Reviews

Driven: 2010 Acura TL SH-AWD 6MT

What is it with Acura giving up on great names? This car should, by all rights, be called the Legend Type-S. Except that Acura has abandoned both of those monikers. Acura TL SH-AWD 6MT? That sounds like something an inebriated math teacher would mutter before drifting into unconsciousness.

Luckily, this Type-S replacement has the goods to make up for its name, and with no price premium over a comparably equipped automatic TL, it’s a good deal, too. The 305-hp, 3.7-liter V-6 carries over, but in place of the antiquated five-speed slushbox, Acura has installed a six-speed manual and also added a host of driveline reinforcements.

Significant revisions to spring and damper rates help turn the 6MT into a veritable master of back roads. The ride is on the busy side, but that’s a small price to pay for phenomenal body control and composure. Michelin tires generate ludicrous levels of grip, and Acura’s torque-vectoring SH-AWD system can send up to 70 percent of the engine’s power to a single rear wheel. The top TL explodes out of corners without a trace of understeer or the old Type-S’s torque steer and wheel spin. The TL is smoking fast over curvy, broken pavement – literally, as the brakes quickly reach their heat capacity.

The perfectly weighted, short-throw shifter is pure Honda heaven – no other car company does shift feel this well. The 6MT’s clutch, though, is another story. The soupy clutch pedal engages gradually, but inconsistently, throughout most of its travel – and, worse, the gas pedal is a hypersensitive all-or-nothing affair. That’s exactly the reverse of how it should be, making smooth shifts all but impossible at around-town speeds.

It’s much easier to be smooth when you’re railing on this Acura. And that’s exactly the reason that the TL SH-AWD 6MT exists. It may not have a catchy name, but it has the best chassis tuning of any Acura since the Integra Type-R (two more discontinued labels), and that’s what matters.

The Specs
ON SALE: Now
Price: $43,195
Engine: 3.7L V-6, 305 hp, 273 lb-ft
Drive: 4-wheel

Comments
We’ve Temporarily Removed Comments

As part of our ongoing efforts to make AutomobileMag.com better, faster, and easier for you to use, we’ve temporarily removed comments as well as the ability to comment. We’re testing and reviewing options to possibly bring comments back. As always, thanks for reading AutomobileMag.com.

Buying Guide
Powered by Motortrend
2014 Acura TL

2014 Acura TL

MSRP $36,030 Base Sedan

Fair Market Price:

$ 19,354

EPA MPG:

20 City / 29 Hwy

Safety (IIHS):

Best Pick