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In 1995, Acura underwent some changes. The new 1996 TL was one of them. This car was an upgraded, expanded version of the Vigor. It was unveiled just one day after the 1995 Acura Legend SE, on February 8, 1995.

Inhabiting the near-luxury segment, the TL found formidable competition with the likes of the BMW 3-Series, Lexus ES 300, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Saab 900 and Saab 9000 and the Volvo 850 and Volvo 960. To prepare for such diversity, the new front-wheel-drive Acura was available in a sporty version pulled by a 2.5-liter 20-valve 5-cylinder called the 2.5TL. In more luxurious 3.2TL trappings with a 3.2-liter 24-valve sohc V6 under the hood, Acura hoped the TL will rise to the heights of the old Legend.

The TL lasted for four generations, until it was replaced by the Acura TLX in August 2014.

A modern-day Acura ILX is almost the same size as a first-generation Acura TL.

Year-to-year changes[]

1996[]

Both Acuras were equipped with wishbone suspension, coil springs and stabilizer bars. They had 4-wheel disc brakes, ABS and speed-sensitive, rotary-valve rack-and-pinion steering. Though the suspension systems were very similar, the one in the 2.5 was tuned for a firm, aggressive ride while that of the 3.2 was biased toward ride comfort rather than raucous behavior.

Like the Vigor’s, the 2.5TL’s powertrain was situated longitudinally, allowing for softer engine mounts and decreased vibration. In fact, the dual-stage-induction 5-cylinder came from the Vigor. The variable-induction V6 in the 3.2TL (also mounted front to back) was already proven in the Legend sedan and coupe. Both engines retained their original output and directed it through a 4-speed automatic transmission that was endowed with grade logic, which minimized gear hunting and enhances downhill braking and uphill acceleration. Optional traction control used the same wheel-speed sensors as the antilock brake system combined with steering input to control the throttle.

As applied to the 3.2TL, the $2550 Premium Package included traction control, a 4-way power passenger seat, sunroof and heated side mirrors. The 2.5TL gained leather-trimmed seats and a power sunroof with its Premium upgrade.

The 2.5TL went on sale on April 3, 1995, and the 3.2TL in July.

1997[]

A standard power moonroof was added to all TLs in 1997.

1998[]

This was the last year in which the 2.5TL was available in the lineup.

1999[]

The Acura TL's second generation, which only consisted of the 3.2TL, was redesigned to also include 225 horsepower. The TL was the first 4-door sedan from Acura to be produced in North America, with pricing announced on August 20, 1998. Like most other Acuras, it went on sale until September 1999.

2002[]

A Type-S with 35 more horsepower, for a total of 260, was introduced.

2003[]

The last units of the second-generation TL left the assembly line this model year.

Retail prices[]

Model year(s) Engine size List price Destination charge Effective date
1996 2.5L $27,900 $420 March 7, 1995
1996 2.5L $28,450 $420 October 6, 1995
1996 3.2L $32,950 $420 March 7, 1995
1997 2.5L $28,450 $435 October 17, 1996
1997 3.2L $32,950 $435 October 17, 1996
1998 2.5L $30,700 $435 October 20, 1997
1998 3.2L $33,150 $435 October 20, 1997
1999 3.2L $27,950 $455 August 20, 1998
2000 3.2L $28,400 $480 September 20, 1999
2001 3.2L $28,550 $480
2002 225 HP $28,880 $500
2002 260 HP $31,230 $500
2003 225 HP $28,980 $500
2003 260 HP $31,330 $500

Gallery[]

Video Clips[]

Acura_TL_2.5L_4DR_Sedan_(1996)

Acura TL 2.5L 4DR Sedan (1996)

Acura_TL_3.2L_4DR_Sedan_(1996)

Acura TL 3.2L 4DR Sedan (1996)