It's what's inside that counts
Acura's midsize sedan, the TL, received some styling updates this past year, making it even more appealing than it was.
But probably more significant for consumers is the addition of a six-speed automatic transmission, which helped boost the car's highway fuel economy.
EPA ratings are now 20 mpg city/29 highway for the TL with the base 3.5-liter V-6 engine, up from 2 0/25 in the previous model, which came with a five-speed automatic.
No changes are planned for the 2013 version, which goes on sale this fall.
For the 2012 model, prices range from $35,705-$45,185.
The $35,705 price brings the entry-level, front-wheel-drive TL with the base V-6 engine. For $45,185, you'll get everything that's available in a TL, including all-wheel drive, a more-powerful 3.7-liter V-6, and both the Advance and Technology packages.
We tested the top-of-the-line model, which even had such extras as a power trunk lid, blind-spot monitoring, and one of the best audio systems around.
The 3.5-liter engine, rated at 280 horsepower, was given some friction-reduction technologies to help boost fuel efficiency, Acura said.
The six-speed automatic has Acura's Sequential SportShift feature, which allows for manual shifting without having to use a clutch.
Design tweaks included a new front bumper with improved aerodynamics, a new grille, revised headlights and a shorter front overhang.
There are smaller rear reflectors, new LED taillights and a thinner trunk-edge trim.
The changes were a “freshening,” rather than a complete makeover.