Acura Dealer Charleston WV
South Charleston, WV
South Charleston, WV
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Crab Orchard, WV
2010 Acura TL Midsize Near-Luxury Sedan
By Derek Price
Serious performance-sedan enthusiasts will choose the TL SH-AWD to make winding roads their own.
What was tested?: 2010 Acura TL SH-AWD with Technology Package ($43,385).
Price as tested (including $810 destination charge): $44,195.
Pros: It's a luxury bargain, with a combination of high-tech features, outstanding handling and an affordable price that sets it apart from the crowd.
Cons: Some people think it needs a rhinoplasty, and it doesn't have the cachet of a V8.
If you're thinking about buying the new Acura TL, do yourself a favor and don't take it on a boring, around-the-block test drive.
That simply won't do it justice.
Instead, find the salesperson with the strongest stomach and head straight for the nearest S curves in the countryside, because that's where the TL really comes alive.
This is an interesting car that, at first glance, you wouldn't expect to be so fun in the bends. It doesn't have racer-boy styling, a pavement-scraping suspension or a snarling V8 under the hood. In fact, it seems downright sensible with its V6 engine and four-door body style.
Somehow, though, it transforms from sensible to wild when you decide to push it. In normal driving, it feels quite Honda-like -- dry and slightly sporty -- with acceleration that's good but not breathtaking. But if you stab the gas pedal on a tight, winding road, it suddenly takes on a very different personality as it shows off its granite chassis and balanced handling.
The feeling is so striking, in fact, that Acura decided to do something shocking this year and offer a manual transmission in the TL. It may not seem like that big a deal, but when you realize the amount of engineering and tuning that has to be done to fit the new transmission, one thing becomes clear: Acura is making a statement with this car. It wants to impress the enthusiasts.
Inside, the Acura TL has the kind of stylish interior you'd expect in a luxury car, with soft leather, upscale trim materials and the perfect execution that's become routine for Honda's luxury arm
Inside, the TL has the kind of stylish interior you'd expect in a luxury car, with soft leather, upscale trim materials and the perfect execution that's become routine for Honda's luxury arm. One of the best features is an available navigation system that, like magic, can warn you about traffic problems and hazardous weather on your route. The exterior styling hasn't been as widely accepted, though. The nose has been controversial -- some people just don't like it -- but I tend to give Acura props for taking a chance. Too many of its recent cars have looked dull, so the TL's front end, even if polarizing, is a step in the right direction.
Another controversy is under the hood. Where other luxury cars often offer a couple of extra cylinders in a meaty V8,...
2010 Acura TSX Compact Near-Luxury Sedan
By Derek Price
What was tested?: 2010 Acura TSX V6 with Technology Package ($37,950).
Price as tested (including $810 destination charge): $38,760.
Pros: It's good mix of comfort and performance, offering a quiet and smooth ride on the highway with fun-to-drive dynamics. It has great acceleration with the V6.
Cons: The back seat could use more knee room, especially if the front passengers are tall, and not everyone likes Acura's new corporate shield grille.
Never has a vehicle been more polarizing in the Price household than the Acura RSX.
When I first drove it several years ago, I adored this entry-luxury car because it had a suspension that would pulverize your bones and a little engine that shrieked like a poltergeist. And, for the exact same reasons, my wife hated it.
Try as we might, nothing could bring us together on this car. I would take it zipping around town just to hear the ghost yelling from under the hood, but my wife refused to even ride in it.
It's no wonder, then, that Acura stopped selling the RSX a few years ago. It made half the population grin while the other half sulked in disgust.
Thankfully, its far more civilized replacement -- called the TSX -- is good enough to please us both.
This entry-level luxury car bridges the gap between stodgy sedans and juvenile sport compact cars. It has a stylish body -- among Acura's best, in my opinion -- that looks perfectly sophisticated without trying too hard to hide its sporty character, blatantly flexing its biceps just beneath the sheet metal.
The sculpted, athletic look of the TSX is more fitting now that Acura offers a V6 engine in the 2010 edition. It's the same V6 you can get in the bigger and heavier Acura TL, so you can imagine what happens when it's shoehorned into the smaller car.
The acceleration is epic. It's the kind of rush you normally expect with a more expensive sports sedan -- say, a $50,000 BMW -- but not from anything with a more value-oriented Acura badge on the hood. The TSX starts at $29,310, and even with the V6 it's priced under $35,000. Still, the TSX isn't all about racing from stoplight to stoplight. It does that exceptionally well, which is a nice plus, but it's actually a much more reasonable, responsible car than any boy racer.
The cabin is stylishly simple with a modern, almost cold feel. The high-tech design comes from generous use of metallic-look trim in the cabin, which nicely sets off all the gauges and buttons. There's plenty of front-seat space, but the back seat could use more knee room when tall people are riding up front.
Ride quality is also outstanding. The suspension has a firm, sporty feel in the corners -- just as you'd expect in a vehicle engineered by Honda -- but it's also comfortable enough for long highway trips. It transitions well between different types of driving, whether pushing it on country roads or cruising in a straight line on...