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.
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.