids and stability/traction control keep the 2012 Acura TL at a controlled pace. Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure is used in the Acura TL and enhances occupant protection and crash compatibility in frontal crashes. This design utilizes a network of connected structural elements to distribute crash energy evenly through the front of the vehicle. It also helps disperse the forces transferred to other vehicles during a crash. Electronic Brake Distribution circuitry automatically proportions braking force between the front and rear wheels based on the vehicle's weight distribution. EBD helps the 2012 TL effectively stop with just a driver or fully loaded with passengers and luggage.
EPA Fuel Economy
TL: 20 city/29 highway
TL SH-AWD: 18 city/26 highway
TL SH-AWD 6MT: 17 city/25 highway
- High-tech features
- Spacious cabin
- Exceptional available sound-system
- Solid construction
You Won't Like
- Lack steering feel on the base model
At its best in 6MT semblance
If You Like This Vehicle
- Audi A6
- BMW 535i
- Cadillac CTS
- Infiniti M37
- Lexus GS 350