Another maintenance schedule for my 2004 TL. This time it’s the coolant replacement, front brakes and rotors and the usual oil change. As usual they set me up with a loaner for a day. This time they lent me a 2009 TL (base model – no navi, no SH-AWD). Like all versions of the 4th generation, it has the 3.5L V6 engine but only 280HP unlike the SH-AWD with 305HP.
My first impressions before getting this loaner weren’t good ones based on the exterior look. The interior didn’t really interest me much since I haven’t heard any big changes. The 3.5L engine is nice. Acceleration is great. It has paddle shifters like the Type-S model of 2008. Here’s a list of things I noticed. Some of the comments are comparisons to my 2004 TL.
- The headrest for the front seats are angled forward. I like this because you can recline your seats back and have your head relaxed without having it tilted too far back.
- The leather on the seats seemed different. There are no small holes that make up the bottom piece of the seats.
- There are more seams to reduce “butt prints”.
- The headrest on the back seats can fold down or up.
- The cup holders at the back are still the middle hand rest but placed on top with a cover rather than the front part that extends from the inside.
- There is now access from the rear seats to the trunk.
- The gas tank and trunk release buttons are now placed on the door.
- The side mirror defroster is now part of the stereo console and is with the rear window defroster. So if you press this button, both will be activated.
- The door locks are a little confusing – at least for my co-workers.
- After adding fuel to the car, the trip computer is smart enough to reset. I like this feature a lot and wished they had this with my model.
- It still has the in-dash 6 disc CD changer. But now it has an Aux and USB connection. With the USB connection, you can connect an iPod and it will sync with the stereo interface. You can select from your playlists, artists and albums. I really wish they add genres too coz it’s a pain if you have a lot of artists or albums and have to browse through all of the to get to like “S”. The USB also charges the iPod while connected. I tried it with an iPod Photo and iPhone 3G. You can still access all of the iPhone’s apps while connected. The iPod area is the only thing synced with the car.
- Below the stereo console is a cicle with 2 buttons on each side. This one of the main controls for selecting different options for the stereo. It reminds me a little of BMW’s iDrive. I found it easy to use. I’m not sure if the touch screen capability on the navi models still exists. The MDX and RDX loaners I’ve got as loaners no longer have the touch screen capability (if they even had it in the first place).
- I see the handsfree button but couldn’t find the voice command button. Did they remove that on this model or on all the models?
That’s pretty much all I noticed during the day I had the car. I’m not too impressed compared to my current TL. Even if they lent me the 2009 navi and SH-AWD model, I wouldn’t consider trading in my TL for a new one. I’m quite happy and content with what I have. Here’s a list of things that I wish it had.
- Different body style. I find the exterior design not at all appealing.
- Heated seats are nice, but what about cooled seats too?
- Keyless entry similar to Lexus IS and up series.
- What happened to the voice command button?
Here’s the video I uploaded on YouTube.