When Acura’s cornerstone TL received a ground-up redesign in 2009, its bolder styling drew mixed reviews. But, there wasn’t any dissent about its hard-to-top-for-the-price luxury-performance credentials.

And with an optional 305-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 coupled to Acura’s wet-or-dry road capable Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive, its athletic abilities were beyond reproach as well.

The important change for 2010 is that SH-AWD can now be coupled with a 6-speed manual gearbox as well as the carryover automatic. Choosing the manual also upgrades handling hardware and makes the TL a top-class performer.

Not only does the stick make the TL quicker going, but its very short throws make gear selections pure reflex.

Outside, the TL’s body is still a mix of curves, angles, and bright work. The polarizing grille remains as Acura’s new coat of arms.

To tell the all-wheel-drive TL from the front-wheel-drive TL, look for brake cooling ducts up front, a subtle trunklid spoiler, and quad tailpipes.

The TL’s clean, luxurious interior is a study in swift contours, from the shapely, heated power-adjustable seats (made even shapelier should you opt for SH-AWD) to the crowded center stack with far too many buttons.

The six inches added to wheelbase in ‘09 allow the rear seats to provide truly executive legroom and comfort.

On sale now, the 2010 Acura TL starts near $35,000, jumping to about $42,000 for the manual with SH-AWD.


  • Starting near $35,000:
  • 305 horsepower:
  • 3.7-liter V6: