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Older Acura TLs



  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I don't think there are 10 objective reasons not to own a BMW. Cost, value, and reliability would be 3 objective reasons. The snob factor is one subjective reason, I suppose, although some would argue that it has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that there are more jackasses driving BMWs than any other brand!


    The truth of the matter is BMWs are superior cars, if you take cost out of the equation. I've driven almost exclusively Japanese cars all my life (and most of them are Honda products), but I think owning a BMW is one of those things that I've got to do before I'm done.


    So I would say if you've got the BMW itch, go for it. You owe it to yourself to do it at least once.
  • I test drove the RL and actually liked it a lot but personally I dont want to spend 50k on a car.


    I recently changed jobs and am now earning close to 100K.


    If I spend 50K on a car that is 50% of my gross earnings, I think i can spend that extra on something else.


    I LOVE MY TLS- it has only 27K miles and it is in pristine condition.


    I know there has to be some cosmetic change in the near future for the TL.

    I will wait it out then make my decision if the changes are within my likings.

    Or better yet- buy a used RL in about two years.


    I am still looking to race a 04/05 AT TL.
  • Some of the best reasonably-priced all-season tires include (from


    Yokohama Avid H4S (rated 500 AA A) $103

    BFGoodrich Traction T/A H (rated 440 AA A) $114

    Kumho ECSTA ASX (rated 420 AA A) $92
  • I'm not saying that you will have problems if you don't let the engine break-in - I'm saying it may not run AS WELL for the life of the car.


    There are SO MANY moving parts in a new car, not just the engine - alternator, pumps, transmission, u-Joint bearings, etc. etc. They all need some time to "get to know each other" before you put heavy load on them. Even microscopic galling of the bearings will take its toll on engine efficiency over time - and such damage does not "heal".


    My Lexus ES gave me more an 30 mpg on the road - at 80 mph with the A/C on, My TL gives me nearly 32. Both slowly broken in. It's worth it to be patient for a couple of weeks, and it CAN'T hurt anything - so why not?
  • YES - The TL ride IS too firm - it is nearly uncomfortable on less than perfect roads. The hard ride should have been left to the A-Spec model. This one of many dumb faux pas Acura made with the TL.


    When the tires wear, I will replace them with one size larger ST-115s. The tire itself is better rated for ride and smoothness, and the larger width will help cushion the ride a little.
  • armandarmand Posts: 178
    The standard tire is already very wide. You may find you have problems in wet or slippery weather. I think you can find the same size tire that ride noticeably better than the original equipment.
  • I just returned my 330i after 3 yr lease. I had Sport and Premium pkgs and 5-speed. Leased a 6-spd TL early in January.


    BMW really is the "Ultimate Driving Machine" It is a better driving experience. Better handling, better steering feel, just feels "tighter."


    However, love my TL! Here's why:

    1.) Great engine (faster than BMW w/better pick up)

    2.) Great transmission (maybe better than BMW)

    3.) Bigger on the inside and outside.

    4.) Better seats

    5.) Better climate control

    6.) 6-cd changer (in dash) and XM

    7.) Although not as good as BMW, handles great.

    8.) Great ergonomics. Everything feels right in the car.

    9.) Seat warmers (stretching to get to 10...)

    10.) $8-$10,000 less than a 2006 BMW 330i is going to cost. If money is no object treat yourself to the BMW. It's a great car and will make that emotional connection for you. However, TL is a wonderful alternative.


    One last thing, I upgraded the Turanza tires which came on the TL. Put on Michelin Pilot A/S. Another $900, but worth it given the money saved on the TL. Makes a big difference in handling of the car.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,112
    Greetings. I've had my '05 Abyss Blue/Charcoal TL for a month now and all is well, still on the original transmission (a "joke" I've used before and probably will again...). Thoughts:


    This is a handsome car, nice details including the chrome strip that separates the front parking lamps, continuing the theme of the pronounced side strip. Also, the theme carried in the door handles. Great wedge shape, no superflous creases, lines or geometric shapes (a la Caddy CTS). IMHO, best Acura since original Legend Coupe. One car mag thought it Alfa-Romeo-ish. Interior is likewise handsome, functional and well done ergonomically. Wish they had a nice analog clock a la Infiniti and my late 300M. Digital is just so generic. Blue instruments are great, sound system rocks. Leather seats do seem to crease easily, but not a problem yet.


    Coming from the Chrysler (which again, I loved) I appreciate the significantly quieter ride (very, very little wind noise!). The M may have had a smoother ride, although it could be the Bridgestone EL42 tires on the TL. Which so far would be my only complaint about the car. I think they are flatspotting and know they STINK in the snow. I don't believe I've experienced any vibration (harmonic distortion???) some have had. Then again, I'm not sure what I should be looking for in that respect.


    The power is wonderful. Not much torque right off the bat, but when you hit higher revs it pulls and pulls and pulls (no, I'm not talking about torque steer!). Powerful brakes, too. I'm averaging 19-20mpg in mostly commuting-type driving. One tankful combined 50/50% highway/commute and (according to the trip computer) I got 23mpg. The highway cruising was in the 70-90mph range.


    So, all is well. Great car, great value. I just wish I could keep it clean, but not gonna happen in Boston in the winter. I love winter, snow and skiing but hate a dirty car! And wouldn't live anywhere else. For now, at least...


    Oh, yeah. Go Pats! Once again, Eagles are an endangered species!

    '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.

  • Well,


    I am not even sure why am I posting this, but... hell... I am so excited! Finally after almost a year of searching I found my dream car. I have test driven:

    - BMW 3-series

    - Mazda RX-8

    - Nissan Z350

    - Subaru Legacy GT

    - Acura TL

    - Acura TSX

    - Audi A4


    ... and many more. Frankly, the TL was last on my list. I always felt like that car was just too big for my taste. After 5 years with my beloved Honda Prelude I wasn't ready for something that big. Prelude raised my personal bar as handling, steering and manual transmission quality are concerned: at first I was sure I was going to get the 3-series, but after Prelude it felt as plush and boring as Lexus. Mazda was a huge hope, but turned out to be too plasticy, cheap and unreliable (according to so many sources). Others just didn't inspire. And, finally, the TL: this awesome blend of luxury and sportiness, something that BMW lost a long time ago and Lexus never had. I just love it. Too bad I had to wait for a while 6spd one... Bravo, Honda.
  • igibanigiban Posts: 530
    "upgraded the Turanza tires which came on the TL. Put on Michelin Pilot A/S."


    Did it make the car more bump/pothole friendly?
  • Re: Upgrading Turanza to Michelin Pilot Sport A/S


    I live in the Southeast where potholes are not really a problem so I can't say. Also, I only had the Turanzas for about 2 weeks before deciding to ditch them. My only comparison is dry pavement driving (obviously this is what you drive on most of the time anyway) and the Pilot Sport A/S are much better. Handling is vastly improved.


    Since purchase, I have driven the Michelins in wet and light snow conditions. These are try All Season tires and they lived up to their billing. No problems in either conditions. I've not driven yet in real snow (over an 1"), but not afraid to try given this is a FWD car.


    Check out Tire Rack web site for more info on these tires. They compare favorably to a pure Max Performance Summer Tire. Given that car will see some snow, I went with the All Season. Also, had these tires on my BMW for a couple of months b/4 lease ran out. Almost no difference in handling between them and OEM Conti ContactSport with are Summer Tires.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,112
    I find the seats in the TL much firmer than in the 300M. I'm not sure I'm as comfortable in them. Maybe they just need some more break-in, it's only been a month. Or I need to fiddle with all the adustments some more although I thought I had found my best driving position.

    '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.

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282


    I seriously considered a 330i Performance before getting a 2004 TL 6-speed last May. The biggest holdback for me on the BMW was the size. It simply can't fit my wife and kids (2, ages 6&9) and luggage for weekend trips to visit family. We also had an Isuzu Trooper, but I rally hated driving that top heavy boat on the PA Turnpike. Last weekend, we got a 2005 MDX, but I would still like my sport sedan to serve as a family car as well. If I gave up on that requirement, I would be driving an M3 coupe.


    That said, I agree with comments above that, although the TL is about the best FWD sport sedan made, I'd still put the 3-series at the top of the pack in handling and overall driving dynamics. It is a damn nice car with less gadgets than the TL, but quality engineering where it counts. Also, don't be fooled by it's 45 horsepower disadvantage (35 for the Performance package). The 330i is lighter and with it's RWD, I perceived the acceleration between the TL and 330i (both manual transmissions) to be nearly identical. And the 330i is easier to "launch", without having to worry about torque steer and wheel hop. I don't drive like Mario Andretti, but I still like a car that is responsive whan pulling into traffic, etc.




    Speaking of Mario Andretti, you are still looking to race everyone, huh? Well I'll be happy to put my 2004 TL 6-speed HPT against your 2003 Automatic TLS. Especially if we do anything that involves cornering and turns. I was given a 2002 TLS as a loaner when I took my TL in for service back in November. The TLS is reasonably quick, but I would still contend that it's not any quicker than my 1995 Maxima SE 5-speed from 0-60. And well short of the 2004+ TL 6-speed. But the greatest imporvement you will notice if you trade up is the handling, steering and braking. There really is no comparison. Granted, I have the 6-speed with the stiffer suspension, high performance tire package and Brembo brakes, but I suspect even the auto to auto comparison would show a dramatic difference.


    I still have the 1995 Maxima with 154,000 miles so I'll give you two runs for the price of one!
  • I agree with you on the firm seats. I've had my TL for about 2 months now and I have to tell you they are not doing wonders for my back. They're acceptable when my back is in good shape, but if I'm have a "bad back day", the combination of the hard seats and the stiff ride is miserable. I find the lumbar support is not quite in the right spot either (for me, anyway). The heated seats are nice, though, I wish they had more heat levels than just Hi and Lo.


    One might ask, "Well, why didn't you recognize these things when you test drove the car?" I kinda have to wonder about that myself, though I do remember noting that the seats were a bit firm but not too objectionable. Of course, sometimes you don't focus on every nuance in a car in a couple of 10-15 minute test drives and maybe I was too pre-occupied at the time by all the other goodies. The same could probably be said about the extremely poor over-the-shoulder visibility due to the oversized C-pillars, but with that you just learn to be extremely careful before changing lanes.


    So, those are my two biggest complaints about the TL. Second order complaints would be that the handling is not as nimble as some other cars I've driven (e.g., G35, 9-3) and I don't think the driver is quite as "connected" to the road as he should be. Still, overall, it is a pretty nice piece of machinery and worthy of a spot high up on anybody's list.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,112
    As I was comparing the TL to the G35X, maybe that is why I don't consider the ride too stiff. It is definately a tighter ride than my 300M, but that's not necessarily bad. I think that during my test drives, the quiter ride I was looking for may have diverted my attention from the ride quality. The G35X I found to be a much stiffer (felt every irregualrity in the road) and louder (wind, road and engine noise. Although the engine made a nice noise!) ride. Great handling and power in the G, though.


    The seats aren't bothering my back, rather I think the bottom cushion may be just a bit too short, at least compared to what I was used to. Stiff seats aren't necessarily bad, but I used the evil wife's Lexus this morning and the seat was noticibly more comfortable (read soft, and no noticable issue with the seat bottom cushion).


    It's only been a month, had the 300M for 5.5 years so I'm still breaking in the TL.


    Another thought. I'm still not enamored with the aluminum look in (any!) the interior. I much prefer wood (or good plood). Minor detail...

    '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.

  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I would echo many of your observations -- the "disconnected" steering feel; the poor rear visibility, the firm ride.


    I think the poor rear visibility is potentially dangerous. It makes you "think" thru a lane change. And like athletics, if you have to think, and not do it instinctively, you won't do it as well. I find I will take a split second longer to do a shoulder-check. And in traffic, that split second could be vital.


    A couple of other relatively minor design flaws: Why couldn't they design the moonroof interior shade to stay in place and not close by itself everytime you hit the brakes hard? And even after 8 months, I still find the doors way too springy.
  • webby1webby1 Posts: 209
    I was also struggling with the same not want to constantly change wheels or tires so decided to go with Pirelli's PZero M&S....( check tire rack ) Ultra High Performance All Season.

    In my area ( around Toronto ) we get only 3 to 4 snow storms so it is not a big of driving is in slush and icy roads therefore the emphasis on stopping and handling rather the getting stuck in the snow.

    Talked to a couple people that have them and swear by these tires....will be putting these on in April so will have to form my own opinion after driving through summer and winter.

    I realize that we do not have same cars but I am sure same principle applies and the results should be similar.


  • bmwdougbmwdoug Posts: 248
    The TL seems cramped to me on the inside. Has anyone noticed not much head room in the front, not much leg room in the back, and very little head room in the back seat. I am 6'4, and my head was just about a half an inch under the roof line in the front, in the back seat I hit the top of the roof. Also, the car seems very tight in the back and small in the front. I must admit, it is a nice car for the right sized people.
  • highenderhighender Posts: 1,365
    yeah, I can see that some people might think it is a tad small. IT IS a small luxury sports car....not a large one by any measure...but you should be able to adjust the car to your size.


    if you cannot fit in the TL, you better not try the Porsche boxster.....there is not much adjustment/room to move the seat 6'2" friend' head was touching the convertible top after maximizing seat room...
  • laurasdada: I'm sure you meant to refer to your "wife's evil Lexus", rather than your "evil wife's Lexus" . . ah . . didn't you?


    I agree with you on the aluminum interior. One of the reasons I went with the Deep Green Pearl exterior, aside from it being a really nice color, was because I preferred the wood look that comes with the parchment interior. It's strictly a personal thing, of course, but I'm really happy with my color combination and you don't see that many of them around. One of the sales folks I was talking with said that most of the younger crowd these days won't go anywhere near a wood trimmed interior. Whatever.
  • Yeah baby, you know me -always looking for a race.

    As I said before , the only car that has ever beaten me soundly was a Bimmer 540, all the rest just watch my double pipes go off in the horizon.


    In any event, I test drove the TL 6 SPD and the AT.I know the 6 will out run me but the AT I am still border line on that, hence I want to race the AT.


    Next summer my car note will expire,I don't know what I am going to do.Maybe I will just keep the car or maybe wind up selling it and getting into a cosmetically upgraded TL(wishful thinking).


    I hope you are enjoying your Honda product and please get that thought out of your head about the 95 Max gunning down my PRECIOUS.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,112
    No, you read it correctly. Lexus is ok, wife is evil. But I still love her... ;-)


    I was debating the Deep Green, but really liked the Abyss Blue which, unfortunately, isn't offered with the parchment. I find the Camel too much of a contrast, too bright, so I went with the charcoal/faux carbon fiber. Looks good, but I prefer the (warm, elegant) look of wood. If I just coulda grabbed the wood from the Mercedes E Class and fitted it to the TL...


    Gotta get the TL washed tonight. But more rain/snow coming this week. An uphill battle.


    How 'bout them Pats?! Good game, maybe a rematch next year (with the same outcome, of course!)

    '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.

  • Thanks for all who responded my post, and you managed to make it to 10!


    Looks like I will have to cut down on other spendings if I cant get the BMW 3 out of my mind.
  • So, the neverending break-in argument keeps going and going and going....


    The main argument against easy break-in is that you do not achieve optimum piston ring seal against the cylinder wall. Race engine tuners know this well, where every hp counts. There are a number of good articles available on other enthusiast boards simply by searching the topic.
  • Please advise your height and weight so we can put your seat comfort problems in context.
  • My wife just bought a TL and I have to say I'm impressed! That car is smooth, quiet, and peppy. It also has nearly all the gadgets a person could want. The only drawback that I can find is the short bottom part of the seats (another poster had also commented on this).


    Otherwise, incredible car for the price. And, IMO, much more stylish than the frumpy looking RL...
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    The RL is actually quite nice-looking. It will grow on you. But I agree that the TL is more edgy, more aggressive and youthful-looking. IMO, still the best-looking model in the entire Honda lineup.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,112
    Me? I'm 5'10"/190-ish...gotta lose a few!


    I think the RL is a handsome car, but like the last TL, generically so. Just doesn't stand out in a crowd. The TL is definately the looker. I also don't really see the +$15k value in the RL over the TL.


    I've mentioned the bottom seat cushion being just a bit too short for my (average?) legs. Not a big deal, just gotta get used to it.

    '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.

  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    "I also don't really see the +$15k value in the RL over the TL."


    The difference is $25K for us poor souls up here! I can buy a TL AND a MINI to drive for fun, for the price of one RL.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,112
    Go for the Mini convertible...

    '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.

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