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Older Acura TLs



  • Actually, in an earlier topic "Acura TL vs Lexus IS300" , we had discussed this issue to fact, in spite of the name of the topic, the IS300 rarely was compared with the was always the TL vs the through those posts....

    Some key elements that were discussed there, were the superior transmission of the TL (kickass class-exclusive 5-speed automatic vs the 4-speed auto of the ES300 lifted from the pedestrian Camry), engine (larger engine vs the ES300 borrowing its engine from its pedestrian counterpart and including variable valve timing to it), using the cheaper and inferior Macpherson strut suspension (on all 4 ends), in the ES300 vs the much more expensive and superior double-wishbones on all four ends by the Acura (incidentally the expensive double wishbones like the Acura TL are found in other more expensive Lexus models like GS300/430/SC430/LS430)....and a plethora of other reasons......go through those posts and you will know what I am talking about....

    Basically, the ES300 (in spite of certain virtues), is at the end of its life cycle and it is un-fair to compare it to dynamic and mercurial competitors like the Acura 3.2TL, which has been drawing circles around the poor old ES, ever since its 1999 introduction...the ES300 is probably just ekeing out this lifecycle till the new one arrives on the scene....right now, the under-acheiving, but yet expensive ES300 is out-matched, out-classed and out-maneuvered by the kick-butt Acura...

  • turbotcturbotc Posts: 163
    ahhh....don't forget about the half leather/half vinyl seats found in the TL, fake wood on interior, state of the art dealer treatment (definitely not)....and on and on and on....when was the last time the TL dating back to 96 that was rated anywhere near the ES300 by JD Powers. Apparently the TL got its butt kick so the Honda engineers had to do something and then came out the 99 TL with all the bells and whistles at a lower price. Don't get me wrong the TL is a nice car. But it is no more than a souped up V6 Accord just like the ES300 to the Camry.
  • "When was the last time the TL...was rated anywhere near the ES300 by JD Powers?" Well, it was last May. Check out the following link

    The May survey rates Acura as the top brand for initial quality, and the ES and TL are in a tie for 3rd as models.

    I agree that the TL falls short in the fake wood and dealer treatment department, but with most other criteria the TL is superior. Now compare the current ES to the new contest by a long shot! Later this year it will be fun to compare the new '02 ES with the TL-S.

  • schollscholl Posts: 13
    I'm close to buying a TL but one of the last major questions I have is regarding interior noise level. I've had two accords in a row and they aren't the quietest cars on the planet - Is the TL's cabin noise level significantly lower than the accord and how have they achieved this? Would appreciate a response from a previous accord owner or driver - Headroom (or lack of) has been discussed ad nauseum but I sat in a Chrysler 300M and it was even worse - perhaps it is just the trend now with more rakish roof lines - hmmm
  • turbotcturbotc Posts: 163
    I agree they both are fine cars. Toyota and Honda has been known for making quality cars that go on and on in terms of reliability. The current TL definitely offer more for the money. A comparable equipped ES would costs at least $5k more I think. They both has negatives and positives. What I like about the ES is that they offer Nakamichi (and soon to have Mark Levinson), fog lights, auto-leveling HID lights, etc. But it definitely will be interesting to see what the next ES will look like and how it is equipped as I'm sure ES sales must have dropped significantly since 99 when the new TL came out.
  • carguy62carguy62 Posts: 545
    If it were me I would use a credit card for the deposit, preferrably one that earns cash back or miles. A check would probably be ok but I have heard the occasional story of a dealer not giving a deposit back (it probably has occured at some time to someone but I would think it isn't very common), with a credit card you would have no problem if they tried that.

    Regarding the car sitting in the showroom, that's a judgement call. I would try to find its manufacture date and see how long it has been there and also was it used as a demo (how many miles does it have). It also never hurts to try to get the price lowered a bit. Depends how much you want the car. Personally I prefer one fresh off the truck.
  • carguy62carguy62 Posts: 545
    Is Toyota really coming out with both a new Camry and ES for '02? That is different from Honda which put out the Accord first and the TL a year later.
  • ruskiruski Posts: 1,566
    you said "ahhh....don't forget about the half leather/half vinyl seats found in the TL"....

    hmmm, do you think that in the Lexus the entire seat is covered in leather?
  • turbotcturbotc Posts: 163
    yes, I do. At least on my Coach Edition it has coach leather and nothing else. I know that for a fact. But I am almost positive the regular is all leather as well, just none coach leather. Look, I am not trying to bash the TL. I honestly think thats it the best bang for the buck. Well maybe the Mazda Millenia Millenium Edition offers more for less but then the Mazda dealers and the resale value makes you wonder why. I'll be in the ES forum if you like to find me. Have a great one.

    carguy, I believe the new Camry and ES300 is due out for MY2002. At least thats what most people think so.
  • 14151415 Posts: 249
    Just received this very nice brochure on the 2001 Acura TL some 30 pages long and I would like to know more the car. Has anyone been able to pile 50,000 miles on one as yet????

    What is the cost and how are the dealers after the sale?????

    Is the Navigation system worth a couple grand or are updated roadmaps a better buy????

    I own a 99 Intrigue and a 96 Deville w/Northstar so you know where I am coming from..

    I have just glanced over some of the postings and the ES300-Lexus offering is truly an overpriced Camary; however the buyers of the car are not performance or handling addicts like you Acura folks so comparision is a non-event and foolish. The ES buyers passed up the ugly top-of-the-line offering from Toyota called the "Avalon" If Detroit make such a car it would be laughed at; but the Asians are praised--figure that out..

    I don't like Asian offerings so maybe you loyal fans can give me the upside of ownership.
  • I received the official press kit for the Acura TL Type S, here are some stats:

    Over 500 changes including the following:

    17-inch rims (analagous to the CL Type S design)
    260 hp @ 6000 rpm, 232 ft-lbs b/w 3,500-5,500
    Larger-diameter throttle body
    Dual Stage Induction
    19/29 city/hwy
    Larger rear stabilizer bar & shock tower than TL (std)
    V-rated, all season tires
    Acceration times projected at 6.3-6.4 seconds (realtime should be more similar to the CL-S's 6.6)
    100 lbs lighter than the CL-Type S
    the VSA skid control offered up until now only on the RL, still not on the TL
    Perforated leather seating
  • ruskiruski Posts: 1,566
    it makes me wonder which version of TL MotorTrend tested about a year ago (in a comparo with a few other near-lux sedans) and managed to squeeze 6.4 seconds. They called it a TL. I called it a test error. I think I was right.
  • schollscholl Posts: 13
    Gee - I guess the only way to have inquiries responded to is to play the TL vs ES 300 game. I'm looking for opinions on TL noise volume in cabin. I'm going to purchase one soon. The short test drives aren't always enough to gauge. Previous post (575) was asking for comparison vs Accord, a car I'm familiar with - but contrasted with the quiet ES will do.
  • Scholl,

    I drove the CL-S at the dealer a week ago in anticipation of the TL-S and I wanted to drive it hard in accelerations and passing maneuvers. The engine is definitely loud, but refined. I haven't, unfortunately driven the TL as hard, so my comparison to the ES300 is not as accurate. I can say that it was louder (slightly) than my former '94 ES300 (which still purred like a kitten 'til the day she met with the Carmax undertaker). Honestly, if volume in the cabin is a big concern, the ES300 should win that game. Once again, the best way is just to go test drive 'em.
  • I can honestly remember no difference between outside noise in both vehicles. Wind/Road noise seemed pretty much the same. One thing that always makes me feel more confident in the rigidity of my vehicle is how that "thunk" sounds after I go over a pothole. I made sure I hit about 70 of 'em when I took the TL out, and to my chagrin, it handled and SOUNDED very well! I don't know about the dealers up where you are, but my guy told me to just beat the car up (demo model) to really appreciate what the car could do.

    So I did .
  • When I first test drove the TL I was surprised at the amount of road/wind noise at highway speeds--not really loud, just more than I expected. (I was expecting something like the ES.)

    The '02 TL & TL-S will have redesigned outside mirrors that are supposed to reduce wind noise.
  • turbotc:

    I don't have the time to demonstrate with specific examples on why Lexus has ripped you poor souls out of a lot of cash for the boaty, buickish ES300....some of the things you may want to look at a bit more closely, is the frame-less windows on the ES300 (while the Acura uses full frame windows with triple weather sealing), also the use of the cheap Macpherson strut suspension on ALL FOUR ENDS of the ES300 (saves 100's of dollars for Toyota just by that ?!!!) while the Acura uses the much more expensive Double-wishbone suspension found on much more expensive Lexus cars like the GS300/GS430/SC430/LS430 (some Euro cars employ the Macpherson struts in the FRONT suspension to save some space - since space is at a premium in Europe - but definitely not a LITERAL ECONO CAR SETUP like on the Lexus ES300, where the Macpherson struts are found ON ALL FOUR ENDS), lifting of the engine (with slight modification) and transmission from the Toyota Camry V6 (again, 1000's of dollars in saved expenditure from developing a new transmission/engine ?), the glass on the rear windows of the ES300, that stick up a few inches above the windows even when all the way down (while the Acura's glass on all the 4 windows go all the way down), and then providing some doodads like a few more square feet of leather covering ?!!! and sticking small strips of "real wood" on the interiors ?!!! wow !!! You have got a fantastic deal buddy (read rip-off )!!!

    The Acura saved maybe 250 dollars by using a bit of vinyl + instead of sticking small strips of "real wood", they stuck small strips of "simulated wood" !!! Wow !!! Actually, I blame only Acura for such criticisms, since after spending such a lot of money for developing this fantastic car, they tried to save a few nickels and dimes by using a few (square feet of leather + strips of wood) less than its competition.

    Also, why has nobody commented that the Lexus ES300 is a compact car (EPA classification), while the 3.2TL is a mid-size car (EPA Classification) ?!!! In spite of that, why does, the lighter, smaller engined ES300 gets worse mileage than the larger engined and heavier Acura 3.2TL (19/26 for the ES vs 19/29 for the TL) ?!!!

    Does the ES300 have a GPS Navigation system like the 3.2TL from Acura, EVEN AS AN OPTION ?!!! I would think that all the other Lexus cars have the Navigation system AT LEAST AS AN OPTION (except maybe the IS300?)!! I had to wait a while for my 3.2TL, for the exact color (Naples Gold Metallic) that I wanted WITH THE NAVIGATION....after having driven the car with the Navigation system, no way in hell will I make a future car purchase without a similar system....when talking of Navigation systems, the DVD based Acura system is THE BEST system available in the market now....NAV systems in Audis etc are pure junk...I drove a Hertz rental car about a year back and had a chance to use the "NeverLost" Navigation system of of a POS !!! Which points out the differences between high-end NAV systems like on the Acura vs the low-end systems like the Hertz "neverlost"...the Acura system pinpoints one's location EVEN IN AN UNDERGROUND PARKING LOT/THICK FOG/PITCH DARKNESS, while the Navigation signals of the Hertz system are lost even when a tall clump of trees block the way !!!!

    I switched my TL's stock tires with Michelin Pilot XGT-Z4 225/55-ZR16 Ultra-high performance all-seasons, which transformed the car (equipped with the double-wishbones at all 4 ends) into a literal you know what would have happened, if you switched the buickish ES300's tires with the Ultra-high performance Michelin tires ? It would have OVERWHELMED the poor old ES300's boaty suspension...have you observed the floatiness that you experience when you take the ES300 to higher speeds ? Want to know why ?!!! Check the suspension again..... some more square feet of leather or a few strips of wood stuck on the interior, won't keep the ES300 planted on the road like the mercurial Acura....the fact of the matter is that the Acura is a MUCH SOUNDER AUTOMOBILE....

    Enough of bashing the out-dated, under-whelming, over-priced, under-performing ES300...let us cease discussing such pure rip-offs (read money in the pocket of Lexus, who must be laughing all the way to the bank !!!) and discuss the kick-[non-permissible content removed] 3.2TL...


    The Motortrend time of the 2000 Acura 3.2TL was 6.7 Secs....not 6.4Secs.... The 6.4 Secs was for the CL-s.... people at the TL site, routinely obtain about 6.38 - 6.8 secs for the stock TL (2000 model year onwards - 99's are slower), when measured with Gtech pro....Also, the Motortrend time was not only a 0-60 time, it was also a 0-30, 0-40, 0-50, 0-60, 0-70, 0-80, 0-90 and also the quarter it is not a 0-60 figure they conjured out of thin air....In fact, during the tests on that day, the 3.2TL thrashed competitors like the poor ES300, Infiniti I-30 and the Oldsmobile Aurora V6 IN EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THE ACCELERATION CATEGORIES including, 0-30, 0-40, 0-50, 0-60, 0-70, 0-80, 0-90 and the quarter other words, at no time (right off the line till reaching much higher speeds), did the others stand a chance against the kick-[non-permissible content removed] Acura, in acceleration.....I would have expected better numbers from the lighter Infiniti I-30 (which supposedly has BETTER PEAK Horsepower/Torque NUMBERS)......but the funny thing is that, you will not FEEL THE SPEED building up in the Acura....until you observe the speedometer....the engine is smooth like a turbine and has got a perfectly mated 5-speed Adaptive Sportshift transmission....

    Also, Road and Track obtained 7.2Secs for the 1999 Acura 3.2TL, which, with the 4-speed transmission (like the Lexus ES300) and a non-freeflowing intake manifold, was universally considered as being about 0.50 secs slower than the 2000 3.2TL (with the 5-speed transmission and a host of intake modifications including a free-flowing intake manifold that increased low-end torque and mid-range power, even though the peak power numbers for both 99 and 00 remained the same) if we subtract 0.50 secs (of the 99 TL) from 7.2 Secs, we again come to 6.7 Secs (extrapolating the 99 TL's time to the 2000 TL, since R&T have not tested the 2000 TL) does that mean that we have got 6.7 Secs 0-60 from 2 separate sources for the 2000 TL ?!!

  • Stop it you guys. Can't we have a normal conversation without insulting others for a change? Turbotc, what does your Mercedes has to do with Lexus or Acura anyways? Why are you even mentioning it? And hunter001, I don't recall turbotc bashing your TL at all. It looks to me from reading the previous posts that you pointed out the goods of the TL and he pointed out the goods of the ES. So by you saying that we (Lexus owners) got ripped off that is insulting to the ES owners. Was it necessary to bash Lexus owners? I remember test driving the TL in 99 and I felt OK about it. I could careless about the extra power, xenon headlights, Navigation, etc. My husband wanted it badly but because the dealer wouldn't budge from MSRP and the waiting period was over 4 months, we opted for a 98 Certified ES300 with only 11k miles on it. I felt much more comfortable in the ES being I am only 5 foot tall. But that does not make the TL a bad car? Is one stupid for paying $8k for a Rolex when a Seiko could be had for $200? No, we all have different tastes and preferences. I actually felt insulted from your post of being ripped off. I don't feel that way at all, paying less for a certified pre-owned with a 7 year 100k warranty. Now, about the laughing part, we (Lexus owners) might be laughing at you heading to your bank to withdraw your money for a powertrain failure. Just joking. But my husband did told me Lexus has a longer powertrain warranty, even beyond the basic 4/50 bumper to bumper. So lets, not fight and try to talk rationally. We should feel lucky we have the privilidge of owning one of these 2 fines vehicles. Turbotc, Edmunds do have forums on Mercedes vehicles. You should go there and talk about your car. My husband wants a TL type S now. Good Grief. He we go again.
  • eddiemaceddiemac Posts: 141
    Turbotc- If you go to the Lexus website and and click options on the ES300, it states under the leather package, "leather seating surfaces" not leather seats. Only thepart that touches the body is leather.
  • Well, I stopped by to see what people thought of their TL's. I'm seriously considering a TL Type S later this year. I almost decided on the CL Type S, but then saw that the TL has an extra 1.5-2 inches of headroom (I'm 6'3" or so).

    Reading the last 20 posts or so, I have a few comments ...

    1. The TL/CL is indeed a dressed-up Accord. The ES300 is indeed a dressed-up Camry. Who cares? All four of them are great cars. The Lexus is marketed to a slightly different crowd ... slightly more luxurious, softer ride, less performance. I personally want the performance as did probably most of the TL/CL buyers.

    2. In most cars today, leather seats really mean "leather seating surfaces," not full leather-trimmed seats. I work in the automotive seating business, and today's auto companies and their suppliers look for every penny they can save. By using leather on the seating surfaces only and using a decent imitation vinyl for the rest of the seat, a supplier/OEM can save hundreds of dollars per vehicle and still call them leather seats. (By the way ... even most leather seats are vinyl impregnated because they stand up much better over time than just plain leather!)

    3. Anybody know the asking price for the TL Type S? Anybody know the release date?

  • Hey hunter001 aka "I don't have the time to demonstrate with specific examples"--glad you opted for the "short" version then.

    I also opted for our TL over the ES300. The Lexus is a great car and the Lexus service and treatment is extraordinary (our best friends have had 1992 and 1999 ES300). However, I feel that feature-for-feature, the TL is as good or better than the ES and the price difference is several $thousand less for the TL.

    In terms of cabin noise, the TL is the quietest car I have owned in terms of blocking outside noise. HOWEVER, that makes the various interior creaks and clicks all the more noticeable. Basically, this has been my only complaint with our TL--there are a few interior phantom noises (plastic-against-plastic like clicks and creaks from the interior rear pillar and creaking from the drivers seat) and I hate nothing more than interior creaks and noises. We bought our son a new Accord EX6 Coupe in July and he had the same types of occasional sounds (one was traced to the trim around the central console). You would think that by now, auto manufacturers could anticipate where noises will occur at interfaces between parts and use felt or teflon tape at those locations. As an aside, the 90 Maxima that we had before the TL did not have a single interior creak or rattle for the 10 years we owned it.
  • I own a 96 Honda Accord EX and a 96 Honda Accord LX. I have owned a 01 TL for about a month and I can honestly say that the TL is much quieter than both of them. The car I drove before was a 97 Nissan Maxima SE. I sold it to a family member. I thought it was quiet until I took a trip in it this week. I was happy to be back in the TL. At first I didn't find the seats to be as comfortable as I liked but over time they have gotten better.
  • boe_dboe_d Posts: 66
    I need to purchase a vehicle right away - I was considering the MDX but am no longer interested. Does anyone have URL's with the specs on the TL Type S vs. The 2002 TL? Will the new TL come out the same time as the type S?
  • If you're that interested in the Type S, go put $1000 down on the vehicle (fully refundable) and research after. In this way, should you decide on the 2002 Type S, you'll be sure to get yours in the first batch (not many on the wait list around the US from what I'm gathering here online). Read some of the previous posts for accurate info (from what i've read) about the TL Type S (i.e. performance/options/features/specs).
  • Sounds like you (Boe_d) also need to consider is ya wanna be drivin a top-heavy SUV for the next few years or months (depending on if you're as wealthy as Turbotc's neighbors) or a sporty sedan. For myself, I'm all about taking some turns (once in a while and in a safe circumstance) at about 25-30 and really feeling those V-rated tires grip in the summer. I don't know if that's recommended in the MDX car manual (don't start lookin', it's definitely NOT).
  • boe_dboe_d Posts: 66
    I have decided on the TL I just haven't decided on the TL or Type S TL. It is hard to do when there is so little information on Acura or Edmunds web page. I would like to know what are the differences between the two 2002 models. I'd also like to know if the 2002 TL will be arriving the same time as the 2002 Type S.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
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  • boe_dboe_d Posts: 66
    I went to Cerritos and Keys today - both were happy to take my money - but neither were offering deals on the 2002. I know there will be demand but there are always dealers offering to give back a little of what they get. Does anyone know of a good dealer in SoCal that will be getting the 2002's soon?
  • I didn't even consider that I know virtually nothing about the 2002 TL (not Type S). In all the hub-ub about the Type S, I didn't even consider any of the mods and changes that would have been implemented on the new 2002 TL. However, reading from this press packet, they really only say that 500 changes have been implemented into the Type S, and not the 2002 TL. In fact, most of these 500 changes were not bug-fixes, as it may be interpreted, rather, they were mods to improve sport performance (hence the new hp stats). I'm not sure about arrival of the new 2002 TL, but I can tell you one thing: unless they pack some great NEW features the 2001 didn't have, the lots full of 2001 TL's won't have any room for some cosmetically altered 2001 TL's (now called the 2002 TL's).
  • Per this press packet:

    "Revisions to the TL's exterior enhance its sporty appearance for 2002. The front end is redesigned with a more aggressive front grille, reshaped headlights, and revised badging. Fog lights are now STANDARD and the TL's taillights have clear upper lenses for a new look (i.e. euro design of the Toyota ES300). Three new exterior colors are available for 2002: Anthracite Metallic, Aegean Blue Pearl, and Eternal Blue Pearl." The 2002 will come with 16" rims vs. the 17" on the Type S. The suspension remains the same for the TL in 2002, whereas the Type S has the performance mods to make it stiffer, with a thicker anti-roll bar in the back. 2002 TL (std and Type S) will have the 6-disc in dash CD changer mated w/ the Bose five-speaker system. The Type-S will have the perforated leather, the TL will have identical seating to 2001, and the Type S will have the perforated leather steering wheel. I'll email you the stat sheet if ya'd like.
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