After a year of ownership I have come to really like my car. If you've been following along, you know that my 2014 Acura TL is the first non-Toyota of my adult life. It seems like it would be a small change from the Camrys I drove previously -- yet another Japanese mid-sized sedan -- but since I had been driving Camrys for nearly 20 years it was a big change for me.
The biggest problem was the combination of keyless entry and my paranoia about losing my keys. For as long as I can remember I carried a spare car key in my wallet. With key fobs generally assuring that you have your key with you when you lock your car, I only think I ever used it once or twice in twenty years, but it was a real security blanket to me. The Acura, on the other hand, has no key start. There is a back up key to open the door, but not for the ignition. Furthermore, there is no On-Star like service with remote unlocking capability. In other words, you have the fob or your car is a brick. Obviously, there is no way to carry an extra big ass key fob in my wallet. Worse still, the only place to get a new key fob is at an Acura dealer, which aren't exactly on every corner. So my horrific fear was that I would be that I was somewhere hundreds of miles from the nearest dealer, lose my key fob, and end up paying god knows how much to have my car towed to the nearest dealer to have a replacement made.
Well, I finally developed a plan for dealing with this. I purchased an extra door key on a flat which I keep in my wallet as before which can get me in the car, then I store an extra key fob and battery in the car, battery removed from the fob so as not to trigger the keyless entry system. So now if I am hundreds of miles away from a dealer and lose my fob I just open the door with the key in my wallet and load up the battery into the spare fob and Bob's My Uncle.
Because of my weird psychology, that small accommodation has made it possible to fully enjoy my car. It literally made the car rise in my eyes from a 6 to a 9. Now I have come to appreciate some of the great qualities it has. It is rock solid in all circumstances. It handles flawlessly. The engine revs effortlessly. Its athletic abilities are evident even to someone like me who practically never pushes it beyond 70% of its ability. It is not as tomb-like as a Camry; some road feel and noise come through, but it is by no means harsh in any way. Acura's philosophy is somewhat different that Toyota's in that respect; the emphasis is not on isolation, but mellowing the edges of the intrusions.
I've also come to terms with some of the technology. The voice translation system for texts is great (although it seems to get confused now and then). The stereo doesn't exactly match up with my preferred behavior (wanting seamless access to about a dozen XM presets), but it works well enough. It still will not import my contacts from my phone, but you come to expect incompatibilities when you have a Windows Phone. The nav system has both saved me and betrayed me. However, I fail to understand how I drove for nearly 40 years without a backup camera and the service at the dealership has been top notch. As a result, I am now a big Acura fan. That will work out well for them if I happen to buy another car before I die, which is iffy.