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Should I get the SH-AWD manual?

 
Old 05-21-2019, 09:20 PM
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Should I get the SH-AWD manual?

Hi all,

I've been looking for my next car for over a year now (simply because I have high standards, am interested in low-production sporty manuals, and the market has sucked lately). I currently have a 2009 Camry which has failed me on reliability, and fuel efficiency and is therefore valueless as a car (so I'm giving it to my younger brother ).

I've been looking for basically a daily that's as fun as it can be, and I need some storage space but have no passengers ever. I want a car that I love and can keep forever, until it falls apart (so it needs to last). Since we don't have wagons here (thanks CAFE laws) the only logical option is a Japanese sedan, with a good balance of size and sportiness. My top contender was the G37S, simply because you could get the manual in a sedan. It's a hell of a deal especially since I like those engines. Also on my list was the 8th gen accord coupe, which seemed roomy for a coupe and less feature-laden (yes I'm in the entry-level luxury sector, but on a Honda I would want simplicity).

I have driven the accord, a G37 and an IS350, but the automatic in the IS left me cold and it was small. The Accord drivetrain was phenomenal, I absolutely loved it other than I wish it had a hair more space. I drove an automatic G37 and really loved it and I can't imagine how nice it would be with a stick.

Perhaps you can see where this is going: I forgot about Acura until yesterday. A 3rd gen Type S would be awesome, the simplicity appeals to my driving pleasure and the long-term Honda reliability. In my search for a 3rd gen I accidentally discovered the 4th gen SH-AWD that actually has a manual option with the J37. I live where it's warm and figured AWD would be a dumb waste of weight, maintenance, and fuel, but it seems like SH-AWD was designed to deliver regardless. If that's what it takes to get a manual, I guess I'm in. But I'm a bit concerned about having fun in the 3800 lbs this car will be. Yes the AWD handles the weight well, the suspension is tuned well on the manual, and the J37 can motivate that mass, but more mass just means more maintenance and fuel costs (I'm already hesitant about premium which is another plus on the accord).

These cars seem to be super overlooked, so I figured I'd come straight to the heart and find out from you knowledgeable people about what this car is like to own and drive. Is the extra weight effectively offset by the technology? I don't think I need to ask if the car is reliable and spacious, but I will. Is it? Should I try and find one?
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Old 05-21-2019, 09:29 PM
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I didnt read your long story book, just answering the title.

You should do whatever you want! if you want to row your own gears in an AWD sedan, GO FOR IT!!!!!!!!!!!!


okay, I read the last sentence...
GO test DRIVE IT!
why are you asking such a subjective question, when ONLY you can figure that out?
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Old 05-21-2019, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by justnspace View Post
I didnt read your long story book, just answering the title.

You should do whatever you want! if you want to row your own gears in an AWD sedan, GO FOR IT!!!!!!!!!!!!


okay, I read the last sentence...
GO test DRIVE IT!
why are you asking such a subjective question, when ONLY you can figure that out?

Sorry for the story, I just wanted to give background on what I'm looking for. Full size sedan, sporty, I can't find a good auto so manual it is. I wasn't looking at AWD or anything that heavy. Will the AWD, weight, and fuel economy be a major detriment?
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Old 05-22-2019, 09:40 AM
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The awd makes it really fun. Doesn't quite feel like it weighs as much as it does. I really like the space too, can't stand small cars. Fuel economy isn't the best. But stay away from vtec and its really not too bad.

Actually you should go test drive an auto (as the 6mt will be hard to find), you might find you like the 6 speed auto. Its really good as long as you change the transmission fluid regularly.

If you find one your interested in make sure you are aware of potential oil burning and propeller shaft making a whiney noise. Those are the big 2 issues with these cars I would say.

Last edited by dopeboy1; 05-22-2019 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 05-22-2019, 09:52 AM
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Acura's SH-AWD has far more value than the standard AWD you get in other vehicles - which really only help in off road or inclement weather conditions. Cornering is much more stable and fun due to the torque vectoring where the system will send more torque to the outside rear wheel during a turn. Acura has fallen behind some of the other luxury brands IMO but they're AWD system is pretty damn good and just as valuable in dry-weather conditions as in rain or snow.

I've never test driven the 6MT 4th gen but I'd imagine it's fun. The 6MT 3g is a blast IMO so I'd guess adding the AWD makes it that much better. But like dopoeboy said, they're pretty rare, can have oil burning issues and some have had the propeller shaft fail which is like, a $1200 repair job.
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Old 05-22-2019, 10:14 AM
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He has to believe it himself...
why go on a biased message board and ask subjective questions..."can you feel the heft?" and since we dont have the same job/wage, commute as you...WE wont know if the heft and gas mileage is worth it to you....


of course, we'll all say..."it's the best car! "

or else everyone would be in an Audi....errr wait...that's what happened! the S4 is the better AWD + 6MT car .


Go test drive the vehicles!!!!!!!

Last edited by justnspace; 05-22-2019 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 05-22-2019, 10:44 AM
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You got to drive it to know. I got lucky and found a 2010 6MT with low miles. I still have to worry about the timing belt as it is almost 10 years old but I could just be paranoid.
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Old 05-22-2019, 12:01 PM
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SH-AWD is as good as it gets, you really have to drive one and give it throttle in the corner, (you read that right).

It carries its weight well. I purchased it for the same reasons as you. I'm at 150k miles now, 70k of them mine, still not tired of the car. It's not as practical as the accord - rear seats don't fold down and there's a hump so it only really seats 4. The ski-pass through is small too. MPG is reasonable for what it is, certainly shouldn't be worse than Nissan's V6. Sound system was a huge unexpected bonus for me. Two design weak points: possible propeller shaft (rear drive shaft) whine, possible oil consumption (extended warranty until this september or a certain # of miles).

As far as I can tell, there is no reliable replacement on the market for this car.
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Old 05-22-2019, 12:23 PM
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the Audi S4 is a great replacement for the 4G TL...
awd with three pedals and more horsies than the TL
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Old 05-22-2019, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by justnspace View Post
He has to believe it himself...
why go on a biased message board and ask subjective questions..."can you feel the heft?" and since we dont have the same job/wage, commute as you...WE wont know if the heft and gas mileage is worth it to you....


of course, we'll all say..."it's the best car! "

or else everyone would be in an Audi....errr wait...that's what happened! the S4 is the better AWD + 6MT car .


Go test drive the vehicles!!!!!!!
Theres no doubt he needs to test drive it. But honestly when I was looking for my car the closest 12-14 sh-awd TL for sale was a 1.5 hour drive away. Only thing local I could find was an 09 sh-awd which I test drove and you can forget about finding a sh-awd 6mt available to test drive. That's out of the question. Everything was auto.

So why not start with a silly little thread like this. No biggie.
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Old 05-22-2019, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by justnspace View Post
the Audi S4 is a great replacement for the 4G TL...
awd with three pedals and more horsies than the TL
Only if you are willing to spend 10 grand more and imagine buying a 6-10 year old s4 when you plan on owning it for another 10-15 years.
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Old 05-23-2019, 12:57 PM
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Maybe this couple of videos can help...

Tommy Kendall and Dario Franchitti flogging two TL-SH-AWD (Franchitti drives the manual one) on a track, the Nashville Superspeedway


A comparo between the TL SH-AWD and an Audi A7 3.0 Quattro (costing probably close to 70 grand at that time)


The TL-AWD 6MT was an incredible car for the money in its time, fit and finish and performance.

For example, to find seats as comfortable nowadays you need to spend north of 60K or get into a Dodge Charger/Challenger SRT for little less than that...

Personally, after I had to trade my TL SH-AWD 6MT to get my wife's SUV in 2015 (with the arrival of the second dog), I had to wait to get into my new 2019 CTS-V (6 figures sticker) to finally find again the same blend of unique badass look, super comfortable seats and Dott Jekyll/Mr. Hyde behavior on the road that my 4G TL had.

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Old 05-24-2019, 07:50 PM
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See if you can find one to drive -- even one you may not be interested in buying. I think that will tell you what you need to know. The combo of the V6, SH-AWD and 6MT, makes this a sublime sports sedan. Automobile Mag tested the '10 TL against the '10 S4. The Acura outhandled the Audi easily, and despite the S4's having about 35-40 more HP, they were within .1 seconds in track lap times because of the TL's handling prowess. I still look forward to driving mine after 9 years of ownership. Best car I've ever owned.
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Old 07-01-2019, 03:19 AM
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Where is the rest of the story? What choice was made finally? I will go for a manual anytime, any day. I want one actually if I could trade it for my 2011 TL. Why do people make auto cars anyway?
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Old 07-05-2019, 08:06 PM
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Meh, I didn't go for it. I probably should have but the weight was a huge deterrent for me. I'm not in this to go fast through stock or modding, just have something that's enjoyable to drive on a daily basis, part of which joy is not having to spend a ton on premium fuel or potential complicated AWD parts down the road. Sorry I couldn't offer a more exciting response.
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