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2012 Acura TL Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: Best car I've ever had (& I've had some nice ones) by jimhuber



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Looks great, quiet, comfortable, legendary reliability, immaculate dealers, very good handling, good-but-not-great trunk room, and good-but-not-great mileage... overall I love it!

Reviewed: 2012 Acura TL

4dr Sedan 305-horsepower 3.7L V6 6-speed shiftable automatic AWD

Why the 2012 Acura TL?


Serene speed is my best description for this car. It's smooth and quiet when you're in the mood to just cruise, fast and quiet when you're in a hurry. The best car I've ever owned. Prior to this my best was a 1998 Infiniti Q45.

Audio & nav systems

The navigation system will get you where you need to go, but entering destinations seems slow and primitive for 2012. Entering street names one letter at a time, either by voice or by wheel, gets tedious. I like the traffic and weather integration, though, and you can keep those without XM radio for only $8 per month. The audio system is fabulous, as was the system in my 2005 TL. It will read mp3 files from dual layer DVDs and has USB connection, too. sadly, it will only let you play genres, artists, or search with an iPod connected to it. Both systems are quite good, but not quite perfect.

Ride smoothness

I test drove a front wheel drive TL with 18" wheels for a day before buying the all wheel drive with 19" wheels and Goodyear RSA tires (245/40R19). The FWD with 18" wheels was noticeably smoother. I'm hoping a tire change down the road will make it less harsh and reduce the occasional odd road noise.

Fuel economy

Mileage has been pretty good to great. At 65 mph with cruise control on a smooth, level highway I've gotten 33 mpg. 80mph (legally in west Texas) on cruise control I've gotten 24 to 25 mpg depending on wind. Between those, 70 to 75 mph on a highway, I get about the EPA highway rating of 26 mpg. In mixed highway and traffic I routinely get 23 mpg (this is my usual commute). Straight stop-and-go errand-running I get 17 to 18 mpg, which is pretty close to the EPA city rating. I tend to be somewhat light on the throttle most of the time.

Why Not the 2012 Acura TL?

Audio & nav systems

The navigation system performs well as far as routing, but entering destinations is tedious: one letter at a time street names whether you use voice or the wheel. I like the integrated traffic and weather, too. The display zooms nicely and is easy to read. The voice prompts will read street names if you want it to - all very customizable. But every time you enter a new destination it seems like you've been transported back a dozen years.

Audio & nav systems

The audio system rocks, as did the audio in my prior 2005 TL. It will read mp3 files from a dual layer DVD, which can hold hundreds of songs (8 GB). It also has a USB input, which is nice. My complaint, though, is the system will only play genres, artists, or search if an iPod is connected to the USB. Those functions should work on everything. The in-dash hard disk drive will only rip from normally-encoded CDs, too. As of the end of 2012 you cannot copy mp3 files to it directly. Aside from those minor disappointments, though, the sound quality and volume are fantastic.


All cars are a compromise. The Acura TL does almost everything very well, giving up little to more focused cars in any area. I feel the only 2 areas it doesn't excel are trunk room, which is good but not great, and fuel mileage, which is also good but not great. Audio & Nav have minor shortcomings.

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