Tuesday, December 01, 2020

My Daily Driver: @GeoffNews's One-owner, 229,000-mile 2000 Acura 3.2 TL

1. How did you come to the decision of buying this car?

My ex and I bought it new. We’d cross-shopped the E46 323i, but the BMW dealer was super off-putting and the TL was a hoot to drive.  We loved the power, the comfort, the incredible value for money, and the surprising economy (I racked up a lot of 30mpg road trips). Five years later, we sold it to my Dad as a replacement for his mid-90s Buick Park Avenue. This was his daily driver through his retirement, when it was demoted to second-car status. Dad can’t drive any more, so it came back to me in October of 2020 after 15 pampered years of (mostly) Acura dealer service and heated garage storage.

2. What has your ownership experience been like?

This is the best car I have ever owned. After racking up more than 229,000 miles, the TL still starts right up and winds out smooth. All of the electrics still work, including the car’s only option: the built-in navigation system that was cool 20 years ago … but now feels very N64. The exterior and interior have held up well too, except for a little clearcoat failure on one door and a couple of cracks on the driver’s seat. When I got the car back, Dad included a folder full of maintenance and service receipts, covering everything from a transmission rebuild in 2016 to a timing belt service just 20,000 miles ago. The gearbox is still a little dodgy — apparently Honda transmissions of this vintage are made of glass — but I’m determined to keep it on the road as long as I can. 

3. What is your fondest memory with this car?

I have two. Back in 2005, I drove the TL from Chicago to Dad’s home outside Detroit to deliver it to him … which was a three-hour blast that included talking my way out of a 90-in-a-70-zone speeding ticket. The other one is the drive back to Chicago when I picked it up from Dad and remembered why I loved it so much the first time around. It was like getting reacquainted with an old friend.   

4. Why do you love cars?

That’s like asking “why do you breathe air?” I just always have. I grew up in Flint, and both of my grandfathers worked for GM. Mom and Dad aided and abetted my interest by taking me to dealership lots on Sunday mornings and car shows in the dead of winter, and to this day I’m drawn to cars from the early-to-mid-70s era when I first realized that vehicles were more than just appliances, but could be both a means to escape and an outward expression of the owner’s personality. 

If you would like to participate, just answer the above four questions and submit one to three photos of your daily driver to milhousevanh at geemail. Thanks and have fun!

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