Roadshow Video Reviews
2009 Acura TL SH-AWDRedesigned, reloaded, and ready to ride. See why Brian Cooley likes this new TL a lot.
>> If you think Acura's new TL looks different on the outside, and it does, wait till you see how they revamped the tech on the inside. Thank you Acura, it's about time! Let's go! ^M00:00:10 [ music ] ^M00:00:17 >> First of all, look at the screen! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Finally, they got rid of that crusty looking mid 90's dated interface that used to be in all the Acura's and Honda's, and now it's looking smooth, and sharp, and nicely rendered, and I want to slap Mr. Acura right on the back. Now getting around the interface is still relatively familiar Acura stuff. A big old knob in the middle that has a large Enter Button, a ring around it for doing various types of dial selections, and then, of course, the sub ring lets you go up, down, left, right. I'm pretty good with that. It's not the worst knob in the world, and there's no touch screen. Notice how far set the screen is, you couldn't reach it anyway, and there's a clear lens in front of it. Now on that nav screen, check it out! We've got live traffic that's via XM Satellite. You've also got the ability to dial up those ZAGAT Restaurant Ratings that some folks love and some don't care about. Onto the audio system; now this is that Elliot Shiner, Panasonic rig that Acura uses. You can tell by the label right there above the display. Sources galore on top of having 10 speakers and 440 watts of premium sound, and yeah, it does sound very good. We've got AM, FM, but no HD Radio, interestingly. XM is your satellite radio choice. Of course, XM and Sirius are now the same company, so who knows how much of a choice that'll be in the future. Over here you've got your disk button. Playing my single optical disk you can play various formats of CD's, home burned or store bought. And then the real fun begins over on the far right, HDD/AUX, so hard disk drive and several auxiliary inputs. Bluetooth Audio is one of them. So stereo streaming off your smartphone, let's say. Then you've got, the next one is your hard drive. We have approximately 12.4 gig available, that's your total capacity. Our next choice of selections is USB; that guy lives in here. Now, of course, we have Bluetooth Hands Free in a car that has a technology package. And blessedly we're down to 1 button. I think it's Acura that used to give us 2 buttons here, the cancel button next to that and these 2 are your pick up or drop call buttons for the hands free phone rig. ^M00:02:33 [ music ] ^M00:02:36 >> Our TL is the super handling all wheel drive model, which has a more powerful motor than TL's with a conventional drive train. That means 3.7 liter V6, 305 horsepower, 273 foot-pounds of torque, mileage is 17-25, not bad! One transmission choice, a 5-speed auto with paddles and a sport mode; looks rather prosaic on paper, but the overall impression is a power train that is typically Acura smooth. And while there is impressive acceleration to be had, unless you really stay on top of the paddle shifters, this car is programmed to seek low RPM's a little more than I'd like. And a kick down gear change, or 2, is often required when you need lots of power right now. The ride is just about right between comfort and handling, and that's a good thing, because there is no suspension adjustment toys in the cabin to transform the ride from anything other than what it was when you test drove it. Oddly for a car that is stuffed with tech, the TL doesn't offer blind spot detection, radar or laser adaptive cruise, or lane departure warning or avoidance. That's starting to feel a bit like a feature gap for a car of this price and positioning today. The styling is clean and massive, part of a general Acura move in that direction. But the first time someone asks you how you like your new Saturn Aura, you're gonna be twisted. So this is a TL super handling all wheel drive with tech package. That's all you gotta spec. There's no a la cart onesie-twosies to get all the tech toys. All in, $43 grand! ^E00:04:12