What's New for 2014:
- No changes as TL enters final year of production
The 2014 Acura TL is a midsize sport sedan that is sized and priced between traditional entry-level and midsize luxury sedan segments. As such, it competes against a range of models, but is most closely aligned with the Audi A4, Hyundai Genesis, Infiniti Q50, Lexus ES, Lincoln MKZ, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
Models and Features
Three versions of the 2014 Acura TL are on sale: the TL, TL Special Edition, and the TL SH-AWD (Super Handling All-Wheel Drive). The Special Edition version has unique 18-in. aluminum wheels, a decklid spoiler, keyless access system with push-button starting, and contrast stitching for the leather seats. The SH-AWD version adds a more powerful engine, all-wheel-drive (AWD), hill-start assist, and more aggressive tires.
Options and Packages
The base TL and the SH-AWD can be further upgraded with a Technology package and an Advance package. The Technology package contains premium leather seats, a navigation system, AcuraLink real-time traffic and weather reports, reversing camera, premium audio system, keyless entry with push-button starting, solar-sensing and GPS-linked climate control system, and a rear spoiler. The Advance package includes heated and ventilated front seats and a blind-spot information system.
Under the Hood
The 3.5-liter V-6 engine installed in the TL and TL Special Edition is rated to generate 280 horsepower, delivered to the car's front wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission featuring paddle shifters and grade logic control.
The more powerful TL SH-AWD features a 305-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 engine and Acura's torque-vectoring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system, which can deliver up to 80% of engine output to one of the rear wheels, depending on driving conditions. This drivetrain includes the same 6-speed automatic transmission described above, and a 6-speed manual gearbox is optional for the TL SH-AWD with the Technology package.
Both of the 2014 Acura TL model's engines require premium fuel. The standard 3.5-liter V-6 is EPA-rated to return 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway, while the TL SH-AWD model's fuel-economy estimates are 18 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. Choose the manual gearbox and those numbers for the SH-AWD drop by one mpg each.
Safety Ratings and Technology
In crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2014 TL received an overall rating of 4 stars (out of 5 stars). Note that in the frontal-impact test the protection rating for the front-seat passenger is 3 stars, and that in the side-impact test the protection rating for the driver is also 3 stars.
In crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) the 2014 TL receives a \"Top Safety Pick\" rating, one of just a few models in its segment to do so. According to IIHS testing guidelines, had Acura offered a front crash prevention system of some kind, the TL would have received a \"Top Safety Pick+\" rating.
Speaking of safety features, aside from a reversing camera and a blind-spot information system, the TL is unavailable with modern technologies that are becoming increasingly common not only for luxury vehicles but also for mainstream models, such as a forward-collision warning system, lane-departure warning system, rear cross-traffic alert system, and more.