By Michael Andre Adams
“Tell me why? Is it so? Don’t wanna let you go,” sang Michael on the Jackson Five’s Never Can Say Goodbye. Those lyrics are the perfect words to describe my feelings after six days of sublime driving behind the wheel of the 2010 Acura TL SH-AWD TECH. No doubt, it was one of the hardest goodbyes I’ve said this year after the completion of a new model test drive!
Comparing the TL alongside other mid size luxury sedans to include Audi’s A4, BMW’s 3 series, Cadillac’s CTS, Hyundai’s Genesis, Infiniti‘s G and the Mercedes C Class — its exterior appeal competes head to head and toe to toe! It’s sharp, somewhat curvy / chiseled body lines (as introduced last year’s new body design) includes Acura’s new and quite noticeable signature front and rear (with spoiler above) grills–both of which I love. The new design has brought the TL (and the RL as well) out of the center and to the edge of design.
And while all of this is true, what’s beneath it all put’s the “m” in the cats meow!
TL’s SHAWD (Super Handling All Wheel Drive) distributing power to the front and rear axles and between the rear wheels based on the analysis of conditions, coupled a 305 horsepower V6 engine puts the “f” in fun for the driver of this whip! On a curve–where up to 70% of the torque can be directed to the rear outside wheel where the weight has shifted, cornering is is drastically improved to bring you out of it as graceful as a dove on steroids. Even while driving a straight line, SH-AWD works in your favor delivering 90% of the power to the front wheels for greater fuel economy. If and when sudden, or hard acceleration is called upon, 70% of the power can be transferred o the rear wheel.
And yeah, the inside is quite comfortable as well. It’s totally keyless (start/stop, entry and exit). The navigation system is on a hard drive and includes both traffic and weather updates. The 10-speaker stereo system (by Panasonic) was pretty decent as well.
Although the perforated premium leather trimmed sport seats were heated, the absence of a cooling feature is perhaps the only thing I missed in this entry level luxury sedan. I’d also add a sixth gear to the offered five speed transmission. Nevertheless, at approximately $42,500, yielding 17 miles per gallon in the city and 25 on the highway for an estimated annual fuel cost of $2,100 (15,000 miles annually with gas at $2.80 per gallon), I’d buy this car and call it my own any day of any week!
With all of this in mind can you imagine the thrill of my experience over the past few days? I tell you, while driving through the streets of Atlanta and various freeways—especially the on and off ramps, I was so reminded of the lyrics rapped by Atlanta’s own Ludacris, where he says: “When I move you move–just like that!” Honestly, I thought twice about leaving for Switzerland yesterday and holding out for just one more day on the road in the TL!
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