Acura TL 2005: The Weekly Driver ReviewWritten by James Raia
Drivers have more stress during holidays, alcohol consumption increases and patience in busy traffic can quickly wane.
A 200-mile roundtrip, therefore, is a less-than-ideal way to spent part of Thanksgiving. It's potentially more problematic knowing crowded, late-night return trip could include a stretch of interstate infamous for its thick, late-night fog.
But visiting family outweighs inconveniences of potential driving hassles. And if journey is made in a vehicle with a commanding and secure road presence, such concerns are sufficiently eased.
So it was during my weekly test drive of 2005 Acura TL. The vehicle was successful for several years, but Acura redesigned it and added more features in 2004 to offer BMW and Audi drivers another choice for a luxury sports sedan that combines performance with value.
There's little change in TL from last year. The vehicle is based on Honda Accord platform but has different styling, a different powertrain and more upscale features.
Performance to ride quality to instrumentation, there's a lot to like about TL, which is why it's a recommended best buy in premium midsize category by Consumer Guide, among other publications.
The car's performance begins with a 270-horsepower, 3.2-liter, 24-valve V6 engine with a five-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission. My vehicle had an automatic transmission. It shifts smoothly into all positions and was tested at 0-60 mph in 7.0 seconds. The manual transmission was tested at 6.2 seconds.
Among many standard features are 17-inch wheels and antilock four-wheel disc brakes and an anti-skid system. They all further add to an impressive driving experience. The car handles and steers admirably, and it maneuvers confidentially through traffic with a strong feel on road, particularly with its 17-inch wheels.
The Suspension System On A Car ExplainedWritten by Kevin Schappell
"Suspension," when discussing cars, refers to use of front and rear springs to suspend a vehicle's "sprung" weight. The springs used on today's cars and trucks are constructed in a variety of types, shapes, sizes, rates, and capacities. Types include leaf springs, coil springs, air springs, and torsion bars. These are used in sets of four for each vehicle, or they may be paired off in various combinations and are attached by several different mounting techniques. The suspension system also includes shocks and/or struts, and sway bars. Back in earliest days of automobile development, when most of car's weight (including engine) was on rear axle, steering was a simple matter of turning a tiller that pivoted entire front axle. When engine was moved to front of car, complex steering systems had to evolve. The modern automobile has come a long way since days when "being self-propelled" was enough to satisfy car owner. Improvements in suspension and steering, increased strength and durability of components, and advances in tire design and construction have made large contributions to riding comfort and to safe driving. Cadillac allegedly produced first American car to use a steering wheel instead of a tiller. Two of most common steering mechanisms are "rack and pinion" and standard (or recirculating-ball) systems that can be either manual or assisted by power. The rack and pinion was designed for sports cars and requires too much driver muscle at low speeds to be very useful in larger, heavier cars. However, power steering makes a heavy car respond easily to steering wheel, whether at highway speeds or inching into a narrow parking place, and it is normal equipment for large automobiles.