2000 Acura 3.2 TL -- Interior

The new cockpit-style interior has an intimate, driver-oriented feel, resplendent in luxurious materials like the hand-stitched, leather-wrapped steering wheel-all assembled with great attention to detail. The 3.2TL has more usable space than its predecessor by every important measure too. In all, the TL interior seamlessly satisfies the conflicting demands of both sport and luxury performance. For 2000, the window switches throughout the car are now illuminated, the LCD odometer display has been brightened for better daytime visibility, and the instrument panel script has a more contemporary appearance.

Three key words drove the TL's interior design: emotional, personal, and elegant. Emotional in its dramatic interior shapes, and the individual feeling of the interior space. Personal in the connected, tactile sporting feel of the controls. Elegant in the fit and quality of fine interior materials.

The TL's interior designers looked to the wrap-around cockpit design of powerful pacific coast cruiser powerboats for inspiration. The flow of the TL's door panels into the instrument panel, then into the center console, echoes the same sort of personal, purposeful cockpit feel.

The TL's new interior capitalizes on the space efficiency afforded by the architecture of the car's unit-body design. Relative to the '98 TL, the redesigned multilink rear suspension allowed the rear passenger's hip-point to be moved 10 mm rearward, opening up legroom in front and rear. With a 16-mm-lower cabin floor, but the same overall vehicle height, interior spaciousness was enhanced, and specially engineered door structures allowed increased interior space even though overall width of the new-generation TL is actually 15 mm less than before.

Relative to its prime competition, the TL is significantly roomier and offers more usable interior space, with room for five occupants.

To complement the TL's dual sporting/luxury mission, its standard power front seats have unique design features. Careful attention was paid to the stitching patterns in the upgraded, U.S.-sourced leather seating surfaces to ensure comfort over long periods of time. The supple, contoured seats with dual-density backrests provide an enveloping feel, but offer sufficient width for continuing comfort on long drives. To allow the driver to capitalize on the TL's elevated handling limits, firm side bolsters provide solid support during high-lateral-g cornering.

The driver's seat has heated bottom cushion and backrest, and the passenger's seat has a heated bottom cushion; the driver's seat is eight-way power adjustable, and the passenger seat offers four-way power adjustment. All five seating positions in the TL are equipped with three-point seat belts.

A highly accurate micro-processor-controlled instrument cluster keeps the TL's driver informed via a complement of analog instrumentation with illuminated pointers. The large diameter tachometer face includes a bold LCD digital indicator to track gear position when the transmission is in its semi manual SportShift mode. A new script design on the meter faces updates the TL's interior appearance for 2000. LCD brightness has been increased for better readability.

Specially selected materials line the interior and lend the car an appropriately upscale ambiance. The instrument panel and door armrests are made with a special molding process that creates a softer-feeling surface with a uniform surface grain; the sides of the center console are backed with soft foam to cushion the driver's and passengers' legs. Wood-grain accents on the door panel and edges of the console warm the look of the interior.

Careful analysis of the prime competition led to the development of a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC) for the TL that offers significantly faster temperature correction of the total passenger cabin. The TL's automatic system has a new compressor and larger evaporator and is assisted by solar glass, which reduces the heat load on the interior. In tests under hot ambient conditions, relative to the Lexus ES 300, the TL's front passenger area cools to a comfortable target temperature 15 percent sooner. And with the improved flow afforded by the TL's adjustable rear seat vents positioned behind the center console, the rear passenger compartment reaches a comfortable temperature a full 30 percent earlier than in the Lexus.

With a quiet blower unit, high airflow and an aluminum heater core, heater performance is similarly ahead of the prime competition. In cold ambient conditions the TL's front foot well temperature reaches the warmth target 15 percent sooner. The front to rear temperature differential is narrowed as well, meaning that rear seat passengers aren't left out in the cold.

A passenger compartment air-filtration system traps dust and pollen particles down to eight microns, helping to eliminate dust and other airborne particulates from the cabin area and also traps bacteria as small as one micron

The latest generation of the Acura Navigation System is the only factory-installed option available on the well-equipped TL. In model-year '99, it proved to be remarkably popular with customers. In 2000, the Acura Navigation System returns with significant enhancements that boost its convenience and utility. There's a new matte-finish touch-screen that resists fingerprinting and is easier to read. Enhanced logic lets you type in your destination with significantly fewer keystrokes, and route calculation time has been reduced. You can also pre-program a route with up to five destinations, or have the moving map display icons for gas stations, restaurants or ATMs. And with a new DVD-ROM database with almost 14 times the storage capacity of the '99 system, the on-board system has 3.7 million additional points of interest, and covers the entire continental United States.

Like the similar system in the 3.5RL, the 3.2TL's unit uses Global Positioning System (GPS) data received from satellites, as well as its own inertial guidance system, to precisely pinpoint location and velocity. When asked to guide the driver from one location to another, the system provides both audio and visual cues, helping the driver find the proper destination quickly and easily and with minimal distraction. Verbal instructions such as, "Keep right" or "Next exit on the right" give the driver the basic direction. An LCD, located high on the center console, provides a moving map with direction arrows, detailed information on street names, turning instructions and driving distance. The navigation system also provides information and directions to local restaurants, theaters and points of interest.

The large six-inch, color LCD display has a picture-in-picture capability, so you can see the "big picture" map and get detailed turning instructions simultaneously. The system will also display your current position at any time, and a balloon function instantly shows the address of any location you select on the map. You can also search for a selected point of interest simply by inputting its phone number. The touch-screen display can also be used to provide manual control over the TL's automatic air conditioning operation. The voice guidance control has 11 different volume settings and automatically mutes the audio entertainment system front speakers momentarily when direction commands are given.

All freeway networks and major metropolitan areas in the U.S. are mapped by the system. The TL's on-board database can be updated annually by Acura dealers. The owner pays a minimal charge for annual updates.

A customized Acura/Bose™ Audio System is standard equipment on the TL. Designed and built as an integral part of the car, the system is engineered to take advantage of the TL's unique acoustics. All speakers have been carefully selected and placed, and the electronics have been specifically tuned to work with the car's interior. Bose equalization circuitry automatically maintains proper tonal balance at all times to produce natural, lifelike sound for drivers and passengers.

Another innovation in this music system is the Bose Nd™ woofer in the rear package shelf. Using a rare earth neodymium iron boron, its breakthrough design enables deep, powerful bass and high output from a remarkably slim, lightweight speaker. The music system comes complete with an in-dash CD player, cassette player, AM/FM stereo tuner, and convenient steering wheel controls.

Another standard feature on the highly equipped TL, a glass moon roof with tilt-up and sliding action can be used to increase interior ventilation or opened fully for open-air motoring. Its thin, efficient design is a contributing factor in the TL's abundant headroom.

CPU-controlled functions in the TL such as the various warning systems, illumination intensity, intermittent wipers, power windows, the remote control security system, auto headlight system and more are divided among three separate CPUs. Communication among the CPUs is via a multiplex data bus, which requires considerably less wiring.

Offered in just one trim level, with a remarkably short options list, the TL has a formidable roster of standard comfort and luxury features.

Here are some of the more notable items:

  • Overhead sunglasses storage compartment
  • Large dual cupholder in the console with a removable liner for easy cleaning
  • Illuminated two compartment center console, with internal power port and hidden storage area
  • Padded center armrest slides fore and aft for comfort
  • Soft-touch instrument panel and interior panels
  • Glove box has a damper-controlled door and interior light
  • Four-disc CD storage tray built into dash (when not equipped with navigation system)
  • Trunk opening switch on driver's door panel and main switch in glove compartment
  • Sliding sun visor extensions
  • New illuminated power window switches at all positions
  • HomeLink" remote system operates three different devices
  • Speed-synchronized intermittent wipers
  • Dual cupholder built into rear fold-down armrest
  • Security system with remote keyless entry
  • Automatic day/night rearview mirror
  • Lockable trunk pass through

With the compact dimensions of the TL's multilink rear suspension, the trunk volume is a generous14.3 cu ft. A wide opening and low lift-over height eases loading and unloading. A lockable flip-down pass-through door to the passenger compartment expands utility further, for carrying long objects. A cargo net with multiple attachment points makes it easy to restrain cargo. The jack is in a closed compartment on the right side of the trunk, with a toolbox positioned nearby. A storage compartment is positioned on the left side of the trunk. A convenient hook just above allows plastic grocery bags to be secured in place. A tether with a hook allows the trunk floor to be secured in the raised position for convenient access to the spare tire.

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