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article details
Author Shawn Church
Categories TOV Road Test, TL
Create Date January 24, 2004 11:30
Last Update May 19, 2004 15:45
2004 Acura TL

When the specifications on the 3rd generation Acura TL were released, we here at TOV weren't quite sure what to make of it. The spec sheet was full of new features and luxury items that continued to increase the TL's already class leading value per dollar quotient. This is, of course, a good thing and in keeping with Acura's philosophy in the market space. However, as enthusiasts, we wondered if Acura was going to give us more of what we wanted - power, handling, braking, etc.

The initial signals were mixed. The revised J32 engine claimed 10 more hp and 8 more lbs-ft of torque. An improvement to be sure, but nothing amazing - although we are certainly happy that it's the standard engine now rather than being exclusive to the Type-S range (there's the value equation again). The TL also rides on the global midsize (Accord) platform - a good basis, but with applications ranging from the TSX to the Accord V6 Coupe, the chassis tuning of this platform has varied substantially. Given the luxury bent of the TL, we weren't sure what to expect. Better news came when we learned the TL would be offered with a 6-speed manual transmission with a helical limited slip differential (LSD). We loved this option in the departed CL-S, stating "if Acura put this driveline in a 4-door package, I'd buy one right now." We were also pleased to find that 4 piston calipers were available on the front brakes, along with a summer tire option. Things were looking up, especially since our CL-S test pointed out the need for more durable binders with all that weight and stickier tires for the enthusiast. Someone upstairs is listening - thank you.

All specification sheets and press releases aside, we really needed to drive this car to see how the real world performance stacked up with the objective numbers. Acura was kind enough to lend us an Anthracite TL 6-spd with Carbon interior and the summer tire option. Our TL also came with XM radio and Acura's excellent Navi system that continues to receive ongoing improvements intended to help maintain its position as the best of the breed. Our test venue was Atlanta, GA and the surrounding regions. Normally Atlanta is a great place, but in January it can be a bit cold and as Tuan and I stepped off the plane we were greeted by some of the coldest temps in recent history (17 F!!). As luck would have it, these conditions arrived the night before we did and left the day we did - go figure.

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Date Thread Starter Thread
01-24-2004 22:46 My sentiments exactly!   (Score: 1, Normal) vtechbrain
01-25-2004 09:37 lakeman
01-25-2004 13:05 JeffX
01-25-2004 14:20 lakeman
01-26-2004 22:30 George
05-23-2004 10:52 neezer
05-23-2004 10:53 neezer
05-23-2004 10:48 Bad suspension calibration   (Score: 1, Normal) neezer
01-27-2004 17:52 Torque Steer not Limited Slip differential   (Score: 1, Normal) silverf161
01-28-2004 12:15 Danny1
01-28-2004 13:15 JeffX
01-28-2004 14:16 need4spd
01-28-2004 15:14 JeffX
01-30-2004 00:14 LED Master
01-31-2004 12:25 notyper
02-25-2004 07:54 10e
01-26-2004 12:17 Concerns over engine vibration/tire issues   (Score: 1, Normal) rcb
01-26-2004 12:56 notyper
02-09-2004 19:39 T6061
01-26-2004 21:52 ? 4 Jeff   (Score: 1, Normal) brittho
01-27-2004 14:12 JeffX
01-28-2004 09:43 brittho
01-28-2004 14:21 need4spd
01-24-2004 16:38 Video?   (Score: 1, Normal) MAFA
01-24-2004 17:01 JeffX
01-27-2004 07:54 GGandNN
01-27-2004 13:46 Tuan
01-26-2004 21:20 Yeah! Shawn.. and then some..   (Score: 1, Normal) LudegarH22A7
01-26-2004 16:39 A-spec question   (Score: 1, Normal) ACURAte
01-26-2004 16:41 RyanDL
01-26-2004 19:48 ACURAte
01-24-2004 22:47 I forgot!!!!   (Score: 1, Normal) vtechbrain
01-24-2004 23:40 OHV
01-25-2004 00:11 JeffX
01-25-2004 02:44 KenB
01-26-2004 19:07 vtechbrain
01-26-2004 02:00 five-o
01-26-2004 11:49 Oversteer?   (Score: 1, Normal) need4spd
01-26-2004 12:04 JeffX
01-26-2004 15:54 need4spd
01-25-2004 16:26 It's too good... my wife will hog it   (Score: 1, Normal) TonyEX
01-25-2004 18:59 RAdams
01-25-2004 08:48 Thank you for the article   (Score: 1, Normal) neuronbob
01-24-2004 23:04 Another great TOV article.   (Score: 1, Normal) 90Accord
01-24-2004 18:55 Great Article --> official data slalom 0.90g possible?   (Score: 1, Normal) TheAnswer
01-24-2004 17:01 dyno test   (Score: 1, Normal) chazcra
01-24-2004 15:57 Great article Printer Friendly PLEASE?   (Score: 1, Normal) AcuraSM
01-24-2004 17:00 JeffX
01-24-2004 15:31 cool review   (Score: 1, Normal) uhhhh
01-24-2004 16:16 gilbert
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