New for 2009-Acura
By Jeff Youngs, December 31, 2008
- TL redesigned for first time since 2004, adding available all-wheel drive
- Redesigned TSX is bigger, with new technology features
- RL gets mid-cycle update with new styling, more power, a revised interior, and new features
- MDX's power rear liftgate included with more option packages
- RDX adds a power adjustable front passenger's seat and four new colors
2009 Acura MDX
Changes are minor for the 2009 Acura MDX, the larger of Acura's two SUVs. The available power rear liftgate is now standard with both the Techonology and Sport packages; the AcuraLink real-time traffic system adds service in one new metropolitan area for a total of 77; and Bali Blue Pearl and Mocha Metallic exterior colors are now available.
Get more information on the 2009 Acura MDX
2009 Acura RDX
Acura introduced the RDX for the 2007 model year, and the company claims it captured 38 percent of entry premium SUV sales in its first full year. For 2009, the 5-passenger RDX gets only minor changes, consisting of a standard 4-way power adjustable front passenger's seat and four new exterior colors: Basque Red Pearl, Crystal Black Pearl, Grigio Metallic and Palladium Metallic. Like the MDX, one new metropolitan area is added to the AcuraLink real-time traffic system.
Get more information on the 2009 Acura RDX
2009 Acura RL
Acura redesigned its flagship luxury sedan, the RL, for the 2005 model year, and 2009 sees a mid-cycle update. Changes include new front and rear styling, more power, an upgraded transmission, a revised interior, and a host of new technology and entertainment features. The engine undergoes several changes. While growing from 3.5 to 3.7 liters, the V-6 also gets a higher compression ratio and an upgraded VTEC valvetrain with variable valve timing for both the intake and exhaust valves. A new special dual-stage magnesium intake manifold is able to function as a single- or dual-plenum design based on engine operating parameters. The result is an increase from 290 to 300 hp. Torque is also up from 256 lb.-ft. to 271 lb.-ft. Additionally, the 5-speed automatic transmission is beefed up to handle the increased power, and it adds steering-wheel paddles in addition to its manual shiftgate.
The 2009 RL comes standard with Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD). Acura says the system will respond quicker and perform better for 2009. Changes to the suspension include higher-rate coil springs, a larger diameter rear stabilizer bar, stiffer subframe mount bushings, and revised steering rack components. More aggressive tires with larger 18-inch wheels (versus 17s) will also be standard.
Acura says the RL's Active Sound Control (ASC) system is improved over the previous Active Noise Cancellation system. In addition to reducing low-decibel noise entering the cabin, the new system reduces high-frequency noise and works throughout the engine's rev range, Acura says. It reduces noise by emitting precisely timed reverse-phase audio signals through the speakers to reduce that noise, the company explains. The 2009 Acura RL also adds standard active front head restraints and available XM Notes, which captures a 10-second portion of up to 30 songs, plus text information about the song title, artist name, and XM channel.
Get more information on the 2009 Acura RL
2009 Acura TL
Since its debut in 1996, the Acura TL has been based on the Honda Accord. With the Accord's 2008 redesign, it's no surprise that the TL is redesigned for 2009. The 2009 TL continues with front-wheel drive and V-6 power. It gets new styling in line with a new corporate look that includes what Acura calls a "dynamic power plenum" front grille. The 2009 TL is bigger than the outgoing model and is now almost as big as the line-topping RL. New technology features include XM NavWeather and a hard drive to hold navigation map information, music files and pictures for the navigation screen.
The 2009 Acura TL is offered in base front-wheel-drive TL trim and as the TL SH-AWD, the sportier, more powerful model equipped with all-wheel drive. The 2009 TL has a 280-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 engine, up from a 258-hp, 3.2-liter V-6 engine on the last base model. The TL SH-AWD has a 3.7-liter V-6 engine. With 305 horsepower, it is the most powerful Acura engine ever. Both engines use a 5-speed automatic transmission with a manual shiftgate and standard steering-wheel shift paddles. A 6-speed manual transmission will return for 2010, the company says.
In addition to a more powerful engine and AWD, the TL SH-AWD includes lower gear ratios, a sport steering wheel, sport front bucket seats, and 18-inch wheels instead of 17s.Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive system is front biased, but can send power to the rear wheels and the rear differential can apportion power between the rear wheels to help rotate the car through a turn, Acura says.
Get more information on the 2009 Acura TL
2009 Acura TSX
Acura introduced the 2009 TSX early in the 2008 calendar year, giving it a redesign based on the European version of the Honda Accord (which is smaller than the U.S. version). Like the previous model, the 2009 TSX is a front-wheel-drive sedan. The new platform is 3 inches wider and 2.4 inches longer overall, with a track that is 2.6 inches wider and a wheelbase that grows by 1.3 inches. Acura says these characteristics improve ride and handling, while also providing more interior room.
The TSX continues with an all-aluminum, dual-overhead cam, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine. Revisions to the compression ratio, valve timing, and intake and exhaust gas flow boost torque from 164 lb.-ft. to 172 lb.-ft. with the available manual transmission and 170 lb.-ft. with the automatic transmission. Horsepower falls slightly from 205 to 201, but Acura says the torque curve is broader and fuel economy is improved. The TSX offers a 6-speed manual transmission or a 5-speed automatic transmission with Acura's Sequential SportShift manual shiftgate. The automatic transmission can be shifted manually via the gearshift or, new for 2009, a pair of steering-wheel paddles. Acura also says the TSX meets Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) standards for the first time.
Also new for 2009 are features such as DVD Audio, XM Notes, and Traffic Rerouting for the navigation system. The XM Notes feature is available in the Technology package. It captures a 10-second portion of up to 30 songs, plus text information about the song title, artist name and XM channel. The available navigation system uses satellite communications to provide Zagat ratings for restaurants and hotels; display weather information; and warn drivers of traffic congestion ahead and suggest alternate routes. The system can also be used as an interface when the car needs software updates, the automaker says.
Get more information on the 2009 Acura TSX
Other Acura models:
Get more Acura information
See all Buyer's Guides