Acura offers two radically different versions of the midsize, midluxury TL sedan. The standard TL is a comfortable commute car, while the SH-AWD version gets a bigger engine, all-wheel-drive sytem, and an excellent manual transmission.
Acura's TL SH-AWD is a very different beast compared with the standard TL model. A bigger engine, sport suspension, and all-wheel-drive system set the TL SH-AWD apart, making it a reasonable competitor to the BMW 3-series. Beyond its sport capabilities, it can also serve as a comfortable commute car.
Acura's design language is controversial, especially with the large grille piece. However, this grille certainly gives the car a unique look. We like the tight grille openings, which give the front of the car a clean design.
This 3.7-liter engine gives the TL SH-AWD 305 horsepower, and makes a delightful exhaust note. Although it uses Honda's VTEC valve timing technology, it lacks other efficiency technologies now coming into vogue.
With the Technology package, the TL SH-AWD gets an LCD at the top of the stack, with a large knob/joystick controller below it. That controller looks a little obtrusive for a car that aspires to luxury, but it is very usable.