While exterior styling is controversial—especially the snout—the interior feels like a home run. Neither derivative nor over-the-top, the smooth, swoopy design impresses as a smoother version of recent Acura and Honda designs, especially with respect to the instrument panel. While the twin-cockpit design couldn't be pulled off functionally in a compact sedan, the TL's generous size allows it. Gentle arcs and circles predominate, beautifully melding leather and synthetic, analog and digital in an artful yet logical way that is uniquely Acura. Unfortunately, Acura chooses the cold, harsh light of white/blue LEDs for the TL's overhead illumination.
Skinned with a high-tech but controversial look, the 2011 Acura TL has, for many, a love-it-or-leave-it design. Still, heads swivel when the TL drives by. The more restrained mid-lux sedan owner may roll their eyes at its seemingly robot-inspired sheetmetal (it's really the front end; the rest is very agreeable), but younger or more adventurous buyers may find it refreshing. Technophiles will find the TL's collection of digital creases and prominent prow a welcome change from the organic designs of competing sedans.