Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Luxury For Cheap: 2006 Acura TL 6-Speed MT

Honda is known for its snick-snick smooth manual shifters -- the S2000 is probably my favorite to use that doesn't run through gates, and even the most basic 10 year old Civic has a properly tight shifter.  Oddly enough Honda continues this tradition with its Accord Coupe and even moving up market to their Acura line you'll find a nice manual in the TSX, and even the big TL -- but it isn't some ladle in buffet tray of scrambled eggs feel you get from a GM front drive manual, it continues that snick-snick feel.  Find this 2004 Acura TL 6-Speed MT here on eBay offered for $9,895 or make-offer, located in East Rutherford, NJ.

The third generation TL was sold from 2004 through 2008 using a large number of shared components with the 7th generation Honda Accord.  MSRP started at around $33k before options, but you got one of the better front-drive luxury sedans ever built...and if you got the manual transmission it came with Brembo 4-piston calipers, stiff anti-roll bars, and sticky summer tires.

This TL is powered by a 3.2 liter version of Honda's J-series engine, the JA32A3 which makes 258 horsepower and 233 ft-lbs of torque from its SOHC VTEC design.  The manual transmission version used a 6-speed manual gearbox with Torsen-type limited slip mated to the front wheels. 

See a better way to get a LSD equipped front driver?


  1. These were a very nice package, it was just about the first US-built Honda product that managed to end up on par material-quality wise with its Japanese siblings.

    And, perhaps most crucially, it's got that helical limited-slip diff.

  2. I can't help but think one of these would make a fantastic Lemons car.

    Part out the interior to make some bucks back for going over $500 on purchase price.


    $3750 for 167k miles with salvage title.

    OK, maybe we'll have to wait for a couple more years of depreciation.

    1. It would definitely be a quick Lemons car if you could get back into the $500 net range.

    2. GIve it a few more years. Quick, reliable, under the radar.

      Of course this would be after my LM7-powered E36 is wadded up, blown up, or both. Until then it will be merely a glimmer of an idea.

  3. You definitely want the manual transmission, the automatics pretty much all fail after a certain amount of miles, a problem that plauges all V6 Hondas from the early to mid-2000's.

    1. Came here to post this.

      Lots of anecdotal experience with Honda automatics grenading themselves around the 100 - 150k mile mark. No hard numbers, but it has happened enough to my friends and family that I'll never buy an automatic Honda product.

    2. Once upon a time 100-150K would have been considered a good lifespan for a transmission.

      Hell, back in the '70s and '80s you were doing well to get some of the cheapened GM slushboxes past 60K. thing the factory engineers will tell you regarding automatics: absent some unique mechanical weakness (such as the A clutch drum in the early ZF 5HP24s) most automatics will last nearly forever if the fluid has adequate cooling and you change it routinely (30-50K miles).

      There is no such thing as a 'lifetime' ATF.

    3. @ mrkwong - 100-150k was decent back in the day. But Hondas in general are so reliable it seemed like a shame that they were let down by transmissions that didn't last as long as the rest of the mechanicals.

      In a 70's-80's GM, by 60k miles everything else was either gone or on its way out by the time the transmission grenaded, so you kind of expected it.

      Hondas (and FWD Chryslers from the 80's through present) seem to be incredibly picky about ATF type and change-intervals.

      Also... one thing my Honda-tech friend told me is that Honda automatics do NOT respond well to being put into drive while still rolling backwards, even slightly. Though it's generally a bad thing to do in any car, other cars seem to be a bit more tolerant.

  4. My wife's 2004 accord 4cyl automatic has 210k and still running good!

  5. I see these things in the service department a lot. There's one that is in a couple times a month. Sad, because when these things work they have a really nice sporty yet effortless feel to them.


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