2007 Acura TL

Interior


$5,107 - $6,284

2007 Acura TL Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2007 Acura TL was new.

Scorecard

Interior: 8.4

The five-seat interior of the 2007 Acura TL is both functional and luxurious for most critics. Kelley Blue Book calls it "one of the roomiest, most comfortable cabins in the category (especially for rear-seat passengers)." Cargo space is adequate, but some are disappointed by the lack of a folding rear seat.

The quality of the TL's interior impresses. Edmunds praises, "Among its peers, the TL luxury sport sedan has one of the best interiors with an elegant design, excellent material quality and nicely shaped seats." New Car Test Drive adds "In keeping with Acura's heritage of functional Japanese efficiency, the TL's interior emphasizes practicality and useful features rather than sumptuous luxury. At the same time, a sure sense of graceful design and the use of impeccable materials make the TL's cabin appealing." Reviewers also rave about the generous number of standard features, including some hi-tech gadgets.

Seating

With 97.9 cubic feet of passenger volume, the TL's "interior space and dimensions are close enough to those of the BMW 5-Series and the Volvo S60, the two cars Acura expects most buyers to cross-shop," according to AutoWeek. This translates into a relatively roomy ride that prompts Edmunds to comment, "the regular old TL is a wonderful environment in which to survive a daily commute. The front seats are among the very best in any car."

On the same note, AutoWeek finds, "The driving position is exemplary, which is no surprise given Honda's near obsession with ergonomics. Seat-bottom cushions could extend a bit more beneath the thighs, but overall the seats are quite supportive without being overly firm." Cars.com says the front seats are "impressive - firm, supportive and much closer to the industry-leading European brands." Autosite concludes (of the driver's seat), "Firm, supportive, and softly upholstered, this is a great spot to plant your butt."

Reviewers are also relatively complimentary of the rear seats, with New Car Test Drive noting the TL offers more leg room than its competition from Infiniti and Audi. BusinessWeek says, "rear-seat occupants have plenty of room," while Motor Week notes "The rear seat is really only made for a couple, and is roomier than a 3- or 5-Series BMW." MSN, on the other hand, notes a few shortcomings: " ... those in the rear have little room to spare. Moreover, lower rear door openings should be wider for easier entry and exit. Also, the back seat cushion should provide more thigh support."

Seats in the Type-S model get a comfort upgrade that includes sport side-bolsters and more seat seams. Visually, the seats include contrasting two-tone stitching. Automobile.com says that while the Type-S's "chairs are comfortable, they're not much of an upgrade over the standard TL seats, with little additional bolstering necessary for the Type-S's higher threshold, and only embossed Type-S logos to impress guests."

Interior Features

Consumer Guide finds the TL's well-equipped cabin "near top of class for materials and assembly quality, and for standard amenities such as leather upholstery and heated power front seats." Many reviewers especially like the quietness of the cockpit in the Type-S, thanks to Honda's Active Noise Cancellation.

But the real draw is the abundance of what Motor Trend calls "standard goodies that are usually pricey options on competitors' vehicles." In fact, the TL has few available options, even as a base model. Forbes says, "Those few include Acura's extremely well-executed navigation system, and for the Acura TL Type-S only, high-performance tires at no extra cost - recommended for use only in summer or fair-weather climates." MSN concludes, "There's no need to add thousands of dollars in options because the TL and Type-S are well-equipped."

The base model includes perforated leather-trimmed seats and door panels, a three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel, power windows, aluminum and simulated wood-grain interior trim, dual-level heated front seats, driver's eight-way power seat, front passenger's four-way power seat, driver seat and side view memory system, an Acura/ELS Surround Premium Sound System with six-disc CD, XM Satellite Radio, HandsFreeLink wireless telephone interface, blue instrument and cabin ambient lighting, a dual-zone automatic climate control system, and more.

The Type-S adds aluminum interior trim with cross-hatch finish, Active Noise Control, red instrument and cabin ambient lighting, an Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition, a rear view camera, an AcuraLink satellite communication system with real-time traffic, and more.

Stereo and Entertainment

Reviewers can't say enough about the 2007 Acura TL's seemingly endless list of standard hi-tech gadgets. BusinessWeek calls the TL "likely the most technologically savvy thing on four wheels since the debut of KITT, the computerized car from the 1980s TV series Knight Rider. The features are far too many to list-but rest assured geeks in the crowd, the TL will provide endless hours of enjoyment before you leave the driveway."

One of the most talked-about features is the standard sound system, which Automobile Magazine calls "stunning." The Acura/ELS Surround® Premium 8-speaker Sound System comes with a 6-disc CD changer, DVD-Audio, CD-DA, MP3 and WMA changer, DTS®, AM/FM tuner, Dolby® Cassette, and Dolby Pro Logic® II. Also standard are XM Satellite Radio (with three months of complimentary service) and an MP3 player auxiliary input jack. Edmunds raves "the stereo is so good it alone is almost enough to justify buying the car." Playboy simply calls the setup "one of the finest sound systems we've ever experienced."

Much of the hype stems from the system's ability to play DVD Audio - which debuted for the first time ever in a production vehicle for the TL's 2004 model year. BusinessWeek explains it's "the compact disk equivalent of high-def TV-in a car. That equipment now also supports digital files like WMAs and MP3s." However, Forbes notes the special multichannel sound technology "requires special DVD-audio discs to fully appreciate it."

Despite that, CNET says, "DVD audio discs, which have up to 500 times the sound resolution of regular CDs, play with astonishing clarity, with crisp highs and rich bass. Regular red book CDs also sound great from the front seats, and there were only a couple of times we could tell the difference between the DVD-A and CD versions of the same song." However, the reviewer is disappointed with placement of the auxiliary input jack, which "is buried in the center console behind a spring-loaded door, making it very difficult to access and plug into."

Navigation

An Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition comes standard on the Type-S, and is the sole option on the base model. Reviewers highly recommend it, with New Car Test Drive calling it "the most user-friendly on-board navigation system that we've ever experienced. It's easy to program and it gives clear and accurate descriptions both visibly and audibly."

AutoWeek similarly notes "Navigation systems are getting better each year and Acura's is one of the best if not the best. It's easy to program and gives clear and accurate descriptions visibly and audibly. The big display and combination of hard buttons and context-sensitive on-screen menus work very well." Reviewers especially like the sophisticated voice-recognition capabilities. CNET says, "In addition to its touch screen programmability for destinations, the system can understand spoken addresses with consistent accuracy."

The nav system comes with another cool feature, an AcuraLinkTM satellite communication system with real-time traffic, new for 2007. The system uses XM Satellite infrastructure to deliver traffic information, represented on- screen by colored ribbons. CNET put the technology to the test - with mediocre results. The reviewer concludes, "The traffic service proved to be far from 'up to the minute...' Overall, we found NavTraffic a nice-to-have feature, but not one we could rely on for exact traffic information."

Yet another perk of the navigation system is 3D Solar Sensing Climate Control. AutoWeek explains, "Using time of day and direction of travel, this gadget calculates the sun's position relative to the car to adjust side-to-side interior temperatures to maintain desired settings."

Additional Features

Another standard hi-tech feature that delights reviewers is the HandsFreeLink wireless telephone interface, which uses Bluetooth technology to enable hands-free, wireless telephone capability. New Car Test Drive notes "Acura has long been the leading automotive innovator with Bluetooth. For 2007, it can integrate the user's mobile phone book, which provides an alternate to the voice recognition system."

CNET gadget gurus find the "voice-command side of the pairing process is relatively straightforward (say 'phone setup,' then 'pair phone')." However, the reviewers had difficulty syncing their cell phones with the system: "We had a few problems ensuring that our Samsung SGH-T619 stayed connected to the HandsFreeLink between calls, although this may have been our phone's fault, as some later testing with an LG enV worked without any problem."

As with the navigation system, "Voice recognition is once again the star when using the hands-free calling function," CNET continues. "Drivers can call out numbers or names of phone book entries (the system will copy over the entire phone book from some cell phones), and we had a good time trying to make the system misunderstand us by calling out numbers as quickly as possible."

Cargo

The 2007 Acura TL provides 12.5 cubic feet of cargo volume - "enough room in the trunk to hold the lighting section of a good-size Home Depot," according to Consumer Guide. MarketWatch provides a different example, noting, "trunk space was more than enough to keep the family in groceries for a week." Cars.com, however, says, "Cargo hauling isn't the TL's strongest attribute. Its trunk offers decent space and accessibility, but its total volume is only 12.5 cubic feet, compared with the Lexus ES 350's 14.5 cubic feet and the Audi A6's 15.9 cubic feet."

AutoWeek notes the trunk opening is rather small, "limiting the size of parcels it will accept." The trunk includes a small center ski pass-through, but no rear folding seatback to further increase cargo capacity. A disappointed Cars.com says, "Among comparable cars, the ES 350 and Infiniti M sedan are similarly limited, but the A6 has standard folding rear seats, and BMW makes them optional in its 5-Series sedan. It seems wrong for them to disappear in cars that are relatively more expensive, not less."

As for in-cabin storage, AutoWeek says, "Storage places abound but lack flexibility" and Consumer Guide says it's "adequate." But New Car Test Drive finds storage space "abundant. There are slim storage slots integrated into the back of the front seats as well as map pockets mounted in the front doors, although don't hold as much as you'd expect. The center console is a deep, bi-level affair, with a power point in the lower level and a notch in the upper tray to accommodate a cell phone cord."

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