The one we've been waiting for!
Think for a second at the meaning of this review's title... Actually, the title should read: The one I've been waiting for. I have personally been a big fan of the TL since the mid-90s. When the second generation of the car arrived in 1999, I was in heaven. By 2004, for this iteration of the car, it was (and still is) the only alternative to anything German from that time. One thing and one thing only was missing in the car and it was AWD.
From the moment the 2004 TL was unveiled, rumours and desires ran rampant, foretelling the coming of an SH-AWD version. The RL arrived less than a year later and it featured Acura's handy and efficient AWD system; it just had to come to the TL! But, it was not to be.
And then, for 2010, Acura attempted to redeem itself. But, with mixed results.
Acura's new Face
Things got well, ugly, from 2009 on... Honda's luxury branch was going through an identity revamp when, for most part, it really did not need one. If you regularly read car reviews, Acura product reviews, you'll no doubt have noticed that most if not all scribes, have a bone to pick with Acura's design team. Other than the MDX and, on a lesser scale, the ZDX, the whole of Honda's luxury division carries an inverted upside-down over-bearing triangle as the centre piece of its front fascia. I'm not buying, sorry.
In the TL's case, the rear reflects the front where a triangle is concerned. The portion between the taillights, the trunk lid to be precise, suffers from the same awkward getup that massacres what is otherwise a smooth flowing beltline, front to back. In basic non-SH-AWD trim, the car suffers still further due to its under-sized wheels. None of it sits well with me.
My always beautiful and brilliant wife simply stated, once having laid eye upon the outer-shell of the car that, well, we spend most of our time inside the car and not outside, staring at it. She is and will always be right... Thankfully, Acura has not messed up the other thing it had been doing right from the very beginning.
A redeeming point
The TL's cabin is sombre but busy, well appointed and very modern. In my books, this makes it a good place to spend many hours. It obviously helps that the front buckets offer up plenty of support and comfort in all the right places. The rear bench does the same, being able to accommodate three passengers with relative ease.
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