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2005 Entry Level Luxury Buyer's Guide

2005 Acura TL Review

by Martha Hindes

2005 Acura TL

Feeling at home on a track, or tracking its way back home, Acura's luxurious TL sedan is something of a contrast. It blends the expected smooth amenities of a well-loaded luxury auto with some impressive handling credentials and high tech secrets such as drive-by-wire technology.

Acura had done a bang-up job in overhauling the TL a year ago. Now, for '05, it fine tunes the entry level auto that has been a top vote getter for the Japanese auto maker since it started appearing in showrooms. Among those are safety upgrades to meet new federal standards, including front seat sensors to prevent air bags from fully inflating when someone weighs less than 65 pounds, and monitoring driver position to determine necessary airbag force in a collision. Those sitting by rear doors get adjustable head restraints, while side curtain airbags now are standard.

In addition to sports handling and style, Acura has put a premium on safety for the TL, including neck injury reduction seats. It not only won five-star status in governmental crash tests, but achieved a good rating in offset crash testing -- where a collision is on an angle. And, Acura points out, its structural design is safer for pedestrians if someone on foot is hit by a TL.