Last post on Oct 21, 2013 at 3:20 PM
You are in the Acura TL
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Acura TL, Sedan
#1171 of 2002 On my third 2003 TL Transmission
Oct 25, 2008 (11:19 pm)
I noticed a post from a few days ago bashing honda in that their transmissions fail in 30k miles or less. For a while there, that was pretty much my experience . I had transmission failures at 19,000 and 61,000. I had a couple minor problems between that but I am proud to say at 101,000 miles nothing at all has gone wrong in the last 40,000. Although I was not a happy camper when my first transmission blew inside the Lincoln tunnel to manhattan in rush hour on a friday evening, I must say that Acura handled the situation extremely professionally. Luckily they noticed the 2nd transmission failure during an oil change when I observed something off when shifting from 3rd to 4th and had them check it. Anyway my point is that granted Acura had MAJOR transmission problems in cars built in those couple of years, they took full responsibility and made sure not a dime left my pocket and i was inconvenienced as minimally as possible. Both replacements took 7 days in which I was given a loaner car. If i was treated any differently, I would not have been at the acura dealership on September 24th to be one of the first to test drive the 09. Despite everybodys complaints about its size and ugliness, I really enjoyed driving it and have it high on my list when I'm ready to buy in the next month or two. I'll do this with the confidence that if there are any problems down the road with engine, trans or whatever, acura will be man enough to admit it and take appropriate action. These past transmission problems will not affect my decision at all when considering it as my next car.
#1172 of 2002 Re: #1166 of 1171 front seat head rests kink our necks (bonju)
Oct 26, 2008 (4:01 pm)
"... have found that the front seat head rests are angled uncomfortably too far forward, causing noticeable discomfort after even a short test-driving trip."
I sat in a '09 TL in the showroom and didn't even go for a test drive, and experienced exactly what you described. I asked the sales person if there's an adjustment that would eliminate this discomfort, and he said there isn't. he said It was designed that way for safety reasons, to reduce the chances or severity of whiplash. Well, safety or no safety, it's a deal breaker for me if the seating position causes neck discomfort. I'm sure it doesn't affect everyone the same way, but I'm glad to know that there are others who experienced the same discomfort.
It seems to me that those of us with an anatomy that makes this new TL headrest uncomfortable would probably lean our heads back further if the headrest allowed it, so that our heads would be the same distance from the headrest as in the TL headrest, or our heads would touch the headrest, but at a more comfortable angle, thereby achieving the same whiplash protection.
Incidentally, the headrest of my wife's older TL doesn't present this problem.
#1173 of 2002 Re: Acura should call it quits. [dvsutton]
Oct 28, 2008 (11:59 am)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't those transmission problems covered under warranty. Those cars have a 7 year 100,000 mile power train warranty. All car companies have recalls on different things. Honda/Acura happened to have tranny problems from 99 to 03 or 04. They're still great cars and have excellent resale value.
#1174 of 2002 Re: Acura should call it quits. [habitat1]
Oct 29, 2008 (10:27 am)
Haby, you need to get yourself back into that S2000... J/K Sorry to hear about your troubles with the 911, I still have it on my wish list anyways, but it won't be for a very long time since my 04' S2000 is gonna be with me for a very long time
It's been a while since I posted and actually the TL is what got me back on the Edmunds boards (I was lurking for a while). Anyways, I am interested in the SH-AWD with a stick (I know you'll appreciate that one) so I'll be lurking here for a while. Cheers!!!
Oh and dvsutton is a phoney. Do a quick internet search and you'll find the same rants going back to last year. At one point it was problems with a Corolla, then a Camry. The whole Odyssey thing is made up, seriously. At one point it was Sienna.
Thankfully, his posts on the N&V board get erased soon after they are posted so he's just wasting a ton of keystrokes for nothing.
Hey dv, I like Fords too man so don't take this personally.
Anyways, with regards to the TL, I don't really have any complaints with the styling, outside of the beak. A honda enthusiast site has some great photoshops of what the car would look like with portions of the grill painted to match the car and it becomes much more palatable. Otherwise, I have seen a couple being delivered to the dealerships and in darker colors, the grill looks fine.
But I predict an emergency makeover to "tone it down" come MMC.
#1175 of 2002 Re: #1166 of 1171 front seat head rests kink our necks (bonju) [hpmctorque]
Oct 30, 2008 (5:30 pm)
That is bad news. I wanted to consider the TL; might be a short visit.
There are so many cars with those new headrests. I liked the Mercury Milan but they gave me a headache from angling my head forward. The salesman told me a lot of people said the same thing. Impala's are worse; just impossible to drive. Tonight I test drove a Lincoln MKZ; I liked it a lot. Headrests were okay, but just barely and only if you pulled it all the way up. The sales manager said the biggest complaint on the new Lincoln MKS was the head rests.
I had a TSX loaner for a day; no problem, very comfortable seats, I didn't notice the headrests.
#1176 of 2002 front seat head rests kink our necks (bonju) (bidj)
Oct 30, 2008 (7:01 pm)
Maybe if enough of us who are uncomfortable with some of these newer headrests make our wishes known, the manufacturers will modify them.
I don't buy the "it's for safety" argument because if they were adjustable by, say, one inch, those of us whose anatomy required it would still drive with our heads against the headrest, or just millimeters in front of it.
Oct 30, 2008 (7:04 pm)
Lincoln's have absolutely horrible resale value. The MKS is 45 grand. You could get a BMW 335i for that!!! I won't even begin to compare those two cars. Ok I will... MKS 0-60 in 7.5. 335i 0-60 in 5.2. It's mind boggling why anyone would buy a Lincoln, unless it's used. In that case you might be getting a deal because it'll lose half it's value in the first 3 years. And the MKZ is 37 large. You could get a G37 for that.Lincoln's have less power and the worst resale value of any car in their class. YUCK!!! American cars in general have horrible resale. For example. Look on auto trader. A 2007 Ford Taurus is averaging around $12,000. That's roughly a $25,000 car brand new. A honda accord is around the same price depending on the options for 07. But they're averaging $18,000. and a much better car. There are many more examples like this. OK, thats my american car company rant.
#1178 of 2002 Test Drive
Oct 30, 2008 (9:45 pm)
I got a chance to take a TL for a test drive yesterday while I had my '06 TL in for service. I thought I'd post my thoughts here while they're still fresh in my mind both for my own reference, and for those who are waiting to hear feedback from other people's experiences.
First off, let me say that I'm pretty neutral on the styling. It doesn't have that OH WOW! factor that I thought when I first saw the '04 TL. But I don't feel turned off by the appearance either. I think it has a futuristic look, and in a year or two, it will look very good. Ditto for the grill, but as with everything I'll write here, this is just my opinion!
The interior looks very nice. I think most people would agree with that. I drove a model that had the tech option. Frankly, I couldn't imagine not getting the tech package. The seats were very comfortable; there was plenty of leg room, shoulder room and head room (I'm 6'2, 185). I didn't have a problem with the headrest. I started with it all the way down, and then after about 15 minutes, I remembered that I needed to check out the headrests after reading what I've read here. It was a good sign that I didn't even think about it until I consciously directed my attention to it. I raised the headrest a few notches and my head was in the right place on the headrest. I did think it felt most comfortable all the way down as I could extend my next over the top a little bit. So FWIW, the headrest didn't bother me.
The navigation system was pretty straightforward, but operating the stereo controls and weather and everything else didn't feel intuitive right away. I'm sure after playing around with it for a few days, it would seem natural, but I didn't get there in a 30-minute test drive. The sound system was AWESOME. Much, much better than in my '06. Bass sounded deeper, no rattle, treble was very crisp and sharp. Even Jim Rome sounded tolerable.
My driving impressions were good, and this was in a base model (not SH-AWD). My dealer doesn't have an AWD version yet, so I had to make due with what they had. I live in Iowa, and we're always the last to get anything good. The steering felt more responsive and the car turned more accurately. I drove a lot of the roads I drive routinely in town and in the country so I could get a feel for how the car performs in direct comparison to my '06. I also didn't experience the easy wheelspin that I often get in my '06. Basically, anytime I accelerate from a standstill with even moderate force, the front wheels spin. It's embarrassing for that to happen when you don't want it to.
I don't know that this car is quicker than the '06, but it feels like it is. I've always felt like my current vehicle has a "heavy" accelerator - in other words, you have to push hard into the pedal to get the car to go, harder than you would expect. Sure, if you mash the pedal (after the car has started rolling), the car will get going, but I don't want to have to put my foot to the floor any time I want to get some acceleration. The '09 seems to have a more responsive pedal and that makes it feel quicker.
Torque steer is reduced as well. Any time I accelerate hard in the '06, especially in a corner, I can tell the front wheels are working too hard. This seemed to be reduced in the '09, although I must admit I didn't have enough opportunities to be completely sure. Of course the SH-AWD system will help with that (and the wheelspin) greatly.
Overall, I have to say it was a positive experience. The test drive made me like the car more, not less, which is the whole point of test drives, IMO. I still plan to look more closely at the SH-AWD version when it is available. It is supposedly going to be here in 2-3 weeks (heard that before, haha). I'm going to make sure I drive it on the same day as the G37x as I think these are the top two cars I'm considering. I still need to drive a CTS, and maybe a GS350, maybe a 335xi again. It's fun to try these all out, and the good news is that there isn't a bad choice among the group. It's sorting out the details that makes the decision fun.
#1179 of 2002 Re: Test Drive [fornov]
Oct 31, 2008 (4:02 am)
Thanks for the great writeup! Good read
#1180 of 2002 I test drove 2009 TL and 2009 TSX today
Nov 01, 2008 (4:49 pm)
I drove the TSX first. Very nice but between the TSX-Tech (I just want the 6 disc changer) and the TL - nonTech (I don't need Nav) it is only a $3,000 diff.
I liked them both. The TL has lots of power that comes on easily and more room. The TSX will move but the engine's RPM soars and it gets a bit loud. I found I preferred the TSX dashboard; more storage, easier to reach things. On the highway,to my surprise, the TSX seemed quieter with less wind noise and the car worked flawlessly.
The TL had other problems. The driver's side headrest would not move until the salesman got out of the car, sat behind me and yanked hard. (Once raised it did not bother me at all with its placement.) On the highway, the car shook. I commented a wheel must be out of balance. The salesman ventured a theory that one tire might be low on air but then checked the pressure monitor and found out the pressures were okay. Even at street legal speeds the car had some kind of vibration. After the test drive, the salesman left me in the showroom and immediately took the TL down to the shop. Since both are new models I wonder if this is representative of build quality differences between the two vehicles.
For reference, the guy offered me a price of $35,000 on the car with splash guards ($215) added to the $35,750 sticker. After some more discussions on financing the guy finally admitted the car 'that should be on our lot somewhere" wasn't due in until Dec 20th. This dealer was higher when I was shopping for my MDX so I'll shop it around.
I 'should' buy the TSX (fun to drive, cheaper, better gas mileage) but the TL's power and interior space is attractive.
I am not a true Honda/Acura fan. Our MDX is pretty good though I think our dealer's service people are pretty clueless. My 1986 Accord was the worst built car I ever owned (always dealer maintained; maybe that was a mistake) that I had to dump at 66K miles because of needed repairs. My mother-in-law's 2001 TL needed the trans replacement as did her brother's TL. My personal opinion is that Honda/Acura (as well as Toyota/Lexus) just cannot keep up its quality with today's automotive complexity. To me, the quality of the simpler Civic proves that but I don't want to drive that.
Rather than price shop by the Internet, I'll go to another dealer and pretend I haven't driven a TL yet to see if that car drives better.