The TL is a nice upscale sedan but no longer stood out from the crowd. For the 2012 model year, styling was slightly tweaked and the automatic transmission got another gear to a six-speed, boosting fuel economy by one mpg to 24. As always, it had a great drivetrain, sound ride, and a nicely-finished interior with supportive front seats. Handling was sound, but compromised by vague steering.
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

The TL is a nice upscale sedan but no longer stood out from the crowd. For the 2012 model year, styling was slightly tweaked and the automatic transmission got another gear to a six-speed, boosting fuel economy by one mpg to 24. As always, it had a great drivetrain, sound ride, and a nicely-finished interior with supportive front seats. Handling was sound, but compromised by vague steering. A tight rear seat and a tiny trunk opening were letdowns in this typically commodious class.

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
  • 6-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Manual
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 2012 Acura TL owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Clutch replacement

"Clutch failed at 37,000 miles - I purchased Vech with 33,000 miles on it. I have owned 3 manual transmission cars and never replaced a clutch. No way to verify condition of clutch at purchase. Clutch is not covered under warranty"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)
Torque converter

"Hesitation under light acceleration. Dealer replaced the torque converter under warranty and provided a loaner car"

Anonymous, KY (2012 Acura TL SH-AWD)

"Had to replace the torque converter"

Anonymous, MO (2012 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)

"shifting problems at low speeds"

Edward G., NJ (2012 Acura TL Base)

"Stutter shifting occurred from 5 -15 mph especially going up an incline. Dealer made adjustments which solved that problem but within a short period of time same stutter shifting occurred between 40 - 55 mph. Dealer put in new torque converter unde"

Anonymous, IN (2012 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

"Acura finally came out with a recall to fix this problem - in 2016. I had the car for four years and they did nothing during that time to fix the problem"

Anonymous, DE (2012 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

"had tl in to re flash transmission software. Transmission didn't shift in power band. Reflashed, then dealer replaced torque converter. Acura extended warranty on Trans"

Anonymous, AR (2012 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

"Torque converter replaced under warranty prior to recall. Transmission shuttered (jutted) at certain speeds"

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

"Judder from torque converter with sporadic shifting issues from 30 to 45+ mph. Acura did software update & transmission fluid replacement. Acura extended warranty on torque converter to 8 years from original purchase date or 105,000 miles, which ever comes first. Judder issue currently resolved"

Alan K., IL (2012 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)

"The dealership replaced the torgue converter attempting to solve the rough shifting issues"

Anonymous, WA (2012 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)
Transmission rebuild or replacement

"Recalled/repaired"

George N., NJ (2012 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

"Car had jerky acceleration. New transmission software did not resolve problem. Acura replaced transmission at their expense"

Norman H., WA (2012 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

"If the car goes lower that 20 MPH, and you try to accelerate, there is a hesitation that is very noticeable. The car almost stops, then accelerates, this is very dangerous when trying to merge into traffic"

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Acura TL SH-AWD)

"Initial shifting a little rough but no slipping"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

"Shifted a little rough when starting. Under warranty and Acura fixed"

M E., NC (2012 Acura TL Base)

"rough shifting on long drives only (over 200 miles). Short trips, no issues but it appears the computer gets "confused" after a long drive on cruise control and manual driving at lower speeds results in rough shifting. This disappears with a car re"

Robert M., FL (2012 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

"Transmission issue due to judder, issue resolved with software update and transmission fluid change"

Alan K., IL (2012 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)
Slipping transmission

"Not sure if the problem was transmission. But the gear would not engage after the main connector detached. Cost $800 to repair"

Anonymous, MI (2012 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

"I experienced slipping transmission at low speed. I had the transmission serviced, but the problem continued. I received a letter notifying me to bring in car to service transmission and to get a computer update for the problem. They also extended the warranty on the transmission to 100k miles. The issue is much better - hardly noticeable, but I will probably trade in before 100k knowing this"

Larry M., TN (2012 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

"Transmission began slipping. Dealer replaced transmission fluid under warranty. Performance improved. Still, if the car sits unused for a week or more, the transmission slips for a short time before normal performance resumes"

Anonymous, NC (2012 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)
Transmission computer

"responded to factory recall and had computer replaced and updated"

James W., VA (2012 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.5-L V6)

"Safety recall from Acura to check/update software for transmission computer to eliminate transmission "shudder". Repair took place within 5 days of calling for appointment to repair. Dealer also did complete check to make sure there was no damage to transmission. July 2016"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

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 cold weather, warning that you must replace battery comes on intermittently, even though the battery is fine"

Bill T., OH (2012 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Updates required annually and are progressively poor"

Robin D., CO (2012 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)

"Does not provide optimal directions"

Anonymous, AL (2012 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)
Speakers

"Repeated trips to the dealer for loose rear speakers"

Neil O., NY (2012 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)
Voice control commands

"poor recognition of voice commands and problem with cruise control buttons"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Acura TL)

"From day one, as shown by dealership, you must go through the initial set up page to use voice commands"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)
Display screen goes blank

"Dash cluster goes black, car won't start, struck in accessory mode. Happened repeatedly"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Acura TL)

"Starting last year, 2016, the Bluetooth started losing the connection during phone calls. It didn't drop the call. It just ceased to work , going back to the radio, which was especially embarrassing during business calls taken in the vehicle"

Paul K., OH (2012 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

Driveshaft or axle

"High pitched squeal. Sounded like a belt"

Anonymous, MI (2012 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)

"Propeller shaft wore out requiring the driveshaft to be replaced under warranty. This is the second Acura I've had this problem with"

Diane D., CO (2012 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)

"A bearing in the drive line went out costing 2K to repair"

Troy R., ID (2012 Acura TL SH-AWD)
Driveline vibration

"drive shaft carrier bearing going bad"

John R., OH (2012 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)

"from new there was a vibration at 110kmh+ Honda replace the tires (Goodyear to Michelin) and the drive shaft has been replaced twice both under warranty now OK"

Bill R., ON (2012 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)
Electrical failure

"Alternator had to be replaces. Replacement was fully covered under extended warranty, no cost to me. I'm fully satisfied with Acura and the dealership"

Stephen B., AL (2012 Acura TL Base 3.7-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

"Factory installed spoiler leaked during car washes"

Anonymous, CO (2012 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.5-L V6)

"metallic rattle in rear deck behind rear seat"

Anonymous, OK (2012 Acura TL SH-AWD)

"Dealer fixed it no charge"

Anonymous, AB (2012 Acura TL SH-AWD)

"ball joint that took a number of trips to correctly diagnose"

Anonymous, AB (2012 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

"Rattle in dashboard"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.5-L V6)
Wind noise

"An interesting pressure change occurs at 65 MPH which causes the driver side rear passenger window. It is most notable when next to the freeway barrier"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Acura TL Base 3.7-L V6)

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

Engine knock or ping

"Heard knocking; brought to dealer and they reprogramed computer; worked for a while but has come back recently but to a lessor degree"

Jordan A., CO (2012 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)

"They had to replace a rocker"

Anonymous, PR (2012 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)

"Engine valves clatter like a diesel engine. Dealership says the fix is very expensive and these cars just run that way. The engine is also burning 1 qt of oil per 2500 miles. Not cool. Other than that, every system on this car continues to work well. Very fun to drive. Very comfortable for work travel"

Matt D., OH (2012 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)
Oil leaks

"There were No Oil Leaks"

Philip S., FL (2012 Acura TL 3.7-L V6)

"Engine burns 1 qt of oil per 2,500 miles"

Matt D., OH (2012 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)
Engine computer

"Undiagnosable electrical/engine problems. Car in dealer shop for 3 months.finally traded it in and bought a new car"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Acura TL)

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

Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"Tail Light Bulb and wind noise (Window seals)"

Philip S., FL (2012 Acura TL 3.7-L V6)
Warning lights

"The replace battery warning comes on intermittently if the car isn't run for more than 5 days"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)
Cruise control

"Failed intermittently over 4-month period; has worked well since during past 5 months...healed itself"

Quentin G., PA (2012 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)
Headlights

"Headlight seals failing exposing hid electronics to moisture"

Jeff R., AB (2012 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)
Horn

"Completely failed. Both horns were replaced"

Quentin G., PA (2012 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-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

Shocks or struts

"The front right shock started leaking fluid and no longer functioned as design. Dealer fixed this under the manufacturer's warranty.There was no cost out of pocket for me"

Ron D., TX (2012 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

"Two Rear shocks were leaking and were replaced"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)
Wheel bearings

"Wheel bearings needed to be replaced at just 100k...cost to repair was over $650"

Helena R., AL (2012 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

"needed repacement"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Acura TL Base 3.5-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

"Piece of trim above the rear driver's side door came loose, making a rattling sound at highway speed"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

"Cheaply attached bottom moldings come loose"

Anonymous, MN (2012 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)
Loose interior trim or moldings

"The push button controls in the back seat got warm and popped and broke - no one uses them - they just got warm from the sun"

Anonymous, VA (2012 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Different colors between the plastic bumpers and the metal"

James K., CA (2012 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-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

Battery (not hybrid or electric)

"Battery terminals had to be cleaned ultimately, but dealer had the car for over one week. They replaced the alternator also"

Marcello S., NV (2012 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

"Engine would randomly not start and a "check battery/battery low" indicator light would appear. Battery would check as being fully charged. Returned to dealer and a software upgrade fixed the problem"

Anonymous, NC (2012 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

"Replace Battery probably due to age"

Anonymous, IL (2012 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)
Alternator

"Bearing in the alternator went bad. Regarding the drive system - both rear hub bearings had to be replaced Also their is scaling on the outside of my headlamps"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Acura TL)

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

Locks and latches

"Issues with the alarm system"

James K., CA (2012 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)
Mirrors

"both outside sideview mirrors had to be replaced because they were loose and rattled"

D G., ON (2012 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"Tape residue from factory in trunk /rubber sealing area that could not be removed"

Anonymous, VA (2012 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

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

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"catalytic converter replacement"

Anonymous, MO (2012 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)

"I constantly receive "tighten fuel cap". The problem was a faulty intake solenoid. Was an easy DIY project; Removed two Phillip head screws and a disconnect electric connection"

Helena R., AL (2012 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)
Fuel cap

"Sensor set off check engine light"

Anonymous, NC (2012 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

Rotors

"After just 20000 miles all 4 rotors had to be cut"

Neil O., NY (2012 Acura TL Base 3.5-L V6)
Calipers

"Failure of the driver side caliper lead to premature brake pad erosion and also resulted in replacement of rotors"

Richard O., IA (2012 Acura TL SH-AWD 3.7-L V6)

Engine Cooling

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

Exhaust

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

Climate System

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

Engine Major

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

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