Used Car Review

2010 Acura TL: Used Car Review

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Used 2010 Acura TL SH-AWD
Used 2010 Acura TL
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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Joe Tralongo September 2015

The 2010 Acura TL is regarded for its excellent build quality, quiet cabin and outstanding resale and reliability ratings. The TL comes standard with a powerful V6 engine and is pulled by its front wheels, although all-wheel drive (AWD) is an option. Many of these same attributes, most notably the strong resale and reliability ratings, can be said of the Lexus ES and Infiniti G37, so why pick the TL? If you're all about standout styling, the TL definitely has a love-it-or-hate-it design that won't be mistaken for any other car. On the technology front, the TL is loaded with high-tech goodies, such as an available navigation system with a 440-watt Acura/ELS audio setup featuring DVD audio and a 12.7-gigabyte hard drive. For those seeking more aggressive handling, the SH-AWD trim provides Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive, a 6-speed manual transmission and a 305-horsepower V6 engine.

As for why you might not want the TL, the list is equally convincing. The TL's interior is rather drab and not more upscale than a top-level Honda Accord. Competitors, such as the Lexus ES, offer more features, including adaptive cruise control and ventilated front seats. Although the handling with the SH-AWD trim is admirable, the base model's front-wheel drive tends to display torque steer when driven aggressively, and the steering on both trims feels overly assisted and lacks feedback. If you're looking for a more performance-oriented sedan, a rear-wheel-drive car is far more gratifying, such as the Infiniti G37 or BMW 3 Series.

What We Like

Good reliability and resale; excellent audio and navigation options; comfortable front seats; base model's smooth ride; roomy rear seat

What We Don't

Polarizing styling; steering needs more feedback; lackluster interior design; trunk space is on the small side; no manual transmission for front-wheel-drive models

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The base front-wheel-drive Acura TL is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 producing 280 hp and 254 lb-ft of torque. The only transmission choice is a 5-speed automatic with a manual shift mode. Environmental Protection Agency fuel economy estimates for this engine are 18 miles per gallon in the city, 26 mpg on the highway and 21 mpg combined.

The TL SH-AWD gets a larger 3.7-liter V6 good for 305 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. Using the same 5-speed automatic, the SH-AWD's fuel economy dips, earning 17 mpg city/25 mpg hwy and 20 mpg combined. The optional 6-speed manual earns the same 17/25 mpg figure.

Standard Features & Options

The Acura TL is offered in base and SH-AWD trims. In typical Acura fashion, the TL comes well-equipped with only a few options.

The base TL includes leather seating, a power sunroof, HID headlights, a 276-watt 8-speaker AM/FM/6-CD sound system with USB and auxiliary input jacks, Bluetooth, power heated front seats, heated side mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt-telescopic steering column, 17-inch alloy wheels, power windows, power door locks, power mirrors and remote keyless entry. The TL protects occupants with six airbags and Acura's Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) front body structure, which is designed to help dissipate crash energy away from the passenger compartment.

The TL SH-AWD adds a more powerful engine, Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive, bolstered front sport seats, premium leather seating with contrasting stitching, larger brakes and 18-in alloy wheels. Models equipped with the 6-speed manual also have stiffer engine and transmission mounts, firmer front springs and dampeners, recalibrated electric power steering tuning and a heavy-duty front differential.

Optional on both trims is the Technology package, adding a 440-watt Acura/ELS surround sound system with DVD audio and a 12.7-GB hard drive, keyless ignition, a rearview camera, a voice-activated navigation system with an 8-in high-resolution screen, real-time traffic information and rerouting guidance, plus weather reports using Doppler-style radar maps.

The SH-AWD can also be equipped with 19-in wheels and tires.

Pricing

Acura's 2010 TL holds strong resale values, but it's not in high demand, so bargaining for a better deal is definitely on the table, especially if you're dealing with a motivated seller. The SH-AWD models naturally pull in bigger dollars due to better handling and AWD traction. For a good idea of the TL's price range, we suggest checking the used-car values at KBB.com. You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are currently for sale in your area.

Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued no recalls for the 2010 Acura TL.

Recall repairs are required by law, even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed and, if not, will fix the car at no charge to you. You can also check the NHTSA website; simply enter your vehicle's identification number for a list of performed recall repairs.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

The 2010 TL sailed through the government's crash tests, earning a perfect 5-star rating in NHTSA's front, side-impact and rollover crash tests. The independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the TL its highest score of Good in all categories and named it a Top Safety Pick.

The 2010 TL left the factory with a 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty and a 6-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty. If you buy your TL through a certified pre-owned (CPO) Acura dealer, you'll get a 12-month/12,000-mile certified warranty, plus a 7-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty effective from the date the vehicle entered service. CPO cars include a 182-point inspection, plus 24-hour roadside assistance, computerized trip-routing map services, emergency fuel delivery and Acura's Concierge service. Acura CPO cars must be no older than 6 years and have a maximum of 80,000 miles.

Other Cars to Consider

2010 Infiniti G37 -- The G37 is more stylish, offers more luxury features and has a more powerful engine, plus better handling and an available manual transmission. Like the TL, the G37 also offers the option of AWD.

2010 Lexus ES 350 -- The ES 350 holds its value better than the TL, but its styling is bland, and its ride is decidedly more about comfort than performance. The ES offers more optional luxury equipment and has better gas mileage than the TL, but it doesn't offer AWD.

2010 BMW 3 Series -- The 3 Series is the go-to car for driving enthusiasts. There are more trim levels and options than with the TL, including a wagon. However, the 3 Series costs significantly more than the TL, and it doesn't have as good of a repair and reliability track record. Compared with the TL, the 3 Series' rear seat is rather cramped.

Autotrader's Advice

Although it will cost more, we'd pick the SH-AWD with the Technology package. It provides more power and better handling than the base TL and has a better interior, plus the bonus of year-round driving confidence afforded by the all-wheel-drive setup and manual transmission.

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Used 2010 Acura TL SH-AWD
Used 2010 Acura TL
$12,970
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2010 Acura TL: Used Car Review - Autotrader