Car Corner
Acura 3.2TL. Is it worth the wait?

November 1, 1998
By Scott Lewis

A friend of mine is waiting to get an Acura TL 3.2. Why waiting? Apparently, the TL is in such high demand there is a waiting list.

Get this.. the waiting list is based on the color you want. There is only one factory option for the car, a Global Position System (GPS) navigation device.

You can read more about this option on Acura's TL page. I don't do road trips much, and would find this a waste of $2,000. But if you travel around the country much, it would probably be a lot better than keeping the trunk full of maps.

So, what makes this car so desirable? My friend tells me that it has everything you could possibly want in a car. Good thing since there are no options.

The TL has a 3.2 liter V-6 engine that pumps out 225 horsepower. That's quite a bit for a passenger car. In fact that's as much as the 1998 Mustang GT. Though I wouldn't race a TL against the Mustang.

One feature I am interested in is the shifter. The car is only available with an automatic transmission (which means I really have to save for that BMW 540i for a great sedan with a manual transmission). But the shifter on the TL has a special gate that allows manual control of the forward gears by pushing the shift forward or back to shift up or down, respectfully.

This shifter works almost exactly like the old Hurst His/Her shifters. These shifters were available in a few muscle cars of the sixties, namely the Hurst/Olds 442 (duh!), and Pontiac's GTO. These shifters had a ratchet gate that let you bang the gears up and down as hard as you liked. What's next? Will they bring back the Hurst Lightning rod shifters from the Hurst/Olds 442s of the early eighties.

My friend is waiting for a Laguna Green model, and is should arrive in November. When he lets me drive it I will give you a full report. Stay tuned.