This is the only manual Acura TL for sale in Wichita. I went for a test drive yesterday and was super pleased.

This particular example wasn’t in stellar shape. Beyond the typical cracked dash it had peeling clear coat, a hastily reassembled and squeaky dash after an aux jack modification install, the left side door speaker wasn’t working, a /!\ light was on on the dashboard, an eBay cold air intake, and 200k miles. I wasn’t going home with it by any means, but I have a habit of driving an utterly beat to hell example of the car I want because if one that’s been through the wringer is good imagine how nice a taken-care-of example will be!

The seats were comfortable and had the most up-down adjustment I’ve ever seen in a power seat. Far more bolstering than I expected. Not quite the couch that the Chrysler 300 has but it did feel far more modern. Back seat was spacious and comfortable. Trunk was fairly large with a large plastic tray in it with “TL” embossed to keep the carpet clean. Snazzy.

Shifter was very VERY Honda. Exactly what I expected. Slightly mushy, but very smooth and went through all the gears fine. Clutch felt fantastic.

Advertisement

Fun fact! The doors have pockets that expand outwards to hold... largeish things? I’m not sure what, exactly. There are also cupholders in the doors as well as the center console, which is always a plus. The center armrest slides forward and backwards which, in concert with the ludicrous amount of adjustment offered by the seat means this car feels like it was designed to fit people my size.

The car started enthusiastically and the A/C cooled the roasting hot black leather interior down by the time I puttered my way out of the dealership parking lot and headed down the road. Steering was nicely weighted and felt intuitive. The Brembo brakes were fantastic. As I meandered around side streets to get to an on-ramp I passed over many manhole covers and railroad tracks and despite the large amount of “give” the molested interior had when pressed on nothing rattled over bumps and the chassis itself felt stiff as a lump of granite. The car felt solid and just sporty enough.

Advertisement

Once I got to the onramp I stuffed the car in first and quickly rolled onto the throttle. The steering wheel pulled a bit to the left and I thought “ooh, that’s kind of fun!” as the salesman in the passenger seat exclaimed “oh, SHIT” as his relaxed leaned-forward seating position suddenly met the headrest. I guess he doesn’t hoon the cars much. The car quickly attained license-losing speeds by the top of the expressway on-ramp and I slowed down to more legal speeds and cruised for a second before remembering I was still in 4th. Popped over to 6th gear and watched the car cruise nicely at 2000rpm with the V6 silently whizzing along. Dropping down to 4th and matting the pedal was an entertaining endeavor on the highway, watching things in the rear view mirror get smaller rather quickly. The J32 V6 is a fantastic motor. Everything it does is enthusiastic. Starting up, revving, accelerating, all done with a sense of yes, push me harder which is a bit unexpected in an unassuming entry-lux car like this.

So, yeah. 10/10. Exactly what I’m looking for in a car. Lots of nifty features, a stereo that, stock, shouldn’t need any screwing with other than the addition of a USB/aux port, 6-speed shiftyboi, looks fantastic, goes pretty well, and can haul a lot of stuff and people. Hopefully I’ll be able to park one in my driveway this fall if I can figure out financing.