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Edmunds First Drive: 2009 Acura TL SH-AWD

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Overall a very positive review.

My favorite quote:

Acura says a manual transmission is coming for 2010, so expect the return of the Type-S designation then.

With a 6-speed manual, the super-handling TL should be in the low 5 second range for 0-60, depending on how aggressively launched it is.

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wow. car got HUGE. what's the purpose of the RL now? interior looks starchy. exterior looks better in these pics, except for the food slicer in the front.

and only a 12.5 cu ft trunk? WTF?

Edited by regfootball
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wow. car got HUGE. what's the purpose of the RL now? interior looks starchy. exterior looks better in these pics, except for the food slicer in the front.

and only a 12.5 cu ft trunk? WTF?

The RL has been made almost completely irrelevant by the 2009 TL, at least that is the opinion of most people. The RL still offers some tech options that the TL doesn't have, I think. The new "real" RL is a year or so away.

The problem with Acura's current lineup is that the cars all receive their full-model changes in short order, which leaves a three year period where there is no FMC for a car. Also, the TSX receives its FMC first, then the TL, then the RL, which is the opposite order it should go in. The higher models need to receive FMC first, then new tech and styling can carry downwards, and they don't end up with a lower end model overlapping a higher model.

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The RL has been made almost completely irrelevant by the 2009 TL, at least that is the opinion of most people. The RL still offers some tech options that the TL doesn't have, I think. The new "real" RL is a year or so away.

The problem with Acura's current lineup is that the cars all receive their full-model changes in short order, which leaves a three year period where there is no FMC for a car. Also, the TSX receives its FMC first, then the TL, then the RL, which is the opposite order it should go in. The higher models need to receive FMC first, then new tech and styling can carry downwards, and they don't end up with a lower end model overlapping a higher model.

I think the new TL is a new RL. Same engine, AWD, interior even has similar control layout as the current RL. I expect the RL to trump this TL greatly for Acura to have done such a thing.

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I think the new TL is a new RL. Same engine, AWD, interior even has similar control layout as the current RL. I expect the RL to trump this TL greatly for Acura to have done such a thing.

The '09 TL is what the RL should have been from the start. It is more substantial, has more presence, and more performance. There have been spyshots of the next RL mule, using a chopped up '09 TSX body. The proportions are that of the old Legend, which indicates a longitudinally mounted engine, and it is very likely to be RWD with SH-AWD option or only RWD-based SH-AWD. It is very long as well. So I have no doubt the next RL will trump the '09 TL, but that won't be for another year or so. Until then, RL sales will probably continue to suffer (we'll know next month, when the August sales reports are released and the mid-model change RL has had a month to sell).

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I thought the RL was conservatively handsome until Acura ruined it with a midcycle refresh. The RL's major problem is that it is overshadowed by a lot of more established competitors and in this segment, snob appeal and brand identity speak louder than the true value of the product. I would never consider buying the current one now that Acura has made it quite unappealing visually.

The next gen TL is in the same predicament. It's basically a conservatively handsome design that has been covered up with a lot of unnecessary and overdone design elements that do nothing to enhance the appearance of the vehicle. I hope Acura doesn't let this car sit on the market very long without a midcycle refresh that might tone down some of the overdone design elements.

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Do anyone but the Germans do well in the RL segment?

We will see...the Lincoln MKS seems to be targeting the RL's market. (largish AWD V6 luxury sedan).

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The TL if it grows 5 inches is 194.3 inches long, which is about what the Accord is. The Acura RL is 193.6 inches long, so Acura has 2 cars of the same size, with basically the same power/drive configuration. Edmunds says the TL is square in the mid size market with the 5-series and E-class, but the TL is $34-42,000. Do they not know an E-class bases at $52,000, a base E-class is more than a loaded RL.

And the MKS is 204 inches long, that is the size an extended 7-series or LS460L, so that isn't in the mid-size segment either. What will hurt the MKS is it is huge and front drive, which isn't a good combination Lucerne and DTS sales are proof of that. The MKS may take the big front drive market away from the G-body cars or Town Car, but that is about it.

If these brands want to go after the Germans they better use rear drive, overly engineered cars that are low in weight.

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The TL if it grows 5 inches is 194.3 inches long, which is about what the Accord is. The Acura RL is 193.6 inches long, so Acura has 2 cars of the same size, with basically the same power/drive configuration. Edmunds says the TL is square in the mid size market with the 5-series and E-class, but the TL is $34-42,000. Do they not know an E-class bases at $52,000, a base E-class is more than a loaded RL.

I'm trying to find your point here, but I just can't... one, we knew how the TL would grow since the Accord grew... two, who cares how much a MB costs?

And the MKS is 204 inches long, that is the size an extended 7-series or LS460L, so that isn't in the mid-size segment either. What will hurt the MKS is it is huge and front drive, which isn't a good combination Lucerne and DTS sales are proof of that. The MKS may take the big front drive market away from the G-body cars or Town Car, but that is about it.
The only thing hurting the Lucerne and DTS is that they're the Lucerne and DTS... the fact that they're viewed as grandpa-mobiles, not the driven wheels. The lack of a modern platform is another downfall... it's hard to take a Cadillac seriously if it's equipped only with a 4A.

If these brands want to go after the Germans they better use rear drive, overly engineered cars that are low in weight.

Yeah, I'm loving those new RWD Audis coming out... oh, wait...

Edited by Lamar
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Well the looks have won me over and the timing of the MT should be perfect for me. Hopefully it will be an option with the SH-AWD. Now is it just a matter of whether or not Honda Canada has price-gouged themselves out a sale.

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The looks are what keep me away. The interior is nice but not nice enogh for me to consider it over the exterior.

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If these brands want to go after the Germans they better use rear drive, overly engineered cars that are low in weight.

Well, the Germans are mostly RWD (except for Audi) and overly engineered, but they definitely are not 'low in weight'..they are all about the heft. Nothing wrong with that.

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Wow can you say bland generic styling combined with bucky the buck tooth beaver cleaver from end, no trunk space, dumb overly long name and overpriced in one sentence? The RL is the only decent looking vehicle they have left save the cleaver front end.

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