Having undergone a redesign in 2004, the Acura TL remains unchanged for 2005. A new Dynamic Navi Package trim line has been added, the HandsFreeLink wireless telephone interface now has French-language capability, and there’s a new Acura insignia on the steering wheel.

All TL models carry a 3.2-litre V6 that makes 270 hp and 238 lb-ft of torque; depending on the model, the transmission is either a close-ratio six-speed manual or five-speed automatic with Sequential SportShift manual mode.

The base TL uses the automatic transmission, and includes 17-inch alloy wheels, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and electronic brake distribution, traction and stability control, xenon high-intensity discharge headlights, heated mirrors, leather interior with eight-way power driver’s seat with memory control and four-way power passenger seat, leather-wrapped wheel, dual-zone climate control, six-CD stereo with eight speakers and wheel-mounted controls, cruise control, power sunroof, and variable intermittent speed-sensitive wipers.

The Navi trim line also features the automatic, and adds a navigation system with bilingual voice recognition and wheel-mounted controls, voice-activated climate and stereo controls, and a solar sensor for the climate control system.

The Dynamic package uses the six-speed manual and adds Brembo brake calipers, summer high-performance tires and larger front and rear stabilizer bars; the Dynamic Navi adds the navigation and voice-activated systems found on the regular Navi trim line.

The attractive, wedge-shaped TL strikes a fine balance between sport sedan and luxury machine. Based on the Honda Accord, it features a smooth and potent engine, excellent steering response, and with the Dynamic package, an exciting and fun-to-drive package that holds up well against its competition; only its front-wheel-drive configuration keeps it from being mentioned in the same breath as its German competitors, but for the price, it’s worthy of comparison. The new Dynamic Navi puts the electronic-map package into the sportier version, where it was previously unavailable, allowing those who like to row their own gears to know where it is they’re rowing.

The six-speed is a rarity in this class and it’s a smooth one; the heavier-duty suspension and the sticky tires make for a great time on twisty roads, with all-day cruising comfort on the straight highway back home.

The TL is built in Marysville, Ohio.

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