2012 Acura TL at 2011 Chicago Auto Show


  • Competes with: Lexus ES, Infiniti G37, Audi A4
  • Looks like: Less beak, more Ford Taurus
  • Drivetrain: 3.5-liter and 3.7-liter V-6 engines, six-speed automatic or manual transmission, front- or all-wheel drive
  • Hits dealerships: Spring 2011

It’s no secret that folks didn’t like the Acura TL’s beak-like grille when the sedan was redesigned for 2009. For 2012, that beak gets filed down, and overall the front end looks stubbier, thanks to a shorter front overhang. The car loses 1.5 inches in length overall.

More 2011 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

Will the changes win back fans of the once-popular premium sedan? We’re not sure. However, there are also updates under the hood. If the looks are dialed down enough to attract more buyers, the 3.5-liter V-6 base model with front-wheel drive will certainly hit other practical points. It gets improved mileage — up 3 mpg on the highway to 29 mpg — thanks to a new six-speed automatic transmission. That transmission also is now standard on the all-wheel-drive performance trim, the TL SH-AWD, along with the larger 3.7-liter V-6 making 305 horsepower; the base model generates 280 hp. You can still get a six-speed manual transmission on the SH-AWD.

The interior gets mild enhancements that are hard to discern. But folks who opt for the Technology Package will get the brand’s most advanced navigation unit, which we liked in the new ZDX and refreshed MDX. There’s an Advance Package that adds blind spot monitoring and ventilated front seats.
Check out more images below and let us know if you think the TL is now a palatable premium sedan.




















I personally think that now the car looks really great. The "shield" in the front is of the correct size and proportion. At the back the reflactors used to be rediculously huge and now they look neat. Overall, I like this design now, hated it in the past!


Looks almost the same to me.


Nice updates...


The seats still don't fold down. The exterior is fixed but the functionality of the car is dead without offering 60/40 fold down seats.


I like the update and the shnoz reduction, but the interior although awesome in appointment looks odd with the airbag cover being a shiny brown on a black wheel and it just pulls my eye right to it and throws off the whole cabin. I know the dash and window sills are also the same brown, but they aren't shiny.... I hope it comes in all black to get rid of that.

Did it look less odd in person?


I'm glad they decided to tweak the beak. But I think the dashboard needs some work. Does it look cheap to anyone else compared to Audi and Infiniti?


An improvement but... Acura just needs to start over and re-design this from the ground up. I don't know why such a risk was taken with such an important car. Acura has successfully demolished the TL's sales with this design.


TIM its the reflection of the camera flash ..its black on black....look at the preowned photos all acura's look like that as do alot of cars..I own a 2010 acura..


I'm with Alex, this new updated look is great. What an improvement! To bad none of the Detroit brands can make a high quality car like the TL.


I had intention of posting to this earlier, but I fell asleep somewhere around the 2nd or 3rd picture. Why does Honda/Acura choose to showcase their vehicles with such a boring color? ZZzzzzzz........

Ken L.

These updates are still not significant enough. In fact, it looks a bit older than the current model, which is bolder and more expressive (this is not mean I am a fan of the current TL styling). What I do not understand is why there is a pronounced curve on the front fenders; this is suppose to be a sharp looking car that emphasizes its angular lines.


i think this car looks really great. a nice, smooth look with an improved nose.


Seriously, it took Honda until 2012 to put a six speed automatic in this thing? This is supposed to be a luxury car, right?

Honda fans, you wonder why people continued to buy GM in the 80's and 90's? Now you understand.


Hey Honda wanted to get their money's worth from the 5 speed automatic. What, is twelve years too long?

This is a nice car but 29mpg is not that much.

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