The 2012 Acura TL remains built on Honda Accord roots, and that pays off for interior space. There are generously sized, supportive front seats (although they could use more lateral support for performance driving), plus a nice, adult-sized backseat that could accommodate three across. The only major disappointment is the trunk's meager 13.1 cubic feet of cargo space.
We do appreciate the driving position and cockpit-like feel of the instrument panel--which is very different than in the Accord. The deep, round gauges and hooded central screen—the first details you notice when you step into the deeply bolstered driver's seat in the 2012 Acura TL—are complemented by straightforward controls below and a selection dial for screen functions that's not too low from the line of vision.
You might be somewhat overwhelmed by the clutter of buttons--on the steering wheel, as well as the center stack. It's all easy to use, but the owner's manual may be your best friend for the first few weeks. Once you're familiar with the controls, audio, navigation, Bluetooth hands-free phone operation, and voice commands are all at your fingertips.The TL's cabin also feels tight and free of wind noise, and even on the coarsest pavement surfaces we noticed very little road noise—definitely less than the M37 or Cadillac CTS. The big 19-inch wheels, however, give the SH-AWD a particularly rough ride over irregular surfaces, a problem not evidenced in the base model, which is more comfortable for most purposes.
Build quality is typically Acura, with solid materials and close tolerances, though there aren't as many options or upgrades as you'll find at brands like BMW, Mercedes, or Lexus.