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2006 Acura TL Sedan

4dr Sdn MT Navigation System

Starting at | Starting at 20 MPG City - 29 MPG Highway

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  • $35,325 original MSRP
Printable Version

2006 Acura TL Sedan

Printable Version

2006 Acura TL Sedan

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2006 Acura TL

Source: New Car Test Drive

Overview

The Acura TL is a true sports sedan, albeit with front-wheel drive.

The TL features sharp-handling, a powerful V6 engine, a fully independent suspension, and the latest active safety electronics to optimize driving dynamics. Its engine doles out abundant power, which is complemented by great handling and powerful brakes. Freeway cruising is made pleasant by the reasonably smooth ride, though the TL is no cushmobile.

The TL is wrapped in a hip, bold, razor-edged design. It's a fully equipped luxury performance sedan in midsize dimensions.

Inside, it's thoroughly modern. It comes standard with the latest in surround-sound. The seats are firm and comfortably bolstered. The TL isn't cheap, but you get what you pay for in performance and features. Every passive safety feature you'd expect in a premium car is included.

For 2006, the Acura TL benefits from a handful of changes. The most important change for 2006 is an active system to control torque steer, the car's one dynamic Achilles' heel. A tire-pressure monitoring system is now standard equipment, and there are a couple of new colors.

Model Lineup

Acura TL is a midsize, front-wheel-drive, four-door sedan powered by a 3.2-liter V6 engine. Acura offers the TL in only one trim level ($32,900). Nearly every luxury feature comes standard and there are few options.

For 2006, the horsepower numbers have been revised downward due to a new testing procedure used by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Although the engine offers the same performance as last year, the revised horsepower and torque numbers are 256 horsepower and 233 pound-feet, respectively.

TL buyers choose between two transmissions: five-speed automatic or six-speed manual; the cost is the same. Included with the manual transmission is a limited-slip differential, Brembo four-piston front brake calipers and larger front brake rotors.

Leather is standard and trims the seats and door panels and wraps the shift knob and steering wheel. Also standard: the DVD/CD/cassette/AM/FM/XM Satellite Radio system with DVD-Audio 5.1. Hands-free, wireless, cellular telephone capability employing Bluetooth technology is built in. The TL comes with dual-zone, dual-mode automatic air conditioning with micron filter, power everything, xenon high-intensity discharge headlights, green-tinted glass and a long list of other features.

The optional navigation system ($2,000) is bundled with 3D Solar Sensing Climate Control. High-performance tires are optional ($200) with the six-speed manual transmission only.

Safety features: seat-mounted side-impact airbags and full-cabin side curtain airbags are standard. The side-impact airbag sensors note the seat occupant's height and position to minimize potential injury to out-of-place and smaller-stature individuals. Frontal airbags are dual-stage and dual-threshold, meaning they deploy at different rates depending on the severity of the crash and whether the front seat occupants are belted in. A weight sensor incorporated in the front passenger seat senses if the total weight on the seat is less than 65 pounds (the weight of a small child or a car seat); if it is, the passenger airbag won't deploy in a crash. On the driver's side, a position sensor activates a more gentle dual-stage airbag mode if the seat is within half an inch of the most forward position. If the seat is farther than a half inch from the forward position, the airbag deploys in either single or dual-stage mode based on the severity of the collision. LATCH child seat anchors are included.

Active safety features include anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist and Vehicle Stability Assist electronic stability control. A tire-pressure monitoring system (TPMS) notifies the driver if tire pressure sinks to dangerous levels.

Walkaround

The Acura TL has a solid stance, tall and lean, with muscular lines. It looks compact and coiled, tensed, ready to move in any direction with quickness, certainty and precision. The designers say they kept the image of a soccer player in mind as they sketched the latest TL. To our eyes the result looks a little forced, even melodramatic; but a close look at the car's proportions and styling cues gives the design credence. And it looks better in person than in photos.

The current TL is more than 3.5 inches shorter overall than the previous-generation (pre-2004) TL, yet the wheelbase is essentially the same. (The wheelbase in the distance between the front and rear wheels.) That made the front and rear overhangs shorter, an improvement in the design. The current model is 2 inches wider than the previous version, spreading the tires an inch farther apart in front and an inch and a half farther apart in the rear. This wider track improves handling and stability. The roof is a half-inch taller. And yet the TL claims one of the lowest coefficients of drag (0.29 Cd) in its class. In short, the current TL offers improved space efficiency and better packaging than the previous model.

The strong, chin-like front end is braced by two low-mounted openings feeding cooling air to the engine, the minimalist grille above serving primarily to frame the Acura badge and trademark polished horizontal bar. Squinting headlights wrap around the front fenders, drawing the eye to the character line that begins in the side-marker light just forward of the front door, integrating the perfectly aligned door handles and running the length of the car to terminate in the rear side-marker lights. Molded rocker panels beneath the doors (with a chip-resistant finish) visually widen the car's lower body. Fender flares stretch the body over and wrap snugly around the tires. The tallish greenhouse tapers gracefully inward as it rises from the beltline, giving geometric balance to the rake of the windshield and backlight. The C-pillar, or sail panel, flows smoothly down into the trunk lid, adding substance and solidity to the rear quarters and embellishing the TL's mild, wedge-like profile.

The rear of the TL looks like a Honda. The rear looks conservative when compared to the dramatic styling of the rest of the car. The trailing edge of the trunk lid is sharply crested, with a pleasing Kamm-like aero-overhang. Taillights are severely functional. The black surround setting off the rear license plate is a bit loud. But the body sculpturing produces surface planes that generate some exciting shadows, and dual exhausts with squarish tips in matching lower bumper cutouts boost the sporty image, as do pushing the wheels out toward the corners.

Interior Features

The Acura TL features a comfortable cabin. Even the back seats are roomy and comfortable. Its 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.

Interior quality is up to Acura standards. Fit and finish is above average. A nice touch is the grained, matte-finish section on the top of the dash over the instrument cluster that reduces reflective glare off the inside of the windshield on bright, sunny days. A seamless dash masks the presence of the passenger-side front airbag, making for a more elegant and stylish look.

Comfortably bolstered seats brace thighs and shoulders against lateral forces during spirited cornering. 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. The B-pillars are indented in their forward edges about mid-height to make a little more elbow room for front seat occupants. All necessary controls lie within sight and easy reach of the driver. Shift levers and patterns for both transmissions fall readily to hand.

Backlit LED gauges look out from inside three pods tucked under a hood shading them from the noon-time sun. They're easy on the eyes, with a blue-around-white motif. A large, round speedometer sits directly in front of the driver and is centered on the steering column, which is also properly centered on the driver's seat. To the left is a slightly smaller, but no less legible tachometer. The right-hand pod contains the fuel and water temperature gauges.

The melding of function with form works extremely well in the Acura TL. Topmost in the center stack is the LCD screen that displays the climate control and audio settings as well as the optional navigation system's visual aids. With the navigation system comes a line of PDA-like buttons and cursor controller arrayed beneath the screen. Bracketing the screen are perpendicular rows of large, finger-friendly buttons for setting driver and front passenger climate control preferences; a useful Off switch is provided that instantly shuts everything off. Separating the climate controls from the touch-screen this way makes changing fan speeds or adjusting the temperature easy in the TL. With the navigation system, buyers get what Acura calls 3D Solar Sensing Climate Control. 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.

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. Still, you have to call up a menu to change radio stations. We found it took 20 seconds after starting the car before we could perform the electronic version of signing a legal agreement and get a map, which seems like a long time when you're in a hurry. The navigation system can recognize nearly 300 verbal commands, including adjustments to the stereo and climate control and selection of more than 7 million points of interest (restaurants, lodging, airports, shopping malls, etc.).

Lower on the center stack are controls for the sound system. Large, round knobs adjust volume and other functions. Right-sized station preselect buttons easily pass the fingernail and winter glove tests. Still, to change CD tracks you have to press the Audio button and go to a menu. In terms of technology, the standard stereo redefines the overused term premium. Not content with a multi-speaker, externally power-amplified, DVD/CD/cassette/AM/FM/XM Satellite Radio system, Acura added a new technology known as DVD-Audio 5.1. DVDs r

Driving Impressions

We've driven both versions of the Acura TL: the one most buyers will choose, with the SportShift automatic transmission and all-season tires; and the sporty iteration with the six-speed manual gearbox and wider, stickier tires. Our driving routes traversed suburban neighborhoods, two-lane backroads and multi-lane highways, and included a racetrack, where limits could be explored without interruption from flashing red lights and screaming sirens, or the unexpected bus or motorhome. In all but two measures, the new TL easily met or exceeded expectations.

The V6 engine delivers its abundant power smoothly, pulling strongly all the way to its 6800-rpm redline to the accompaniment of a deliciously tuned exhaust note. Even with traction control active, the front tires can be made to chirp while accelerating out of corners, or when mashing the gas pedal from a full stop. One of the few dynamic complaints we had with the TL torque steer, has been addressed in the 2006 model. Revised engine management system and steering angle sensors combine to help reduce this phenomenon, common among powerful front-wheel-drive cars.

TL is powered by a 3.2-liter, single overhead camshaft, 24-valve, 60-degree V6 with Honda's F1 racing-developed variable valve timing and lift system (VTEC). For 2006, it's rated at 258 horsepower and 233 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy is an EPA-rated 20/30 mpg City/Highway when fitted with the six-speed manual transmission. The engine meets California's LEV-2 ULEV standards, the second most stringent in the nation for gasoline-fueled cars and exceeded only by limited production, small-engine subcompacts and hybrids (some of them Hondas).

The automatic transmission works well. With the SportShift left in auto mode, gear changes are almost imperceptible, slicker and smoother than in some cars costing more than twice the TL's price of entry. After shifting the automatic into the manual mode, only the upshift from first is automatic, occurring just south of 5000 rpm. Higher gears are held right up to the rev limiter, which steps in around 7000 rpm.

The shift linkage on the manual gearbox is taut and precise, though clutch takeup requires a little getting used to.

The variable-assist steering reacts to road speed and driver input to make for effortless parking and sure tracking on the highway. Hours spent in the wind tunnel reduced to a whisper the inevitable whistles around the outside mirrors. Barely noticeable hissing around the side windows' trailing edges could well have been more reflective of the test car's early production status than of any design shortcoming.

The TL felt comfortable and relaxed at speed on the Interstates, although we noticed more road noise with the fatter, stickier tires on the six-speed model. On two-lanes, the standard setup was no slouch, feeling ill at ease only when taken where most drivers will never go, and by which time all the assorted active safety technologies will have been alerted. At these extremes, the sportier version delighted, its Brembo brakes confidently hauling it down from mildly irresponsible speeds before it tracked unerringly and with aplomb through tight corners over sometimes bumpy pavement. Perhaps, just maybe, Acura has unearthed the secret to BMW's vice-like grip on the top rung of the sports sedan ladder. Unlike BMWs, though, the TL is front-wheel drive, and the front washes out when accelerating hard around a bumpy corner, a point at which the TL does not feel like the ultimate driving machine.

On the track, the SportShift and the all-season tires proved to be a good match. Only carelessness or inattention could get somebody in trouble with this package. The six-speed manual worked well, too. Its six, close-ratio gears allowed the engine to work in its powerband's sweet spot. And the limited-slip front differential properly apportioned the power between the front tires while negotiating fast, sweeping cu

Summary

The Acura TL is as sporty a sedan as is imaginable in a front-wheel-drive configuration. Its SportShift automatic transmission can be left alone or played with to extract some of the joys embodied in a stiff platform and powerful drivetrain. When ordered with the six-speed manual, Brembo brakes and stickier tires, the TL is even more of a sports sedan. Or settle back with some good tunes from the state-of-the-art stereo and book the evening's repast and lodging while following the navigation system's mobile arrow pointing the way across the country. In short, the Acura TL is an excellent choice as a sporty near-luxury sedan.

New Car Test Drive correspondent Tom Lankard is based in Northern California; with Mitch McCullough reporting from Los Angeles.

Model Line Overview
Base Price (MSRP)
$33,100
Model lineup:
Acura TL ($33,100)
Engines:
258-hp 3.2-liter 24-valve SOHC V6
Transmissions:
5-speed automatic with SportShift; 6-speed manual
Safety equipment (Standard):
dual front airbags; front seat-mounted side-impact airbags; front and rear side curtain airbags; three-point seatbelts at all five seating positions; ABS with Brake Assist and Electronic Brake-force Distribution; Vehicle Stability Assist electronic stability control and traction control; tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS)
Safety equipment (Optional):
none
Basic warranty:
4 years/50,000 miles
Assembled in:
Marysville, Ohio
Specifications As Tested
Model tested (MSRP):
Acura TL ($33,100)
Standard equipment:
dual-zone, automatic climate control; 10-way driver and four-way front passenger power and heated seats; tilt and telescoping steering wheel; remote keyless entry; power windows, central locking and heated, tilt-down outside mirrors; three driver-memory settings; eight-speaker stereo with DVD-Audio, DTS and CD six-disc changer, AM/FM and XM Satellite tuner and Dolby cassette; power glass tilt-and-slide moonroof; carpeted floor mats; HomeLink programmable remote opener system; and hands-free, wireless cellular telephone capability
Options as tested:
six-speed manual transmission (NC); Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition ($2,000); high-performance summer tires ($200)
Destination charge:
570
Gas Guzzler Tax:
N/A
Price as tested (MSRP)
$35,870
Layout:
front-wheel drive
Engine:
3.2-liter sohc 24-valve V6
Horsepower (hp @ rpm):
258 @ 6200
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm):
233 @ 5000
Transmission:
6-speed manual
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy:
20/30 mpg.
Wheelbase:
107.9 in.
Length/width/height:
189.3/72.2/56.7 in.
Track, f/r:
62.1/62.0 in.
Turning circle:
39.7 ft.
Seating capacity:
5
Head/hip/leg room, f:
38.7/55.6/42.8 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m:
N/A
Head/hip/leg room, r:
37.2/53.8/34.9 in.
Cargo volume:
12.3 cu. ft.
Payload:
N/A
Towing capacity:
N/A
Suspension F:
independent, double wishbone, coil springs, anti-roll bar
Suspension R:
independent, double wishbone, coil springs, anti-roll bar
Ground clearance:
5.8 in.
Curb weight:
3498 lbs.
Tires:
P235/45R17 Bridgestone Potenza
Brakes, f/r:
vented Brembo disc/disc with ABS, EBD, Brake Assist in.
Fuel capacity:
vented Brembo disc/disc with ABS, EBD, Brake 17 gal.

Printable Version

2006 Acura TL Sedan

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Rollover Resistance
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Std
Tire Pressure Monitoring System Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Std
Side Head Air Bag Std
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

HID Headlights Std
Fog Lamps Std
Electrochromic Rearview Mirror Std
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std

Accident Prevention

Handsfree Wireless Std

Security

Alarm Std
Anti-theft System Std
Printable Version

2006 Acura TL Sedan

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 4 Years/50,000 Miles
Drivetrain 6 Years/70,000 Miles
Corrosion 5 Years/Unlimited Miles

Acura Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

12 months/12,000 miles limited warranty from purchased date or expiration of new car warranty date. Additional 7 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty from in-service date.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 6 years / 80,000 miles
Lease Term Certified Yes
Point Inspection 150
Return/Exchange Program 3 day exchange
Roadside Assistance Yes
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible No

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2006 Acura TL Sedan

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