2007 Acura TL Review

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director
December 19, 2008

On all counts, the 2007 Acura TL is a sophisticated, luxurious, and dependable car. What it lacks is excitement.

In order to create the most comprehensive review of the 2007 Acura TL available on the Web, the editors at TheCarConnection.com scoured reviews from other sources. At TheCarConnection.com, editors read what others have to say about cars, drive the cars themselves, and unite those experiences into one sum-total review that values consensus and shares conflicting opinions. Drivers also find comparisons of the 2007 Acura TL to other vehicles in its class.

Acura's mid-size luxury sport sedan is the TL. In the 2007 Acura TL, shoppers will find specific updates to the interior and exterior styling versus the 2006 model. An upgraded navigation system, featuring AcuraLink satellite communication and nifty real-time traffic information, is new for 2007.

Apart from these changes, 2007 also brings back the high-performance Type-S model, which offers performance features such as a sport-tuned suspension and a redesigned transmission. Plus, it comes in a color called "Blue Pearl Kinetic" that isn't available on other models.

But mostly, the 2007 Acura TL Type-S stands out from other entries in the line because of its higher-output, 286-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine (which drivers normally find in the more high-end RL sedan). Other TL models get a 3.2-liter V-6 making 253 horsepower.

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While the Type-S can be specified with either a manual or automatic transmission, the standard 2007 Acura TL comes only with a five-speed Sequential SportShift automatic transmission. As such, the TL performs with plenty of gusto, though TheCarConnection.com’s editors wish it would shift with a verve to match the engine; shifts can be hesitant.

The 2007 Acura TL has a look that’s both conservative and stylish, with a mix of angularity and subtler, more sweeping surfaces; the result is a well-proportioned profile of a sport sedan. The Type-S makes the look sit even better, with added quad exhaust tips, ten-spoke alloy wheels, and a rear spoiler. Inside, as with other Acura vehicles, the TL has a swoopy, curved instrument panel with plenty of eye-catching surfaces and a cabin appointed in rich materials that stands out as among the better in its class.

The good news and bad news here are the same: The 2007 Acura TL is, for better and for worse, closely related to the Honda Accord. The plusses are clear; it's a practical, relatively affordable vehicle with an especially roomy interior that works flawlessly in most respects. The minuses, however, are also troublesome. The Acura TL lacks oomph and excitement overall. It has front-wheel drive, and not much can be done to make such a high-power model handle as well as rear-wheel-drive (or all-wheel-drive) sport sedans.

In any case, drivers appreciate that the 2007 Acura TL comes with plenty of standard equipment—including a system that plays the DVD-Audio format. These are the kinds of things that other manufacturers usually convince drivers to tack on as extras, and together they make the TL a strong value. Acura also offers a voice-activated nav system and high-performance summer tires.

8

2007 Acura TL

Styling

The emphasis is class and sophistication. Some may be put off by the lack of overt sportiness on the outside, but there’s a lot to love inside.  

Overall, reviewers consulted by TheCarConnection.com felt that the styling of the 2007 Acura TL was in good form, but some said that it lacked character and excitement.

On the exterior, staid sophistication reigns—even with some upgrades for the Acura TL in 2007. ConsumerGuide notes that the year brings "slightly revised exterior styling," while Cars.com gets a bit more specific. "Compared with earlier models," the editors contend, "the current TL sedan exhibits a wider, more aggressive stance." Cars.com rounds out the analysis, noting that changes include "new fog lights mounted on each side of the front air dam, as well as redesigned taillights. The TL Type-S adds front ground effects, quad exhaust and black chrome trim."

ForbesAutos echoes these thoughts, pointing out that the 2007 Acura TL offers "a mid-product-cycle face-lift added a revised front fascia and new headlamps and taillights." Again, Cars.com goes a step further to describe the 2007 updates, saying, "The TL's body displays a pronounced wedge-shaped cabin-forward profile, led by a shield-shaped grille that incorporates a large logo. Acoustic windshield glass is installed."

Inside, sophistication is again the name of the game. ConsumerGuide sums it up: "The TL's cabin is nicely finished, with high-grade materials and assembly quality, and a vast array of standard luxury and convenience features." Cars.com points out "leather-trimmed seats are standard." Edmunds also praises the interior design of the 2007 Acura TL, spotlighting "an attractive, well-built interior designed with a more sporting intent in mind."

Across the board, there is also much praise for the design of the dashboard area and the instrument panel. Cars.com, for example, pronounces, "the instrument panel's multiple textures not only are pleasing to the eye, but also provide good visual rhythm."

Edmunds offers one caveat: Not everyone will be pleased with the interior redesign. "Aluminum inlays, bright blue electroluminescent gauges and aggressively bolstered seats should appeal to enthusiasts," they note, "but may put off those looking for a more classic luxury look."

Autoblog likes the sporty updates, referring to the 2007 TL's "sportier seating, carbon fiber trim, and racy steel pedals." At Cars.com, the info is much the same, though editors there take particular notice of the "brushed-aluminum trim" accenting the dashboard and the "red lighting, embossed headrests and carbon fiber trim" available on the high-end 2007 Acura TL Type S.

7

2007 Acura TL

Performance

Reviewers love the engine and overall power of the 2007 Acura TL, but don’t expect racetrack-ready handling.

Performance results are mixed; reviewers appreciate the power on tap, but there isn't much love for the decision to hang on to front-wheel drive, especially at a time when Acura is giving the TL a sportier look and feel, nor is there much praise for the suspension and handling.

TheCarConnection.com finds reviewers of the 2007 Acura TL generally pleased with the engine and the acceleration it provides. ConsumerGuide sets out the specs: "Base versions have a 258-hp 3.2-liter V6 engine...Type-S models have a 286-hp 3.5-liter V6." The editors of ConsumerGuide have a bit more to say, pointing out "the Base and Type-S have strong acceleration, though they're best above 3500 rpm," and stating the base model would get to 60 mph in 7.0 seconds.

“The standard V-6 worked with either a five-speed automatic or a six-speed manual transmission, the latter has been dropped in the base model but is available in the TL Type-S," explains Cars.com. ConsumerGuide notes that the automatic transmission shifts "more aggressively in Type-S, and “downshifts in both suffer from a slight delay.”

Reports on handling are mixed. Edmunds pretty much sums it up: "In road tests we've always been impressed with the Acura TL's performance and handling abilities, but ultimately find that its front-wheel-drive setup can't compete with rear-drive models like the Infiniti G35, Lexus IS 350 or BMW 335i." Overall, the front-wheel-drive suspension of the 2007 Acura is a disappointment. Kelley Blue Book is the most chipper about the situation, noting that "while rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive vehicles can enjoy some performance advantages, the TL explores the limit of what is possible with front-wheel drive and a torquey V-6."

ConsumerGuide attests that the 2007 Acura TL is still fun to drive, and "the base model is agile and well-controlled, with nicely weighted steering." Reviewers goes on to note that Type-S shows better performance than the base model overall, with "even sharper steering response and less cornering lean—though some testers found the steering artificially heavy at low speeds."

Gas mileage is about as expected—or perhaps a bit better—for a mid-size, V-6 sedan. ConsumerGuide gets 23.0 mpg out of the base model, and Kelley Blue Book reports getting as high as 27 mpg on the highway.

9

2007 Acura TL

Comfort & Quality

Some might find the backseat tight, but otherwise the 2007 Acura TL is a well-built and very comfortable luxury sedan.

Riding in the 2007 Acura TL is a comfortable experience. Noise is well controlled and the seats are supportive. Though the TL claims to seat five, that last passenger can be a tight fit if all are adults.

Overall, reviewers are pleased with the cabin of the 2007 Acura TL. The cabin is designed for five passengers, and ConsumerGuide explains, "Seats afford good lateral support for spirited driving, though some of testers say the cushions are firmer than necessary and uncomfortably shaped. There's sufficient overall space for six-footers, but the overall design makes the cabin feel more cozy than it really is." Kelley Blue Book is not bothered by the tight quarters, reporting that "the TL is comfortable [and] roomy." Cars.com feels that "the front seats are extremely comfortable and supportive."

In the rear, ConsumerGuide provides an overview of the 2007 Acura TL passenger experience, pointing out that "headroom is tight for taller riders.” In addition, the reviewers explain that “the seat cushion is low to the floor, oddly shaped, and lacks thigh support,” and “entry and exit require negotiating a narrow lower door frame."

TheCarConnection.com finds that reviewers have no qualms about trunk design or in-cabin storage, and general thoughts on the overall look and feel are positive. Kelley Blue Book calls the experience "fast, fun, comfortable and convenient," and Edmunds lays it all on the line by saying the 2007 Acura TL is "a well-built, high-performing, feature-laden entry-level luxury sport sedan that should please most consumers shopping in this market." The editors at Cars.com feel the "TL's high-quality interior is warm and inviting. The materials are excellent."

ConsumerGuide also praises the quiet ride, saying "wind and road noise are modest. The engine note is sporty but subdued." Plus, the Type-S offers Honda's Active Noise Cancellation, which is "designed to electronically quell mechanical, road, and wind noise."

9

2007 Acura TL

Safety

Electronic stability control, a full roster of airbags, and near-perfect test scores, in a sturdy mid-size sedan, means you can have some peace of mind in choosing the 2007 Acura TL.

The 2007 Acura TL is among the best sedan choices in safety. Reviews consulted by TheCarConnection.com noted no key problem areas.

ConsumerGuide takes care to point out a few key features, such as "ABS, traction control, antiskid system, front side airbags, and curtain side airbags." Cars.com hits many of the same points, adding that "a passenger-side position sensor controls airbag deployment. An electronic stability system is standard."

The IIHS gave the 2007 Acura TL top ratings of "good" for frontal offset tests and side impact tests. The federally funded NHTSA awarded the 2007 Acura TL five stars in all categories.

8

2007 Acura TL

Features

An impressive list of standard features helps keep the option game at bay.

In keeping with Acura’s tradition of selling well-equipped vehicles with only a few high-tech options, most features are included as standard, and that’s key for keeping the bottom-line cost on the Acura RL lower than it might be for rivals with a similar base price.

ConsumerGuide points out some of its favorite standard features, noting "leather upholstery with heated front seats, sunroof, wireless cell phone link, and DVD Audio." Edmunds touts the TL's "impressive level of standard equipment," while Kelley Blue Book echoes the sentiment, proclaiming that the car is "packed with a sophisticated lineup of standard equipment."

ForbesAutos is fairly rote in its description of the standard "power driver seat, heated front seats, DVD-Audio," while Cars.com prefers to wax a bit more poetic about the 10-way function of that power driver's seat in the 2007 Acura TL and the "tilt/telescoping steering column." Cars.com also appreciates that some functions can be accessed from the steering wheel.

ConsumerGuide notes that the voice-activated navigation system is standard on Type-S models but optional on the base 2007 Acura TL—though the editors also air a concern. "The available navigation system doesn't absorb primary audio and climate functions but does complicate some adjustments," they note. "Many of its functions take time to master. Its screen brightness often needs to be changed to suit light conditions, which is a hassle."

Nearly everyone is happy with the functionality and the switchgear in the 2007 Acura TL, but ConsumerGuide editors note that the buttons and knobs are a bit cluttered: "major controls are well marked, but minor functions are governed by numerous small controls that are difficult to identify at a glance."

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October 2, 2015
2007 Acura TL 4-Door Sedan AT Type-S

The car is bullet proof

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Beautiful car, handles well with good acceleration. No problems at all, only routine maintenance required. Gets very good gas mileage. I use 8 L/KM at about 130km/hr cruise. Does require at least 91 octane... + More »
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April 13, 2015
For 2007 Acura TL

Best car I've owned (TLS with manual transmission) in terms of handling, reliability and ownership.

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I have owned this 2007 TLS for eight years and have only had to do routine maintenance and tire changes. I have averaged 27 MPG and appreciate the ability to free wheel to increase gas milage with the manual... + More »
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8.2
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Styling 8.0
Performance 7.0
Comfort & Quality 9.0
Safety 9.0
Features 8.0
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