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2013 Acura TL

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2013 Acura TL Review

Reviewed by Automotive on

The Acura TL was left to fend for itself from 2009 to 2012, but since the exterior was revamped and the interior was made to match the competition, the 2013 Acura TL has blossomed into a well-performing and attractive midsize car. With plenty of safety options, a fair pricing point, and great safety ratings, it's difficult to find a better vehicle.

New For 2013

Acura modified the TL to help with appearance, and made some optional features standard. Most significant changes were done the year prior:

  • Front bumper revised
  • New transmission multi-cluck torque convertor to reduce heat
  • Better fuel economy


Styling is a bit outlandish, but it is toned down from previous year's models. A chrome grille and a beaky fascia produce a design isn't for everyone. The updates to the front bumper also improve aerodynamics for the new year's model.

The base models come standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, and the Technology package adds on a rear spoiler. The advanced package for the base model comes with 18-inch alloy wheels. The SH-AWD (all-wheel-drive) model of the 2013 Acura TL also comes with 18-inch alloy wheels. A powered sunroof with remote operation is also standard fare. Exterior options include a rearview camera for extra safety while backing up.

Interior & Cargo

The interior is luxurious and fits in well with the price range and class that the 2013 Acura TL falls into. Upholstery is leather, and the front seats feature eight-way power adjustments and an especially sporty design. The driver seat also features lumbar support settings. Rear seats are a split-folding bench. Seating is especially designed to limit the amount of vibration from the drive.

Passengers can reach into the trunk's cargo area through the rear seat's fold-down console. The rear seats include their own climate control vents and controls.

Automatic dual-zone climate control is standard fare as well. This can easily be switched to a single zone if desired. Climate control can be controlled using voice commands, and an air filtration system keeps any harmful air from getting inside the cabin. Optional GPS-powered temperature control system can sense the sun's location and the intensity of the sun on the TL to provide better temperature control.

Interior entertainment comes standard with an eight-speaker, 276-watt stereo that comes with MP3 capabilities, an auxiliary jack, and a subwoofer. Also included is Sirius satellite radio, which comes with three months of free service.

The maximum cargo space is 13.1 cubic feet, providing plenty of room for luggage and even golf clubs.


Standard safety features include four-wheel anti-lock brakes and emergency braking assist. Fog lights are standard, and headlights are dusk-sensing to make sure the TL is visible at all times of the day. Turn signal mirrors are also standard fare on the TL.

The head restraint whiplash protection system greatly reduces the risk of serious neck and back injuries in the case of an accident. Front-impact airbags and torso side airbags are all standard fare as well. A passenger-detection sensor turns off the airbag if no one is riding beside the driver. Safety options include a blind spot warning system.

Acura uses the Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure for very impressive protection measures. This helps reduce the force of an impact on the passenger cabin and evenly disperse damages elsewhere.

The security system disables the ignition, sounds the horns, and flashes the lights in the event of a break-in. The Acura TL is a top safety pick of the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS). The IIHS rated the TL ""good"" across the board, which makes this an excellent choice in safety.

Driving Experience

The 2013 Acura TL comes standard with a 280-hp, 3.5-liter, V-6 engine that produces 254 lb-ft of torque. It comes standard with front-wheel drive and a six-speed shiftable automatic transmission; two features that make it handle quite well. While luxury and overall driving experience are pleasant in the standard fare base model, there's a lot more performance to be had under the hood and on the road. The SH-AWD version of the TL provides a 305-hp, 3.7-liter, V-6 engine that produces 273 lb-ft of torque. The all-wheel-drive version brings extremely capability traction and performance, not to mention the SH-AWD is available as a six-speed manual transmission for optimum use of power and control.

The standard six-speed transmission uses rev-matching to make sure that gear shifts are smooth and done without any issues. This will even provide great shifting when switching down two gears. The automatic has a manual mode as well, which makes the ride all the more fun for the avid driver. With the manual transmission, the Acura TL is the top-performing handler in its class.

The base, front-wheel-drive models get 20/29 mpg city/highway. The SH-AWD model is slightly reduced, and has an estimated fuel economy of 18/26 mpg city/highway. All models now feature an external transmission cooler for hot weather driving, which means that heat is reduced for the transmission and lock-up activation helps keep fuel economy low.

Key Competitors For The 2013 Acura TL

  • Lexus ES 350
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  • Infiniti G Sedan
  • Lexus GS
  • Dodge Charger

See the New 2014 TL.

Front & Driver Side View