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2012 Acura TL



  • I am happy behind the wheel of my 2012 TL SH-AWD Advance. Even the exterior, from certain angles, is no longer replusive. The interior gets an A-, but it too needs a refresh, IMHO.

    So, with but 32 payments on the 36 month lease to go -- I wonder if Acura really will "advance" their image and, more importantly, their products. The 2012 TL is somewhat of a statement, perhaps somewhat like the current gen CTS was for Cadillac a couple of years ago.

    Somehow, I think Acura is kind of like the Buick in the Premium class. That is, both Acura and Buick WANT you to think of them as Premium cars and they are doing some things to "advance" that notion.

    But, both of these brands are on the bubble as far as I can tell -- what the hell does Acura stand for anymore? What is the point of the ZDX and the RL currently, or who is the target buyer of these models. The RDX has way too much Honda in it to be taken seriously, I think. The TSX is already known to be next up to be ditched and there is, apparently, a new RSX coming -- hopefully it will not show its relationship to Honda loudly.

    If the TL is any indication of what Acura can build, well, congratulations -- good job, etc. But one car needs to be followed by another and another and another. My dealer basically lives to sell MDX's apparently. The '12 TL may be turning that around, but I think most people look at Acura has being kind of a one trick pony and that is the MDX.

    Nice as the MDX and '12 TL cars are, there has to be a next chapter.

    Anyone have any ideas what is in the '14, '15 pipeline?
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    There will be lots of new product, starting with a Civic platform based luxury compact, named ILX, in 2012, to replace the TSX. Also for next year, there will be a new, larger RL, and in 2013 a new generation TL. And, there's more. For more details check AutoWeek.
  • I visted my dealer, Saturday, for my first service interal (oil, tires rotated, etc.). While I was there, I spoke with their sales manager who had just returned from Las Vegas for one of the Acura meetings that are held during the year.

    Apparently the product line will be moving away from the "based on Honda" theme -- Acura will ultimately become a unique car company. Once again, I think this is Acura following the Audi (VW) approach. The Acuras coming will still be based on Honda products, near term, but the next things coming will not be simply upscale Hondas -- nice as that can be.

    The NSX is coming and it will be a hybrid with gobs of performance -- a halo car; again somewhat like the Audi model (although the NSX powerplant will be based on 6 cylinders and four electric motors, rather than the R8 approach).

    Moreover, the TL will get bigger (A6 rival), the RL will get to A8L size and there will be a new entry level car called the ISX, not the RSX. The TSX will soldier on at least for a few more years and become more of an A4 rival, apparently.

    One Honda attribute, so to speak, will continue -- "high value." Apparently that means that the RL will cost less than an A8 but more than a Hyundai Equus (is that spelled correctly?) -- back to the original Acura roots, perhaps?

    In any case the sales manager seemed pumped and encouraged by the corporate meeting's revelations -- and they also got to see the trailer of the Avengers where Tony Stark's ride is now an Acura, not an Audi.

    Hmm, a bigger TL? Let's hope there is a sport package option that will add both trim and tune (to the suspension and engine).
  • Sounds intresting- I am keeping the RL on my short list for 2013 (If I decide to trade up, I hope the pricing does not get riduculous.
    E550 XI
    550 XI
    E63 ?????
  • According to this article:

    Acura is planning on abandoning its quest for top-tier Premium car status and will, instead, move to the middle-tier.

    OK, here is what my pea-brain comes up with (questions):

    Are there three widely recognized tiers in the Premium segment (first or entry level, mid-tier and top tier)? If so, what cars are in each tier and who is the source of this information?

    I would assume, for instance (and this is historic data, perhaps not current), that Audi, BMW, Cadillac (limited to the CTS, I assume) Infiniti, Lexus and Mercedes are considered Premium cars and perhaps are all top-tier. Acura seems to be willing to say they cannot or choose not to strive to be a card-carrying member of this group.

    The only other tier I can even imagine, now, would be "not the top-tier" Premium and it would include Acura and Volvo. I imagine that some would want to include Buick (for example) as a Premium member, but I would think they are more of a Premium wanna be (although give them a couple more years and MAYBE they could enter the Premium class).

    If I am correct -- which is not a certainty -- I would like to know if there are brands that are thought of as Premium, but "not the top tier" and "not even in the not the top tier" -- are there brands that are considered Premium but are considered in the first level (of 3).

    Or is Acura attempting to define itself as a Premium brand but not the top o' the heap Premium, sort of a "lesser Premium" brand?

    In any case the question stands -- are there three Premium tiers, and if so, what brands get to call themselves members of which tier.

    Acura may, for all I know, be attempting to define mid-tier Premium.

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    You raise some interesting marketing issues.

    I think a current problem for Acura cars is that many consumers don't know what they stand for. That wasn't the case through the '08 model year, when Acura's positioning was clearly of an entry level luxury brand that offered exceptional value. The exception to that may have been the RL, which never fulfilled its "gotta have it" promise. Other than that the Integra, RSX, (first generation) TSX and TL were appealing products. They were targeted at specific market segments, which buyers understood.

    I don't want to paint a black and white picture. Acura cars didn't do a 180 degree turn from the bullseye, but I think it's fair to say that, while still on the target (maybe), they've moved far enough away from the bullseye to cause considerable confusion among many shoppers.
  • We recently replaced my wife's 2000 TL with a 2012 TL. Actually, while the 2000 served us flawlessly for 12 years we were not really considering another one since there was so much noise being made by the competition like Lexus and Genesis. Still, after driving those we decided to also test drive the TL. Boy, what a wake-up call. It was so much sportier and BMW-like in its drive that it was a no brainer. The problem is that Acura doesn't advertise much and toot their horn as loudly as they should.

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    edited December 2011
    Acura's 2012 TL SH-AWD could be a wake up call for BMW and Audi if they believe their customers include VALUE or CONTENT FOR COST in their list of qualifiers (for purchase) -- which their customers may (but how much weight do Audi and BMW buyers place on value?)

    I say this as a long time Audi owner/driver and also my wife has had 3 BMW's to boot. I ended up NOT with the car I wanted (a 2012 Audi A4 Prestige/Sport), but with the car that gave me the greatest value.

    I believe Audi's implementation of AWD is better than Acura's -- then again the Audi did not have torque vectoring (and it was not available on the A4, only the far more expensive S4), and the Acura comes standard with it as long as you go AWD. So, while the RWD bias of the Audi is desirable, the entire engine, transmission deployment in the TL seems of incredibly high value (4 vs 6 cylinders, 211 HP vs 305, no torque vectoring vs torque vectoring.)

    I believe the Audi is beautiful, inside and out -- the Acura's nose and butt job helped quite a bit, but the Audi is the looker. The Acura's interior is very good, but then again the Audi's is excellent -- yet the Acura gets the VALUE nod again, you gets a lot with the Acura, you CAN gets a lot with the Audi -- for big bucks.

    The Audi has an 8-speed transmission, the Acura a 6-speed. Now, everything else the same, the 8-speed would be compelling; but the Audi has to make do in the under $50K price range with a four cylinder engine, that is very smooth and very torque-y, but it's up against Acura's also buttery smooth six cyliner engine that puts out nearly another 100HP and more torque, too. So, despite my wish for an 8-speed, the combination of engine and transmission in the Acura won me over (again the operative word is VALUE or CONTENT FOR THE PRICE).

    Now, at 7,000 miles on the TL, I find it does a very good job of feeling nearly as taught and buttoned down as an Audi or BMW -- and the SH-AWD nearly removes the understeer and the nose heavy feel the Acura has every right to have (but doesn't, at least in SH-AWD and Advance trim -- which includes 19" shoes.)

    Acura will survive without me if I don't re-up in 32 months, but so far only an attractive VALUE from a German brand (er, Audi or BMW) will really get my attention. Why?

    I can't use all of the performance of a 211HP Audi A4 Sport, let alone use all of the power (and performance) of the Acura TL SH-AWD Advance -- but I want to have it, if possible, regardless of its country of origin.

    The A4 would cruise all day long at 100MPH (if you could find a place that you could drive that fast for long periods) -- but so will the Acura.

    The A4 does "go like a snake in a rat hole" (my wife's phrase, giving credit), the Acura is close, but not quite as "snakey" in the twisties. But to discern the difference, you have to go well over 80% to notice the Audi's better handling. Frankly, around here if you go that fast and push that hard it is very likely you will be heard saying ". . .well officer. . . ."

    So, for the money, the TL (at the level of equipment I have, at least) does a great job of feeling like a credible entry-level luxury performance car. The Acura leans a little to the lux side and the Audi (or the BMW, for sure) leans to the performance side.

    The Acura, however, gives you what prices out to be about $10,000+ more car than comparably contented A4's and 3 series cars.

    I was pleasantly surprised. :surprise:
  • Have a big Dilema, I have a 2009 Acura 2009 SH AWD, Love my car so much, the drive, handling and looks are so incredible. My Dealer is offering to take me out of my lease and put me in a 2012 TL SH AWD Premium. I am at a crossroads if I should go for it, I am not so crazy about the nose on the new one, I still get people giving me a thumbs up when my car is all clean and detailed. Mine is the Blue color that really stands out. Any body out there can give me a reason to change except for the 6 speed transmission.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    edited December 2011
    You haven't really given enough info to enable me to make a statement for or against, so I'll present facts and opinions that may prove useful. The 6 speed is a pretty big deal, but much of the car remains pretty much the same in the '12, so I've been told. I do believe that newer is generally better.

    Can you get any color and interior combo you want or do you have to take something they offer, period?

    What is an AWD Premium, there are, as far as I know three versions of the car:


    And, with the AWD you do get the very nice 3.7L engine (305HP), which with the 6-speed auto is sweeet.

    If, by Premium, you would be getting an Advance model, you will get: 19" wheels (they do look great); heated and cooled front seats; and, to me the most important feature -- blind spot warning.

    The '12 is said to have been made much quieter than the previous models.

    The '12 Advance now uses V rated all-season tires, rather than summer only tires as in prior years.

    I am, very happy with mine -- and if the price was good, certainly the ability to get out of your lease early (without penalty, I am assuming) is attractive, especially if you can get that Blue color you like.

    I hope these factoids and opinionoids were helpful. :shades:
  • Yup, they are trying to get me to trade up for the 2012 too- I also have the 2009 AWD TECH. My salesman keeps sending me reminders that he has a wonderful deal for me- yeah right, I know I would be paying for two cars but he makes it seems as if they would eat the remaining 2+ years of payments. I would advise you to keep your 2009, it has subtle details that are lacking on the 2012 like the follwing-chrome strip door handles and faux double quad pipes, these items really brings out the splendor in the car.
  • chuowcchuowc Posts: 3
    Just leased another 2012 TL w Technology (not SH-AWD), formally had a 2009 (same) model. A few things noted:

    1. The highway ride is definitely much smoother than before - both in acceleration and speed, thanks to the 6 speed transmission. You can overtake quite effortlessly, careful not to get a ticket though, it's a fast car! I’m sure the SH-AWD handles better.

    2. Despite the powerful engine, it saves more gas! 20/29 vs. 18/26 miles (SH-AWD improved as well), not too shabby for a 3.5L.

    3. The software and dash button layout is improved, i.e.: added a physical Phone button, renamed "Menu" button to "Destination", which makes more sense. My dealer says it has better voice recognition, I haven't tried it out.

    4. The exterior door handles are now the same with body color. The interior door opener is now metal.

    5. The nose & the butt – they make that front shield smaller to conform to the look of other models. The contour warps around better. Honestly, I still like the older TL, it just looks bolder and more aggressive, hate it or love it.

    6. And yes, it is quieter. I love it.
  • I recommend keeping the '09. The distinctiveness of the TL is lost with the '12. Unless you get the TL SH-AWD Advance pkg, you can't tell the difference between a regular TL Tech and the TL Tech SH-AWD until you see the SH-AWD sign on the back. The quad exhaust is what makes the TL SH-AWD. Everytime I see a '12 TL, it looks bland and reminds me of the Lexus ES350. Just my 2 cents....
  • may17may17 Posts: 2
    I have also had battery issues with my TL AWD 2012. I purchased in April 2011 and started having the "Low Battery" alarm in September. My battery failed in November and January. They have no answers. I have it in the dealer again as we speak to have it checked out. Very frustrating. I have contacted Acura customer Service 3 times to document issues. I keep getting asked how often I drive it. I sometimes do not drive it on the weekends and no matter it should not have battery issues. I love the car, but this is very frustrating.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,181
    I have two vehicles that I drive and one of them sits in the driveway for sometimes several weeks without being started. No problems. I've had cars that have went two or three months between starts(during military deployments) and still had no problem starting. There is no excuse for what you're experiencing in regards to how often you drive it. When they ask you that....ask them why? It should make no difference.
  • My 2012 TL SH-AWD, made in April 2011, has the same issue. The car did start easily. I then drove it to charge the battery. The next day I brought the TL to the dealer. The service advisor told that it's a false positive and not to worry. He showed me how to unclip the sensor from the battery to reset the sensor.

    I don't trust the TL now. Acura ought to recall the cars.
  • Recall the car for a battery!!!!!!
  • It's not a safety issue. It's a matter of reliability. The battery, for all I know, is fine. The model's electronics are flawed and render the car inoperable.
  • What other electronics if I may ask.
    I have the 2009 AWD TECH and I have not a single issue with the car.
    I just did my second oil change and 1st differential fluid change on Monday. The service manager asked if my car was new.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,181
    I have the 2009 AWD TECH and I have not a single issue with the car.

    Glad to hear it but your survey of "1" doesn't mean that some other people's TLs don't have an electrical problem with the charging circuit or something. Most vehicles that end up having a recall to check or fix something don't have a problem either. It's usually only a few that have actually have a glitch. There may be a production run that got some bad parts or a problem with intalling some parts.
  • Glad to see your interest maybe you can start lobbying for more owners with this issue.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,181
    I'll pass on that. I think now that they know that you haven't had any problems they realize they were imagining their electrical problems. Good job.
  • knock on wood.
  • Mark - first just wanted to say thanks for your well written and insightful posts on here. I'm currently looking to dump my V6 2005 Accord Coupe and I'm torn between the A4 and the TL AWD. I agree that unquestionably the TL is a better value, but there is just something so silky smooth and seductive about the A4.

    Could you (or any 2012 TL owner) comment specifically on the technology in the TL AWD Tech? My salesman was terrible on the test drive and couldn't work the hands free link and made the nav seem like it was impossible to use. The Audi Tech was great, but with the a la carte pricing it was getting a little ridiculous.

  • salesmen said not to worry about it as no effect on warranty....just sold my 05 Acura privatly and been test driving Audi A4 for last 24 hours..nice ride but do I go with what I know in 2012 Acura TL or worry about expensive repairs on Audi A4..leaning toward Acura
  • From a technology perspective, I think you'll be very happy with the TL and that it is actually an advantage over the Audi. To put it in perspective, I am currently debating between a TL and an Audi A6, and it is precisely the technology in the TL that is causing me to lean in that direction. The Audi is simply too, too much, although I love the dual display with the slimmed down info screen (nav, radio, compass, etc) appearing in the "main" dashboard in addition to appearing in the separate pop up screen.

    Some background: I have owned a 2004, 2006 and, currently, 2009 TL. I am looking at 2012. I have exhaustively gone over the technology changes between 2009 and 2012, as this is really important to me.

    The navigation is very good, albeit still a little clunky to add addresses. But it really works well.

    Acura's Ipod interface is by far the best of any car in the market. They solved a major problem from the 2009 by adding alphabetic "break points" to the lists of songs/artists/albums. In my current 2009, if I want to listen to the Rolling Stones, I have to start at "A" and turn the knob a thousand times while it scrolls to the "R's". (I have a lot of music on my ipod!) In the 2012, you can jump from A-E; F-L; M-S, etc. and then scroll from there, which cuts time massively. Also, they now have the ability to play a song or an album by voice command and it seemed to work ok.

    The voice commands in Acuras have always been great, and I think they've continued it in the 2012. You can change radio stations, set temperature, dial phone, etc. all by voice and it actually works. I can't believe your salesman couldn't get it to work. The one bummer I noticed with the 2012 is that now you have to press the "talk" button twice instead of once before giving commands. Not sure why they did that.

    Another very cool feature if you are into music is the ability to "mark" a song on the go. If you hear a tune on XM radio that you like, you just hit a button and it records the artist, song title and a 10 second clip. You can store up to 30 of these and then write them down later for purchasing on Itunes or wherever. Very handy for us music junkies.

    The Audi technology is also great, but it's overkill IMHO. There are menus upon menus, and even with the touchpad MMI system they have, it's a challenge. All in all, I am much more a fan of the Acura in this department.

    For the record, you hear a lot of car enthusiasts trashing the TL's abundance of buttons, but I think they are wrong. The large center dial is a really good tool, and I find that I can navigate everything without taking my eyes off the road. With the Audi, the opposite seems true.

    I'm still conflicted about which car to buy. The Audi A6 is a superior car, but it's 20k more and, like I said, I really prefer the TL technology package.

    Good luck with your search and decision
  • Thanks for all of the feedback on the TL Technology. I couldn't have been less impressed with the hands free voice control, but as I mentioned I think it was mainly due to the salesman acting like he's never used the technology before.

    The A6 vs TL dilemma is much harder and I know the A6 has even more technology in it than the A4 that I was looking at. What I really disliked about the Audi technology is the fact that you have to press multiple buttons to get anything done. Changing the heated seats or using the "tune" dial on the radio requires first finding the option on the MMI and then twisting to adjust.

    I ended up making a decision finally and I went with a lease on the Infiniti G37x. I went in for a test drive and got some price quotes and was shocked that the lease pricing was $100 cheaper per month than the A4 with less money down. The engine/transmission are nowhere near as smooth as the A4 or TL, but I thought the level technology in the G37 was just right. The interface screen was easier to use than the TL and you can have a backup camera without needing Nav.

    Good luck with your decision - I don't think you can go wrong with either the TL or A6.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    edited February 2012
    I'll add a bit more to the technology discussion. I find using the telephone via hands free, eyes free, to be much more of a process with the TL than the Audi. I also find storing numbers and voice tags to be more time consuming with the TL -- and I have yet to figure out once you have loaded in dozens of voice commands how to list them so that you can remember what you called infrequently dialed numbers.

    With the Audi, you say "telephone" -- the system is now primed for your command. Next you say "Call office" and that's it.

    With the Acura you say "telephone" -- the system is now primed for your command. Next you say "Dial by voice tag" -- the system now displays a screen (and depending on what mode you have the voice response system programmed to use it tells you to press the talk button and say the name of the voice tag.)

    You do that and then the system waits -- for Godot?

    You then press the talk button again and say "Dial" -- finally you are making the call.

    My wife's 2011 Infiniti is even worse it tells you over and over and over each step (and this is with the voice system set to expert mode) to follow.

    The Audi had far far fewer commands, but it seemed more, er, "logical."

    There are times, too, when I use the Dial number by voice that numbers are inserted in the middle of a string of numbers, thus requiring you to go back and start over. The Audi would only accept 7 numbers at once, and you had to say them really fast or the memory filled up; with the Acura you CAN say all 10 at once and it never seems to run out of memory -- but if you pause a moment while spouting out your ten digit number, it is not uncommon for the number 1234567890 to be interpreted as 12304567890, and you have to do it over.

    The Acura doesn't have a touch screen -- but the A4 doesn't either. The Infiniti does, which makes many tasks easier (or at least shorter) since you just press the screen itself instead of going through layer after layer like you need to do on an Acura or a BMW.

    There are so many voice commands on the Acura it is mind boggling -- so it may be the 80 20 rule here, but that is not a bad thing.

    The Audi is more limited in the things it does, but this may be a case of simplicity wins the day.

    Overall the Acura's tech (voice) is superior -- but there are just a few annoying things. You can deactivate some of the help text and some of the constant voice prompts and voice feedback replies -- so that when you say "Temperature 67" you can have it parrot back (in its voice) what you said or just have it do it without telling you what you just asked for. You can say "Rear defrost on" etc, can't do that on the Audi.

    You can say "what time is it?" in the Acura, but only if you don't have the voice prompts turned off -- this is particularly annoying since the Acura does not have a clock (don't respond that it does have a clock -- cause if you think that teenie weenie non-distinct digital readout in the thin ribbon of the Radio Info readout, is a proper clock for a $46,000+ car, you're nuts.) How much would a clock cost for pity's sake? How about a digital repeater on the Nav screen or a repeater (in an alternative color) digital read out on the speedo or tach?

    Let me pull back for a moment, my critique of the Acura may lead you to believe I regret getting it -- that is NOT the case. Now, having said that, if the price of the Audi A4 equipped like the Acura SH-AWD Advance, would have been on par with the Acura, I might have gone ahead and gotten Audi #30. But the Acura is such a high value, I don't know ANY European or American Brand that can touch it -- when contented similarly.

    Then, too, you factor in the 305 HP, the SH-AWD (torque vectoring) and the 19" wheels, vented seats, blind spot warning and the best sound system ever made in a car mere mortals can afford -- and well, the Acura wins.

    The Acura is poorly marketed, on the verge of being one of the ugliest cars ever to come out of the mind of a human being and the interior needs to be de-Honda'd -- but I added parktronic and 4 splash guards to my Advance SH-AWD and the price was (before discount) north of $47K -- I got 13% off of the $45,960K sticker. I wanted white with the umber interior (you can't bribe them to produce one).

    The Audi can be had any way you want it -- and I have always ordered Audis and waited the 3 months for them to come in. Acura buyers have no patience -- so ordering is, apparently, "just not done" (well hardly ever).

    I have enjoyed 29 Audis of all ilks since 1977. I am enjoying my '12 TL and will shop for another Acura in 27 months from now. Having said that, I'll also shop Audi, BMW, Infiniti and even Cadillac.

    One last thing, the Acura "engine sound" at full-cry is better than the Audi's -- by far. Too bad the Acura doesn't have a really nice 8-spd auto transmission like the Audi.

    Drive it like YOU live. :surprise:
  • renssilsrenssils Posts: 24
    My 2012 Acura TL SH-AWD is almost 11 months old, has been driven almost 14,000 miles, and has 410 days to go till the lease expires. I can't wait.

    First the good. The engine and transmission are superb. The all-wheel-drive performs well. The sound system is first-class. The seats are comfortable. Roadholding and handling can be so good, if the car has high-performance summer tires, as my TL once had. Properly shod, the TL SH-AWD with Advance Package is fun to drive. The folks at the huge Acura dealer are unfailingly polite. Reliability has good other than a failed battery and a failed air-conditioning system.

    Now the bad. The TL places form, that is, styling, before function and that includes safety. The outward visibility is dangerously limited. I have had three near accidents because the blind spots are huge, not to mention the long, wide hood and the front's low ground clearance. The trunk is small, hard to load, has a high lift-over, and is awkwardly proportioned, not to mention that the rear deck lid has a nasty point at its center. Be sure to raise the deck lid to its maximum height! Entry and exit to the rear passenger compartment isn't easy for many folks. The air-conditioning system failed due to lack of refrigerant and because the dealer couldn't find anything wrong, he charged me $151.33 and said that there was no warranty coverage as the car has more than 12,000 miles. (I will pursue this issue with the dealer's management and Acura.) The battery has been replaced under warranty. An irksome rattle was allegedly cured under warranty by adding insulation to the trunk. On the 19-inch Goodyear Eagle tires road noise is excessive and grip is low. The instrument panels are highly styled to a fare-thee-well at the expense of ease of use; try to find the clock.

    I drove a 2012 Acura TX sportswagon and found it nimble and pleasing to drive. It made the TL seem clumsy by contrast.

    I had considered and drove several new cars, including an Audi A6, Infinite M37 and M56, BMW 535ix and Volvo S80 and S60 T6, before I chose the Acura TL because of its reputation for reliability, good performance, and price.

    I won't miss my 2012 Acura TL SH-AWD.
    2012 TL SH-AWD with Tech and Advance Packages. Bellanova white pearl paint and taupe interior.
  • I thought you had a blind spot warning on the advance package.

    I have the 2009 awd tech-diamond white pearl with the ebony interior-No mechancal or cosmetic issues in all 31 months of ownership.
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