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article details
Author Jeff Palmer
Categories TOV Road Test, TL
Create Date November 06, 2006 09:00
Last Update November 06, 2006 21:15
2007 Acura TL and TL Type-S

Slotting into the middle of a 3 sedan lineup, Acura's third generation TL has helped anchor Acura's bottom line ever since its 2004 (model year) introduction. The TL's carefully proportioned blend of luxury, performance, technology, style, and value has proven to be a potent formula in the entry premium market segment. For several years following its introduction, the TL reigned supreme in its segment in terms of sales, only having been recently surpassed by the redesigned (E90) BMW 3-series sedan. This is despite the fact that the TL's offering was about as simplified as it gets: for equipment you had a choice between fully loaded, or fully loaded with navi. As far as drivetrain options, your choice was limited to a 5AT or 6MT hooked to a smooth and potent 258hp 3.2L V6 (J32). While it was obviously a successful approach, there were some buyers who shopped elsewhere because they found the one-size-fits-all TL either to be too sporty, or not sporty enough.

With the addition of the Type-S model for 2007, Acura's product planners were given the freedom to take some of the edge off of the base TL and orient it more towards a touring role rather than that of a luxury-sport-touring sedan. This move should broaden the TL's appeal to the shoppers who are drawn to the TL more for its style, luxury, and technology. Conversely, the Type-S model is tailored to suit drivers who want all of those things AND a further emphasis on performance.

What Looks Different?
While the 2007 TL's trim changes are generally minor, there are a few noticeable differences that are evident from the curb. The base TL features a new split 5-spoke 17x8" wheel design that is stiffer than last year's design. When paired with new softer subframe bushings, according to Acura the wheels help contribute to a 1.0dB reduction in road noise. Type-S models feature their own new 10-spoke 17x8" wheel design in a dark silver finish. While the '04-'06 TL had foglights that were integrated into the headlight housing, this was a fact lost on many people. For 2007 the foglights have been relocated down in the front fascia where they are more evident. Satin/black chrome (base/Type-S) crossbars have been added to the two lower grilles on the front bumper. The main grille has been enlarged along with the Acura caliper logo mounted in the center of it.

Looking at the 2007 TL's profile, the most noticeable new feature is the LED turn signal indicators that are now integrated into the door mirrors. On the Type-S, the side sills are slightly wider than on the base model and the lenses of the sidemarker lamps now have a smoked appearance. At the rear of the vehicle, the 2007 TL features a "diffusor" on the lower end of the bumper. The taillights have been partially cleared out on the base TL, while the Type-S model gets black chrome trim within the taillights. The rear bumper of the Type-S model is slightly different from the base model, with a larger honeycombed (and still nonfunctional) "diffusor" along with larger exhaust openings to allow for the TL's "package" of quad exhaust pipes to be prominently displayed. Additionally, the somewhat busy rear visage of the Type-S is finished with a decklid lip spoiler.

What's Changed Inside?
Inside the car, there's a modest list of revisions, starting with a new sportier 3-spoke steering wheel on both '07 TL trim levels. Type-S models equipped with the 5-speed automatic transmission get steering wheel mounted paddle shifters for an extra measure of control. The TL now uses Acura's "switchblade" ignition key design, which is more pocket-friendly. The 2007 TL's gauge cluster is similar in layout to last year's package, but now features a brushed metallic meter face and a higher resolution multi-information-display. The base TL continues with a blue/white interior illumination scheme, while the Type-S rolls with a red illumination theme, which is carried from the gauges to the ambient LED cabin lighting, audio/HVAC displays and the switchgear illumination. All models (finally) feature an auxiliary jack for iPod/MP3 player hookup (located in the two-tiered center console), while the ELS surround system has added Dolby Pro-Logic decoding capabilities for your 5.1 surround sound pleasure. Additionally, MP3/WMA playback is now supported via the TL's in-dash 6-disc changer.

While all 2007 TL Type-S models are equipped with a standard DVD-based satellite navigation system, the base model is still offered without the navi system. For these base models, Acura has mercifully redesigned the center stack, which was (to be blunt) an eyesore on previous base model TLs. The new base model center stack design features a more handsome vacuum fluorescent display containing a 24-point digital compass and enhanced audio and HVAC system displays. I've only seen this new design in photos so far and the biggest improvement appears to be the vacuum fluorescent display, which provides for a more uniform look; that said, the new compass looks a little video-game hokey. The worst part of the old system was the stark black masking around the display and the lettering comparable to a cheap clock radio.

On all 2007 TL models equipped with the navigation system, Acura includes a standard rear view camera, the ability to transfer your cell phone's phonebook (up to 1000 entries and 10000 numbers) via Acura's HandsFreeLink (Bluetooth), and the addition of AcuraLink with RealTime traffic (subscription required). These are nice little upgrades but Acura charges a hefty $2500 for the Navi package.

Elsewhere inside the TL, you might notice the new design for the aluminum and "wood" trim, with the Type-S getting a slightly darker finish for the aluminum and faux carbon fiber inserts instead of the base model's fake wood. To further differentiate the Type-S interior, contrasting stitching is used on the door panel and seat trim, with Type-S logos appearing on the steering wheel and embossed into the front headrests. Base TL seats have been redesigned for more comfort (read: less bolstering) while the TL Type-S seats have deeper bolsters and "metallic" finish leather seat inserts. I'm not sure I care for the "metallic" leather finish inserts myself (too pimpalicious?), but it does serve as a point of distinction vs. the base model. For all TL models, the seat leather is said to have been upgraded to a softer and more natural feel. While the TL's seats are generally quite good, we'd like to see Acura offering a bit more adjustability (e.g. adjustable thigh support) as many of its European competitors currently offer.

Read on for our road impressions.

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Date Thread Starter Thread
11-22-2006 21:06 Just got mine! Initial impressions...   (Score: 1, Normal) RW66
11-24-2006 15:16 notyper
12-02-2006 16:06 RW66
12-06-2006 17:00 6SPDTL
12-06-2006 21:05 RW66
08-15-2007 18:50 TLSAUTO
01-04-2007 15:22 Tosa1962
11-08-2006 14:01 Why bother releasing TL-TypeS? Go G35   (Score: 1, Normal) Honda-D
11-08-2006 14:42 shingles
11-09-2006 01:37 Honda-D
11-09-2006 04:15 Wizard
11-10-2006 02:52 Powered by Honda
11-10-2006 07:35 99SI
11-10-2006 09:55 vtecTL1
11-10-2006 11:21 notyper
11-10-2006 12:32 MARCVTEC2000
11-10-2006 22:09 blu
11-10-2006 17:37 ephemere
11-11-2006 00:03 AcuraSM
11-11-2006 00:52 ephemere
11-11-2006 15:11 AcuraSM
11-11-2006 15:37 AcuraSM
11-11-2006 20:38 ephemere
11-12-2006 00:14 Honda-D
11-13-2006 09:41 esboi84
11-15-2006 12:52 Powered by Honda
11-10-2006 22:11 Powered by Honda
11-10-2006 22:27 Powered by Honda
11-10-2006 23:04 ephemere
11-14-2006 14:14 Powered by Honda
11-10-2006 14:52 shingles
11-08-2006 14:44 Wizard
11-08-2006 15:40 Phil17
11-08-2006 18:22 RyanDL
11-08-2006 23:18 dydx
11-08-2006 23:52 outersquare
11-09-2006 10:52 alva
11-09-2006 13:16 Honda-D
11-09-2006 22:46 Mike Freitas
11-10-2006 02:39 Powered by Honda
11-11-2006 06:18 osaze
11-11-2006 10:56 ephemere
11-11-2006 18:46 Wizard
11-11-2006 21:03 ephemere
11-12-2006 19:31 Wizard
11-11-2006 12:38 TwoDogs
11-13-2006 22:03 Waatdaehell
11-14-2006 16:30 esboi84
11-27-2006 20:36 Oacosta27
01-17-2007 23:52
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Mugenkoo
12-06-2006 21:13 Has anyone seen any "official" 0-60 times?   (Score: 1, Normal) RW66
01-04-2007 15:00 Tosa1962
11-26-2006 09:15 ...I could not agree MORE@   (Score: 1, Normal) ezshift5
11-06-2006 14:06 Drove 2007 TL-S Saturday   (Score: 1, Normal) jgalvan1
11-08-2006 21:12 3.0ivtec
11-15-2006 22:02 BostonAndy
11-16-2006 02:11 Powered by Honda
11-16-2006 18:05 Pseudomaniac
11-16-2006 21:20 Powered by Honda
11-16-2006 22:34 Honda-D
11-16-2006 23:13 jgalvan1
11-17-2006 12:59 vtecTL1
11-17-2006 14:17 jgalvan1
11-19-2006 09:49 Pseudomaniac
11-12-2006 10:37 Too Much $ - Not Enough HP   (Score: 1, Normal) Pseudomaniac
11-13-2006 21:46 Powered by Honda
11-14-2006 06:28 Newumbrella
11-14-2006 21:04 shingles
11-14-2006 22:32 jgalvan1
11-15-2006 12:49
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11-15-2006 20:44
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11-16-2006 02:10
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Powered by Honda
11-16-2006 09:35 RyanDL
11-15-2006 12:29 soulboy
11-15-2006 12:51 Powered by Honda
11-15-2006 20:48 jgalvan1
11-15-2006 21:56 Jcc35
11-13-2006 22:23 Has Honda fall into model cycle hell?   (Score: 1, Normal) Honda-D
11-13-2006 23:16 jgalvan1
11-14-2006 06:26 Newumbrella
11-14-2006 14:30 jgalvan1
11-15-2006 07:44 99SI
11-14-2006 21:01 shingles
11-15-2006 14:24 Honda-D
11-15-2006 16:04 Wizard
11-15-2006 20:32 jgalvan1
11-15-2006 17:43 Thanks Jeff!   (Score: 1, Normal) 94sir
11-07-2006 15:53 What about a manual on the RL?   (Score: 1, Normal) 6SPDTL
11-07-2006 16:48 CivicB18
11-08-2006 11:25 Wizard
11-08-2006 12:27 siegen
11-08-2006 12:51 Wizard
11-10-2006 17:51 hondacura
11-15-2006 13:07 siegen
11-15-2006 17:40 accord1989
11-08-2006 13:14 JeffX
11-15-2006 14:18 Has any car mag tested the TL Type-S yet?   (Score: 1, Normal) dirk311
11-06-2006 15:45 Getting Pricey   (Score: 1, Normal) 99SI
11-06-2006 16:38 jgalvan1
11-08-2006 11:24 jero
11-08-2006 13:24 ephemere
11-08-2006 13:46 JeffX
11-08-2006 14:06 ephemere
11-08-2006 14:46 JeffX
11-08-2006 14:08 Honda-D
11-08-2006 14:19 ephemere
11-08-2006 14:43 Wizard
11-09-2006 19:20 jgalvan1
11-09-2006 20:27 ephemere
11-10-2006 02:44 Powered by Honda
11-12-2006 00:19 Honda-D
11-12-2006 11:18 notyper
11-12-2006 13:37 ephemere
11-13-2006 11:03 esboi84
11-13-2006 13:43 outersquare
11-14-2006 06:32 Newumbrella
11-13-2006 12:07 HONDA NEEDS a RESET Button   (Score: 1, Normal) techline
11-13-2006 12:53 notyper
11-06-2006 10:10 Which wheels are ugly??   (Score: 1, Normal) Deak69
11-06-2006 11:39 RAdams
11-06-2006 12:02 JeffX
11-06-2006 17:53 Deak69
11-06-2006 18:54 HJV1
11-06-2006 19:48 99SI
11-06-2006 20:40 Deak69
11-07-2006 13:37 Mattman
11-07-2006 22:59 Nerdsrock22
11-07-2006 23:39 onefasthuman
11-11-2006 23:06 Tony Hondana
11-07-2006 18:44 Larger Grille? Wider Sills?   (Score: 1, Normal) VinceThe1
11-08-2006 23:14 dydx
11-08-2006 22:01 Sales vs 02/03 Type-S   (Score: 1, Normal) 99SI
11-06-2006 20:41 1 sec off 0-60 and 1/4 mile   (Score: 1, Normal) 96civicEX
11-08-2006 11:21 Wizard
11-06-2006 21:15 Any more pics of the Vivid Blue Type S?   (Score: 1, Normal) nowakj66
11-07-2006 06:35 jlin583
11-07-2006 12:25 Tuan
11-07-2006 17:32 nowakj66
11-07-2006 12:42 vroom, Vrooom, VROOOOOMMMM!   (Score: 1, Normal) TonyEX
11-07-2006 08:32 Appreciate the review   (Score: 1, Normal) iksenna
11-06-2006 10:05 Excellent Review "Again"   (Score: 1, Normal) Mike Freitas
11-06-2006 11:53 key123
11-06-2006 14:00 cat in the baby
11-06-2006 14:24 jgalvan1
11-06-2006 19:25 nowakj66
11-06-2006 18:14 Exterior styling!   (Score: 1, Normal) CivicB18
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