This revised version of the Acura TL is a nice car, with responsive handling, a slick powertrain, and commendable fuel economy. But when compared with the previous TL, the redesign is not as impressive. Vague steering saps the fun out of its handling and the trunk opening is small. 
Alerts
There are 3 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
NA
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
NA
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
NA
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS standard. Side air bags standard from 2000. ESC optional from 2002, standard from 2004. Head protection air bags standard from 2004.
Road Test

This revised version of the Acura TL is a nice car, with responsive handling, a slick powertrain, and commendable fuel economy. But when compared with the previous TL, the redesign is not as impressive. Vague steering saps the fun out of its handling and the trunk opening is small. 

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD , Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 3.5-liter V6 (280 hp)
  • 3.7-liter V6 (305 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2009 Acura TL owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Ridiculous that Honda charges $150 or so a year to update map and routing information. Goggle Maps does so continuosly, for free--and with great accuracy. I don't use the car's GPS anymore and when I replace the car will not pay for this option"

John F., PA (2009 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.5-L V6)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"Bluetooth is intermittent. Phone doesn't always work"

Anonymous, CT (2009 Acura TL Base 3.7-L V6)
Radio

"On the Sirius/XM display, one of the two bands would not refresh information when the song changed"

Anonymous, BC (2009 Acura TL)

"XM radio reception has become intermittent"

Robert S., CA (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

"Getting static through the radio. Dealer fixed problem but it is back"

Anonymous, BC (2009 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)

"satellite radio goes away, and radio doesn't operate properly"

Anonymous, GA (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

"XM radio antenna failed on one side causing reception driving in one direction but not in the opposite"

Anonymous, LA (2009 Acura TL)
Routine software updates

"Cost of upgrading the system is to expensive"

Gerald C., IA (2009 Acura TL Base 3.7-L V6)
Speakers

"The speaker in the left front door vibrates/buzzes at moderate to loud volume levels"

Joseph B., TX (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

"Front door speakers develop rattles. Have been replaced. After awhile the same problem recurred. Seems to be a common problem with this make/model"

Anonymous, FL (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

"One speaker blew out when my daughter turned the speaker up quickly. It was under warranty"

Anonymous, CA (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

"Rear speaker sound is staticy and breaking up. Twice the speakers in the car have failed"

Anonymous, MA (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

"Three of the door speakers in my car have failed. They vibrate and sounds terrible. Acura has been reluctant to replace but did the front speakers. Now I'm fighting with them over the rear speakers"

Thomas M., OR (2009 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)

"I had both speakers replaced because there was a muffle sound"

Anonymous, KS (2009 Acura TL Base)

"The door speakers had to be replaced and subwoofer now sounds like it has a tear"

Robert T., MA (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

"Blown out passenger front speaker"

Anonymous, WI (2009 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)

"They put a very good sound system in the 2009 TL but put cheap and flimsy speakers in the car. Many owners have complained about having to replace speakers but Acura has played ignorant about the problem"

M N., AZ (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

"The Tech Package, with upgraded speakers and radio continues to blow speakers - this problem is very common and NOT due to playing at high volume. No response from Acura to address their problem"

Scott P., CT (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

"Left door speaker went out. Repair was about $250. This is the only and first repair on this car in 6 years"

Herman D., TX (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

"One speaker is cracked and vibrates at times"

Anonymous, KY (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

"Had 3 speakers replaced while under warranty and have since replace 2 more speakers. Absolutely appalled by the poor quality/durability of speakers"

Anonymous, ON (2009 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)

"DISTORTED BACK SPEAKERS ON BOTH BACK SPEAKERSPASSENGER SIDES"

Anonymous, VA (2009 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)

"Front right speaker became distorted and required replacement"

Anonymous, LA (2009 Acura TL)
Voice control commands

"Terrible voice recognition. Nowhere near as good as my iPhone 5s, which immediately recognizes what I am saying"

John F., PA (2009 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.5-L V6)

"voice commands not working and cost to repair in the hundreds of dollars. appears to be a common problem"

Anonymous, BC (2009 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"Warning lights came on and we brought it in to be repaired We would not have know about the problem if not for the warning lights"

Wendy S., IL (2009 Acura TL)

"ABS and traction control frequently disabled automatically. Problem found to be caused by lack of proper maintenance. Brake fluid not changed as scheduled. Problem solved by changing brake fluid."

Anonymous, FL (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)
Calipers

"Left rear caliper froze up"

Anonymous, NY (2009 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)
Normal routine brake wear

"Brakes need repair due to normal wear and tear"

Joseph W., PA (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

"Had squeling when backing up"

Anonymous, VA (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)
Rotors

"All 4 brake rotors warped causing me to replace them"

Anonymous, OH (2009 Acura TL Base)

"I've replaced the rotors and pads 3 times in last 1.5 years. The rotors warp and cause inconsistent braking performance."

Anonymous, OH (2009 Acura TL)
Squeaking

"Front left brakes have made noise when braking. Dealership has chased the issue and temporarily solved it only to have issue eventually return. Annoying"

Craig E., NY (2009 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"loose chrome trim along side of roof. dealer fixed"

Anonymous, FL (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

"rubber strips along the roof edges come off or are loose, had them repaired twice by dealer who gave a 50% discount on repair"

Anonymous, FL (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

"windshield trim gasket started to decompose. It eventually flew off on the freeway. Replacing it required the entire trim piece from base of windshield to the back of the roof. $495.00!"

Anonymous, CA (2009 Acura TL 3.5-L V6)
Loose interior trim or moldings

"The leather came off of the drivers side armrest and I had to have it replaced"

Gail D., TN (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Paint seems to chip extremely easy. I find the paint layer extremely thin. My 2000 Mazda paint is in better condition than my 2009 acura"

Anonymous, ON (2009 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)

"The chrome trim on the grill is demylenating/peeling."

Christopher S., NC (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Ball joints

"Lower ball joints were replaced because they made a knocking noise"

Larry G., CA (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)
Bushings

"already covered"

Anonymous, CA (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)
Shocks or struts

"Suspension wearing out and replaced"

Pius N., CA (2009 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.5-L V6)
Springs or torsion bars

"Making a loud spring pop going over bumps. Acura dealer figured out finally that the control arm bolts had come loose and tighten them for 150.00 dollars. no more pop noise problem solved"

James P., NC (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"Clunking of the steering system"

Jan E., OH (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)
Wheel bearings

"noise"

Anonymous, BC (2009 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"A/c compression seized and burned the compressor We wera able to go to the garage and had an Appointment for repair but in the meantime the compressor burned"

Anonymous, NB (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

"Clutch would not engage to turn compressor on"

Anonymous, ON (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

"costly replacement"

Vytas U., IL (2009 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)
Blower (fan) motor

"SYSTEM DOES NOT SWITCH FROM BLOWING ON FLOOR TO BLOWING TO THE CHEST LEVEL BLOWER WELL. IT STICKS."

Aaron C., NV (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)
Evaporator

"Air conditioning blowing warm air on passenger side"

Anonymous, NY (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Body control module

"Needed to replace control module that controls both seat position memory and exterior push button door lock"

Anonymous, ON (2009 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)
Clock

"Clock runs 1 to two minutes fast per month. The dealer had been unable to fix the problem since it was new"

John H., CT (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"Left front blinker went out."

Anonymous, CA (2009 Acura TL Base 3.7-L V6)
Tire pressure monitor

"We put new tires on and it messed up the tire pressure monitor"

Wendy S., IL (2009 Acura TL)

"Tire indictator says air pressure leaking. But Acura dealer says tire no leak. Eventually, I changed the tire and solve the problem"

Anonymous, CA (2009 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.5-L V6)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"air conditioner leak and seals"

Anonymous, NY (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"The passenger side floor mats possibly from the air condition"

Anonymous, NY (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)
Squeaks or rattles

"after driv25 miles or more the car makes noise when it drives slow, especially stopping and continuing. NOise sounds like bushings or suspension. Dealer cannot determine"

Anonymous, CA (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

"Inexplicable noises/rattles coming from engine/transmission at certain speeds/engine revs. Not sure how the dealer handled them. Dealer dismissed them as inconsequential"

John B., ON (2009 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)
Wind noise

"It's mostly road noise. Tried new low noise tires.it helped a little bit but not enough"

Anonymous, CT (2009 Acura TL Base 3.7-L V6)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Mirrors

"Brown spots in one mirror"

Alain D., QC (2009 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)

"These are heated mirrors and they both have tarnished at the bottom and need to be replaced"

Anonymous, WI (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)
Seat controls - movement

"Seat memory and mirror pitch down while backing up stopped working. Mirror problem has been intermittent and has been mentioned at service several times, no problems were found."

Anonymous, CA (2009 Acura TL 3.5-L V6)
Sunroof

"If sunroom is popped up/vent and it sprinkles or rains, when try to close it, it closes then pops back up. Have to tap the control a few times to get it to close."

Christopher S., NC (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Loose/rattling heat shield

"Problem discovered by dealer and fixed"

John B., ON (2009 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)
Other/unsure

"Very difficult to use and not always functioning"

Anonymous, BC (2009 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)

"Takata airbags had to be replaced due to recall"

Anonymous, WV (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine mounts

"Had to replace my engine mounts"

David J., FL (2009 Acura TL)
Oil leaks

"Needed a oil pan replacement $1,000.00"

David J., FL (2009 Acura TL)

"Needed oil pump replacement."

Gerald H., FL (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Rough shifting

"at 1200 rpm when hot I get a "judder" Also does not shift smoothly"

Anonymous, MN (2009 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)
Slipping transmission

"Hard shifts when changing between gears"

Anonymous, IL (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)
Transmission leaks

"rear main seal at 50000 miles. not covered by warrenty"

Eugene R., NC (2009 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Electrical failure

"Relay Switch Failed and Air Conditioner would not turn on"

John H., FL (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)
Stability control (ESC)

"The VSA (Vehicle Stability Assist) light came on and it was diagnosed to be the VSA computer control module. This part costs about $3000. Because the car was low mileage (and I have had five Acura's - they covered all but $1300. This was still a lot of money but it is fixed and the light is out"

John S., VA (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

"The VSA control module and purge valve were replaced"

Anonymous, FL (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Coil

"One cylinder was misfiring. Coils and spark plugs were replaced, Car ran fine for a while. After diagnostics were run at the dealer, problem disappeared. Dealer just quoted $9.6K to replace engine!"

Douglas B., CA (2009 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)
Spark plugs or wires failure

"car was bucking and irregular accelleration due to faulty spark plug"

Anonymous, MI (2009 Acura TL SH-AWD)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"Oil, Check engine, SH-AWS, Emission sensors go off with acceleration, sharp turns, anything less than a soft braking, requiring trips to mechanic to make sure these are not false alarm. The oil level sensor seems to be especially troublesome."

Anonymous, PA (2009 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.5-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Torque converter

"torque converter replaced twice"

Eugene R., NC (2009 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

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