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Acura TL, Sedan
May 25, 2004 (6:40 pm)
I'm at $1,000 over invoice for a 6-speed Nav w/HPT that had to be ordered. I think the auto is a little easier to come by, so that may give you a little more bargaining room, at least back here in DC.
Can you feel the 270 hp? Yes and no. I've done 3 reasonably extensive test drives in the last two weeks, all with a 6-speed, and although quick, it's not blazingly fast. The 225 hp 330i felt like it had a bit more kick. The TL's 238 ft lbs of torque is essentially identical to my 1995 Maxima's 205 ft lbs compensating for vehicle weight (3,475 lbs vs. 3,000). So the TL has a better top end than my Max, but the first 60 mph isn't much different. The 270 hp TL is not the old 270 hp NSX, that's for sure. I'm not sure who measures "horses" but there seems to be a growth in ratings that doesn't correspond to a proportional growth in performance.
Can the TL achieve 30 mpg on the highway? Don't know, but I would hope so. My Maxima can achieve 30 mpg on a pure highway trip with the cruise set between 65 and 70. At 70, the Maxima is engine is doing just under 3,000 rpm. In the TL's 6th gear, it's only doing about 2,200 rpm. Given that I'd have to downshift to 3rd or 4th to get any real punch, I would hope the TL's advantage is good highway mileage. For comparison, my Honda S2000 at 70 mph is doing nearly 4,000 rpm and I've managed 31.5 mpg on the highway. A friend's M5, at 4,000 lbs and 400 horsepower, gets 25 mpg on the highway. If the TL can't get 30 mpg on the highway, even with an automatic transmission, something is wrong.
Should you dish out $1,300 for an extended warranty (7 years/ 100k, I assume). With the 6-speed, I wouldn't. With the automatic, you might want to. But remember the TL starts with 4 years and 50k miles and roadside assistance standard. I was quoted $1,050 for a 7 year 100k mile warranty on my S2000 which only comes with a 3 year/36k mile warranty standard (and no roadside assistance). The TL has more gizmos, but certainly nowhere near the sophisticated engineering of the S2000. As such, I think the $1,300 price sounds stiff. Try doing a websearch on "Hondacares". I'm not sure if they cover Acuras, but its the official factory extended warranty from Honda North America, and that's the ONLY way I would go. Forget aftermarket altogether.
#1524 of 12047 2005 Model Changes - my ideas
May 25, 2004 (6:42 pm)
All right, time to stur up some controversy and some heated discussions...
If I were to make some changes to the 2005 model, I would do the following:
1) Add smartkey access like that found on the 2004 LS 430. This option has been so popular that nearly all Lexus LS 430's now ship with this option. I understand the RL will also carry this option. This option can be used by EVERYONE and EVERYTIME.
2) Adaptive headlights. Again, feature can be used by EVERYONE and increases safety at night.
1) DVD audio....Simply put, I don't believe this is going anywhere. To my knowledge, I'm not aware of any 2005 models adding this feature (other than perhaps the new RL). For the past 6 months, essentially the same DVD titles have been available at Best Buy.
2) Make Bluetooth part of an option package (perhaps bundled with the NAV). Again, a fair number of service providers do NOT carry Bluetooth phones so I suspect the majority of TL owners are not using this feature.
To net it out, my ADDS cost more than the REMOVES BUT it makes the TL a better overall car for a larger buying audience!
May 25, 2004 (6:58 pm)
Interesting suggestions. Regarding your "REMOVES", I can't comment on DVD, since I'm still in the 8-track age (not quite, but almost). However, now that we have cell phone number portability, I'm happy to march my Sprint PCS number over to ATT Wireless to get a Bluetooth enabled phone. Mark my word, every provider that wants to be competitive will have Bluetooth phones within the next 6-9 months. And, from a safety and convenience standpoint, I think it will be a must have (in DC, it's becoming the law as of July 1).
Adaptive headlights? The ones that turn corners like BMW and others? Sounds good, but I'm a little skeptical of the cost and likelihood of repairs over the long term. Maybe I just recall to many "stuck up" or "stuck down" pop up headlights from the 1970's and 1980's. Even the BMW M1 and 8-series fell into this fad. Personally, I think well designed bi-xenon lights with good fog lights can do the trick in just about any driving condition.
My ADDS would be rear wheel drive and a 50-50 weight balance (vs. 60/40 now). It would fill the niche for me between the too tight 330i and too ugly 530i. As it stands, it's the one of the best FWD sedans out there, just not quite the performance car it advertises.
P.S. Regarding FWD vs RWD, I'll try to keep any open mind regarding the SH-AWD system being developed for the new RL. However, to start with FWD and try to "fix" the driving dynamics with an AWD system seems like a lot of work and expense when RWD does just fine for everything from the 330i to the AMG E55. If I'm taking on snow, our SUV gets the call to action anyway.
#1526 of 12047 re: Need advice quick!-niraj724 [carcar #1522], habitat, vilonist
May 25, 2004 (7:13 pm)
There aren't many dealers in the northwest. For a brand new car one has to wait 8-12 weeks. If the car drives and feels OK then you think 33500 would be ok. he said they would add 6 months of warranty too.
May 25, 2004 (9:24 pm)
Habitat, mine (auto) gets 23 mpg 30mph average according to the trip computer. Never done any traveling yet, but for short trips(2 hour drive) on highways, it gets 32-34mpg65-70mph (I-94 no traffic).
A little info about 0-60mph I dunno about maxima but even the 3.5L SE Maxima's 0-60 is only 6.4 secs.
A 97 maxima SE took 7.1 secs(1.4 secs difference from TL). A two-seater NSX(91-96) ranges from 5.2-5.8 secs. A few ticks of a second is really hard to tell especially without the engine's roar.
niraj724, I just dont like the idea of buying a DEMO car if you can get a new one but its your money.
#1528 of 12047 danny1878, go-mdx1
May 25, 2004 (10:30 pm)
The 1995 Maxima SE 5-speed I have was tested at 0-60 in 6.6-6.7 seconds by all three major car magazines. Subsequent, slightly heavier, model years were somewhat slower.
The TL doesn't feel any quicker off the line, but does after about 40 mph, assuming I leave it in a lower gear. Put into 6th gear, the TL has essentially no acceleration capability due to the low rpms.
go-mdx1, forgot that one of my other "ADDS" would be an 8,000 rpm red-line for the TL. The engine could probably easily handle it with a few tweaks and, while I know it wasn't meant to be a Honda S2000 (9,000 rpm), it would be a lot more fun to drive if it had a higher red-line for the occassional indulgence.
#1529 of 12047 Re: go_mdx1 [habitat1 #1525]
May 26, 2004 (8:04 am)
Additionss for 2005 in my opinion:
Speed Sensative Volume for the radio.
A compass in the mirror or by the clock.
True Speed sensative wipers, not just on the fastest delay mode
A real trip computer/info center (like the G35) that tells you everything.
Less buttons to get to the trip computer. Why can't I see the trip computer AND the outside temperature at the same time? Why must I choose?
Song Name/Artist info on radio stations. It does this for XM, so why can't it do this for FM stations like many other manufactures can? It is one of the best systems out, so how could they overlook this?
A place to put my CDs. The current space (other than the door) won't allow full size jewel cases to fit. The door is impractical due to ergonomics. You have to open the door flap to get anything of that size in or out easily.
Parchment interior for the blue exterior! Oh I wish I could have that.
Better tires. Enough said.
I feel much better now thank you.
#1530 of 12047 Re: is this a good price? please advise.. [sminnick #1510]
May 26, 2004 (10:40 am)
No you can get it around 1500 less in NOVA
#1531 of 12047 Re: highender [habitat1 #1523]
May 26, 2004 (10:39 pm)
Yeah....the dealer laughed at the invoice ...he said $34,000 for auto and navi.....so no deals yet...
We test drove the TL after the 325i and C230, and it seems exactly as you said. The other 2 are more responsive at low end....325i the most. TL seemed a little slow, but does build up speed later..
Agree the hp figures do not translate well into performance...
Hope it can get 30 mpg...but it's not that critical...
agree wtih the extended warranty....once I bought aftermarket, adn it was crap....did'nt cover the broken part; supercharger...!!
Is it true the 330i has incentives now ? We did look at 325i, but heard the style is going to change next 12 months, to the new look....so it may decrease the value of the 2004. We like the TL nav, but need auto. Would like the BMW if the price came down....
#1532 of 12047 highender, et all re: TL vs. 3-series
May 27, 2004 (2:26 am)
I've decided to go ahead with my purchase of the TL 6-speed Navi HPT at $33,400.
That's after I got a boni-fide offer on a 330i 6-speed for $35,500 (including sport package, moonroof, xenons and cold weather; in my exact color preference and a brand new car being shipped form Germany as we speak). The 330i price is $1,200 under invoice, thanks to the $2,400 factory dealer incentive for delivery by June 30. On the 325i, the incentive is $1,200, I believe.
Most of the "value" comparisons made by others in claiming the TL is a much better deal than the 330i suggest that the 330i is $7k-10k more than the TL. In my case, I got the difference down to an almost insignificant $2,100. Granted, that's with a 330i without navigation or full leather seating. But those items are not what I consider important to a 330i vs. TL decision. In fact, if the BMW dealer could have found one without the cold weather package, the price difference would have only been $1,500. Essentially nothing.
The decision to go with the TL for me came down to trading the somewhat better handling of the BMW to the better overall suitability and versitility of the TL in terms of size. If the 330i were a little closer to the old 5-series in size (which supposedly will occur with the late 2005 re-design), then I probably would have gone with the BMW. But the TL 6-speed manages to give enough good performance to not make me want to suffer the consequences of getting a current 3-series and not be able to cart the wife and kids on a weekend trip. If I were prepared to make that sacrifice, I may very well have gone with a $52,000+ M3 in Phoenix Yellow to completely eliminate any remorse for trading my (Spa Yellow) Honda S2000.
If others out there can get away with the size of the 3-series, they should give it serious consideration. I've managed a very good deal on the TL at $1,000 over invoice, but $1,200 UNDER invoice for a 330i is an unprecedented opportunity. And I can absolutely guarantee that if you live in the DC area, the resale value of a 330i in 3-4 years will be substantially higher than that of a TL, making the 330i a LESS expensive car than the TL if that's your time frame.
P.S. Notwithstanding the good handling of a 325i, IMO it's not in the same league as either the TL or 330i in terms of acceleration. Note that I've only compared manual transmissions, but the 325i didn't meet my minimum threshold of acceptability (which is, admittedly, pretty high). Frankly, a TL with automatic, lacking the beefier suspension and Brembo brakes of the 6-speed, would not meet my miniumum threshold of performance (and "fun to drive").
P.P.S. If any Acura management is listening, "thank you" for introducing the 6-speed. You got a sale that you absolutely wouldn't have made based upon last year's model or an automatic only version of the 2004. Hopefully, this sends a signal to other manufacturers that, although manual transmissions only account for 10-25% of the buyers, calling anything a "sport sedan" that is offered in automatic only mode is an oxymoron.