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2008 Acura TL/TL Type-S

2008 Acura TL/TL Type-S

Acura TL

Jaguar XJ

Audi A5/S5

Liocoln MKZ

BMW 5 Series

Mercedes-Benz C Class

Cadillac CTS

Saab 9-3

Infiniti M35/M45

Volvo S80


When you have a popular product, it’s not unusual to have more than one flavor. In the case of the midsize premium Acura sedan, there are two to choose from: the luxury TL and the recently-revived performance oriented TL Type-S.

2008 Acura TL Interior
Acura TL Interior

With a redesign expected next year, Acura adds some mild styling updates for 2008 with its distinctive face framed with ribbon-thin, high-intensity headlamps, shield-shaped grille superimposed with Acura's stylized "A." The sport-tuned Type-S has distinctive touches such as quad exhaust tips.

Underscoring this popular front-drive auto — Acura's best seller — is a 3.2-liter, 258 horsepower VTEC 6 engine, equipped with five-speed automatic transmission. The Type-S gets a high performance 3.5-liter 286-HP VTEC 6 mated with a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. Type-S with six-speed manual gets the best mileage, at 18 city/27 highway. Both engines run on premium fuel.

Interior features include premium audio with six-disc CD/DVD and MP3 and WMA audio playback. Bluetooth interaction provides hands-free telephone interface with an ability to capture a cell phone's phone book. Models with the navigation system also get rearview camera for parking assist, as well as XM Satellite radio connectivity and real-time traffic through AcuraLink communications. Audio on both models has speed-sensitive volume control. Type-S models get red ambient cabin lighting, active noise cancellation and stainless steel sport pedals.

Acura was an early proponent of drive-by-wire technology that eliminates mechanicals and also lightens weight. Safety gets a lot of attention with side curtain airbags, electronic brake distribution, brake assist, traction control, and occupant position detection.

Base TL pricing is $35,725 and tops out at $38,425 for the Type-S with performance summer tires. A well-equipped TL including navigation system is priced at $35,225. Prices exclude $715 in destination and delivery.  Like its Honda parent, Acura tends to offer its cars as "what you see is what you get," with few options.