Acuraís near luxury TL got a thorough redesign last year when the third
generation car debuted, so 2005 marks a year of little change. The
features that make this high-tech vehicle so desirable have also made
the new TL the brands biggest seller since its debut.
On the road, the TL stands out. The sharply drawn,
angular lines are a big change from the softer, prettier shapes of
previous Acura vehicles. The designers have given the car a macho
stance, with a chiseled front face, high tail with spoiler, and
character lines so deep along the side that the door handles can be
buried in them.
Todayís trendy high beltline means the windows are
higher relative to your shoulder, giving the TL a feeling of vault like
protection and strength. The use of satin finish trim in place of common
chrome, including on the grille, separates this car from the pack.
The interior continues the strong lines of the
body. My tester offered handsome burl wood and metallic trim for a more
upscale look than previous TLís. Supportive leather seats and handsome
trim are standard. All the upscale accessories are included, including
dual zone, dual-temperature automatic climate control, keyless entry,
heated front seats, automatic day/night rearview mirror, and more.
The Acura/ELS Premium 8-speaker Surround Sound
System with DVD-A sound delivers better-than-CD quality audio
performance. Because the car is so quiet on the road, I was able to
enjoy the system immensely. XM Radio, with its satellite system and more
than 100 CD-quality channels, comes standard in every TL. Acura gives
you the first three months of service free, after which you can pick up
the tab of $9.95 a month and keep it if you get hooked, which you
probably will. Thereís something for everybody on XM, and most of it is
commercial free. I got hooked on the Sixties station, but you might want
to listen to opera, bluegrass, raw hip-hop or even baseball games.
Integrated with the audio system is a standard
Bluetooth wireless interface. This technology lets you use a steering
wheel mounted button to do hands free calling. You can even transfer a
call to the carís system if you want to step into the TL and drive while
continuing a call. You can use up to six different phones and store up
to 50 numbers in the systemís phone book.
The TLís 3.2-liter V6 engine puts out a prodigious
270 horsepower and 238 lb.-ft of torque, thanks to features like a
two-stage intake manifold, a cold air intake, and a high flow exhaust
system. Fuel ratings are a decent 20 city, 29 highway. I averaged 21
miles per gallon. Despite its potent performance, the TL meets LEV-2
ULEV (ultra low emission vehicle) standards.
My Abyss Blue Pearl tester, like every TL, came
pretty much fully equipped. You can add things like the five-speed
Sequential Sportshift in place of the standard six-speed manual
transmission. My tester had this automatic and it worked perfectly. You
can also include a voice-activated GPS navigation system or special
summer performance tires. Prices range from $33,670 for the five speed
automatic model to $35,870 for the car with the works.
The TL is loaded with safety equipment, from
airbags (front, side, and curtain) to side impact door beams and height
adjustable seat belts. Active safety comes from four-wheel antilock
brakes and the Vehicle Stability
Assist (VSA) system. VSA works with the cars
computer and its drive-by-wire throttle system to control the vehicles
position during acceleration, braking and cornering. Cars with the
six-speed manual transmission come with a limited slip differential,
which distributes torque between the driving wheels to help maintain
traction and improve handling. Electronic Brake Force Distribution
adjusts the brake pressure front and rear automatically and continuously
for the best stopping ability.
New for 2005, a weight sensor is installed in the
front passenger seat. If the weight on the seat is less than 65 pounds,
the front airbag wonít go off in a crash. This protects children who may
be riding there (but who should really be in back, in a car seat). The
driverís seat now has a position sensor that varies the airbag response
depending on how far forward the seat is placed.
Certainly the TL has to be good, because it
competes in a field that includes midsize performance sedans from BMW,
Audi, Mercedes, Cadillac, Infiniti, and others. The new TL blends a
wealth of sophisticated electronics, carefully rendered design, and
top-quality materials and assembly to give those brands a serious run
for the target customer. By
Steve Schaefer © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
To see the 2005 Acura TL click on
www.honda.com or call them at 1-800-999-1009 for more information.
Acura Home Page
Byline: Syndicated content provided by Tony Leopardo ©
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2005 Acura TL
2005 Acura TL
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