Sleek and refreshed, the newest version of Acura’s best-selling model, the TL performance luxury sedan, bowed Wednesday at the Chicago Auto Show. While the car’s exterior appearance may be only slightly revised, the changes are significant in that they cumulatively add up to a tauter, more aggressive look. In addition, the 2012 Acura TL boasts a new six-speed automatic transmission.
Acura says the TL’s new look includes redesigned front and rear bumpers, revised grille, new fog light design, updated headlights, taillights and turn signals – and a shorter front overhang. The result is a shorter overall length and a lengthened hood.
Power for the TL lineup is still the same: 280-horsepower 3.5-liter and 305-horsepower 3.7-liter V-6 engines carried over from the 2011 model year. But the mating with the new six-speed automatic trannies – which Acura calls Sequential SportShift -- results in a 3-mpg fuel economy improvement, rated at 20 mpg city/29 mpg highway. But the double kick-down feature of the Sequential SportShift allows drivers to command a double downshift – say, from fifth to third gear. The Drive-by-Wire throttle system helps match gear speeds while downshifting. A six-speed manual transmission is still offered on the 2012 Acura TL Super-Handling AWD model.
Other changes include a larger, 60GB hard disc drive (HDD)-based navigation system, more expansive map coverage, faster USB connection speed, and full VGA monitor that’s brighter and features richer colors. A new Advance Package is available that incorporates all-new ventilated front seats and a blind spot information system to alert the driver of vehicles in close proximity.New wheels – 17-inch seven-spoke aluminum (TL) and 17-inch five-spoke aluminum (SH-AWD) are standard. With available Advance Package, TL comes with 18-inch five-spoke wheels, while SH-AWD is fitted with 19-inch split five-spoke aluminum wheels with new performance minded all-season tires.
Overall, not huge changes, but Acura already had a winner with the 2011 TL. For families seeking a performance luxury sedan, the 2012 Acura TL may just fit the bill.
For more information, be sure to read Nelson Ireson’s coverage of the 2012 Acura TL on MotorAuthority.