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Older Acura TLs



  • consult77consult77 Posts: 26
    I have driven both cars although I have only about 1% of the experience of the driver in post #7180. I agree with everything he says. For the same money and if long-term maintenance costs were the same I would take the BMW. I purchased a TL and here is why.

    The BMW is significantly more expensive. This is true for the 2005 330i with the $4,200 dealer incentive and even more true for the 2006 without it. (+$10,000 for so for the cars as I would configure them.)

    I don't drive at 100% of either car's capabilities so the advantages offered by the BMW don't often arise.

    I live in Southern California and I see BMW's everywhere. I see two of them parked on the street before I drive 1/2 mile to the major cross street as I leave my house. They are both 325i non-sport models. (Caution opinion: what a person buys who wants to be seen driving a BMW but really doesn't have the money or appreciation to get a sport package or preferably a 330i sport.)

    I have owned my current car, an Acura, for 14 years with excellent reliability and low maintenance costs. I have spoken with numerous BMW owners and almost all of them have complained about maintenance costs. (After the warrantee period.) I will own my new car for a long time and I just can't be worried about hitting multiple thousand dollar repairs. One woman I spoke with said that her husband noted that they never took their BMW for repairs with getting at least a $500 to $1,000 bill - this was for minor items. Looking at the Consumer Reports repair histories, it appears the the recent 3 Series has lots of problems once you get past 3 or 4 years. That would be painful for me. I also hate nagging problems.

    If I were a person who leased or traded cars every 3 or 4 years and didn't mind the added cost of the BMW I would go for it. Since this is a long-term purchase and since the cost difference does matter, although I can afford either car, I've gone with the TL.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    On gas mileage: I have a 1995 Maxima SE 5-speed that I semi-retired to our second home. In 153,000 miles it had an overall average of 24.1 mpg, getting roughly 28 mpg on the highway and 21 mpg in the city. For similar kind of driving conditions, I am barely averaging 21 mpg with my 2004 TL 6-speed (14,600 miles). I get 28-30 mpg on the highway, but a dismal 15-17 in "mixed" driving around town. Even my Honda S2000, occassionally running up to a 9,000 rpm redline, managed 20+ mpg around town (and 30-32 on the highway).

    So, in my opinion, the TL does not get high marks for in-town gas mileage, at least not the 6-speed version. I'm guessing that the nearly 3,500 lb curb weight and 270 horespower work against it. However, a friend with a 545i 6-speed (3,700 lbs and 325 horsepower V-8) gets about the same in town mileage as I do.

    Re: 330i comparison. I think mathewstl makes excellent points and captures much of the essence of why I went with the TL over the 330i. However, with the new 2006 330i being larger and more powerful, I would seriously consider one if I were in the market today. The $10,000 price difference quoted by someone is well in excess of the actual difference I would pay. I can get any non-M BMW for about $1,200 to $1,500 over European Delivery invoice, whcih puts the final price at about $1,500 under the U.S. invoice for the 330i. That works out to about a $5,000 to $6,000 price difference, although it does require a trip to Germany.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I think the TL, whether it is 6-sp or auto, is a real gas hog for pure in-town, stop and go, driving. I struggle to get 200 miles per tank (although I don't run it all the way to empty. I usually fill up after about 25 miles after the yellow light comes on). You're probably right about the weight and the 270hp being the main culprits.
  • consult77consult77 Posts: 26
    Consumer Reports got 16 mpg city and 35 mpg highway with a 2004 auto TL. The city fits with your numbers. I would guess that CU drives a lot slower on the highway that we do here in Southern CA, so the 35 mpg highway seems optimistic.

    I inherited a 1999 Buick LaSabre from my folks. It gets about 18 mpg city and 28-30 highway. Not very good when you consider the difference in performance to the TL,

    European delivery seems like a great option if it works with your schedule. It would be great to drive the car around Europe. It would be great to drive at TL around Europe as well, but I suppose delivery would be a bit more expensive!

    It is going to be interesting to see the experience owners of 2006 3 Series BMW's have with run flat tires (no spare, no regular tire option). I've seen reports that the tires cost $300 each, ride a bit rough and perhaps can't be repaired. If this is the case, hopefully the mileage on the tires will be good!
  • ljwalters1ljwalters1 Posts: 294
    I'm not thrilled with my mpg on my manual '04 TL, but all my driving is real stop-and-go short distance city driving. Regarding your not getting 200 mi out of a tank, that's 'couse you fill up right when the light goes on. My TL lights up & registers as empty even though I've got about 40 mi of road left.
  • hi. I'd be interested to know the size and model of the Dunlop snow tires (50s) which you purchased. I just ordered a set of 04 wheels for my 2005, and am planning to put on snow tires around November. Conditions here in midOhio are mostly slush and lite snow ... plus lots of ice... and an occasional heavy snow. By being prepared for the winter I'm almost assured it will be a mild winter ... I sold the family RAV4 because there was hardly any snow for 3 years ... and then the weather changed! Thanks for help.
  • Bob,
    I currently have a 2004 TL ~13k miles. Drive is mix averaging 50 miles/day, average 22 mpg. For highway mileage, average 29 mpg. As for octane, I have experimented with both. Used only BP, 89 and 92 octane. First 5 mths used strictly 92, same 22 mpg. Moved to 89, same 22 mpg. I did not notice any difference in performance. Great car to drive.
  • qwallsqwalls Posts: 406
    '04 and '05 stock rims are identical.
  • I ordered some take-offs from a TL 04 to put on my 2005 TL --- but it turns out that they are , I believe, from a 2005 RL instead. Apparently the offset is different ... and I haven't yet measured the specs ... but I was told the following: "17x8", 5 lug 4.5", 55 mm offset"

    How compatible is this size with my 2005 TL? I haven't decided whether to return them, if I can.
  • qwallsqwalls Posts: 406
    Offset is too high. The TL rims are 17x8 with a 45mm offset.
  • aldwynaldwyn Posts: 2
    I am thinking of buying a TL. But I am curious as to what the car looks like with and without the additional underbody spoilers that the dealer can add on...

    Does anyone have pics, or know of a link to pics of a 05 TL with and without all of the underbody spoilers? It's tough to judge from the pics on the Acura web page.

  • fdcapt2fdcapt2 Posts: 122
    If you go to the Acura website, click on TL, and the picture you get is a stock TL. I don't think there were any pictures of a tricked -out TL on that site.
  • highenderhighender Posts: 1,365
    I have a A-spec TL...which has the dealer add on underbody spoilers....but just a small spoiler on the trunk, not the wing. I like the trunk smaller spoiler...

    the underbody spoiler looks good, IMO....but definitely just a personal taste thing..... I think the TL looks good without the spoiler also.... the design is that good....
  • ronaries10ronaries10 Posts: 64
    After some generous help from NTB tires in Columbus OH, I found that the 2005 Acura RL wheel is 5 x 120 bolt hole, and will not mount correctly on the 5 x 114.3 TL 2005. The RL wheel also has a different offset and lugnut than the TL.

    Thanks all for help in this process. Back go the RL wheels to the supplier, BTI wheels of Salt Lake, which had misidentified the take-offs. NTB helped me avoid an expensive mistake by checking out the actual mount of the wheel.
  • ronaries10ronaries10 Posts: 64
    I don't have a picture for you, but I looked at this issue earlier and my conclusions were: a) the deck lip spoiler looks best but is expensive for a minor improvement to looks, and complications will not be covered by warranty if not dealer installed; b) the car looks very good w/o the spoiler, and c) the trunk spoiler - conventional spoiler - does not improve the look of the car, but is nice if you are accustomed to the conventional spoiler. I have had spoilers on my last 2 cars and liked them, but chose to go without one on the TL - so far!
    To each his own ... :-)
  • wannabgood1wannabgood1 Posts: 25
    Would appreciate comments here re how smooth the ride and for longer trips and somewhat older people like me who like cushier seats vs stiff ones, what have folks experienced? How do the seats feel after a one hour drive? How well does the TL do on rough roads? I drive an 01 TL which has nice seats, but ride is fairly rough. My take on a short test drive of the 05 TL is the ride might be even rougher or about same and seats feel a bit stiff. Opinions from owners who have driven it awhile?
  • manthonymanthony Posts: 19
    I'm also a "somewhat older" person (ok, mid-50's) and have had my TL for about 5 months now. Thus far, other than my normal commute and the occasional jaunt into town (about 45 minutes), I have taken the car on only one two-hour trip away from home. The seats are firm and the ride is stiff and I would never consider taking the TL on a long cross-country trip (we'd use the Audi A6 my wife drives). My wife says she finds the passenger seat also quite uncomfortable. I will say, however, the seats seem to be conforming to my body a little more as time goes on. It's either that or I'm just getting used to them and don't think about it much. Would I buy the car again? Probably not. But that's purely a reflection of my own personal taste in what's important to me. But I'm guessing I'm not the target buyer Acura had in mind for the TL in the first place. Bottom line (no pun intended), the TL has a lot going for it but you'll need to make up your own mind about what's really important to you. I'm starting to wonder that maybe we're older than we think.
  • armandarmand Posts: 178
    Both my wife and I are 65+ and find the '04 TL fairly comfortable for long drives. We have done 2 trips of about 2000 miles round trip and have no major complaints. The passengers seat is low for my wife (4'11") and she uses a good seat cushion. I also own a BMW 325XIT and it is a little more comfortable. But the car does have a hard ride on bad roads. The TL's audio system - particularly the XM - have been a joy on long drives.
  • ljwalters1ljwalters1 Posts: 294
    I'm in my mid-30s, so I'm not your target audience, but I'll tell you that the ride is stiffer than you '01. I don't have actual knowledg of the previous TLs ride, but Acura specifically says they tightened the suspension. I also have the TL with the harshest ride available (MT, summer tires), so let me say that in stop-and-go, around-town trafic, it's great in that it handles very tightly, and the seats are comfortable (maybe a little understuffed, which makes it a bit softer as compared to VW and Audi which have firmer seats). For short trips, even a bumpy road is OK, though you do feel it. If your long drive is going to be on a major highway that's got a pretty good surface, I'd say you'd be fine. If a good portion of it is dirt, or poor pavement, even though the car will be very safe and fun b/c of the handling, it wouldn't be enjoyable.

    If you're talking about a 1-hr commute to work, if the roads are good, you might like the stiffer ride - I think it's better for quick lane-changes, but if some roads are not well-made, pass on the TL.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,094
    '05 TL, non-nav. I chose the TL over the G35X for, among other reasons, what I felt was a much smoother, quiter ride. I'm not sure why so many people feel the TL has a stiff ride, unless their prior rides were floaty domestics or Lexus? Maybe it's because I've always driven sports-oriented imports (well, at least 'till I bought my Chrysler 300M, great car). I do find the seats quite firm and a little more padding might be nice.

    Had the disappearing temp settings issue again today but didn't notice until I realized cold air was filling the cabin. The climate control temp setting had reset to 65 from my setting of 74! Still cool here in New England...

    Other than the elecrical gremlin, great car. Gotta Zaino it, I guess...

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

  • liferulesliferules Posts: 531
    I find the 05 TL to be uncomfortable for long trips (300 miles or more)...

    The problem I have is that the seats are short. Specifically, the bottom portion doesn't rest the thighs enough IMO. Definitely different from the other cars I drive or have driven.

    Works great for my wife, who is short, but problematic for me...
  • rsquarersquare Posts: 1
    Care to share how you get the low price on Non-M cars? I'm thinking of picking up a new 3 seriws in Germany. Assume the cars you are talking about are all "US standards"...not grey market. Thx in advance
  • ed31cincyed31cincy Posts: 56
    I have an '04 and do lots of highway travel, usually one to three hours in length. I am in my late forties. The seats and suspension are definitely sporty, not cushy. However I have never complained about them. I think the leather is very supportive. There are enough adjustments including an adjustable lumbar support that you should be able to find a comfortable position. The seat memory feature is great too. You can have one set for city driving and one for highway. Or, if you have a significant other that helps with the payments, they can have one of the memory settings! ;)
  • wannabgood1wannabgood1 Posts: 25
    Thanks everybody for the rapid and excellent posts in reply to my question. FYI, I am seriously looking at the M and the GS430, but am an Acura fan. The RL just doesnt do it for me based on performance and exterior. Like the way the TL looks inside and out, the value, features, practicality and performance. Still leaning M or GS as I am not buying on price. Sounds like most TL drivers here are pretty satisfied with the ride and comfort so I might give it a closer look. Do you think a dealer would give me a car for a day to spend some time in it?
  • ljwalters1ljwalters1 Posts: 294
    I'm not answering your question (sorry), but have some insight re the TL, M & GS that I picked up on these sights:

    The M is the most sports-oriented of the 3 (even though it has (IMO) the most vanilla styling of the 3). It's ride is the harshest, has more road & engine noise, but has the best handling and acceleration of the 3. The M also has the best navigation system of the 3. When test-driving, don't even bother with the sport edition, and if the ride is WAAAY too harsh, check the tire pressure - I've heard a lot of dealers leave the tires over-inflated and it makes the ride a lot harsher. I don't know about the GS, but the M has more interesting technology available than the TL (or RL, I think), including back-up monitor, lane-change sensors, auto rear sunshade, etc, but it'll cost you.

    The GS is the smoothest, quietest, most comfortable of the 3, with the least sporty handling and acceleration. I don't know any particulars about its nav system, but prior year's cars (mainly I know about the SC) wasn't very convenient. Had to be in park to enter info & wasn't touch-screen. I understand Toyota nav.s still require you to be in park.

    The TL is middle-of-the-road re sportiness and comfort. The nav system is intuitive and convenient, and is only 2nd to the M b/c the M's voice recognition recognizes spoken street names while the TL allows voice entry of #s and its preset word-commands, but street names require manual entry. The TL is quiet with good pickup, and while I've seen people complain about the length of the seat-bottom, it's comfortable to my 6'0" frame.

    When I select a car, after luxury features, acceleration, safety and comfort (not in that order), the last things I'm concerned about is styling and colors (although I won't buy a black interior). If interior color is important to you, keep in mind that whatever color you choose on the M will only appear on the seats and door inserts. The dash, center console/armreasts and floor will be black (unless you get the light tan interior) and the headliner will be light gray. If you get a light tan interior, the dash is black, floor and center console/armrest is tan, and the headliner light gray. Probagbly not an issue unless you get the bourbon (darker or more orange than the TLs darker tan), in which case the dash, floor and center console are black, seats are bourbon and headliner is gray. Quite a lot of color, even before you add the silver/wood trim!

    All-in-all, if money was no object, and the M came with 6MT, that's the way I'd go.
  • wculbert1wculbert1 Posts: 16
    Have 22 K on my '05, with several >500 mile trips. Not sure what people are talking about with the firm ride comments. These must be people coming from Caddies or Lex. Compared to my wife's A4 ( with Sports package) the TL is soft.

    Bottom line is that the TL is very comfortable for me, but what is comfortable to one person may not be for another. The new model is definitrely more European than American in ride feel.
  • sb65sb65 Posts: 1
    The time has come to replace my 1994 Accord EX. It has almost 178K miles on it, and I cannot complain one bit about how well it has held up. I've had to replace things that wear out, but that's about it (and expected). It sill drives/runs pretty much as it did 10 years ago. Gotta love the quality. I wouldn't mind getting another Accord, especially given the updates to the 2005 model, but the car is just plain ugly. The front end looks fine, but Honda really screwed up with the back end. Terrible.

    So now I'm thinking I'll step up to an Acura TL. I've always liked the look of them, and would definitely like the luxury and a switch to auto, due to dealing with D.C. traffic. I have test driven both the base TL and the TL-S. Both are vast improvements over my current car. The base TL seems to be plenty powerful and I like it, but I really like the interior of the TL-S better, with the perforated seats/doors and the white/silver guages. I also LOVE the power of the TL-S, but the ride is much more firm than the TL-S and the seats are not as comfortable.

    For those of you that have the TL-S, is the ride comfortable for long trips? It is OK for a 30 minute test drive, but I'm wondering about after a 5 hr drive? I'm only in my mid-30's, but I'm actually leaning towards the base TL, even though I'd love the power/handling/interior of the TL-S. Can't have everything I guess, and the trade off is luxury ride or better handling. I really think the base TL would have enough power for me, especially going from a 145 HP 4 cylinder.

    Also, is the black interior unbearably hot in the summer? I'd prefer the lighter color interior, but the only exterior color I really like is silver.

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    The "European Delivery" prices for most non-M BMW's is about 7% less than the U.S. MSRP. You should be able to access this pricing on BMW's web site. The M3 is available to be picked up in Europe, but, last time I checked, there were no discounts. All European Delivery vehciles are built exactly to US specifications - this is a legitimate program, not a grey market.

    However, what most people don't know is that U.S. dealers can and will further discount these prices. Their profit on a European Delivery car is the same percentage as a US delivery car. Therefore, by getting them to further discount the car to $1,200 to $1,500 over the ED invoice price, the savings really add up. Passport BMW in the DC area offered to discount the ED prices.

    What is also not commonly known is that the ED sales do not come out of the dealerships allocation of cars. Therefore, on some harded to get vehicles, such as the 330ci convertible, the ED price (discounted) is a screamer of a deal compared to paying at or near MSRP in the US.

    I am a big fan of the Acura TL; but if you have your heart set on a BMW 3-series and are willing to go to Europe, you can get a great deal. Good luck.
  • jkgreer2jkgreer2 Posts: 42
    Habitat1: Do I need to visit a "big-city" and/or "high-volume" BMW dealership to seek out European Delivery and further discounts over the ED invoice price? The World Cup is in Germany in 2006. Thank you in advance for information on ED, and best regards. My 2004 6sp manual TL remains a great car, without problems.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Perhaps we should take this discussion over to the BMW 3 series forum. However, a quaick answer is that I have found a few dealerships - including the only one in my small hometown - that have agreed to discount ED prices. The key is asking for it, equiped with the knowledge that ED prices are negotiable.
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