2002 TL New Car Test Drive
Acura's TL delivers performance, style, and comfort. The base TL comes with a powerful 3.2-liter V6 engine, a nicely balanced suspension, a rigid chassis, and classy good looks. For 2002, Acura revised the front and rear styling.
A new model designed for enthusiasts, the Type-S ups the ante with a more powerful V6, a sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch V-rated tires, and an electronic stability program. It's quick and fun to drive, with a level of rawness that gives it character.
The 2002 Acura TL is available as two models: TL and TL Type-S.
The TL ($28,880), alternately called the 3.2 TL in reference to its 3.2-liter engine displacement, comes fully loaded, and retails for less than many of the other cars in its class. It offers a strong value, though Acura has not had to resort to the deep discounts seen from other manufacturers.
The only option offered is Acura's DVD navigation system, which adds $2000. No manual transmission is available, although the five-speed Sportshift automatic offers a convenient, sequential manual override.
TL Type-S ($31,230) is the hot one, and represents about 40 percent of total TL sales. It provides 260 horsepower as opposed to the TL's 225 horsepower, with the extra power coming from a higher compression ratio, a two-stage induction system, a larger throttle body (with no decrease in gas mileage), free-flowing exhaust, high-performance intake valves and camshafts, and modified variable valve (VTEC) timing. Type S also comes with an increased steering ratio and a firmer suspension, thanks to stiffer shocks, a slightly larger rear stabilizer bar, and 17-inch alloy wheels with Michelin P215/50R17 high-performance tires.
Notably, the Type-S comes standard with Acura's Vehicle Stability Assist, an electronic stability program that uses anti-lock braking and traction control to keep the car from sliding. Yaw, lateral g, speed and steering sensors all provide input, and the throttle and brakes are automatically reduced or applied as needed.
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