Honda is one of the few automakers left that still sprinkle manual transmission options throughout its lineup, with the Acura TL being the. Whatever you think of the new Acura TL’s er, unusual styling, you’ve got to hand it to the boffins working on the car — they’re enthusiasts. Thankfully, shortly after the TL went on sale, Acura announced plans to add a manual gearbox back to the lineup. Unfortunately, it would.

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Honda is one of the few automakers left that still sprinkle manual transmission options throughout its lineup, with the Acura TL being the latest offering from the Japanese automaker’s upscale arm to get a shift-for-yourself six speed.

Acura TL – Owner’s Manual – PDF ( Pages)

If you want a manual with your TSX, you can only get one mated to its base 2. When Detroit Editor Todd Lassa drove a pre-production model of the six-speed manual TL in September ofits future was still somewhat in doubt due in large part to the low take rate on manual mnual.

But Acura stuck with it, becoming just the third automaker to offer a manual transmission, all-wheel drive combination caura its segment, joining the Audi A4 and BMW i xDrive, though the A4 is not currently offered with a six-cylinder engine. The six-speed gearbox is the sort we’ve come to expect from Honda: Clutch weight is just right and pickup is smooth and progressive. Think Civic Si’s more-sophisticated older brother.

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Shifter feel could be more mechanical, but it’s a minor complaint. Steering feels better thanks to an electric power steering system recalibrated for additional heft at higher speeds, although a slight dead spot remains. In addition, the TL manual gets a number of chassis tweaks. Stiffer front and side engine mounts are fitted and percent stiffer, respectivelyplus a percent stiffer rear hydro mount and a percent stiffer upper transmission mount.

The front suspension is retuned to improve steering feel as well as ride quality. Lastly, the front driveshafts and CV-boots are replaced with heavier-duty units. Acura also recalibrated the Hill Start Assist system to keep the car from rolling back on inclines.

It automatically engages at inclines steeper than eight degrees.

Since we’ve spent the better part of a year with a TL SH-AWD in our long-term fleet, we knew what to expect from this identically-equipped save for the gearbox car: Inside, there’s the same well-appointed cabin with acuga great speaker watt stereo and large navigation screen tarnished only by a busy and button-heavy center stack, all wrapped in its questionably-styled sheetmetal.

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On the dollar front, selecting the manual over the auto doesn’t add or subtract from the purchase price.

However, the manual is offered only in tandem with the TL’s technology package. Unfortunately, a rare bout of inclement weather in the Los Angeles area kept us from putting it through our testing wringer, so we can’t say if it’s faster than our similarly-equipped long-termer. But generally speaking, the manual transmission does a good job of changing the car’s character for the sportier, resulting in a more enjoyable driving experience.

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Manual an option for 2010 Acura TL

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