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2009 Acura TL shows its face


2009 Acura TL  

32 members have voted

  1. 1. Which Looks Better?

    • 2008 Acura TL
      23
    • 2009 Acura TL
      9


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2009_acura_tl_450.jpg

The 2009 Acura TL is coming this fall, and Acura has released the first official image of the car. Acura's love-it-or-hate-it new shield-grille face is affixed to the front end of the new sedan, which also sports thin, slanted headlamps and a pair of angular lower intakes. A pronounced accent line sweeps down from back to front, where it leads directly into a very pronounced wheel arch. Looks like we'll have to wait a little longer to see the car's posterior.

Two TL flavors will be offered, confirming the preview report that we ran back in April. Honda doesn't announce powertrain specifics other than to confirm that the new TL will be available with Acura's SH-AWD system and also offer the marque's "most powerful engine ever." We assume that to mean the 300-horsepower 3.7L engine used in the RL and MDX will also be making an appearance in the TL. Based on what we were told back in April, look for a 280-horsepower 3.5L to serve as the base engine in the FWD car.

So, now that you've had your first look at the new TL, tell us what you think.

Source: AutoBlog

Thought I'd throw our own poll in for fun.

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Guest aatbloke

Apart from the 1980's Russian-specification Lada Samara style grille, it looks smart enough but as with most large Japanese saloon cars, completely anonymous.

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I always thought the current TL was a very handsome looking car. This, not so much. It's a rather anonymous design that's trying to liven up by shoving a big shield on its face.

Yes, the current car is very distinctive...I esp. like the rear quarter view of the current car...has unique sculpturing. I thought seriously about buying one a couple of years ago, I love the interior and the way it drives..

The new car, at what I've seen so far, doesn't look as distinctive...

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Yes, the current car is very distinctive...I esp. like the rear quarter view of the current car...has unique sculpturing. I thought seriously about buying one a couple of years ago, I love the interior and the way it drives..

The new car, at what I've seen so far, doesn't look as distinctive...

A friend's older sister bought one. It looks very sharp, love the wheels. Looks just like this:

acurat500.jpg

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It definitely looks more modern and muscular than the current. My only gripe, from what I can see here, is the roofline as it meets the rear of the car. It looks a little too generic. And of course the grille, which could be better, but at least isn't bad.

This redesign looks like it will attract luxury buyers more than the current. I like it better than the current, which is getting a little dated looking.

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i like the back of the current TL but I find the front extremely boring. from the profile, I'm not sure if i'll like the 09 but since we only have the front pic to go on, I'm going to have vote for the 09

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A friend's older sister bought one. It looks very sharp, love the wheels. Looks just like this:

acurat500.jpg

IMO those are the best Acura wheels ever.

I voted '08. The '09 isn't a problem for me, but I still like the current one better.

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I really like the fog lamps and lower grille of the new TL. And those wheels are great. I'm so glad they didn't fuxor up the head lights.

The back end is probably going to be the most polarizing and controversial part of the new TL, based on the spy shots.

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Not bad but not good either. Those wheels are nice and I agree with siegen regarding the lower facia. But the car looks generic Hyundaish, from B pillar beyond.

Can someone chop out that ugly shield and just make the nose without it? I want to see just plain mesh grill.

Current car is not bad looking from the outside, and interior is very simple to move hands over all the important buttons. I hope they do not screw up the interior like th TSX by making it have zillions of buttons, and funky curves.

Edited by michaelv13
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pretty terrible. copy the last gen maxima rear. add mazda front with meat slicer grille.....ick.

way to ruin a good thing, honda.

having just looked at a Lincoln MKs over lunch, and not being overly impressed with it, i will say that it looks positively stylish in comparison to this ugly metal and rubber abortion.

Between the Avalon, new Maxima, and now this, I am supposed to be elated with Japanese crap....er.....products?

Really makes me love that pretty blue brand new lucerne someone's been parking in the lot recently here at work. G8 and CTS look amazing and stunning in comparison.

How much longer are we suppose to go on praising these japanese metal and rubber abortions?

Edited by regfootball
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Ugly. The thick wheel flare is the ONLY curved line in the whole front clip- out of place by a mile. The quadruple slots in the lower fascia, with 2 different color/size/shape lights, is poorly done. Wheels are OK- reminds me completely of the CTS-Vs rims, with less atitude. The rest isn't bad, just generic/boring/anonymous as mentioned by others.

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Ugly. The thick wheel flare is the ONLY curved line in the whole front clip- out of place by a mile. The quadruple slots in the lower fascia, with 2 different color/size/shape lights, is poorly done. Wheels are OK- reminds me completely of the CTS-Vs rims, with less atitude. The rest isn't bad, just generic/boring/anonymous as mentioned by others.

+1.

Honda has built some cars with great, clean lines, such as the 1999-2000 Civic Si.

This car tries to be too many things at once, without doing any of them well.

Chris

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pretty terrible. copy the last gen maxima rear. add mazda front with meat slicer grille.....ick.

way to ruin a good thing, honda.

having just looked at a Lincoln MKs over lunch, and not being overly impressed with it, i will say that it looks positively stylish in comparison to this ugly metal and rubber abortion.

Between the Avalon, new Maxima, and now this, I am supposed to be elated with Japanese crap....er.....products?

Really makes me love that pretty blue brand new lucerne someone's been parking in the lot recently here at work. G8 and CTS look amazing and stunning in comparison.

How much longer are we suppose to go on praising these japanese metal and rubber abortions?

Mazda front? Looks like a clear evolution of the current TL.

It's probably going to look a lot better in person, as most Hondas do. The TSX's I see in person now look pretty good and make the old model look very dated, even though I still don't like most of the TSX press photos. So far the new TL looks much more premium and substantial than the G8, but then the G8 isn't supposed to look premium. The CTS is kind of a mess. If you think the fender flare looks out of place on this TL, take a real close look at the CTS; lots of odd design decisions and it lacks cohesiveness, but it has the right bling parts to make a good initial impression.

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G8 is what it is, looks nice but not particularly progressive (tho AGgressive). tl is just... confused. Design as a whole has very little forward room for progression, and a number of the japanese brands just don't seem to know where to go next; they're floundering on many fronts. I actually like the current civic; real cohesive. The next tl just..... is. Also, it strikes me that not only do the wheels echoe the CTS-V's, the whole 'Veed' front bumper does as well. But I cannot stop starting at that gratuitous front frender hump.

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Acura's love-it-or-hate-it new shield-grille face is affixed to the front end of the new sedan

I don't get how Autoblog can call it a "love-it-or-hate-it" grille. I think it's a "hate-it-or-not-care-too-much" grille, I can't imagine too many people really loving it. It will eventually become like the BMW grille though, nothing particularly attractive about it or great, but it just says "BMW" and works. That is if Acura doesn't change the grille again in the next FMC cycle.

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It's okay... however, I did read the responses... and yes, it does kind of look like a Honda Camry.

The rear end has some serious Lexus GS styling cues, but I think once we see a rear 3/4 shot (for better or for worse) it will not resemble it so much.

The current Camry head lights borrowed heavily from the previous TL and TSX. Otherwise I don't see the Camry resemblance in the least bit.

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it's fine but too common. there's nothing remotely about it to stand apart from the rest of the crowd. the restraint in prior generations of TL and TSX mixed along with very handsome features and surfacing was enough to set them apart as new beacons for endurance, consistency, sophistication. these new TL and TSXs over time, what are they going to say? the grille is trying to hard, the wheel flares are like everywhere else, the rears retain the old car's feel, but mixed in with the extravagant front end you can no longer say these are strongly taut and refined in a very conservative manner. the last tl and tsx were like finely pressed armani suits, if armanis are the traditional designs....these are trying way too hard to fit in and be ostentaious.

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All I can say is.......ugh.....

To me, it looks bloated, with a fat front end, body lines that don't compliment one-another (those fender flares and how they meet up with the beltline continuation that runs down the edge of the hood) and a bland overall profile.

I'm one who actually likes the new TSX......but this new TL is about 5 steps too far "stylistically."

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ironically enough, the G8 does follow a similar aesthetic of the outgoing Acuras, with refined surfacing with an emphasis on a lean look, strong creases again emphasizing athleticism and drama, sports sedan character lines, very very restrained features, only slightly more aggressive graphics/grille treatment/headlamps/taillamps.

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this is a lot nicer

The main thing the G8 has going for it is that it is very athletic looking. Otherwise, it is a very plain vehicle. It does not give off a premium feel whatsoever. But then it is a muscle car after all.

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The current TL looks ok, it has sort of a sleek look to it. The 09 is hideous. All the new Acuras with the new grille look bad, not surprising that their sales keep dropping. Plus their engine is mounted the wrong way and driving the wrong set of wheels.

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The whole front clip is a complete mess. Find an enlarged picture and you will see what I mean.

Another miss...

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The main thing the G8 has going for it is that it is very athletic looking. Otherwise, it is a very plain vehicle. It does not give off a premium feel whatsoever. But then it is a muscle car after all.

um, no, its a refined performance sedan that costs less than a TL, walks all over its crappy little front wheel drive ass, and compares neck and neck with a BMW twice its price. get over it, import brand snob.

lets take a GXP G8 and the TL to the nurburgring and settle it there.

Edited by regfootball
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um, no, its a refined performance sedan that costs less than a TL, walks all over its crappy little front wheel drive ass, and compares neck and neck with a BMW twice its price. get over it, import brand snob.

lets take a GXP G8 and the TL to the nurburgring and settle it there.

The G8 is not refined, I've sat in 2, and the interior belongs in a Cobalt or low end G6 at best. Too many panel gaps and it is all black plastic. I've driven the Aura, SRX, and CTS DI and the 3.6 is too whiny and unrefined in the Aura and SRX, in the CTS it isn't bad, but they used a lot of sound deadening. BMW's inline six (even without the turbo) is a better motor than the 3.6 DI. I drove the CTS DI AWD and a 530i back to back, the 5er has better steering, braking and handling, it almost felt faster despite having 50 fewer hp. Personally I don't like BMW styling or iDrive, but no sedan GM has can drive like a BMW.

Almost anything rear drive would smoke the TL on the Nurburgring. The TL doesn't make a lot of sense, they are trying to make a performance front wheel drive car. Front drive works for geezer cars like the Lexus ES, but not for sporty cars.

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Is that a torque steer bulge on your fender,

or are you just happy to see me?!

Overall this is an absolute ugly duckling.

The last TL was quite handsome... even though I dislike

Hond-Acura I have admitted that before. Not sure if I

ever mentioned I went to high school with a kid who as

of 2002 works at Honda as a designer... I disliked his

sketches back in H.S. too though as far as his artistic

tallent he did have more natrual ability for perspective

than myself even back then. Drove a stock, perfectly

respectable mid 1990s (back then almost new) two door

Accord. I always wonder what he's been responsible for

in the Honda lineup.

Grilles are supposed to TAKE in air... this whole "shield"

bull$h! is absolute stupidity. Does not work on paper,

looks like crap and it will probably (hopefully) be short

lived as it is another idiotic fashion statement like so

many other Japanese car styling cues.

Remember in the 1990s when EVERYTHING Japanese had

pop up headlights....?

Synopsis:

1. grille: F-

2. Front fender bulge: F-

3. The rest of the car: C+ (though VERY generic)

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>>"Both completely drip in anonymity."<<

The Invicta/LaCrosse absolutely says 'Buick' and the SweepSpear adds dynamic fluidity; the acura could be just about anything short of the baloney-shaver grille opening, and even that is only minutes old (so it really doesn't 'say' anything). The designs posted page 2 have huge differences in impact & presence.

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The G8 is not refined, I've sat in 2, and the interior belongs in a Cobalt or low end G6 at best. Too many panel gaps and it is all black plastic. I've driven the Aura, SRX, and CTS DI and the 3.6 is too whiny and unrefined in the Aura and SRX, in the CTS it isn't bad, but they used a lot of sound deadening. BMW's inline six (even without the turbo) is a better motor than the 3.6 DI. I drove the CTS DI AWD and a 530i back to back, the 5er has better steering, braking and handling, it almost felt faster despite having 50 fewer hp. Personally I don't like BMW styling or iDrive, but no sedan GM has can drive like a BMW.

Almost anything rear drive would smoke the TL on the Nurburgring. The TL doesn't make a lot of sense, they are trying to make a performance front wheel drive car. Front drive works for geezer cars like the Lexus ES, but not for sporty cars.

i've driven both G8's. the v6 powertrain is unrefined, but a simple tranny switch would take care of it. the v8 is tomb quiet and the tranny is silk. steering is great. car is composed. my only beef with the g8 v8 is initial bump compliance. the car is effortless to drive. i have a hard time believing the fwd acura accord (and its grocery getter platform) has the goods to outperform the g8. i am sure since its not made for serious duty, they softer suspension of the TL may make it seem refined to the casual driver.

you can't bash the g8 gt when the acura is an accord with a nice center stack and cushier seats. nice honda.....

i havent seen in any reviews where editors have bashed the g8's performance as unrefined

Edited by regfootball
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The current TL looks ok, it has sort of a sleek look to it. The 09 is hideous. All the new Acuras with the new grille look bad, not surprising that their sales keep dropping. Plus their engine is mounted the wrong way and driving the wrong set of wheels.

The new TSX has been up sales wise for the last 2 months since its introduction. I believe it has already set a record for the TSX over the old model.

um, no, its a refined performance sedan that costs less than a TL, walks all over its crappy little front wheel drive ass, and compares neck and neck with a BMW twice its price. get over it, import brand snob.

lets take a GXP G8 and the TL to the nurburgring and settle it there.

Import brand snob? Wow, you're not pulling any punches. I'm hurt. :(

The TL isn't designed to compete with a V8-powered 4 door muscle car. Settling it on "the ring" would be a useless gesture. A V6-powered CTS or STS would be a similar comparison on the other hand. The G8 might compete "neck and neck" with a BMW in performance, but that is hardly the only thing that matters.

Almost anything rear drive would smoke the TL on the Nurburgring. The TL doesn't make a lot of sense, they are trying to make a performance front wheel drive car. Front drive works for geezer cars like the Lexus ES, but not for sporty cars.

The TL is not a slow car. The TL-S 6MT beat the IS350 and G35 around Willow Springs by a considerable margin (thread). It is well engineered. Not sure if it would beat those cars on the Nurburgring. I'm sure there are plenty of RWD cars the TL would smoke around any race track.

The TL makes plenty of sense. It is powerful, has lots of standard luxury features, looks nice, and is priced below its competition.

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Where is option C - Both are hideous. Bland, boring, uninspiring of my time or money. Not one time in the history of Acura has one of them even interested me in buying them. And I actually CAN get excited about a Civic Si or the new Accord Coupe. Acura (and Infiniti) has always said: "BMW did not offer as good a lease deal as Honda did, so I bought this instead of the 3 series I really wanted."

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The new TSX has been up sales wise for the last 2 months since its introduction. I believe it has already set a record for the TSX over the old model.

Import brand snob? Wow, you're not pulling any punches. I'm hurt. :(

The TL isn't designed to compete with a V8-powered 4 door muscle car. Settling it on "the ring" would be a useless gesture. A V6-powered CTS or STS would be a similar comparison on the other hand. The G8 might compete "neck and neck" with a BMW in performance, but that is hardly the only thing that matters.

The TL is not a slow car. The TL-S 6MT beat the IS350 and G35 around Willow Springs by a considerable margin (thread). It is well engineered. Not sure if it would beat those cars on the Nurburgring. I'm sure there are plenty of RWD cars the TL would smoke around any race track.

The TL makes plenty of sense. It is powerful, has lots of standard luxury features, looks nice, and is priced below its competition.

j/k on the snob thing. Just some ribbing. I know you Love honda but are pretty partial on everything else as well.

I wish we could say that about the Toyota clan who reads CR before they go to bed at night.

i really am disappointed by the TL's styling....it really drives one to cheaper (TSX) or up the ladder (hugely discounted RL).

Edited by regfootball
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I don't expect this car to wear the front clip for long. Look as far as the swooping roofline and swept rear tailights to see that Acura will fix the front when the new NSX goes on sale. I'll go on record that they only included this front end to match the rest of the already botched lineup. It will get fixed.

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Lets compare...

2009_acura_tl_450.jpg

buick-invicta-concept-reveal--07-450.jpg

Keep in mind the Invicta is still a concept. Compare a production model when it comes out to the TL and you might have a comparison.

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The prior TL is much better. Much sexier to look at too.

Although the new Acura grill is the absolute worst aspect of the cars, it seems like Honda's stylists are dipping into the Dope Stream or something worse.

I just can't figure out why after producing a car as advanced and attractive looking as the Civic coupe to turn out the mess the Accord now is as well as these Acura products.

Besides, Acura really isn't Honda's premium brand. Honda doesn't have one at all compared with Toyota and Nissan.

Acuras are more like Honda Deluxe.

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Lets compare...

2009_acura_tl_450.jpg

buick-invicta-concept-reveal--07-450.jpg

invicta face is instantly more attractive and bold. both feature surfacing that is upscale, but both side profiles don't break any ground. lose the wheels of the invicta and its appearance weakens. lose any of the detail in the headlamps of invicta and its upscale appearance is diminished, same goes for the grille material. there are still plenty of things GM can do to ruin the production translation of this car, and GM is notorious for it. not spending the dough where it counts, on what people see with their eyes every day, and what grants them the most important perception of the car.

EDIT: to the post above: Acuras don't compete with tier 1 BMW and MB effectively, but they serve a stepping stone to those, and are a nice tier 2 product. this is the market saab should be going after and could effectively compete in.

Edited by turbo200
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buick-invicta-concept-reveal--07-450.jpg

Is it just me, or does the line that runs down the side of the car absolutely scream Hyundai?

If you want to compare this to something, compare it to the Sports 4 concept:

acurasports4concept2.jpg

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