The big news for Acura this year is its all-new TL performance luxury sedan. Having been completely redesigned, Acura engineers say the new TL offers new levels of performance, refinement, handling and comfort. It is now offered exclusively with a new 3.2-liter 24-valve VTEC V-6 engine and sequential ShortShift automatic transmission. The engine is rated at 225 horsepower and 216 pound-feet of torque. The all-new platform uses double-wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear suspension. Its larger interior volume moves the TL into the midsize class.
Extensively redesigned for 1999, the 3.5RL flagship luxury sedan receives new exterior styling, sportier handling to create a more performance-oriented luxury sedan, new safety features and additional features as standard equipment. Acura says more than 360 modifications were made. Interior styling has been updated and an enhanced version of the Acura Navigation System has been added.
Two major safety improvements are the addition of an advanced side-airbag system and a dual-stage passenger supplemental restraint system airbag. The sophisticated side airbags, which come as standard equipment, are mounted in the side bolsters of the driver and passenger front seats. Seven sensors in the passenger seat determine the size and position of the occupant. The sensors will not allow the airbag to inflate if a small passenger is leaning into the path of bag deployment. A new dual-stage inflator varies the deployment power of the passenger front airbag by reducing the rate of inflation during low-speed collisions.
The Acura CL sports coupe returns for 1999. A leather interior is now standard on all models and heated seats are standard on the 3.0CL. Due to the additional feature content of the 2.3 and 3.0CL models, the premium package is no longer offered.
The Integra for 1999 is available in three Sports Coupe and Sports Sedan trim levels: LS, GS and GS-R. The Integra Coupe RS model has been discontinued.
The SLX and the NSX, having been extensively updated in 1998 and 1997 respectively, are unchanged this year.
The Car Connection Consumer Review
in your area