2009 Acura TL Preview

Jeff Youngs | Dec 31, 2008
  • The 2009 Acura TL is completely redesigned for 2009
  • Longer, wider, roomier and more powerful
  • Available for the first time with all-wheel drive
  • Meets tough new rear-impact crash standards
  • Meets future side-impact crash standards three years early
  • Gets a combined 20 mpg with the most powerful engine choice
  • New real-time Doppler weather mapping with optional Technology package
  • Up-level Acura/ELS sound system includes 2,500-song hard disk drive
  • Rear passenger room is increased, along with trunk space
  • The 2009 Acura TL is assembled in Ohio


Celebrating its 14th year with a complete redesign for 2009, the Acura TL first debuted in North America for the 1996 model year as a mid-luxury choice positioned between the sporty Integra sedan and the luxurious RL flagship.That first TL contained inline 5- and 6-cylinder engines under a long, stately hood, but it wasn't until the Honda Accord-based 1999 Acura TL arrived that buyers began selecting this car in large numbers and the media began showering it with accolades. A sporty Type-S model arrived in 2001, and a third-generation redesign in 2004 firmly placed the TL among the more stylish and desirable entry-luxury sedans. The new TL is longer, wider and roomier than before, with rear-seat passengers benefiting most from the car's move to a larger platform.

Model Lineup

The 2009 Acura TL is available in standard or SH-AWD trim. Standing for Super Handling All-Wheel Drive, the TL SH-AWD replaces the performance-oriented Type-S model and marks the first application of four driven wheels to the TL. Designed to make an impact, the 2009 Acura TL's "power plenum" grille sets the tone for a radically revised styling theme, not only for the TL but all Acura models.


The 2009 Acura TL's standard engine is a 280-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 taken from the previous Type-S model. The Acura TL SH-AWD gets a 3.7-liter V-6 good for 305 hp, along with a stiffer suspension, upgraded brakes, bigger wheels and tires, and recalibrated electric power steering. Both models feature a 5-speed Sequential SportShift automatic transmission with paddle shifters and Grade Logic Control. Acura's Super Handling AWD system optimizes power front to rear and from side to side. Acura says up to 70 percent of the engine's power can be transferred to a single rear wheel under the right conditions, helping the TL SH-AWD feel like a rear-drive sport sedan.


Acura expects the new TL, now equipped with the automaker's Advanced Compatibility Engineering design for the front of the car's structure, to receive top ratings in crash tests conducted by the NHTSA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Furthermore, the car has been designed to meet tough new rear-impact regulations and, according to Acura, passes future side-impact standards three years early. In addition to engineering the 2009 Acura TL for crashworthiness, the company has made many safety features standard. Six air bags, whiplash-reducing front seats, ABS with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist, and stability control are included on every 2009 Acura TL.


Each version of the 2009 Acura TL is available with an optional Technology package. Included in the package are several features that make life easier, such as a navigation system with voice recognition and a rearview camera, Keyless Access with push-button starting, AcuraLink real-time traffic with trip rerouting feature, and an Acura/ELS premium audio system with 10 speakers, 440 watts of power, XM satellite radio, Bluetooth Audio and a hard disk drive that can store up to 2,500 songs. Better yet, especially for residents of foul-weather regions, the 2009 Acura TL offers real-time weather complete with Doppler-style radar maps depicted on the high-resolution, in-dash screen.
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