Let’s flashback to 1996. Pearl Jam was on the radio, the space shuttle Endeavour launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and Bill Clinton was president. Another notable headline from that year, Acura launched the midrange, front-wheel drive luxury sedan known as the TL.
For its time, the Acura TL was practically celebrated as the performance, commuter car for the then trendy up and comers of the city. It was polished, donned the Acura badge, yet affordable. Acura halted production of the TL in 2014 and has since launched more sophisticated variations like the TLX.
Those Acura TLs are still popular with used car buyers today. They’re reliable sedans, still earning respect on the pavement. While most model years land on best-of lists for reliability and favorite commuter cars of all time, the 2010 model year is one you might want to avoid if possible. We dove in to learn more about what made it such a bad year for this fan-favorite sedan.
CarComplaints.com tallies the reported problems
According to the collected complaints about repairs, failures, and issues from Acura TL owners, 2010 is ranked as the worst model year. They base this rating in part on the number of reported concerns, as well as the average cost of repairs and mileage occurrences.
Excessive oil consumption is the major problem, and one vehicle owner claims to have added up to three quarts of oil between her oil changes. Upon further diagnosis with the dealerships, some issues with valve adjustments and camshafts were also reported. The average cost to these Acura TL owners topped out at around $6,500.
To add insult to injury, the problems were starting around 60,000 miles. For a car that maintained a reputation for being reliable for the long haul, these problems so early were frustrating to everyone.
2003 actually had more complaints than 2010
The worst year for the Acura TL was hands-down 2010. However, CarComplaints.com points out they logged more frequency of complaints for the 2003 models. Those reported issues, while still important to note, were not as expensive nor as severe as the oil and engine concerns experienced by owners with their 2010 TLs.
For many owners of the 2003 model, there were reports of transmission failures, costing them $2,200 or so to repair around the 111,000-mile mark.
If you liked the Acura TL, you’ll love the Acura TLX
If you opt to consider a new Acura but want something comparable to the trusted TL from years past, you’ll love the new TLX. Much like the TL, the TLX comes in two engine configurations, including a four-cylinder and a V6.
Imagine your old commuter pal polished for 2020, with options for FWD or AWD, and three unique trim packages to add in the tech, comforts, and convenience you need.
Introduced in 2015, the TLX is designed to be a blend of the TSX four-cylinder and the TL six-cylinder. It’s not quite as plushy as the others in the Acura sedan family. However, it does offer the quality upgrades midsize car consumers crave. Remember the quality and dependability you enjoyed with your Acura TL. Now magnify it with all of today’s best technology enhancements.
Acura TL fans are still driving their beloved cars. And, for many of them, their ownership adventures have been, for the most part, problem-free. If you’re interested in taking a trip down memory lane to buy a TL, be careful with those from 2003 or 2010.
If you have been wishing for a new TL in 2020, you could be in luck. The Acura TLX might be the TL of today, and right up your alley.