Performance » 7
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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10
Fast, fun, comfortable and convenient
Kelley Blue Book
still a solid player
a tendency toward torque steer
The 2008 Acura TL and TL Type-S supply plenty of power via the front wheels.
However, all that power results in noticeable torque steer, and reviews researched by TheCarConnection.com felt that the TL’s drivetrain ultimately cut into its performance.
The base Acura 2008 TL is powered by a 3.2-liter V-6 delivering 258 hp and 233 pound-feet of torque. “It’s still capable of bringing the TL from zero to 60 mph in around 6 seconds,” Edmunds says. The Type-S borrows the larger engine from the Acura RL; the 3.5-liter V-6 is rated at 286 hp and 256 pound-feet. With it, the TL’s acceleration times drop to the mid-5-second range.
While the Type-S can be ordered with either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission, the standard TL only comes with a five-speed Sequential SportShift automatic, though it “permits manual gear changes,” Cars.com reports.
Fuel economy is fairly strong for a vehicle of the Acura 2008 TL’s size. Edmunds notes that the base TL is rated at “18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway,” while the manual-equipped Type-S “actually returns better mileage at 18 city and 27 highway, while the five-speed automatic gets 17/26.”
When it comes to handling, the 2008 Acura TL suffers from the sheer amount of power going through the front wheels. ConsumerGuide states, "The base model is agile and well-controlled" and goes on to praise the steering, though reminding us the Acura 2008 TL Type-S has superior steering response and less corner lean. Kelley Blue Book, though, voices the opinion of the majority of reviewers when it suggests "the TL explores the limit of what is possible with front-wheel drive and a torquey V6." Motor Trend says, “"If Acura wants to sell a front-drive car with this much horsepower, the engineers should figure how to tune out the wheel wiggle." Edmunds reports, “Its steering is incalculably precise, and the car's cornering is tack-sharp,” but the Acura 2008 TL falls back in the pack when compared with rear-drive cars like the Infiniti G35.
Otherwise, Cars.com reports, “The TL has a pleasant ride. In the Type-S, a combination of firmer springs, shock absorbers and stabilizer bars keeps the car from heaving its weight left and right, and improves roadholding. “
The 2008 Acura TL has good handling and steering, but torque steer spoils the fun.