The Third-Gen Acura TL Refuses To Go Out Of Style
Pure class and '00s sport luxury.
Apropos of nothing, I wanted to share my second-favorite photo of the 2005 Acura TL I had until last year. What a sharp-looking machine, even still.
- Car(s): 2005 Acura TL six-speed with an A-Spec body kit
- Location: Angeles Crest Highway
- Photog: Andrew P. Collins (me) (Instagram: @andrewatlarge)
- Camera: Canon PowerShot G7 Mark III
I bought that car in 2012 at a wholesale auction in Massachusetts with about 150,000 miles on it. It travelled all over the USA with me and was sitting close to 230,000 miles by the time I cut it loose to make room for future projects. It was my executive express when I worked in auto finance, my GT when first started exploring California, and my wife’s commuter car when she had a job in downtown Los Angeles.
Mine was not a Type S, that sportier variant didn’t exist yet in ’05, but the manual shift models did get the Brembo brakes and sway bar that went on the Type S when it came out.
It was still running great when I handed it off to its new owner and I hope it’s still on the road. It never felt exceedingly fast to me but the six-speed manual transmission was an absolute joy to operate, the car’s ergonomics were excellent, and the cockpit was extremely comfortable in general. The car’s crowning triumph was, and still is, its exterior design though. I mean, come on, it’s perfect. Great lines, proportions, and just enough attitude to be memorable without being the slightest bit aggro.
The OEM A-Spec lip kit, which was on the car when I got it, really accentuated the car’s look and finished it off nicely. I don’t miss it enough to want another one, but I’ll always look very fondly on the years I spent with this TL. Besides scheduled maintenance, it almost never malfunctioned over eight years and 80,000 miles.