Acura 2011 TL Review: Athleticism and Luxury

The 2011 Acura TL is a great entry-level luxury sedan, which also has an option for more athleticism.

Long known for great value and stability, the Acura TL received a shake up in 2009 with a new exterior design. The new design proved to be controversial, with its big bodywork and metallic beak. The aim was to make the vehicle look more adventurous and futuristic.

Since the design change was so dynamic, very little changes have been made to the appearance and overall design of the 2011 Acura TL. Some would argue that the new design was so different from the previous Acura TL that it shocked many people. During the tough economic times, Acura TL sales have gone down.

However, exterior styling is often subjective and this car still continues to turn heads when it drives by. The 2011 Acura TL proves to be more of what is expected of an Acura TL, which is a solid car with great value.


Starting at $35,000, this car performs really well, and the performance varies depending on the model you go with.

The 2011 Acura TL comes in two transmissions. There is a 3.5-liter 5-speed automatic, and a 3.7 liter 6 speed manual. The vehicle also comes in front wheel drive and SH-AWD (Super Handling All Wheel Drive).

By putting enough gas, the front wheel drive car feels like a rear wheel drive sports car. However, it’s at the 6 speed manual transmission with its SH-AWD that the Acura TL really starts to hit its full potential. The 2011 Acura TL is able to accelerate quickly and maintains its handling even in really rainy and slick conditions.


While the exterior has a very futuristic design, the interior aims more for elegance and simplicity. This gives the 2011 Acura TL a luxury sedan feel.

It has aluminum trim instead of wood treatments that someone would find in competitors like Cadillac, Hyundai or Lexus. The idea is to give it a contemporary feel. There are many soft surfaces and it gives the interior a feeling of subtlety. If one goes with the Technology package, a higher quality metallic trim is used which comes with a two-tone color scheme.

There is also a lot of cabin space, which gives lots of legroom for taller people. Even the back seats give plenty of space for passengers.


The Acura TL is one of the safest vehicles in its class. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety did tests on the 2011 Acura TL, and it received top scores in frontal, side and impact tests.

In 2011 there are revised testing and scoring procedures set by the federal government. The 2011 Acura TL hasn’t been tested for those yet, but it received five stars in major categories by the NHTSA for the 2010 Acura TL. It’s likely that the 2011 Acura TL well test just as well.

The 2011 Acura TL comes with front side airbags and full-length side-curtain bags, giving a total of six airbags.

Could Be Improved

The new big body design and the metallic beak turn off some people, while other people like it. Some would say the new design is an improvement, while other says it needs to be improved. One thing that could be improved though is the trunk space. At 13.1 cubic feet, it’s the smallest in its class.

Overall Value

Starting at $35,000, the 2011 Acura TL is a great value of athleticism, luxury and safety for its price range. While it may not have as many upgrades and options as a Mercedes, BMW or Lexus, the 2011 Acura TL is a solid vehicle at a good price.


Acura 2011 TL

Acura 2011 TL Safety

Acura 2011 TL Impressions