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2012 Acura TL Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2012 Acura TL was new.


Interior: 8.4

Most of the automotive press is on the same page, saying that the 2012 Acura TL’s interior is thoughtfully designed, luxurious and practical. However, one reviewer says that although the interior is functional, it is cold and unattractive. The TL’s seats receive high marks across the board from test drivers, who say they are comfortable and supportive.

The 2012 Acura TL comes with plenty of standard features for an upscale midsize car and its high-tech options will appeal to drivers who like being on the cutting edge of new technology. GPS-linked temperature control, which tracks the sun’s position and intensity and adjusts the car’s climate settings accordingly, is included in the technology package. On the downside, reviewers feel the TL’s trunk space is small compared to that of other upscale midsize cars.

  • “The cabin design exceeds that of the more expensive RL in luxury feel, with soft-touch surfaces and thick leather covering the seats.” -- CNET
  • "The interior, although ergonomically correct in terms of access to dials and gauges, is about as warm as a white, plastic pocket protector worn with a blue shirt - functional, but not the least bit appealing." -- The Washington Post
  • "Inside, the 2012 Acura TL’s modestly redesigned interior is roomy, attractive and functional." -- Forbes


The 2012 Acura TL comes standard with leather-trimmed seats, heated front seats, a 10-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar support and an eight-way power passenger seat. Shoppers can upgrade to perforated Milano leather seats as part of the technology package. Six-level heated and cooled front seats are part of the advance package.

Reviewers unanimously agree that the TL’s seats are comfortable and supportive. Back-seat legroom is good for adults, even tall ones, which test drivers like. The premium perforated leather seats receive high marks from the automotive press for their high-quality feel.

  • "The baseball-mitt brown leather had me thinking of old Porsche interiors or something wrapped in British Racing Green. It has a unique smell, too. A friend commented that ‘nothing smells like brown leather,’ and I realized he's right. Adding dyes and treatments to the hide takes out the natural scent." -- AutoWeek
  • "The TL is the largest and roomiest sedan in its class and one of the few whose back seat can graciously handle long hauls with long adults." -- The New York Times
  • "We found the front seats to be comfortable and supportive, with sufficient travel to suit long-legged motorists. Rear seat room is plentiful for two adult riders - three in a pinch - with a maximum 36.2 inches of legroom." -- Forbes

Interior Features

The 2012 Acura TL comes standard with a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, steering wheel-mounted controls, a moonroof, Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary inputs and satellite radio. Optional features on the 2012 TL include voice-controlled navigation, a rearview camera, GPS-linked temperature control, which tracks the sun’s position and intensity and adjusts the car’s climate settings accordingly, keyless ignition and a premium sound system. These features are part of the technology package. A blind spot monitoring system is part of the advance package, which is only available as an upgrade in addition to the technology package.

Some reviewers complain that there are too many buttons on the TL’s center console, while others say Acura’s overuse of buttons makes it easier to adjust the climate and stereo controls. The navigation system gets high marks for its ease of use and the surround-sound audio system is praised for its high-quality sound. Test drivers like the upscale interior materials, and most say even the high-quality plastics resemble carbon fiber.

  • "The navigation system remains one of the best, most intuitive units from any OEM." -- AutoWeek
  • "Like every Acura, the 2012 TL’s dashboard still suffers from severe overbuttonitis, but some new brightwork around the knobs and between the radio buttons helps things aesthetically if not ergonomically." -- Car and Driver
  • "We're still frustrated to see Acura sticking with the company's cumbersome wheel/joystick interface for the infotainment system instead of a more natural touch-screen layout, or at least a horizontally mounted controller. The system sticks out like a sore thumb in an interior that's largely very intuitive." -- Autoblog


The 2012 Acura TL’s 13.1-cubic-foot trunk is on the small side for the class, and the SH-AWD model has even less room at 12.5 cubic feet. Competitors like the Hyundai Genesis and Nissan Maxima have more trunk space, with 15.9 and 14.2 cubic feet, respectively. Reviewers say the TL’s trunk is not only small compared to other upscale midsize cars' trunks, but also awkwardly shaped, which makes storage difficult.

  • "The Acura’s surprisingly small and ill-shaped trunk remains its biggest demerit." – The New York Times 
  • "Trunk space is adequate with 13.1 cubic feet of space (12.5 with AWD), though the rear seatbacks do not fold flat to expand its cargo-carrying abilities." -- Forbes

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