I remember seeing a brand new 2004 Acura TL for the first time. I worked at an ad agency and had just purchased a new ’04 Jaguar X-Type. A co-worker showed up a few days later with the new Acura, perhaps trying to one-up me. She said her purchase was just coincidentally timed, but I always had my doubts.
Regardless of her intent, I was smitten by that car. It didn’t have the curvaceous eye-catching looks of the Jag, but it was still beautiful, luxurious and most of all, felt solid and well crafted.
The Jaguar always felt a little questionable, even when it was new over 10 years ago.
When Acura refreshed the TL in 2009, the car fell a few rungs down the style ladder and sales slowly declined until it was discontinued this year. The car, with its now-infamous beak grille, had grown too big and too underpowered to take on its German rivals.
To replace the TL, Acura created the all-new TLX in hopes it could re-ignite U.S. buyers’ flaming passion for the brand.
The strategy seems to be working.
Automotive News says,
With two full months of sales data behind it, Acura says the new TLX midsize sedan is beginning to fulfill its promise of reviving the luxury brand, whose U.S. sales and image have sagged in recent years.
Acura sold 4,890 units of the TLX in October, making it No. 2 in Acura’s lineup, not far behind the MDX seven-seat crossover. October’s sales were up 26 percent from September, the first full month of sales for the TLX, which reached showrooms in late August. Dealers say the car’s driving characteristics are helping to lure shoppers from brands such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
A 3.6-liter 258-horsepower engine powered the TL, which was never enough to challenge the Germans but plenty for the average American advertising exec. The new TLX comes with a choice between a 3.5-liter 290-hp V6 or a 206-hp 2.4-liter inline 4-cylinder. Basically it comes down to a choice between 0-60 in 5.7 seconds or 6.8. Both cars come standard with front-wheel drive, which is another ding in Acura’s quest to hang with BMW and Mercedes.
A base 4-cylinder TLX can be had for just over $31,000, while a loaded V6 will approach $45K. A used ’04 TL, by comparison, will cost you somewhere in the neighborhood of $10,000.
Which would you choose: the new Acura TLX or a used 2004 TL?