Last post on May 09, 2013 at 9:32 AM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
BMW 3 Series, Infiniti G37, Acura TL, Lexus IS 350, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Cadillac CTS, Volvo S60, Audi A4, Acura TSX, Car Comparisons, Sedan
Aug 09, 2012 (3:04 pm)
While I agree that for the price of a TL SH-AWD Advance you could get a BASE Audi S4, the S4 requires over $11,000 of options to get to parity with respect to "content."
The TL SH-AWD Advance with the a la carte addition of back-up sensors and splash gaurds is north of $47 or $48K depending on how many a la carte do-dads (which are nice) you check off.
The TL SH-AWD, however, is able to (mostly) keep up with the S4 (you've no doubt read the test report comparing the two cars, which shows them to have remarkably similar performance -- even though the Audi, in the end, does out-perform the Acura -- for $11,000+ more outlay.)
I call the TL SH-AWD Advance, an S4 "lite" or perhaps S4-like. Given a price independant choice, I would still, however, take the S4 without any hesitation.
I like the [Acura's] 19" wheels, blind spot warning, the ventilated seats, the best factory sound system ever and the torque vectoring, etc, etc, etc, all of which jack the cost of an S4 way too close to $60,000.
I went to Acura from a nearly $49K 2009 Audi A4 2.0T Prestige quattro sport -- the last in a long, long line of Audi products (which I dearly loved.) I wanted the performance of the Audi and the content of the Acura -- for UNDER $50K. The Acura is outgunned by the S4 (and yet the TL is NOT shamed by the S4), but [the TL Sh-AWD Advance] is priced like an Audi A4 Premium+ with a couple of options on it. And the Acura is "similar" in performance to the S4, which I would argue is at the top o' the heap of the desirable car list (that can be afforded by mere mortals.)
The TL is ugly, a step up from fugly, but a far cry from the beautiful A4 (IMHO). But once you're behind the wheel of the TL at, ahem, "highway" speeds listening to a great DVD-Audio disk, you quickly forget how the face and butt of the TL look.
Today, the TL remains an interesting proposition -- perhaps when Acura "rationalizes" the entire lineup, improves the styling and so forth, Acura will regain legitimacy in the Premium class. I await 2014 for some sign from above that they have once again found their way.
My hopes are high, but likewise are my doubts that they [Acura] will once again be a legitimate player in the ELLPS and LPS sandbox. The new RDX and ILX indicate they think they can get away with producing "Honda's who know someone" rather than real Premium cars.
And, you know what? If they sell enough of them, it doesn't matter one whit what any of us thinks. With Acura we're kind of at the same place we were (or are) with respect to manual transmissions -- no matter how we cry and whine (here on these boards), manual transmissions are virtually dead because "no one" buys them and it costs a lot to get a car certified for sale here in the US -- so why bother when the customer take up on stick shifts which used to be at 3% continues to fall and fall and fall into the abyss.
We have voted with our dollars -- and here we are.
Drive it like you live.
Aug 09, 2012 (3:23 pm)
Oh, almost forgot. I drove a TL in the $35K price range -- it was almost as bad as a Lexus ES (a Barco Lounger on wheels). The TL that truly feels like an ELLPS is the TL SH-AWD Advance (by a moderate margin, I'd venture.)
Even the Tech version seems tinny, flimsy and not worthy -- of anything but the comment, "nice Honda."
The top of the line must have some secret sauce, a "sport tuned" suspension perhaps(?) -- I had never driven any TL other than a TL SH-AWD Advance until 2 weeks ago. What a disappointment to drive the lesser vehicle. It wallowed (like a pig) and seemed to be soft and squishy, able to overpower its poor tires and wheels even on a cloverleaf exit ramp.
Damn near made me say "who screwed up this car, is this a joke?"
#14668 of 16087 Re: ELLPS [markcincinnati]
Aug 09, 2012 (4:30 pm)
Stick not dead yet
2010 stats- odds of a camry being sold with a manual 1237 to one, total cars Sold 325k in the states.
Outbacks 1300 to one they sold 93k in the states
Acura TL 6305 to one
In the us Acura sold in 2010 total tl's of 34,049, simple math is 5.4 TLs with manuals - (mind you this is one of the sweetest manuals you could ever by for any money)
TL might be a nice car but it's no S4 or even an enthusiasts choice - even with its fancy long name.
#14669 of 16087 Re: ELLPS [markcincinnati]
Aug 09, 2012 (6:07 pm)
I'm not sure what to make of your TL AWD "Advance" accolades. All the "Advance" is, is a Tech with a few extra gadgets. Period. No chassis, brakes or other mechanical differences whatsoever. The Advance comes standard with 19" "all season" performance tires, whereas the TL 6MT can be ordered with either all season or summer performance tires. None of which are as good as you can do from Tire Rack when you replace them.
My 2004 TL 6MT had a number of addiitonal performance features that none of the automatic models offered at the time: Brembo brakes, larger diameter stabilizer bars, "sport tuned" suspension, summer W-rated performance tires. But for the current 2012 model, Acura bagged the Brembo brakes completely (bad move) and made the suspensions equal across all AWD models regardless of base, Tech, Advance or 6MT.
What the TL SH-AWD 6MT offers is arguably one of the better close ratio short throw six speeds to be found in an ELLPS and a not insignificant 110 - 145 pound weight savings over the Tech and Advance automatics. To me, the driving difference between a 6MT and any of the automatic TL's is significant - with much more responsive acceleration and fun to drive factor. If you found there to be a difference between driving a Tech and an Advance in automatic form, I can't imagine where it's coming from. Possibly those ventilated seats, but not the engine, suspension, brakes or anything else that matters.
#14670 of 16087 Re: ELLPS [markcincinnati]
Aug 09, 2012 (6:10 pm)
I agree the TL SH-AWD is a terrific car, and with discounts is also a good buy. My comments about Acura really sum up my overall disappointment with the downward spiral of their entire lineup.
In 2004 they had the RSX which, while arguably not deserving of the Acura badge, was a terrific sports car (especially in "S" trim). Then there was the first gen TSX 6MT. It's ride, handling styling, driveline, etc. had such a synergy that, for me, made it an even match for the BMW 3-series. And the TL in 2004 was lean and mean, with good looks, powerful driveline, and sharp reflexes.
Today, the only Acura worth a second glance is the TL SH-AWD. And even their best has polarizing looks (I'm being polite ) and an unattractive cockpit with too many buttons (my opinion).
For me, even with a bottom-of-the-line A4, you get a handsome, elegant sedan that does no wrong. Now I'll admit that I'm not a bells and whistles kind of guy, so i don't care if my car has back up cameras, Nav, and surround audio. Hell, I even prefer cloth and pleather to genuine cowhide!
Oh well, I'm just one enthusiast with admittedly unconventional tastes. And I've admitted before that I became alienated from this segment several years ago when I discovered the joys of E30's.
Thank you and Habitat for setting the record straight on the SH-AWD - I did do it a disservice by not mentioning it in my initial comment.
#14671 of 16087 Re: ELLPS [sweendogy]
Aug 09, 2012 (6:13 pm)
"2010 stats- odds of a camry being sold with a manual 1237 to one, total cars Sold 325k in the states.
Outbacks 1300 to one they sold 93k in the states
Acura TL 6305 to one "
I have one of those 2010 Camry 6 speed manuals. Love it. People say Camry's are boring, but the 6 speed manual makes it better than ANY automatic, CVT, whatever, in my opinion.
#14672 of 16087 Re: ELLPS [sweendogy]
Aug 09, 2012 (6:32 pm)
Acura TL 6305 to one
Where in the world did this stat come from? Had they discontinued the 6MT in 2010? (I wasn't in market and don't know).
In any event, there are 3 TL manuals sitting on Pohanka Acura's lot right now, and they have sold at least 10-12 so far this year. That kind of blows the 1 in 6305 out of the water for 2012. I've been told that manual transmissions on the TL this year are running about 3%, which would make it 33 to 1. Or 190 to 6305.
It is a shame in my opinion. The TL manual gets an 8.5 out of 10 on my scale for crisp feel, short throw. Behind my S2000 (rate 9) and 911S (rate 10), but ahead of all non-M BMW's, all Audi's, and the G37. Just rating the gearbox, mind you, not the car. On the other hand, the TL (and MDX) automatic gets a 3 on my rating scale. Way too much lag time and mushiness in response. The MDX and X5d have almost identical 0-60 times on paper, but when you drive them, they couldn't feel more different when you accelerate from a standstill or punch it on the highway.
#14673 of 16087 Re: ELLPS [mcdawgg]
Aug 09, 2012 (6:34 pm)
Yeah buddy where we're you 2 mths ago when I was getting killed on these boards - trying to save the manuals - good for you man-
Lots of guys on this board are auto lovers - but also claim to be enthusiast, they will talk dsg, dct, cvt all day long, one guy even mentioned Lamborghini as being now auto only as his argument- pretty funny stuff.
Enjoy the ride.
#14675 of 16087 Re: ELLPS [sweendogy]
Aug 09, 2012 (7:08 pm)
And that was interesting homework, but I don't quite get it. The "take rate" for the TL is 5%, but the odds of one being sold is 6305 to 1?? 5% is a lot closer to the actual sales ratios I've heard.
Interestingly, we came very close to getting a 2012 Cayenne 6-speed manual instead of a BMW X5d. Beautiful black on back one at Auto Palace in Pittsburgh. If it wasn't for the fact that it's just a hair too small inside and I didn't really want to pay Porsche service costs for the next 10 years and 150k miles, we would have gone for it. According to your article, that one has a take rate of 1.3% and an odds of 37,000 to one. Which means that at 5,000 to 1 for a hole in one, I should get 7+ aces if I let my wife get the Cayenne? Maybe I should rethink that.
Thanks for posting your sources. Still not sure why the "take rate" and "odds of selling" are so at odds with one another. But at least I will know to never question your homework skills again.