Looking at the Acura TL/TL-S

Matt Taylor

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 24, 1999
Messages
110
Peter,
To get back to your original question, I just bought an '02 TL last month. We decided on it over the Volvo S60, BMW 325i, Volks. Passat, and Audi A4. For us, it came down to features, not speed or handling as it would be driven primarily by my wife. For the money we paid, nothing came close. I love the 6 CD changer, sunroof, Xenon headlights, 225 HP, soft leather, dual exhaust, etc. all of which came standard. By the time we optioned all the other cars to these amenities, they were all well over 30K. The Acura 3.2 TL on the other hand, we got for 28K.
I loved the Type-S, being an old Prelude VTEC owner, but my wife had no need for the extra power and handling. Go with the 3.2, you won't be disappointed.
MT
 

Steve Zatkoff

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 1, 1999
Messages
77
The 1.8T that both the VW Passat and Audi A4 share are now 180hp, although VW rates the engine at 170hp.
The Passat size wise is between the A4 and A6 both inside and out. I love the interior of both and the blue and red lights in the dash are great.
When I see an Acura, I think over priced, uninspired Honda. JMHO.
BTW, the Passat and A4 are extremely safe and very reliable, thats why they tend to retain their value much better than similar cars in their class.
Your the one that has to purchase and drive the car, so do whats best for you. The purchase of my 2001.5 Passat is one of the best purchases I have ever made.
Steve
 

Brian Perry

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 6, 1999
Messages
2,807
I was in a similar position, deciding between a Lexus GS, Audi A6, and BMW 5-series. The high and low points of each were:
Lexus GS
Extremely high reliability/longevity
Tomb-like quietness
Poor styling (IMHO)
Audi A6
Best fit and finish materials
2.7T engine is awesome
Softer suspension
BMW 5-series
Best steering/handling
Best styling
High maintenance costs
I went with the BMW (Audi was my second choice.) The high BMW maintenance costs everyone talked about seemd to be not from breakdowns but rather from faster-wearing parts (such as brake pads/rotors) that are designed more for performance than longevity. So far, I love the car; we'll see how it goes.
I used to be an Acura fan, back when they had the Legend. However, their current top of the line RL is a real mis-step and not in the same league as other flagship sedans. If the new TL is as good as some people say, though, I may reconsider Acura in the future.
 

Todd Hochard

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Jan 24, 1999
Messages
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I used to be an Acura fan, back when they had the Legend. However, their current top of the line RL is a real mis-step and not in the same league as other flagship sedans. If the new TL is as good as some people say, though, I may reconsider Acura in the future.
From the beginning (1986? I think), Acura seemed to position itself as a sport-luxury model. With the RL, they definitely lost their way. Rest assured, though, the TL-S would be 100% deserving of the Legend moniker. It delivers a performance edge to the value packed TL.
They had better do something good with the redesign of the RL (I'd like a 330hp 4.0 VTEC V8, in a slightly larger version of the current TL body style, but the performance edge stays!). And, they need to put the Legend name on it.
Todd
P.S. Let us know how it turns out, Peter.
 

Peter Yee

Premium
Joined
Aug 31, 1998
Messages
124
Thanks for all the replies, guys. I'm overwhelmed and gratified to get some real opinions. I've been reading too many car magazines and online reviews, and sometimes the professionals just have a different mindset from ordinary people (or is it just HTF readers
).
Anyhow, I'm going to take some additional test drives in the BMW (325i), Acura (TL and maybe the TL-S), plus I'll probably be giving the Audi A4 a twirl. Have to think about the Lexus IS300. If we're talking really small, I may not fit into it so well -- I'm 6'3". I'm still a bit leery about the Volvos -- the consumer reports data for previous models (obviously not the S60) shows some disturbing problems in the electrical systems. I really need reliable vehicle after dealing with the innumerable problems with my Lumina.
I'll post a follow-up after I get the new car. Wish me well in making the right choice!
Thanks.
-Peter
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Dave Morton

Supporting Actor
Joined
Oct 19, 2000
Messages
753
Real Name
Dave
As an Acura owner, I will say that my 1994 integra has 152K miles on it and runs great. I will say that these cars are reliable and last.
That said, if I were to buy a new car for around $30k, I would look at the Mercedes C-class. I think they are a bit more upscale than the BMW 3-series, imo.
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------ Dave ------
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MY HT
 

James Q Jenkins

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Sep 24, 2000
Messages
167
quote: still a bit leery about the Volvos -- the consumer reports data for previous models (obviously not the S60) shows some disturbing problems in the electrical systems. [/quote]Don't you have to be at least 50 years old to qualify for a Volvo?
The Germans aren't exactly known for foolproof electricals either. But the Japanese cars have no soul... What a quandry..... Have fun and check out all the options, there are a LOT of great cars out there.
Check out the Saab 9-3. You may like it. But check the reliability reports - I think it's average (which these days means pretty damn good since the average has been going up).
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-JQJ
[Edited last by James Q Jenkins on August 22, 2001 at 08:15 AM]
 

Scott Wong

Second Unit
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Oct 30, 1999
Messages
421
Real Name
Scott Wong
Peter:
I'm 6'1" and feel like my IS300 is just right for me. Obviously, take it for a test drive (not mine... one at your local dealership :bg
and see how you like it.
Since everyone else has thrown in their opinions... I guess I'll toss mine in, too.
The local BMW dealership is a mere four miles away from the local Lexus dealership. I received very shitty, very poor customer service from all of the holier-than-thou attitudes that adorned the dealership. I received not one spoken word. No one approached me. No one asked if I needed anything. I left. end of story. I had the IS300 in mind and looking at the price tag of a 330i, would have run me $8K - $10K more... all of which I received on the IS300 for literally thousands less. No, I don't have the little "cutesy" german propeller symbol but who needs it? I got everything else and more with my IS300.
The Audi A4 was an automobile I never considered simply because,IMHO, the styling is seriously outdated. When you talk about a bland four door sedan/bland styling... I think A4.
I test drove and bought my IS300 that sameday. I fell in love with it immediately. The 2001 I purchased does not have a 5-speed manual transmission. But again, this was not an issue for me. I don't plan on autocrossing it. I don't plan on taking it down to the race track. And I certainly have no intention of becoming the next speed demon of Minneapolis. If that were my goal, I would have bought a used '91 CRX Si for $3,000 and spent another $29,000 on parts to make it fast.

*shrug* I guess I've always been partial to Japanese vehicles. Had I not received such poor customer service at the BMW dealership, I would have enjoyed at least driving a 330i.
Scott.
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Scott's DVD List
 

Brian Perry

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 6, 1999
Messages
2,807
Scott,
There is definitely a problem with many BMW dealers with respect to service before and after the sale. While my current dealer isn't a jerk, I got much better service from my old Infiniti dealer, and I've heard great things about Lexus dealers.
 

Tim Markley

Screenwriter
Joined
Jun 12, 1999
Messages
1,279
My experience with BMW, both before and after the sale, has been nothing short of incredible. I can't recommend my local dealer, Concord BMW, highly enough. After we bought the BMW, they sent my wife a dozen red roses along with a thank you card. They also sent us a copy of the original artists design of the car which I now have framed in my office. If we have to take the car in for some type of service, I can always expect to receive a call from BMW a few days later asking how we were treated. Whenever I drop by, my salesman lets me take whatever car I want for a test drive without him going along and without getting pressure to buy. I seriously don't know how I could possibly get better service.
 

Peter Yee

Premium
Joined
Aug 31, 1998
Messages
124
Scott,
I received very good attention from both the Acura dealer (Sunnyvale Acura) and the BMW dealer (Allison BMW). The Acura salesman gave me more time for the test drive, but the BMW salesman was also solicitous and didn't offer any pressure on me to buy (I wasn't going to buy that day anyhow). Sorry to hear that you had a bad experience with BMW.
I suppose I really have to check out the IS300. And gee, here I was getting my airline tickets for Plymouth, MN and you dash my hopes.

Hey, Tim, maybe I'll have to visit Concord BMW. They're close enough to Mountain View for me to consider them, especially if the price is right!
-Peter
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Philip Hamm

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 23, 1999
Messages
6,874
Holy crap!! The engine on my A4 failed BIGTIME this morning!!!! I think the oil pump died.
AAACKK!!!

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Philip Hamm
AIM: PhilBiker
 

Todd Hochard

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 24, 1999
Messages
2,312
Damn, Phil! That sucks. And right before vacation, too.
If it did lose oil pressure, that will REQUIRE a new engine. Do not let them replace the pump, and send you along.
Let us know how it turns out.
Todd
P.S. I find it very strange that a car would have oil temp gage, but not pressure (My Vette had both). Then again, the TL has neither gage.
 

Tim Markley

Screenwriter
Joined
Jun 12, 1999
Messages
1,279
Peter - Yes, give Concord BMW a visit and ask for Michael Heller. He's a great guy. They've got a nice new showroom that they just finished and are currently building a new showroom for the Mini Coopers that BMW is going to be selling.
 

Philip Hamm

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 23, 1999
Messages
6,874
Actually, it's got an oil pressure LIGHT and an oil temp guage. The light didn't turn on. The guage could have been low because the engine was still not warmed up (I had only driven a couple miles).
Actually the more I think about it the way it was shaking and vibrating like crazy makes me think I may have lost some crankshaft bearings. Oh joy.
In any case the likelyhood of me getting a new engine out of the deal is very high. And my dealer has assured me that I'll have an Audi for my vacation. Hopefully paid for by AoA.
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Philip Hamm
AIM: PhilBiker
[Edited last by Philip Hamm on August 23, 2001 at 07:40 PM]
 

Peter Yee

Premium
Joined
Aug 31, 1998
Messages
124
Yowza, Phil, hey, I wasn't trying to jinx you or anyone with comments about reliability. Honestly!

Hope Audi gets that resolved to your satisfaction in a timely manner.
-Peter
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Paul O

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jul 28, 2000
Messages
130
hmmm....i was going to be buying a VW Passat 2.8, trading in my trusty trouble free Toyota. I believe the engine in the Passat is the same as in the Audi...now im having second thoughts.
 

Philip Hamm

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 23, 1999
Messages
6,874
My car is fine, it was just a plug wire gone bad!
It's fixedf and ready for me to pick up.quote: I believe the engine in the Passat is the same as in the Audi...now im having second thoughts. [/quote]There is no relationship betweenthe Audi 2.8 V6 and the VW VR6 other than displacement.... Which is unfortunate for VR6 owners...
Seriously the 1.8Turbo has more power and torque than the VR6, though it doesn't have the "feel" of a non-turbo torquey six that the VR6 has.
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Philip Hamm
AIM: PhilBiker
[Edited last by Philip Hamm on August 27, 2001 at 12:19 PM]
 

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