What is it? For 2012, the midsized TL sedan receives a mid-cycle facelift. Long a reliability stalwart and overall a well-made, comfortable car, the TL falls a little short of best-in-class. We have found the handling taut and the ride compliant, but the steering has feels vague and short on feedback for a sporty car. Road noise stands out in an otherwise quiet interior and the rear seats are tight. We don’t expect these attributes to change from the announced update.
The standard engine is a 280-hp, 3.5-liter V6. An all-wheel-drive SH model with a 305-hp 3.7-liter V6 and tauter suspension is also available, as is a six-speed manual version of the SH. Pricing starts at about $35,500 and pushes into the low $40s for SH models.
What’s new or notable? The 2012 facelift brings a new look to the front and rear, most noticeable in the cleaner, frill-free front grille area. That points to the design theme to be adopted by other new Acuras. Also new is a six-speed automatic transmission. The old five-speed was already a slick-shifting unit but Acura says the new one gets 3-mpg better highway mileage and slightly better performance.
When will it be available: Now.