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STYLING | 6 out of 10
we find ourselves preferring the appearance of the old car
Acura's new goal is to be bold and brash...The 2009 Acura TL accomplishes just that.
Looks the TL stands out as the face of the brand.
Car and Driver
Skinned with a high-tech but controversial look, the 2010 Acura TL is, 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, 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.
Love it or hate it, the 2010 Acura TL grabs attention. Edmunds reviewers take note of "two TL models available: the base car and the more athletic SH-AWD mode," and both share the distinctive corporate face. Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com shy away from calling it attractive, but all recognize the striking appearance of the Acura TL. Edmunds says "Acura's new goal is to be bold and brash, with aggressive lines and audacious details," and passing quick judgment, proclaims "the 2010 Acura TL accomplishes just that." At first, Automobile Magazine admits the bold grille enjoys a synergy with the concept's design, "but on the production car it strikes us as an oddly shaped appendage that looks out of place." Cars.com warns that "there's just no escaping its looks," claiming that the new Acura TL "will certainly draw stares"-and not in a good way. On the positive side, Car and Driver reviewers feel that the Acura TL "looks better in the flesh than in photographs," and once you get past the front of the car, "the rest of the TL's angular, modern shape is assuredly handsome."
On the inside, there's much less controversy and more to like. 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. Car and Driver says the cabin of the TL lineup shares "a familiar look with other Acuras, but the multifunction controller knob and the bevy of buttons that surround it seem less confusing and cluttered than in the RDX." Road & Track appreciates that the Acura TL's "new interior features a cool-looking 4-gauge instrument cluster and classy center stack," while Cars.com calls the hooded gauges "sporty." Automobile Magazine finds the whole package pleasing, noting that the "interior has been redesigned in a twin-cockpit style for the front seat occupants, with metal trim that twists and curves as it wraps around from door to dash to console. The effect might be confining, if the cabin had not grown wider."
Styling is always a personal matter, but Acura may have gone beyond the pale with the design of the 2010 Acura TL.