The Acura 2012 TL has received a GOOD rating in a test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety known as the small overlap frontal barrier crash test. This is a test that looks into the effects of a collision between a car and a fixed object, wherein only 25% of the car’s front structure touches the object.
The TL line is just one of two cars, among ten different vehicles, to get a GOOD rating. This type of collision is seen by the IIHS as a danger since it accounts for a quarter of crashes in the country that have resulted to fatalities or very serious injuries. The test, as conducted by the IIHS, looks into what happens when a car travelling at 40 mph collides with a fixed object like a light pole.
Thus to minimize the injuries, the car must have a strong body structure that allows it to absorb any energy resulting from the collision and redistribute it. The 2012 TL already has the body structure that can minimize the impact of such collision to the occupants but it adds other safety features like airbags on the front and sides of the car.
A statement from the IIHS revealed that the side and front airbags of the TL enabled the head to not come into contact with hard structures thus ensuring that injury is minimized or prevented. All of Acura’s TL models already have the Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure but it is currently working on a new system.
This body structure, once implemented, will not just reinforce the already strong frame but also improve the management of crash energy. The design allows the interconnected structural elements of the body to redistribute the energy to the front of the car ensuring that the energy is dissipated and the forced that is transferred to the occupants is greatly reduced.
Acura expects that once this is in place, it will improve further its chances of getting a GOOD rating in the future. Other safety features of the Acura include seatbelts that have load limiters, as well, as an automatic tensioning system.
It also has a Tire Pressure Monitoring System and a Vehicle Stability Assist that allows for traction control. Acura remains strong in the belief that with innovation should come safety and that a high level of occupant safety is always a top priority for all of its models.
The Automotive Lease Guide (ALG) award for best residual value is given only to brands exhibiting strong value and exemplary quality. Bagging the 2011 ALG award for best residual value of any Near Luxury vehicle is the Acura TL and taking the second overall spot for best residual value for all Luxury Brands is the Japanese luxury car maker itself.
Of course, Honda’s luxury vehicle marque doesn’t stop after just one win and it continues to further refine the Acura TL for 2012. The most obvious visual modification is its new front and rear styling. Furthermore, its new Sequential SportShift 6-speed automatic transmission helps improve both performance and fuel economy. Revisions have also been done on the interior as well as various technological updates.
Visually, the 2012 TL sports a redesigned front bumper boasting improved aerodynamics, as well as a revised grille, updated headlights and turn signals, a new fog light design and a front overhang shorter than the previous model’s.
Design-wise, Acura is pulling the TL into the design direction followed by its popular SUV models such as the ZDX, MDX and RDX; an example is its new lower front fascia openings. Acura Project Lead Designer Damon Schell even says that compared to the 2009 TL, the 2012 TL will deviate more on a sophistication for its design rather than focusing on passion as did the former.
The rear side of the 2012 TL has also received a couple of upgrades such as its new rear bumper with a repositioned license plate opening and smaller rear reflectors, updated taillights and a thinner rear truck edge trim – everything following the “sophisticated” design that Acura wants to pull off on the said car. To top it off, among its upgrades and improvements are new 17- and 18-inch aluminum wheels with a revised center cap and a the iconic Acura “A’’ symbol on its rear, raised-style and chrome-plated.