Whether you see it as beautiful or butt-ugly, the attention-getting style of the 2009 Acura TL
is bestowed on a vehicle some $1,270 dearer than last year's model. The near-luxury, front-wheel-drive performance sedan goes on sale September 24 at a base price of just under $35,000.
In addition to the thorough restyle outside, replete with all the eyebrows, arches, HIDs, and LEDs required to play in this class, the new TL's interior coddles with the expected comprehensive equipment list that even base-model Acuras have become known for. Included are a power moonroof, dual-zone adaptive climate control, 10-way adjustable driver seat, 8-way adjustable power front passenger seat, and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. As far as cabin entertainment, standard items include an 8-speaker 276-watt audio system with 6-disc CD changer, AM/FM radio, XM Satellite Radio, Bluetooth audio, USB port, and auxiliary jack connectivity, and HandsFreeLink wireless telephone interface.
A choice of two different VTEC engines for the first time marks the main mechanical news for the '09 TL. The base engine is a 3.5-liter V-6 and comes in the front-wheel-drive model. Moving up to Acura's SH-AWD (Super Handling All-Wheel Drive) brings a 3.7-liter V-6 and an increase in MSRP to $38,505. Prices can quickly creep into the $40,000 range when the SH-AWD model is optioned with the Technology Package and high-performance summer tire package.--Colin Mathews