Acura TL S-Type makes a stupendous comeback
THE RIDE: Four-door, five-passenger 2007 Acura TL S-Type sedan. DOWN THE ROAD: After a four-year hiatus, the S-Type makes a stupendous comeback. The ride is stiff yet solid and composed. Thanks to the Active Noise Cancellation feature, the TL results in a quiet ride, which isolates occupants from cabin and road noise. Based on an all-steel frame, this front-wheel-drive Acura is the epitome of a performance luxury sedan. If you like to step on the pedal, I say go for it. TECH & PERFORMANCE: Power comes from a 3.5-liter SOHC V-6 engine, which doles out 286 horsepower at 6200 rpm and 256 pounds-feet of torque at 5000 rpm. Mated to a 6-speed manual or a 5-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters on the steering wheel, the S-Type is equipped with an independent double wishbone front and a multilink rear. A sport-tuned suspension, exclusive for the S-Type, adds more enthusiasm and fun to the ride. A variable-assist, rack-and-pinion steering system gives the TL the capability of a 39.7-inch turning circle. Confidence-inspiring four-piston Brembo brakes in the front handle braking. LOOK & FEEL: That this is an S-Type and not just a regular TL is evident in an aggressive front fascia with a black chrome grille trim, sweptback xenon HID headlights and integrated fog lamps. Smoked rear taillights, large quad-outlet exhaust outlets, Type-S badge on the trunk and 10-spoke, 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels further cement the athletic car's appearance. The cabin is decked in luxury with a three-spoke, leather-wrapped steering wheel, aluminum-carbon fiber trim on the doors and center console, leather gearshift knob, stainless-steel pedals and perforated leather seats. The red ambience on the backlit gauges is pleasing to the eye, especially at night. The Type-S emblem at the base of the steering wheel and on the front-seat headrests is yet another reminder that a performance-oriented engine sits underneath the hood.SAFETY FIRST: Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag for both rows, four-wheel antilock brakes with brake assist, anti-skid system, daytime running lights, tire pressure monitoring system, front-seat belt pretensioners and front and rear crumple zones are standard. OUT THE DOOR: $38,125, plus tax, tag, delivery and destination charges. BY THE NUMBERS: Tires, P235/45 R17 all season; wheelbase, 107.9 inches; length, 189.8 inches; weight, 3,674 pounds; fuel capacity, 17.1 gallons; highway, 29 mpg; city, 20 mpg. WHY DIG IT: The regular TL is sporty, brisk and comfortable. If you want to add a little more fun and zest to your drive, opt for the S-Type. This surefooted car packs a punch while moving rapidly and calmly down the road. Calling all performance-oriented enthusiasts: Take this car for a spin at your local dealership and you will likely end up owning it.
Nitish S. Rele is an advertising staff writer for The Tampa Tribune.