Last post on Feb 18, 2013 at 7:24 PM
You are in the Acura TL
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Acura TL, Sedan
#121 of 134 Re: 2012 TL vs. 2013 TL vs. RLX? [chelflicker]
Oct 05, 2012 (8:13 am)
The '13's can be had now (TL's). They are virtually unchanged from the '12's. If you are buying, the '12 will cost less, but your choices will be more limited -- but, you might be able to find a leftover TL SH-AWD Advance for an even steeper discount.
If you are planning to lease, the '13's will probably be less per month and you can get one of them any way you want by ordering it.
The rumor, of course, is that the replacement TL, thus far called the TLX, will be based off the new '13' Accord which uses more high strength steel (for an overall stiffer car, which improves, uh, "everything") and has a lot newer and better technology. Take the '13'Accord and "Acura-ize" it, and you will have an entirely new and improved '14' "TLX" (or whatever.)
Acura will certainly want to get the new TL replacement to market as soon as possible to distance itself from the current TL "design statement" (er, some just call it ugly), but I wouldn't expect the '14's until at least Q2 or perhaps Q3 of 2013.
In any case the current ('13) TL SH-AWD (I have a '12 TL SH-AWD Advance) is an exceptionally nice car (as long as you are inside of it and don't have to look at the exterior) and it drives great and performs great.
You may get the best deal on the current gen rather than the upcoming '14. If you are looking for value, the '12 or '13 TL SH-AWD is very hard to beat.
#122 of 134 22,090 miles in a 2012 Acura TL SH-AWD
Oct 28, 2012 (10:08 am)
After 18 months and 22,090 miles with my 2012 Acura TL SH-AWD with Tech and Advance options, I have some impressions of living with this sedan.
Other than a failure of the air-conditioner last summer and a rattle in the sunroof, the car has been reliable. It took the dealer two tries to repair the air conditioner and one try to fix the sunroof. The car was in the shop for two days the second try.
The car's performance is excellent. It's quick and smooth. The roadholding and handling are up to high standards, especially if the mediocre OEM tires are exchanged for very high performance summer tires, as I did. The engine and transmission are smooth. Heavily laden, car has achieved 31 mpg with the cruise control set to 70 mph in flat terrain. Driven as most enthusiasts would, the car gets 26-27 mpg on the highway and 20 mpg in suburban driving.
The sound system is first class. The navigation system is good, but not great. Bugs that should have been fixed years ago persist, such as using voice control to get time without the engagement of the tutorial.
The instrument controls are a victim of style over legibility. The binnacles surrounding the tach and speedometer are so large and obtrusive that at times, the driver focuses on the light gray rims of the binnacles rather than to the instruments themselves.
The clock is a tiny, hidden in the display in the LCD panel above the many pushbuttons. Generally I find the layout and logic of the buttons useful and friendly.
The front seats are very comfortable and supportive.
The all wheel drive works well, but doesn't engage as quickly as the full-time all-wheel systems in my 2001 and 2004 Audi A6 cars or in my 2007 Subaru Outback H6 or in my former 2006 and 2007 Subaru Legacy spec.B sedans, which had manual transmissions. I can easily sense that brief moment of slippage until the Acura's SH-AWD sends power to the rear wheels.
The TL's body has three major disadvantages. First, the driver's outward view is severely compromised by the wide, sharply slanted A-pillars, high belt line, and small windows. Second, access to the back seat is hard because of small doors and a sloping roof. Third, the undersized trunk has a high lift over, a small opening, contours that make it very difficult to accept large suitcases. For a 194-inch long car, a trunk of 12.5 cubic feet is too small. Furthermore the trunk lid has a pointed center which too often whacks foreheads.
For the driver, the TL SH-AWD's roadholding and handling are satisfying, especially for a long, heavy sedan. The ride is generally pleasing, but compromised by excessive road noise.
So, the 2012 Acura TL SH-AWD is a mixed bag. It scores well for performance and poorly for practicality.
Having just finished a long trip of 2,400 miles in two weeks with my wife and lots of baggage, I have concluded, "never again in the TL," because it's a large car outside and a small car inside.
My lease for the 2012 TL will expire next Spring. I will consider the forthcoming 2014 Acura TL, a variant of the 2014 Honda Accord, with a new hybrid AWD system. I will not consider any car with a trunk and outward view as bad as the 2012 TL's. Style doesn't trump utility.
#123 of 134 Re: 22,090 miles in a 2012 Acura TL SH-AWD [renssils]
Oct 28, 2012 (12:12 pm)
Nice write up. Very helpful for people that are considering the TL and may not noitce a lot of the the things you mention during a test drive unless they are specifically looking for them.
#124 of 134 Re: 22,090 miles in a 2012 Acura TL SH-AWD [renssils]
Oct 28, 2012 (3:58 pm)
A few more thoughts. The 19-inch wheels are overkill, adding unsprung weight, which contributes to a harsher ride, and, perhaps, contributing to road noise, but likely not adding to better roadholding. Eighteen-inch wheels are more than sufficient; the larger wheels are stylistic excess, especially in view of the mediocre all-season tires fitted.
The rear-view camera works well enough, but is primitive in contrast to rear-view cameras in cars in the same price range because the Acura view doesn't display guidelines to aid in reversing. That's a simple software solution that Acura could have provided at low cost.
The blind spot indicator is welcome, but it only works when an approaching vehicle is a car length or so alongside the TL. This device is a useful accessory, but no substitute for checking the rearview mirrors; don't rely on it alone.
The tungsten-halogen high-beams have good reach, but are so inferior in brightness to the xenon HID low-beams that one's eyes are presented with a disparity in brightness and in color. The xenon lamps are blueish-white; the tungsten-halogen lamps are yellowish-white. Clearly Acura did not fit xenon high-beams in order to keep costs down and for the same reason did not fit articulating headlights which turn with body motion and steering. Acura cheaped out.
So it seems to me that the TL SH-AWD is more luxurious, AWD version of the Honda Accord. Unless you want AWD, buy the Honda. If you want the features commonly offered in an upscale AWD sedan of this size, consider an Infiniti M, BMW 5-series, Audi A6, all of which are costlier and have their pluses and minuses. The TL SH-AWD hits a sweet spot for good value, along with prominent shortcomings and quirks. The TL SH-AWD is a fine car, but I wouldn't get the same model again. Maybe the 2014 will lure me.
#125 of 134 Re: 22,090 miles in a 2012 Acura TL SH-AWD [renssils]
Oct 29, 2012 (5:47 am)
Another note. The 2012 Acura TL SH-AWD's valance under its nose is so low that it frequently scrapes low concrete parking stops.
#126 of 134 Re: 22,090 miles in a 2012 Acura TL SH-AWD [renssils]
Oct 29, 2012 (12:33 pm)
I have the same car and have noticed the same things about it that you mention. This is my first non-German car since 1977 -- and considering that I have driven and/or owned nearly every Audi model since my first 1978 Audi 5000, I find the Acura TL Advance SH-AWD a curious mixture of up to date tech and amenities and outdated tech (and amenities.)
My 2005 Audi A6 and my 2009 A4 Prestige Sport both had features that I find almost impossible to imagine why aren't on a nearly $48K (MSRP with a couple of Acura accessories) 2012 model car.
No bi-xenons -- why?
Dim bulb high beams -- same question.
Why not direct injection?
Why only a 6-speed auto whereas the Bimmer and Audi offer 8 (at the same price points.)
My Audis blind spot warning system was far more useful, the one in the Advance package is good, but it only comes on when the car coming up on you in your blind spot is almost literally already even with your rear bumper -- the Audi, as I recall, gave you warning of at least 3 car lengths, which prevented "stupid attacks."
As I have said before, the TL is ONLY really competitive if it is an SH-AWD version with the Advance trim. I was loaned a Tech version and it simply was a major disappointment.
I did find the "value" proposition compelling for the Acura TL SH-AWD Advance, though -- I got mine in September of 2011 at 13% off of MSRP with a 36 month term and 45K miles in the lease. This, compared to the 2012 Audi A4 Presitge that I could have ordered meant the Acura was almost $200 per month less and 6 months term less. I couldn't pass it up.
Now, the 2013 Accord, assuming it is the basis for the new TL(X) and assuming SH-AWD is still offered, is said to be coming with more gears in the transmission and direct injection (which should, one would think, improve mileage and power.) Moreover, the 2013 Accord has some nice new (contemporary) tech and is made with high-strength steel.
Hopefully the dash of the Acura will no longer look like a thinly disguised Accord. The lack of articulating and bi-xenon headlights should be corrected as should the inclusion of led's as a light source for drl's etc. I think, too, the TLX should offer up an "S" version with more than 19" wheels as the indicator of sportiness -- especially with those dreadful OEM tires.
For many Americans, a great compromise would be to include technology's best UHP all-seasons -- not grand touring and not H rated, not even V rated rubber. There are tires from several suppliers that Honda, er, Acura could choose for their "upscale" car company.
Now, having complained, I must also say, other than the brake rotors -- which is kind of a big deal, now that I say it -- the car seems bullet proof. The engine at full-cry sounds sweet, not course. The Acura V6 and my 2005 Audi 3.2 V6 sing (sang) the same tune.
The only thing the Acura does better than any other car I have had is the sound system -- this is a sound system that seems as if it ought to be one of those high buck after market systems, it is that good.
I find the 2012 TL to be acceptably quiet and I do believe aftermarket tires will cure a lot of the road noise issues some complain about.
Care should be taken to "get the sound" of solidity down pat -- close the back doors and there is no satisfying "whumppp" -- it rather has the sound of hitting a 55 gallon metal drum with a rubber mallet. Very Honda like.
I will consider a '14 or '15 MY TL(X) because I think it should be a price leader (again) and will likely be updated to about 2009 German-car standards.
#127 of 134 Re: 22,090 miles in a 2012 Acura TL SH-AWD [markcincinnati]
Oct 30, 2012 (6:03 am)
Mark...as you and I have posted before, I think you've pretty much nailed the current TL. I agree with you. I had a 2010. We were lured by the very things in an Audi that you posted about (GF bought an S4).
I must say, uncharacteristic of a Honda product, both our BMW 335i and the S4 get better MPG than the TL SH AWD did. Not by a lot, but probably at least 10% better in the German makes. Then again, I drive like a rabid banshee most of the time.
While I buy instead of lease, the financial part of the equation is different than yours. However, the German iron (thinking BMW 3 series and Audi A/S4) is going to be more expensive. To me, the price premium was worth it.
However, if Acura comes out with the kind of car we know they're capable of in 2014, and they keep the price about the same, that would be a tough choice.
Honda/Acura got hit with a double whammy. While I liked the current styling, I understand many did not. Then, the auto industry recovery is just now starting to take hold. And, the big hit was the tsunami that hit Japan, which probably hurt Honda more than any of the others.
It's taken Honda/Acura a bit to right the ship because of all the above. But, I've always liked their products, their engineering and their bulletproof reliability. Add in the high value part and they should have a winner in 2014.
Let's say I'm cautiously optimistic.
#128 of 134 Re: 2012 TL with battery issues [renssils]
Nov 20, 2012 (7:32 am)
My Acura was new in May 2012. The battery indicator light went on the first time I started the car while the salesman was inside w/ me teaching me about the nav system! He said not to worry. It went on again a couple of months later, w/ the message that the battery may not have enough power to start the car again, and I should go immediately to the dealer, which I did. Again, the dealer did something to turn the message off and said not to worry about it. Yesterday, Nov. 19, it happened AGAIN! I didn't want to waste my time going to the dealer again, so I deleted the message from the screen, but now I'm nervous about going far away in case it won't start again! I agree w/ renssils...it SHOULD be recalled to fix this "glitch". I feel very unsure of the car now!!
#129 of 134 Re: 2012 TL with battery issues [258trainer]
Nov 20, 2012 (7:41 am)
My 2012 TL SH-AWD Tech Advance has suffered twice from this glitch. The battery indicator light and the message seem to be a false positive alarm, which is worrying, but no more than that. Acura should have fixed this issue a long time ago.
#130 of 134 Re: 2012 TL with battery issues [258trainer]
Nov 20, 2012 (4:52 pm)
I had the same issue with my 2012 TL. My battery died 3 times. They finally identified it as a electrical circuit that did not turn off and drained the battery. After they fixed it no issues