2012 Acura TL vs. Its Competition

2012 Acura TL image
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior Editor

Starting at $35,605 for a very well-equipped base model with front-wheel drive, the 2012 Acura TL costs somewhat more than similarly equipped Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3-Series, or even Audi A4 models.

And it's truly a step up from those models, closer to the E-Class, 5-Series, and A6.

Yet unlike most of those sport sedans, the Acura TL remains a front- or all-wheel-drive sedan.

In recent years Audi has gone to lengths to move mass on its vehicles rearward and craft its vehicles into more traditional sport sedans.

Another top rival--but for a different type of shopper--is the Cadillac CTS; its well-sorted, rear-wheel-drive chassis, great powertrains, and sumptuous interior all appeal to traditionalists and those who want seriously good handling.

Another slightly off-the-radar pick might be the Nissan Maxima; Nissan calls the latest Maxima a four-door sports car, but it’s really more like the TL, with a V-6, front-wheel drive, and a nice ride and beautiful interior above all else.

VW’s CC sedan is also an attractive pick for style mavens; its base four-cylinder engine gets great mileage, too, but it’s not at all a sport sedan.

The rear-wheel-drive Hyundai Genesis sedan is another luxury value leader; although its interior is up to par with the TL in many respects, the comparable V-6 version won't get a nod from serious performance fans.

2012 Acura TL image2012 Acura TL
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2012 Audi A4 image2012 Audi A4
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2012 Cadillac CTS image2012 Cadillac CTS
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2012 Mercedes-Benz C Class image2012 Mercedes-Benz C Class
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2012 Nissan Maxima image2012 Nissan Maxima
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2012 Volkswagen CC image2012 Volkswagen CC
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Quick Specs
The 2012 Acura TL is a surprisingly well-rounded luxury sedan, with a host of advanced tech features, and in top SH-AWD trim morphs into a complete and compelling sport sedan.
The 2012 Audi A4 provides an engaging driving experience, impressive in-cabin technology, and surprisingly great fuel efficiency—making it a good everyday driver among premium sedans.
It has a styling leg up, and the 2012 Cadillac CTS backs up its looks with good dynamics, good build quality and a competitive set of body styles and options.
With a new base four-cylinder engine, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class makes even more sense for value-conscious (yet image-conscious) luxury shoppers.
The 2012 Nissan Maxima is a great pick if you want a stylish, sporty, comfortable, and lavishly trimmed sedan; serious sport-sedan enthusiasts should look elsewhere, however.
Value-minded sedan shoppers who are willing to sacrifice a little practicality in the name of style will find a lot to like in the 2012 Volkswagen CC.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
17 MPG City / 29 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy14 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy15 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy
Gas V6Turbocharged Gas I4Gas V6Turbocharged Gas I4Gas V6Turbocharged Gas I4
EPA Class     
Mid-SizeCompact CarsMid-SizeCompactMid-SizeCompact
Style Name     
4-Door Sedan Automatic 2WD4-Door Sedan CVT FrontTrak 2.0T Premium4-Door Sedan 3.0L RWD4-Door Sedan C 250 Sport RWD4-Door Sedan V6 CVT 3.5 S4-Door Sedan Manual Sport
Front-Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
4 Door SedanSedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan
AutomaticContinuously Variable RatioManualAutomaticContinuously VariableManual
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 Acura TL vs. 2012 Audi A42012 Acura TL vs. 2012 Cadillac CTS2012 Acura TL vs. 2012 Mercedes-Benz C Class2012 Acura TL vs. 2012 Nissan Maxima2012 Acura TL vs. 2012 Volkswagen CC