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Acura RL

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  • OK, here is the preliminary straight talk from the AoA order guide for the new A6 3.2L version.

    With the popular options (Premium, Convenience, Winter/Cold & Sport Package), plus nav, voice recognition, smart key, parktronic, power rear sunshades, upgraded sound system+sat radio, "bluetooth" and 10 airbags (or 8 depending on how you count them), the MSRP is $51,550. This year, at least upon rollout, no On*star (which after having had it for some 23 months is worth it, IMHO).

    Accolades aplenty for the new A6 -- beats "all comers" (well, that's not really true, it just beats the other's in the "early comparos" -- but that does include the BMW 5).

    Severe shortage of ink pertaining to the new RL -- but SH-AWD and 300HP from a 6 are, to my mind, big , big plusses (V8's + $44/bbl oil = high cost to fill 'er up!)

    Lots of good (but speculative) intel, however, on the RL. Then, yesterday, a glowing, glowing, glowing comparo of three AMERICAN V8 cars culminating in a new winna and champeen Chrysler 300C with a presumed AWD price with every possible do-dad of $39K (and that sweet hemi that all the car mags laud and applaud.)

    There is nothing quite as wonderful as money, as the song goes. I do not need a "three pointed star" on a fancy Lexus "L" or, frankly, four interlocking rings to feed my head (ego), while I'm quoting song lyrics (Grace Slick).

    So, IF the RL that will only come "one way" -- loaded -- (plus a charge for a + sized wheel) and it is less than $47K LIST, is this a "better deal" content vis a vis bucks?

    And, there is that Chrysler 300 SRT-8 (hopefully AWD will be an option) which "might" crank up its price another $5K.

    Or are we not even remotely apples to apples (golden d vs. granny smith, etc.) -- are we instead apples, to apricots to pineapples?

    I want some (heretofore known as) Germanic taughtness when I drive (no floaty ride need apply). Yet, I like the car to be, even during intense maneuvers "fairly quiet." I want, better said, sport-lux, not lux-sport. I believe I will get the former in Audi, I am dubious about same even in the positively reviewed Chrysler 300C [AWD] and the RL is a big big unknown.

    I am convinced that the RL will be high content, [and thanks to y'all, you have made be believe it will be high reliability] but will it be high performance? At these prices (comparing the A6 to th RL, I would hate to spend $4K too little and not be a believer in the chassis.)

    I suspect the only response will be "test drive it!" Or, "test drive them all" -- and, certainly I plan to.

    I am looking to y'all for some input, nevertheless.

    Man, I hate this waiting for the new stuff to hit the streets. . . .
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    It seems to me when all of the '06 lux mid-sizers are finally available for a serious comparo, the 5 is going to get a beating.
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,563
    “looking to y'all for some input, nevertheless.” - Mark

    Well – you asked:

    First, the ‘apples to apples’ issue in comparing vehicles seems less and less apropos to me. Personally, although I prefer driving 4-door sedans in some respects (and that is what I have owned for my past 4 or 5 vehicles), my circumstances are such that I could easily justify a 2-door / 2 seat coupe. And although my current ride cost me something like $33K, I could relatively easily swing something close to $60K, if I wanted to make a few, judicious, lifestyle changes. So ‘comparable cars’ seem to be whatever one chooses to compare.

    Point here is simply because a vehicle does not have the same number of doors, seats, EPA MPG, air bags, capacity for the same number of golf bags in the trunk or the same number of cylinders does not necessarily mean that they cannot compete for some people’s dollars. Some others have in their parameter list a minimum number of such things as a requirement – or other things. And still others look beyond such questions as: “Does it have a man-u-matic feature on the automatic trans.” to very specific concerns with issues relating to how that feature is implemented in the vehicle. Exactly how quickly a requested up or down shift is accomplished. And how smoothly. And how consistently. Etc. For instance.

    And my priorities include (very high on the list) that my vehicle be fun and interesting to drive. I spend enough time / miles behind the wheel for this to be someplace that I am willing to spend (significant) additional $$s to obtain something beyond a transportation device.

    So – the new A6 is on my list of ‘cars of interest’. When more information is available, the new RL may also be. But I have not even seen either in person yet, and for me, interior and exterior styling of such 3D objects is best judged in person.

    If “comparably equipped” there is a $5 or $6 or $7K difference in MSRP and / or actual expected purchase price, will this make a difference to some folks. Absolutely. To others, there are aspects of the A6 that will make it worth more – to them. And others that will look at the price difference, and perceive the RL as a bargain, providing a similar list of features (important to them) at a substantially reduced price.

    I hear (read) a lot of “How can you compare X to Y??”. I think that the reality is that some people think (for instance) that it is quite reasonable to compare pickup trucks, SUVs and MiniVans – not because they are actually very similar, but because each can be configured to carry 4 people and a bunch of ‘stuff’. And that, at a 40,000 foot level, is what they want / need.

    If I can pay $33K for what (TO ME) provides a very similar driving experience to what BMW would have charged me a lot more, does that mean I did an unfair comparison? BMW would probably think so. But I made my choice, I paid my money, and I had more left over to do other things with – and I enjoy every opportunity to drive my car.

    So – again – if the RL provides me with an interesting and rewarding driving experience for fewer dollars initial cost, it may make my ‘short list’ next time around.

    We shall see.

    We certainly live in interesting times.

    - Ray
    End of ‘input’ . . .
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    Good point Lexusguy. Spartan versus spacious comfort and style, plus spirited performance, should make more than a few rethink their prospective purchase of a BMW 5.
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    Mark, that was a superlative post, both in content but most of all style. It was supah doopah.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The problem is BMW has gone off the deepend with useless techno-gadgetry no one asked for. Were the masses really clawing for active steering or iDrive? The 5 has already been beaten by E, STS, and apparently the new A6 in some early comparos. I think the M and RL have what it takes to beat it as well. BMW dropped the ball.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,093
    5-series has a terrible July. Compared with July last year, the sales drops 49.8%!!. Sales of all models dropped with the exception of the new X3, which was not available last year. Even with X3 sold around 4K+ units, total BMW sales dropped compared with last July. Bangle-style is certainly doing damage to BMW. BMW's poor reliability and service are not helping either, in the face of ever-improving Acura/Lexus and Infiniti.
  • proeproe Posts: 157
    I hear you and I agree with you.

    I think the only segment of BMW that is still keeping the tradition is 3 series especial M3, which will be redesigned in 2005, which should make $60,000 sports car market very interesting with rumored 400hps.

    I would just add that Mercedes has followed somewhat like BMW's steps in terms of having too much technology that people do not want.

    BTW, both have quality issues especially BMW. The new 3, 5, and 6 series had a issue regarding to, I think, some engines were manufactured with non-conforming material by engine manufacturer I think BMW finally drops the ball big time. LOL at BMW.
  • proeproe Posts: 157
    http://www.sleepy-fish.com/sleepy/T...Corvette_lo.wmv

    It is pretty funny on how they make fun of Vette.
    Enjoy.
  • proeproe Posts: 157
    http://www.sleepy-fish.com/sleepy/Top_Gear_Corvette_lo.wmv or http://www.sleepy-fish.com/whatsnew.htm, and choose Top Gear- Corvette

    BTW, it is a pretty good website for just relaxing and seeing cars that you will not get at US run.
  • Yes! The RL would be the PpppEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRFFFFFFFEEEEEEEECCCCTTTTTT Car for a distinguished lady! They ride so smooth and luxurious. And you are right, they are conservative.

    As far as the price of an '04 RL, I would imagine that you can talk a car dealer down especially since the new 05 is on its way to the showroom!

    without navi, I'd imagine she can get one for around 37-38k.

    hope this helps.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Hahahah. Gee, and I wonder why the Corvette doesnt do so well outside of our borders.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    One big reason would be price tag too. For $50K or less, a lot of time it wins out in terms of value. At GBP 60K or so, it costs about the same as NSX in UK. Obviously, its weaknesses aren't going to be overlooked as easily as they would be, here.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I was digging up some information on Honda’s recent patents and learnt something new. Honda is apparently getting ready to deliver a 6-speed automatic transmission (configurable to eight speeds with little effort) that is supposedly 30% more fuel efficient, lighter and cheaper than comparable 6-speed automatic transmissions! It is the “AAD” (Antonov Automatic Drive) that was first showcased in 2001 Frankfurt Auto Show, and Honda has the license to use/develop it.

    Per Antonov’s website, Honda has been testing it in a prototype for future production since 2002! Could it be the transmission of choice in the new RL? Or, may be the Accord Hybrid.
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    will be priced under $50k, according to my usually very reliable source. Actually, he said they will be at $48000. At 300hp, awd, and an updated look, they should be able to sell quite a few of them I would think. JW
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Im pretty sure the RL still uses a 5-speed.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    May be for now. Perhaps Accord Hybrid will get it first.
  • l943973l943973 Posts: 197
    I believe all 04 RLs come with NAV. Its not an option for its last year.
  • mowgiemowgie Posts: 2
    Will the 2005 Acura RL have rear fold down seats so I can stick long stuff in the trunk and back seat?
  • talon95talon95 Posts: 1,110
    I doubt it, especially if the TL is any indication. It'll probably have a passthrough for skis and the like.
  • adamar1adamar1 Posts: 14
    This is a great message board for we Acura lovers!

    I don't get great mileage on my RL--probably under 20 mpg in local driving and a little over 20 mpg on highway driving. If i ever get 24 mpg on the highway that would be the best.

    I use the most expensive 93 octane gas which is what Acura recommends. I recall reading in one of the posts that someone was running their RL on 87 octane (regular gas). Have any of you had any experience with using either 87 or 89 octane in your RL, which obviously would lower the rediculously high cost of gas right now. I was thinking of trying a lower octane out of curiosity, but would appreciate some feedback first.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,093
    Modern engines are coupled with computers/sensors that can detect lower grade octane and retard timing of ignition to protect engines. If you try it, it probably would work fine but you may feel some loss of power during hard acceleration.

    Like what people say at the gates, however, PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK.

    As for the fold down rear seat, it usually compromises structure integrity a bit. I have read the torsional rigidity numbers of BMW 5-series (E39) with and without fold down rear seats. The former is less by about 5-10%.
  • A modern engine designed to run on or requiring high octane fuel may have electronic engine management controls that will sense and allow the use of lower octane fuels without serious damage to the engine, perhaps without any damage whatsoever (within reason, however, you should probably not run 87 in a car that specifies 93, but 89 would be OK).

    Here is the thing, though -- you cannot afford to use lower priced gasoline (if for the lower price you get lower octane that is). This is what is called a false economy.

    Sure the engine management system will do everything it can to prevent harmful pre-ignition (ping). But think what is really happening -- the spark is RETARDED. The explosion happens sooner with the lower octane fuel than with the higher octane fuel.

    The car will attempt (and you as a driver will encourage this with your right foot) to maintain power -- how does it do this you may ask?

    It burns more gasoline -- simply put.

    Someone, somewhere probably has some pretty nifty formula for figuring out the extra cost of using mid grade vs premium for example (and it is probably generally accurate). But, you may find out that the drop in price of $.10 per gallon (from $1.95 to $1.85 here in Cincinnati for Premium and Mid-grade) is MORE than made up for in the increase in fuel used, to say nothing of the potential (however slight) engine damage that could be taking place even with the best engine management computers.

    Auto manufacturers, as far as I know, do not specify minimum octane requirements on a whim or as a suggestion -- they are specified for performance which means power and efficiency (and no risk of engine damage).

    Use lower than specified octane gas at your wallet's risk.
  • l943973l943973 Posts: 197
    Your RL MPG will improve as the mileage increases. I'm at 138k miles. I do mostly highway driving and average 23.5 MPG. Premium 93 gas isn't too bad in my area at $2.03
  • adamar1adamar1 Posts: 14
    Thank you one and all for the very well thought out and intelligent replies to my message. Based on your advice, I will stick with the high octane gas (93) in my RL! I had to satisfy my curiosity. If I can afford the RL then I should be able to afford the premium gas!
  • beowulf7beowulf7 Posts: 290
    Here's the high quality version of that Top Gear C6 Review:
    http://www.sleepy-fish.com/sleepy/Top_Gear_Corvette_hi.wmv

    I'm not sure how the 2005 RL discussion veered into the 2005 Corvette, but to bring it back on topic, my father is seriously thinking of getting a new sedan to replace his 1996 Chrysler Cirrus. Right now, he's debating between Lexus (ES330) and Acura (TL). I'm trying to convince him to wait an extra month or 2 to check out the RL. What do you think? Thanks.
  • adamar1adamar1 Posts: 14
    I read with interest the following paragraph which I cut from an article on the "best selling cars", under automobiles, on the netscape home page:

    "Perhaps the most interesting cars on the list are the two most expensive sedans from Infiniti, Nissan Motor's premium brand (i.e., the $43,000 M45 and the $52,000 Q45. The Q45 finds itself overwhelmed in the premium sedan market, where many buyers want a European car and have several excellent options from which to choose (BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Jaguar XJ, Audi A8 L).

    Those buyers who want a premium Japanese sedan ordinarily find that the Lexus LS 430 is all they need. Acura's sedan flagship, the RL, does not do well for the same reasons." (i.e., the preference for European cars over Japanese cars).

    From the many messages I have read from RL enthusiasts, we are for the most part a happy lot and are not interested in the fancy and often more expensive European cars. In fact, many of the messages are from those individuals who have owned or driven these European cars and would still opt for an RL.

    I would like to encourage some discussion as to what market we think the RL is catering to and who is the prototypical owner who gravitates to an RL instead of comparably priced European or other Japanese cars. Is the RL trying to eventually compete with some of the top European cars? The RL is certainly moving up the ladder in terms of price (which concerns me because the bargain days will soon be past history), yet it still does not apparently measure up to the top European cars. Certainly the lack of: rear wheel drive, a V-8 engine, and more horsepower has held back the RL, in addition to what is considered a somewhat bland design.

    It will be interesting to see the eventual reception for the new 2005 RL (i.e., newly redesigned, all wheel drive and much more horsepower, but no V-8), which I will consider during the next year, and perhaps make comparisons with other cars in that price range during the process of making a decision. Alternatively, I may just live with my 2002 RL for many years, considering that I am extremely happy with it!

    I would appreciate your thoughts!
  • beowulf7beowulf7 Posts: 290
    I see your point about buyers who will shell out $40+ thousand will want a European (usually German) car. But what scares me about BMWs, M-Bs, Audis, etc. is their reliability. Or more precisely, the lack thereof.

    I admit that it's also controversial that Acura's flagship car does not have a V-8 engine. But in these days where premium gas costs $2-3/gal. in the US (and presumably a lot more elsewhere) coupled with the fact that the 2005 RL's "miniscule" V6 is still pumping out 300 HP, I don't think Acura erred. :)
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 590
    excellent posts...

    my 2 cents. If you look at the demographics of german car owners, you see a huge increase in the past 6 odd years. A lot of this has to do with the economy of the 90s, excessively cheap gas, and being clueless about what it really means to own an expensive car. Most German cars in the modern electronic era have been issue prone. But traditionally, if you had $$$ to plunk on an expensive car, you had $$$ to repair it and move on with life. Back then, more expensive cars were owned by really well off people or by their companies. Today a lot of really financially borderline people drive high $ car due to low interest rates, a high cluelessness about cost of ownership and the power of rebates & leases. It's a cyclical issue, I think. As a lot of the current german car owners wade past 4-5 years of car ownership and find the hassle and cost of long term ownership nighmarish, they will start to drop out of the realms of the bmw's and mercedes. I personally feel this is the long term target market of the Acura's & Lexus's. I'm personally not all that positive about Infiniti/Nissan quality, but my bias is based on experiences 2 years ago or prior, so I could be wrong.

    There was a time, back in 99, when the TL's were considered wannabe's in the ES's market, which was largely made up of people who were caught between the bland C's & E's of the 90s and the high maintenance 3's. Today, the TL is literally the darling of the crowd, you have people who conciously go buy a TL despite its torque steer and not a real bmw 3 driving experience... with the TSX/TL, acura really came full circle in the car (not suv) market to establish themselves as serious players.

    Personally the AWD in the RL interests me, the technology in every Acura/Honda interested me, even if the engines were louder than comparable toyota's. I've been a long term fan of the NSX. Despite all the criticism that has been leveled out against the NSX I can tell you, 99% of those people have not once set foot inside the NSX. That a 13 year old design can still play it out, if not win in its car-class is a testimony to how far ahead of its time NSX was in all possible terms. No wonder, compared to other cars in its class the NSX holds value fairly well....

    Bringing me back to the RL. I think the RL is going to play a poacher's game, just like the TL did in 99. Whether they win or not, I can't predict. Personally I love the technology in the new RL, but the older RL's statesque bland looks were more beautiful to my eyes. I may eventually not buy the car, but I still love to go test drive just about every cart on 4 wheels they put out there.

    cheers
    ksso
  • proeproe Posts: 157
    I agree with you, and even today, it is still puzzled me why European cars do not have good quality control that is worse than Korean cars.

    Again, V6 vs. V8 or V10 or V12, IMO, it is meaningless in the real world for the following reasons.
    First, it has to do with the needs not wants. As we all know a very goo car design is not just about engines only. Just look at MINI, or Lotus and you will understand.
    Second, the target buyers. I do not think most of people will drive RL daily as some kind of time trial, so why should Honda come out a car that only 2% of people in the market would buy it. I think someone has pointed out this a while back. And, I think in that respect, Lexus is an excellent choice if they could add a little soul to the car.
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