2013 Acura TL Overview
Refreshed in 2012 largely to address styling concerns, the 2013 Acura TL is one of the better performing midsize luxury sedans on the market today.
The TL is an exercise in not judging a book by its cover. I waver at using such a cliché statement in regards to a car, but in this case it fits so precisely: under sheetmetal some would consider not so attractive, the TL is quite a car. Last year, the TL’s prominent grille was reduced to lessen the “beaki-ness” of the nose and the rear bumper was restyled. The resulting TL was smoother and less off-the-wall than the old model, something that should help it in showrooms. 17-inch wheels are standard, while larger 18- and 19-inch cogs are optional.
Mechanically, the 2013 TL has plenty working for it under the hood. There are essentially two version of the TL, one front-wheel drive (FWD) and the other all-wheel drive (AWD). FWD versions are powered by a 280-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 mated to a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. AWD models get a larger, 305-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 that is mated to the aforementioned six-speed automatic or an optional six-speed manual. The AWD version gets what Acura calls “super-handling all-wheel drive,” an advanced system that can transfer power not only between the front and rear wheels, but also laterally between the rear wheels under hard cornering.
EPA mpg ratings vary between models; the most fuel efficient is the FWD model, at 20/29 mpg city/highway. The AWD versions come next, with the automatic at 18/26 mpg and the manual just behind it at 17/25 mpg.
Inside, the 2013 TL is well appointed and luxurious, with good fit and finish. The Acura’s Honda roots are very apparent given the layout of controls, just with a big upgrade in terms of materials and functionality. Standard features include automatic climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB/iPod port, and leather seats. Acura places most of the TL’s optional equipment into two packages, the Technology Package and the Advance Package. The Technology Package adds many features to the cabin, including keyless start, GPS-linked temperature control, navigation system with traffic and weather updates, surround sound, and a backup camera. The Advance Package adds heated and ventilated front seats and a blind spot information system.
Standard safety features include side-impact and side curtain airbags, antilock brakes, and an electronic stability system. The 2013 TL is also one of few cars to receive the IIHS’ new Top Safety Pick+ designations, quite an honor.