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Acura TL, Sedan
#74 of 912 Re: Improvements [kominsky]
Jun 01, 2005 (11:23 pm)
Very good point. However, here is my take. I have several issues with this newer TL, and I am not saying it because I own a 2002 TL-S. The first thing that I noticed, that is the topic of recent discussion was the location of the fog lights. I knew Acura wouldn't subtract features from newer models. It took me about six months to a year to realize that they were in the headlight cluster. The combined beams could be misconstrued for high beams, especially those drivers that complain about the blinding brightness of xenon lights. However, I think it is a bad idea to have the fog lights located where they are because it gives the impression that the car doesn't have xenon lights due to them being masked by the halogen fog lights that correspond to the headlights. That is the one feature that I really enjoy at night, and they are standard, where on most cars they are $1000+ options. Why is Acura doing this to the TL, hiding them with fog lights that are on the inside of the headlamps?
Other issues: 1) Only a 10 hp/6 ft. lbs torque gain over the 2002-2003 Type-S, which results in a modest 0.1 second improvement in the popular 0-60 category.
2) No Type-S variant 3) What are those red things on the back of the TL that light up on the sides, and why don't they blink when the turn signal is on? 4) What is the deal with trunk openings that get smaller? I guess if we can afford a TL, we can afford a plasma TV so it doesn't have to accomodate larger objects. 5) It's own identity (too much in common with the TSX). 6) Parktronic and sunshades coming standard on all TLs. 7) AWD to compete with European and other Japanese rivals.
2006 had better bring AWD and a lot more guts (like 300+ horsepower) to the field, or it will not have the advantage that it had when I bought my 2002 TL. When I bought it in late 2001, I had the fastest sports sedan on the market. There were no CTS's, G35's, and the C320 and 330i were slower off the line than the TL-S. RIght here at edmunds.com, it beat out the 330i because it offered value and beat it off the line. Those days have to return for the 2006 TL. SH-AWD, and at least 310-315 hp. For you RL fans, it's not the first time the RL would have less horsepower than the TL. Sorry for the long reply, but these things need to be said. Acura has always stood for luxury with value. Let's get serious again.
#75 of 912 Re: Improvements [dalls223]
Jun 02, 2005 (8:59 am)
Well, I had an '01 CL-S and I'd always thought the fog lights on that (and the TL-S) were pretty useless. They didn't really do much, and actually looked silly next to the much brighter HID headlights. I guess that's why Acura deleted them a couple of years later when the the 6-sp version came out.
#76 of 912 Re: Improvements [bodble2]
Jun 02, 2005 (11:50 am)
I wish they would get rid of the silly tape deck and made the audio system play mp3's instead. What good is DVD audio when disks are rare and overpriced?
They should at least put a mini jack input for devices such as ipod (i hate using cassette adapter), or even better do iPod integration like BMW did. I am sure it would not cost more then a DVD-A support.
#77 of 912 Foglights
Jun 02, 2005 (11:54 am)
I owned an 01 CL-S and an 02 TL-S.
I think I know why they changed up the foglights - at least this was my experience. I noticed that when I parked too far into a parking space that had a concrete bumper, it would push under my front air dam, and that would "squish" the foglights, and they would crack. When I realized it would cost me about $170 to replace one foglight, it fixed my compulsion to park too far into a parking space.
I liked the fog lights - I never really had to drive through fog, they just illuminated the road just in front and to the side of the car and helped with the overall lighting.
Besides, true fog lights are amber, and nobody wants amber fog lights on the front of their car anymore.
#78 of 912 Re: Foglights [mth2]
Jun 02, 2005 (12:22 pm)
Well, Lexus comes pretty darn close to amber, with their bright yellow fog lamps, and Lexus owners probably don't have a problem with that, because the bright florescent colors cut through fog better than white. I live in the San Francisco area, and there is fog all over the place over here. My question to all of you is, "Why are street lamps amber?" The answer is that they have a better ability to illuminate in foggy conditions. So there is nothing scientifically wrong with amber fog lights.
Question for mth2: Did you have the sport kit on your car? Because if you did, then you would have less front ground clearance, which might explain why your car couldn't clear the concrete bumper. In my almost four years with my 2002 TL-S I have never had any concrete bumper clearance issues. That sucks about the $170 repair though. My seat heater on the driver side just went out, and my dealer wants to charge me $125 just to look at it. What a pain.
#79 of 912 Re: dalls223
Jun 02, 2005 (1:13 pm)
No, no sports kit - but I do an awful lot of driving in the Central Texas area, and there are gravel trucks everywhere. The fog lights were pretty low to the road, and if a rock hit the fog lamp just right, well...$170.
You're right - I forgot about Lexus and their amber lights - true fog lights are amber anyway. The clear lights just look sharp.
No, someone decided I had had enough time driving my 02 TL-S last December and pushed my car onto a boulder with their car - I can tell you that the airbags work great, and tend to leave a souvenir or two behind for you to remember them by!
Waiting to buy an 06 or 07 TL. I tested an A-SPEC, it was like riding in a horse driven buggy. The car moved up and down more than forward. Would like the A-SPEC styling with different tires, if possible. Enjoyed the regular TL 6M.
#80 of 912 2006 must bring more than just SH-AWD
Jun 02, 2005 (2:41 pm)
I have read the few posts that mentioned the torque steer associated with fwd vehicles. In the 2004 remodel of the TL, it became more athletic and European looking, with more aggressive styling for a company (Honda) that is usually very conservative. The one thing that I absolutely love about Acura, is their reluctance to offer options in addition to the sticker price. The only one currently offered is the navi option, and that has been incorporated into the model offerings to make it appear that no options are available for the vehicle. When you look at the big picture, the top models (ridiculous engine models aside) from Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Jaguar, Infiniti, and even Lexus top out in the 65-85K range. That being said, Acura's TL 33K, and RL 49K could sustain a 10-15% increase and still sell very well, if they are given the upgrades that are available that they are not using.
One is quality control. I have heard the raddle complaints in the new TL and I can only imagine that the same could be in store for the new RL. You aren't hearing about that from European models, at least not with the same frequency. Secondly, ventilated seats are not offered for either the TL or RL. The new Lexus ES330 has this, one of the TL's competitors. Shoot, there is a commercial for it too. And it isn't even offered for the RL. Thirdly, heated rear seats. A lot of the aforementioned companies offer this as an option. Fourth, laser cruise control. Acura may be the last luxury company to not offer this. Lastly, DVD entertainment systems are not offered. With DVD watching becoming more common inside of automobiles that are not even considered "luxury" cars, then why not make this enhancement to the TL and RL. At this point, Acura is about the equal of the lower tier luxury car companies such as Volvo, Lincoln, Cadillac and Saab, whose best models can all be had at under 60K. Charging customers 35-40K for the TL and 52-55K for the RL are not so outlandish if the above improvements are made. I understand that not all of these options could be offered to the TL to justify the price difference, but there is a lot that Acura is forgetting to include.
In conclusion, for 2006 the TL should include some of these ideas in addition to the power increases that made it the fastest sports sedan under 40K in 2002. Acura has always been able to make the excuse that its V6's can compete with the V8's from Europe, but now they are threatening to fall behind many V6's. Mercedes just released the E350 which cranks out 268 hp, Audi's A4/A6 cranks out 255hp, and the new 330i churns out 255hp. All of these models that I just mentioned are either as fast or faster than the TL or RL, with slightly less horsepower. Many of the competition have torque numbers that are better than the TL and they are lighter, so they move quicker. Maybe Acura isn't competing in the HP war, but buyers nowadays are looking for fun when they drive. How else could you explain all of the WRX's you see on the road? And quite frankly it irritates me when I see a wagon WRX and know that I can't beat soccer mom off the line. Not only could the new TL's and RL's use a few technological enhancements, but the thing under the hood should be it's biggest priority. For my next car purchase I may go to another make, because it gives me all that I need in performance. Those needs are increasing everywhere, and so are expectations. Acura has done well throughout the past five years, renewing their brand, and raising expectations, but I think they can put one on the rest of the automotive world if they make some if not all of the improvements that I have mentioned to their 3 top models, TL, RL, and MDX. Of course can they do it without using a V8? That is the most important question of all.
#81 of 912 Re: 2006 must bring more than just SH-AWD [dalls223]
Jun 02, 2005 (3:34 pm)
"And quite frankly it irritates me when I see a wagon WRX and know that I can't beat soccer mom off the line."
Yeah, but you'll look way more cool in your TL than her in her dorky-looking hatch/wagon.
Another thing. You sure E350 and A4, A6 are faster than TL or RL?
#82 of 912 Re: 2006 must bring more than just SH-AWD [bodble2]
Jun 02, 2005 (6:31 pm)
You do have a point on the looking cool factor, but there is a difference between looking cool and being cool. Besides, there is a little something called reputation. If a dorky wagon and a cool TL decide to race one another and the wheels are squeeling once the light turns green, and the dorky wagon beats the cool looking TL, then who is the one feeling stupid. By now the secret is out about the nature of the WRX beast. They have a reputation of being a pocket rocket. The acceleration difference between a WRX and a TL is like half a second in the 0-60 run, which is enough of a difference to bring humiliation to any proud TL owner in event that a race were to take place between these two vehicles. However, if you go out on the highway, there should be a different result because the TL has significantly more horsepower (270 vs. 227), and should win the top speed race.
In regards to the other question you had on speed:
Acura TL (0-60 time): 6.5 secs.
Acura RL: 6.5 secs.
Mercedes E350: 6.5 secs.
Audi A4 3.2: 6.6 secs.
Yeah these numbers look pretty even. But once you take the inherent wheelspin from the fwd of the TL into consideration, and if you are not careful on the takeoff you would do somewhere in the high 6's or low 7's. The RL is the only car that can hang evenly with the two aforementioned German rivals on a consistent basis, but it is a heavier car, which could make a difference depending on the road conditions. My point of that discussion was to prove that the V6 that was in the TL-S three years ago was competitive to a lot of 8 cylinder engines from Germany. For instance a 290hp 540i did the 0-60 in a tad over 6 seconds. The 275hp E430 made the 0-60 run in 6.3. With the last generation 260hp TL-S doing it in 6.6, that was pretty competitive considering you were comparing apples to oranges. The apples to apples comparison, well there was none. The 6 cylinders from Germany (530i and E320) did the sprint in a tad over 7 seconds, well short of that of the TL-S. Here is something even more remarkable that not too many people realized. The last generation Audi S4 (stock 250hp), was two tenths of a second slower than the TL-S in this category. All I am saying is that the gap has closed, and the 06 TL needs to be aiming for low 6's or high 5's if they are going to compete with the 545i's and E500's of the world that do the run in the mid to high 5's. That would at least allow the TL to once again be competitive with the G35 in performance. Even the 2005 Nissan Altima 3.5 SE-R can do the 0-60 sprint in 5.9 according to Nissan. This is why the TSX needs way more power. But that is another topic.
#83 of 912 Acura needs to step up to BMW, M
Jun 02, 2005 (7:13 pm)
I agree with the points being made about the next generation TL. I have a 2002 TL-S and it has been a great car. Not the best at handling but acceleration, ride, space are great. I was looking forward to buying the new RL but it is a major disappointment in my view, and I reached the conclusion that the TL (particularly if it gets AWD and a few other enhancements) would be a better solution.
I think the new Infiniti M is interesting. Fuel economy is below average and can't get AWD in the M45 but other than that, the M has the performance, handling, braking and interior space and features that a performance/luxury car should have.
The new BMW 3 has been expanded a bit and performance credentials (6.1 sec 0-60) are quite strong. Once the 5 series gets a minor rework like the 7 seriers just received, it will be quite strong. Both 3 and 5 series avaliable in AWD in next few months.
In my view, the new TL (and frankly the RL) need something close to (or preferably below) 6 second 0-60 and quarter mile around 14 seconds. More important, they have to have braking and handling characteristics at least closer to the M and BMW's and this means SH-AWD. The interior and trunk space in the TL is currently adequate but they should not make the mistake they made with the RL and essentially give the buyer less space in rear seat, trunk, below average brakes and acceleration and expect the car to sell well vs. BMW and M. The bar has been raised and I agree Acura seems to have lost its edge in building serious performance cars. I have never been a BMW fan and Infiniti offerings/styling has been quite uneven until recently, but to see what they have done with the 3 series and M in terms of performance means I will be driving one of them if the new Acura is not AWD and improved in handling and performance