Acura TL Interior
The Acura TL's inside is both functional and luxurious, as well as near the top of its class for materials and assembly quality.
Similarly, Edmunds says, "Among its peers, the TL luxury sport sedan has one of the best interiors with an elegant design, excellent material quality and nicely shaped seats." Kelley Blue Book adds that the five-seat TL is "one of the roomiest, most comfortable cabins in the category (especially for rear-seat passengers)."
Most say there is plenty of room to stretch out inside the TL. Edmunds points out that "the regular old TL is a wonderful environment in which to survive a daily commute," to which Forbes adds, "Four adults of assorted sizes will find the attractively styled and functional interior of the Acura TL to be comfortable; a fifth passenger can squeeze into the rear seat if needed."
Cars.com calls the front-row seats "impressive -- firm, supportive and much closer to the industry-leading European brands," an opinion several writers share. Autosite specifically calls the TL's front seat "[f]irm, supportive, and softly upholstered … a great spot to plant your butt."
Others were not as impressed with the front row. Consumer Guide says, "Seats afford good lateral support for spirited driving, though some of our testers say the cushions are firmer than necessary and uncomfortably shaped." Meanwhile, the Washington Post dislikes the Type-S' leather seating, writing that "if car companies are going to insist on using leather seating surfaces, they should be soft and supple, not slippery and hard."
Just as with the front, the TL's rear seats are well-liked, despite a few shortcomings. BusinessWeek claims "rear-seat occupants have plenty of room," while Motor Week says, "The rear seat is really only made for a couple, and is roomier than a 3- or 5-Series BMW." But MSN thinks "those in the rear have little room to spare. Moreover, lower rear door openings should be wider for easier entry and exit. Also, the back seat cushion should provide more thigh support." In a similar fashion, the complains that "rear-seat passengers might wish for a little more elbow room."
NewCars.com says the TL is "no stranger to luxury and convenience features," but the real draw is the amount of them that are available standard when competitors charge extra. MSN explains, "There's no need to add thousands of dollars in options because the TL and Type-S are well-equipped."
Others comment on the features' ease of use, but not all have favorable remarks. Consumer Guide says, "All TLs have clear gauges and well-marked controls," but the Washington Post says they're too far away and "oddly off-cue … for example, an MP3-player portal so well hidden, an owner who failed to read the manual could drive the TL Type-S for years without ever knowing it was there," the review reads.
The base TL has an Acura/ELS Surround Premium Sound System with six-disc CD changer, XM Satellite Radio, HandsFreeLink wireless telephone interface, blue instrument and cabin ambient lighting, a dual-zone automatic climate control system and other interior features. The Type-S has Active Noise Control, red instrument and cabin ambient lighting, an Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition, a rear view camera and an AcuraLink satellite communication system with real-time traffic.
Stereo and Entertainment
Reviewers gush over the TL's entertainment features and options. BusinessWeek best says the TL is "likely the most technologically savvy thing on four wheels since the debut of KITT, the computerized car from the 1980s TV series Knight Rider. The features are far too many to list -- but rest assured geeks in the crowd, the TL will provide endless hours of enjoyment before you leave the driveway."
One of the most discussed features is the standard Acura/ELS Surround ® Premium eight-speaker sound system with six-disc CD changer and other audio enhancements. Edmunds states that "the stereo is so good it alone is almost enough to justify buying the car."says it's "one of the finest sound systems we've ever experienced," while
Auto writers especially like that the TL's sound system can play DVD audio. BusinessWeek calls it "the compact disk equivalent of high-def TV -- in a car. That equipment now also supports digital files like WMAs and MP3s." CNET notices "DVD audio discs … play with astonishing clarity, with crisp highs and rich bass. Regular red book CDs also sound great from the front seats, and there were only a couple of times we could tell the difference between the DVD-A and CD versions of the same song."
The 2008 Acura TL's Type-S has a standard Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition that is optional for the base model. Reviewers highly recommend what New Car Test Drive calls "the most user-friendly on-board navigation system that we've ever experienced. It's easy to program and it gives clear and accurate descriptions both visibly and audibly."
Consumer Guide sides with those who wish for more. "The available navigation system doesn't absorb primary audio/climate functions, but does complicate some adjustments," it notes. "Many of its functions take time to master. Its screen brightness often needs to be changed to suit light conditions, which is a hassle."
The navigation system includes AcuraLink™ satellite communication system with real-time traffic, which uses XM Satellite infrastructure to deliver traffic information to drivers. CNET did not find the technology intuitive, writing, "The traffic service proved to be far from 'up to the minute…' Overall, we found NavTraffic a nice-to-have feature, but not one we could rely on for exact traffic information."
The 2008 TL's navigation system also has a 3D Solar Sensing Climate Control designed to adjust interior temperatures based on the sun's position in relation to the vehicle.
The 2008 Acura TL's 12.5 cubic feet of cargo space is "enough room in the trunk to hold the lighting section of a good-size Home Depot," according to Consumer Guide, but Cars.com writes: "Cargo hauling isn't the TL's strongest attribute. Its trunk offers decent space and accessibility, but its total volume is only 12.5 cubic feet," compared to larger trunks in its class.
Others also describe the TL's cargo capabilities as limited. AutoWeek says the sedan's trunk opening is rather small, "limiting the size of parcels it will accept." Once again, Cars.com is disappointed, this time by the lack of a folding rear seat. "Among comparable cars, the ES 350 and Infiniti M sedan are similarly limited, but the A6 has standard folding rear seats, and BMW makes them optional in its 5 Series sedan. It seems wrong for them to disappear in cars that are relatively more expensive, not less," it reports.