ASSOCIATE EDITOR GRAHAM KOZAK: I don’t anticipate abounding bodies accept absolutely been abiding what to accomplish of Acura lately. The neo-NSX has been in the works forever, the TLX “prototype” we saw in Detroit was nice abundant but hardly a stunner, and the range-topping RLX can’t absolutely accumulate up with the German competition.
So the anticipation of active a 2014 Acura TL SH-AWD (one of two models the advancing TLX is declared to replace, the added actuality the TSX), didn’t absolutely get the affection pumping. Off the bat, I knew I was activity to be confronted with a cluttered, on-laded centermost animate and a adequately solid chassis/powertrain draped in so-so sheetmetal.
Still, I’m consistently blessed to be accurate amiss by a car, and admitting the TL does still activity that adverse parts-bin-sourced infotainment cluster, it’s accessible abundant to attending accomplished the centermost animate already you leave the driveway.
The TL wasn’t aloof added fun to drive than I was assured — an absolutely low-ish bar — it was absolutely entertaining.
You’ll appetite to tap the acute burke aloof because the V6 seems so blessed to be revved. The agent agenda is abundantly mechanical, and it’s aloof loud abundant to apprehend in the contrarily quiet cabin. I like that; it’s a nice, attenuate admonition of how Honda got to be area it is today. The absolute shifter bent me off bouncer in a acceptable way, and I’m admiring that Acura sees fit to activity the six-speed chiral in its higher-level, AWD-equipped trims. Mazda, booty note.
Like its engine, the car seems to adore actuality pushed; the AWD arrangement eliminates any torque beacon that the 273 lb-ft may accept produced. It’s collapsed and solid through corners and assured in the snow.
All in all, this is the best pleasant, best absorbing and best agreeable Acura I can anamnesis actuality in recently. It’s not absolutely a stunner, but its angles angle out from bill to trapezoidal bankrupt tips. It’s got a abundant agent and a decidedly brittle transmission. And the amount isn’t alike that antic back you accede that a commensurable Buick Regal GS AWD is in the ballpark.
But — and you knew there was activity to be a “but” — this is apparently the affectionate of car Acura needs to be presenting as its baseline if it wants to move forward. It’s a appealing appropriate archetype of the future-techno-luxury (or entry-level luxury, or whatever) that Acura could be bringing to the market, from its abate cars on up through its big crossovers. And the aloft Buick isn’t the alone affair aural this amount rage: So is the Audi A4 quattro and the hardly abate 4Matic-equipped Mercedes-Benz C-class.
I know, I know. I don’t accept to design, engineer, anatomy or advertise cars, so it’s accessible abundant for me to talk. But it’s additionally accessible abundant for buyers to drive appropriate accomplished the Acura lot in chase of article else, which seems to be the case these days.
The 2014 Acura TL SH-AWD starts off with a abject amount of $44,295.
SENIOR MOTORSPORTS EDITOR MAC MORRISON: I’ve consistently adopted the third-generation TL’s exoteric administration and accommodation to those of this fourth-gen model, but I never accept abounding complaints already I advance the alpha on and activate to accord the car a workout. Young Kozak shouldn’t be afraid by the six-speed manual’s absolute action, as it is a long-appreciated Acura staple.
Stuck active through snow already afresh as this Nuclear-esque winter drags on with no end in sight, the AWD-equipped TL inspires aberrant aplomb acknowledgment to its well-controlled chassis, accomplished basement position and beefy council wheel; conceivably the accomplished acclaim I can pay it is to say the TL is a actual aqueous package, consistent in active active alike in less-than-ideal conditions. Don’t aberration that account as aloof of aggro or alarming driving, but rather to point out how the TL puts you into disciplinarian approach immediately. The solid ancestry mentioned already amalgamate with the strong, agilely rumbly agent to aftermath a well-balanced, mechanical-feeling sport-sedan that I still adore actual abundant alike now, a acceptable bristles years post-introduction.
I accede with Graham apropos some of the controls, admitting I don’t necessarily acquisition the centermost assemblage too busy; I don’t consistently adopt that anniversary ascendancy is anchored aural a complex, on-screen alone multi-media/navigation/climate/trash compactor setup. But some of the controls that are on-screen alone are agilely acid to discern. And please, Acura, the driver’s affectation bulletin — and diagram assuming three pedals (!) — instructing me EVERY TIME I get in to abase the clamp afore battlefront the agitation (or in the case of the automatic-gearbox able TL, to columnist the anchor first) is asinine.
The 2014 Acura TL SH-AWD is able with a 3.7-liter V6 that is akin to a six-speed chiral gearbox.
ASSOCIATE EDITOR JAKE LINGEMAN: This gearbox has been about for a continued time now, and it’s still one of the best in the business. Absolute throw, absolute height, and absolute breeze as it clicks into place. Back I was assigned the car for the weekend, I already knew I admired the naturally-aspirated engine; the chiral chiral was a bonus.
This V6 delivers absurd dispatch in about every gear, and pushes hard, alike back alive early. The bankrupt agenda sounds a little metallic, reminding me of the Nissan V6s. All-wheel drive kept me canoeing over all sorts of terrain, from snow to ice to arenaceous salt. It alike squawked a few tires back I popped the clamp afterwards slowing for a absent driver.
The actualization is appealing boring, and like Mac said, this is one of the few Acuras that looked bigger in antecedent years.
The aggregation of ons is affectionate of a pain, but you do get acclimated to them over the advance of a few days. I alike afflicted the settings in the radio so I could skip through all channels, and not aloof favorites. The aeronautics arrangement was abundant back I got ashore in cartage on my way home, and started demography accidental turns aloof to get some acceleration going. The arrangement additionally bound affiliated to my Apple iPhone and played all my stuff.
The TL comes in appropriate at BMW 3-series money, which is a boxy advertise for bodies who affliction about brands. Would a client accept an Acura over the Roundel, all added things actuality equal? I agnosticism it.
The 2014 Acura TL SH-AWD with the chiral provides for a admirable drive.
ROAD TEST EDITOR JONATHAN WONG: I achievement anybody enjoyed what best acceptable will be their aftermost go about with this TL SH-AWD and the chiral transmission, because it abiding doesn’t assume like there are affairs for a acceptable old-fashioned, three-pedal bureaucracy in the accessible TLX.
The actuality that a chiral is accessible in this bearing TL with SH-AWD wasn’t a accustomed and is alone actuality because engineers at Honda R&D America fought for it. They got the plan accustomed and developed it, which is the aboriginal time a chiral gearbox was acclimated in affiliation with SH-AWD. To accomplish it work, they had to advance stronger agent and chiral cradles and half-shafts. What are the affairs of a chiral accepting accustomed again? Apparently slim, but you never know. We can consistently hope.
This TL’s banal all-embracing actualization has been able-bodied accurate above, but I do adopt the accepted softer curve compared to the agrarian and crazy creases all over the abode that this car had back it aboriginal debuted. I still acquisition the berth chiefly comfortable, with accomplished seats that are adequate and supportive. Materials throughout are of acceptable affection with nice finishes, and the on-heavy centermost assemblage is article I’ve never had a botheration with. It’s logically laid out and doesn’t booty abundant time to get acclimated to. I apperceive Acura is affective appear added touchscreen-dependent interiors like the one begin in the MDX, and to be honest I adopt adamantine ons over borer on a awning that will accordingly blemish up.
But this TL charcoal a solid agent alike in its old age. Cipher builds a smoother V6 than Honda/Acura and cipher does added aqueous chiral gearboxes. The agent sounds abundant at wide-open-throttle and calmly revs up aerial with aiguille ability actuality fabricated up there. Alike bottomward low, there is abundant balance in the V6 to accomplish it a adjustable engine. While the chiral shifter in the TSX is acme in operation, the TL is a aing second, with brittle accouterment and a ablaze clamp that’s a breeze to operate.
It’s a dynamic-feeling anatomy that’s acknowledging to council inputs with well-weighted council feel. It’s well-damped to accumulate the anatomy accurately angry bottomward with basal anatomy roll. Ride affection is close but comfortable, with the majority of baby and average ruts smoothed out.
And for $44K, there’s acceptable amount here, with the Technology trim akin packing in aeronautics with real-time cartage and acclimate information, a agitation ELS complete system, push-on starter, and Bluetooth. The alone affair missing that I would absolutely appetite is the dark atom ecology arrangement that’s included in the Advance versions, but that’s not accessible with the manual. I would acquiescently alive after the blind-spot adviser for the stick.
Base Price: $44,295
As-Tested Price: $44,295
Drivetrain: 3.7-liter V6; AWD, six-speed manual
Output: 305 hp @ 6,000 rpm, 273 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm
Curb Weight: 3,889 lb
Fuel Economy (EPA City/Highway/Combined): 17/25/20 mpg
AW Observed Ammunition Economy: 18.0 mpg
Graham Kozak – Graham Kozak collection a 1951 Packard 200 auto in aerial academy because he capital article that would be accessible to acquisition in a parking lot. He thinks all the things they’re accomplishing with ammunition bang and seatbelts these canicule are appealing chic too. See added by this author»
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