2012 Acura TL Review
Test drivers believe the 2012 Acura TL is ideal as both a comfortable daily commuter and a powerful weekend sport sedan, but some still can’t get past its polarizing exterior.
The 2012 Acura TL is a happy medium for drivers looking for a competent daily commuter and a powerful sport sedan. Test drivers think its spacious interior and standard features, like Bluetooth and an iPod connection, make it a good value in the upscale midsize car segment. "It’s ideal for those wanting an athletic and aggressive car that nonetheless treats its occupants to a reasonably smooth ride and an accommodating interior with a generous assortment of high-tech features," says Forbes.
The 2012 TL has a base V6 engine that is more powerful than the base six-cylinder on the BMW 3-Series, five-cylinder turbo on the Volvo S60 and V6 on the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Reviewers say the TL’s base V6 is strong, quiet and quick, while the TL’s optional all-wheel drive is praised for its excellent grip. If you want the TL to be more fun on winding roads, the automotive press suggests upgrading to Acura’s SH-AWD.
The 2011 Acura TL had a reputation among reviewers and consumers for having an ugly front end. For 2012, Acura dialed-down the aggressively-styled exterior to give shoppers a more sedate-looking car. The automaker hopes to appeal to a broader spectrum of shoppers.
Test drivers dislike the 2012 TL’s small trunk and button-heavy center console. Despite these shortcomings, reviewers agree that shoppers who want a reliable, fun-to-drive luxury car will definitely want to test drive the 2012 Acura TL.
Other Cars to Consider
The 2011 Cadillac CTS has a base price that’s almost identical to the TL’s and it offers a similar V6 engine. While the 2012 TL requires premium gas, the CTS can take regular. Despite this, the TL actually gets better gas mileage and costs less to fill up yearly. The EPA rates the base 2012 TL at 20/29 mpg city/highway with an automatic transmission. The base 2012 CTS is rated 16/26 with a manual transmission and the 3.6-liter version is rated 18/27 with an automatic.
At $34,600, the 2011 BMW 3-Series starts at about $1,000 less than the 2012 Acura TL and it rides differently from the TL. The base TL’s suspension provides a more comfort-oriented ride, while the 3-Series is more nimble. The BMW 3-Series’ base 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine is less powerful than the TL’s 3.5-liter V6. Base 3-Series and TLs produce 230 and 280 horsepower, respectively. If you crave a more agile ride in your luxury sports sedan, the 3-Series is the better choice, despite its less powerful engine.
Neither the base CTS nor 3-Series come with standard Bluetooth, which is a standard feature on the 2012 Acura TL.
Acura TL: The Details
The 2012 Acura TL is offered in two trims: base and SH-AWD. See the full list of 2012 Acura TL specs.
- "Acura has fallen off a lot of radar screens over the past decade with its questionable styling and invisible marketing. That's unfortunate, because the TL is a fine car at a competitive price point." -- AutoWeek
- "Those prices still represent strong value, and now that Acura has mostly fixed its most glaring shortcomings, the TL is a stronger entry than ever." -- Car and Driver
- "It exudes a cool, mature, composed demeanor that's refined enough to serve as daily transport, but up for an occasional hilly backroad romp." -- Motor Trend
- "Those looking for a refined ride, a spacious cabin and a full helping of the latest bells and whistles will be well served by the base model TL, a strong competitor to the likes of the Buick LaCrosse, Hyundai Genesis and Lexus ES 350." -- Edmunds