2010 Acura TL Review and Prices

Last Updated: Aug 5, 2011

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2010 Acura TL Buying Advice

The 2010 Acura TL is the best car for you if you respect Honda engineering, want it in a premium package, and can stomach some unusual styling.

The 2010 Acura TL builds off the Honda Accord sedan, turning up the wick on power, technology, and price. The TL was all new for model-year 2009 and returns for 2010 in base front-wheel-drive form and as the performance-oriented all-wheel-drive SH-AWD model. For 2010, the SH-AWD gains a six-speed manual transmission as an alternative to a five-speed automatic.

Should you buy a 2010 Acura TL or wait for the 2011 Acura TL? Little reason to wait for the 2011 TL. No big changes are expected for 2011 -- though Acura could surprise with a nip and tuck to address criticism of the car’s front-end styling. That nose, with its metallic-snaggletooth grille, is the new face of the brand, however, so the 2011 TL’s very likely to return visually unaltered. Shop the 2010 model to take advantage of a buyer’s market.

2010 Acura TL Test Drive back to top

A cabin that combines fresh design with easy functionality may be the 2010 TL’s most appealing feature. The optional Technology Package includes a navigation system with responsive voice activation and a crystalline 8-inch dashboard screen.
Leather upholstery, heated power front seats, Bluetooth and USB linking are standard on all TLs. Comfort is best in the roomy, supportive front seats. The rear seat is really a cosseting bucket-type arrangement for two; head room is tight if you’re over 5-foot-8.

Aside from its controversial grille, this midsize four-door sedan is actually quite generic in appearance. The body does run counter to today’s trend toward minimal sheetmetal overhangs with a proboscis that extends far forward of the front wheels. 
The SH-AWD is distinguished from the base TL by a rear spoiler, front-fascia brake-cooling ducts, and quad exhaust outlets. On the base TL, 17-inch alloy wheels are standard and 18s optional. On the SH-AWD, 18s are standard and 19s with special summer performance tires are optional. 

The base TL with its 280-horsepower V-6 has all the performance you’ll need. Fast starts, however, can be tainted by the sideways torque-steer tug endemic to powerful front-drive cars. Front-wheel drive is an adjunct to snow traction but no match for the handling balance afforded by the rear-wheel-drive design of rivals from BMW and Infiniti.
Acura’s “Super Handling” all-wheel drive system eliminates torque steer and directs all the SH-AWD’s 305 horsepower to the tarmac for tenacious grip and heroic handling. Every direct competitor has an automatic transmission with more ratios than the TL’s five, though the six-speed manual new to the SH-AWD is a nice performance credential. Both TL models ride firmly but neither is jarring over bumps.

2010 Acura TL Prices back to top

The 2010 Acura TL price range is $35,915-$44,195 (prices in this review include Acura’s $810 destination fee).

The base TL is priced at $35,915, or $39,645 with the Technology Package.

The 2010 Acura TL SH-AWD is priced at $39,465. Manual-transmission SH-AWD models include the Technology Package and are priced the same as Tech Package automatic-transmission counterparts: $43,195 with 18-inch wheels, $44,195 with 19s.

2010 Acura TL Fuel Economy back to top

The base TL is EPA-rated at 18/26 mpg (city/highway). The SH-AWD is rated 17/25 with automatic transmission, 18/26 with manual. Acura requires premium-grade gas for both models.

2010 Acura TL Safety and Reliability back to top

In government crash testing, the 2010 Acura TL rates the maximum five stars for driver and passenger protection in both frontal and side impacts.

The Acura TL scores among the best cars rated for overall initial quality by J.D. Power and Associates, the leading automotive consumer-survey firm. Predicted reliability for the Acura TL is rated “better than most” by J.D. Power.   

2010 Acura TL Competition back to top

2010 Audi A4: More stylish and roomy than the TL, this European-bred sedan and wagon comes in front- or all-wheel drive and offers a surprisingly effective 211-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder. The hot S4 sedan has a 333-horsepower supercharged V-6. Base price range is roughly $32,000-$50,000.

2010 BMW 3-Series: A little tight in rear-seat room, but arguably the road-manner benchmark among modestly sized sporty cars. Offers rear- and all-wheel-drive coupe, sedan, and wagon body styles, plus a rear-drive convertible. Engines are silky 230- and 300-horsepower gas six-cylinders, a torquey 265-horsepower turbodiesel, and a 414-horsepower V-8 in the to-die-for M3 versions. Base price range is roughly $35,000-$70,000.

2010 Infiniti G37: Nissan’s premium brand fields a formidable rival to anything in the class. The beautifully styled and carefully crafted G37 offers rear- and all-wheel-drive sedans and coupes, plus a rear-drive convertible. A bit of back-seat squeeze is the only real knock. All have a 3.7-liter V-6 of 328-330 horsepower. Base price range is roughly $35,000-$45,000.

2010 Acura TL Next Steps