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#3

in 2010 Upscale Midsize Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $18,405 - $21,332
Original MSRP: $35,105 - $43,385
MPG: 18 City / 26 Hwy
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2010 Acura TL Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Acura doesn’t have the old-world-luxury reputation of Mercedes-Benz or the sporty, driver-centric reputation of BMW. Instead, Acura is known for technology. The TL’s interior plays to its strengths, with a modernist design language that emphasizes the car’s high-tech features. Designers used liberal amounts of polished aluminum trim and smooth leather pulled tight over the dash and door panels. Reviewers like it, though some point to cheaper, hard plastics in spots.

  • “The 2010 Acura TL's interior features a more contemporary design language than some of its competitors. Aluminum trim adorns the cabin instead of the glossy wood treatments found in the Cadillac CTS, Hyundai Genesis or Lexus ES 350." -- Edmunds
  • "TL's cabin generally presents well, with rich-feeling leather and soft dash and door surfaces. Some hard and tacky looking plastics are disappointing, but most are kept out of direct sight." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Flawless assembly, high interior quality." -- Car and Driver
  • "The TL's plethora of new and improved gee-whiz gizmos, standard and optional, include ELS Surround Premium audio tuned by Elliot Scheiner, voice-activated real-time nav/traffic and AcuraLink real-time Doppler radar weather. Whew. Impressive from inside the car." -- Motor Trend
  • "A geek's dream." -- Automobile Magazine

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Seating

The base and SH-AWD versions of the 2010 TL each include different front seats. Reviewers tend to compliment both, but say the SH-AWD version’s sport seats are firmer and more heavily bolstered – which makes sense.  A daily commuter doesn’t need the grippy seats that a sport sedan does. The technology package includes an upgrade to a softer, more supple leather that most reviewers seem to like.

  • “Terrific bucket seats." -- Car and Driver
  • “The SH-AWD seats offer better grip during cornering than the base seats, but they don't feel cramped or restrictive at any point. Both seats are supportive and comfortable.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "The driver seat offers plenty of adjustment and side bolstering, while the rear seats can easily accommodate taller passengers. Large flip-up headrests provide comfort and protection for those seated in the rear and, when not in use, they slide down flush with the seatbacks for an unobstructed view." -- Edmunds
  • "The comfortable seats embrace you with deep side bolsters, enhancing the wraparound feeling. Both front seats are power, with memory for the driver's side, and seat heaters are included. Leather is standard, but more-supple, fragrant ‘Milano’ leather is part of the technology package option." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The seats are comfortable, the fronts in the SH-AWD offering more bolstering, while the SH's steering wheel is right there with BMW's M cars in terms of rim thickness." -- Road and Track
  • "Out on the road, the TL immediately impresses with its quiet; almost no wind noise intrudes." -- Motor Trend

Interior Features

Acura is known for its modernist, high-tech interiors -- and its best-selling car is a major reason the marque has that reputation. The interior of the TL includes some of the best automotive in-cabin technology available anywhere. Reviewers are particularly impressed with the equipment included with the optional Technology Package. Checking that box adds an eight-inch navigation screen (one of the largest available at this price point), which gives real-time traffic and weather updates. A 440-watt, 10-speaker audio system, with a 12.7 gigabyte hard drive also earns rave reviews. The stereo includes a marking function that can remember the title and artist and a sample snippet of up to 30 different songs. 

Not all reviewers, however, are as impressed with the interface that controls these systems. Without the Technology Package, the TL uses separate buttons for each of its climate and entertainment functions. This makes the interior look complicated, but is fairly easy to learn. The Technology Package adds an “interface dial” that controls most of these systems through a single knob and a series of menus on the navigation screen. It’s similar to the systems most manufacturers now offer at this price point, including BMW’s iDrive and the Mercedes-Benz COMAND system. Reviewers say Acura’s is easier to learn than most, but still takes some time. We should note, however, that reviewers seem to complain about these systems more than owners do. Members of the media typically spend no more than a week with a car, and don’t grow accustomed to using complicated systems -- but owners who drive the car for years usually get used to them and have few complaints.

  • “Techno gadgets galore, excellent audio,” but “center-console button overload." -- Car and Driver
  • “The TL's instrument panel features large and legible main gauges. The center stack and steering wheel have an excessive number of buttons, particularly on models equipped with the Technology Package. TLs so equipped use an ‘interface dial’ to access these systems. It's not as complicated as some European premium cars, but a touch-screen would make things much simpler.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "Indeed a technophile's delight. The 8-inch high-resolution screen in the dashboard can display a wealth of information, from radar weather maps to traffic reports to the backing-up view from a rear-mounted camera."  -- New York Times
  • "Inside the sculptural, 'dual-cockpit' cabin awaits a feast of advanced technology, enough to make the commander of a Los Angeles-class submarine jealous." -- Motor Trend

Cargo

The Acura TL offers 13.1 cubic feet of trunk space -- less than some competitors, like the Lincoln MKZ and Lexus ES. Some reviewers point out that the SH-AWD model offers even less, since the rear differential intrudes on the floor of the trunk. Most critics don’t address in-cabin storage; but those that do aren’t impressed.

  • "The trunk opening narrows toward the bottom and hinges intrude into the trunk space--though they are covered so as not to damage cargo. Interior storage space is not great for the class: The door map pockets aren't especially large, and the center console box is set too far aft for convenient access.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "The 13.1 cubic feet of trunk capacity is a bit less than other cars in this class, but the wide opening makes loading a few golf bags and suitcases easy.” -- Edmunds
Used car average prices are provided by ClearBook™, a TrueCar™ product