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SOTTO On Friday, February 25, 2011

Vehicle Highlights

The 2009 Acura TL is redesigned and slightly enlarged in most key dimensions. This premium midsize sedan is available in base and SH-AWD (for Super Handling All-Wheel Drive) models. The latter replaces the Type-S as the high-performance member of the TL family. Base versions receive a 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 280 hp while SH-AWDs get a 3.7-liter V6 that, at 305 hp, is the most powerful engine yet offered in an Acura. A 5-speed automatic with "Sequential SportShift" steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters is the sole transmission for both models. The SH-AWD includes a sport suspension and 18-inch wheels in place of the 17s used on the base car. Available safety features include ABS, traction control, antiskid system, front side airbags, and curtain side airbags. Also standard are leather upholstery with heated front seats, sunroof, wireless cell phone link, and 8-speaker audio. A Technology Package, priced as a separate model, includes 10-speaker audio and a navigation system with real-time traffic and weather alerts.

Consumer Guide Automotive places each vehicle into one of 18 classes based on size, price, and market position. Premium Midsize Cars sport interior dimensions similar to Midsize Cars. Premium Midsize Cars offer more luxury, performance, and prestige when compared to Midsize Cars.

Our Best Buys include the Cadillac CTS, Infiniti G37, and Lexus ES 350. Our Recommended picks are the Infiniti M, Jaguar XF, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and Volvo V70.

New or significantly redesigned models include the Acura RL, Acura TL, Cadillac CTS-V, Jaguar XF, and Volkswagen CC. The BMW X6 is scheduled to receive a gas/electric model for 2009, and the Infiniti G37 is scheduled to receive a convertible model

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n addition, a new six-speed automatic transmission replaces the outgoing five-speed unit, which aids in dramatically increasing the car’s highway fuel economy to 29 mpg, a big 3 mpg jump over the outgoing model. City fuel economy is 20 mpg with a combined figure hovering around 24 to 25 mpg.

Both the outgoing 3.5 and 3.7-liter V6s return for the new model year. The 280-pony front-wheel-drive TL comes exclusively with the six-speed automatic, while the 305-horse all-wheel-drive TL SH-AWD will be available with either the automatic or a returning six-speed stick. Base TLs come with 17-inch alloy wheels, while TL SH-AWDs come standard with 18s. A new Advance Package for the TL SH-AWD adds 19-inch alloy wheels with performance all-season tires.


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