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2011 Acura TL Review

Although its exterior appearance might not be for everyone, the 2011 Acura TL blends the best traits of a luxury car and sport sedan, making it a top choice among 2011 upscale midsize cars.

Pros & Cons

  • Athletic handling on AWD models
  • Upscale, modern interior
  • Lots of standard equipment
  • Excellent safety scores
  • Button-heavy center stack may be confusing for some
  • Polarizing exterior design




Critics' Rating: 8.4
Performance: 8.1
Interior: 8.8
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.5
Safety: 10.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2011 Acura TL Overview

When it was new, critics liked how the TL doubles as a sedate cruiser or, when equipped with Acura’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD), a satisfying sport sedan. Reviewers were also impressed with the TL’s interior design and long list of standard features, though some did dislike the center stack’s abundance of buttons.

The TL is available with two drivetrains. Front-wheel drive TLs have a 280-horsepower V6 engine. All-wheel drive TL’s have a slightly larger V6 that produces 305 horsepower, and many said its handling is good enough to keep up with segment-leading sport sedans. Driving enthusiasts may also appreciate that AWD TLs are also available with a manual gearbox. Fuel economy in front-wheel drive models is 18/26 mpg city/highway, while AWD models average slightly less. The TL offers 13.1 cubic feet of trunk space, which is slightly less than the TL’s most spacious rivals. The TL has a top safety score.

Inside, reviewers liked the TL’s contemporary design and comfortable standard leather seats, although some noted that the better-bolstered seats in the AWD model felt more supportive. Some critics also noted that the TL’s button-heavy center stack can be slightly overwhelming. The TL’s long list of standard features includes dual-zone climate control, a power sunroof, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker stereo with satellite radio. An available technology package adds navigation with real-time traffic and weather information, solar-sensing climate control and an upgraded stereo. Standard safety equipment includes anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control and six airbags.

See the full 2011 Acura TL specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If you’re looking primarily for a comfortable luxury sedan, you may like the 2011 Lexus ES. Critics regarded the ES as one of the smoothest and plushest 2011 upscale midsize sedans available, with an inviting interior and easygoing handling. Keep in mind that the ES is primarily designed for luxury, so those looking for sport-sedan performance might be disappointed. 

If you’re drawn to the athletic nature of the TL, check out the 2011 Cadillac CTS. Critics loved the CTS for its sporty handling with either rear- or all-wheel drive and its well-designed interior. Note, however, that while critics generally liked the CTS’ seats, they found the TL’s seats to be more comfortable. Like the TL, the CTS earned great safety scores.

Compare the TL to the ES and CTS »

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