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Acura RL

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  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    You've got to start changing the perception. Lexus did it, and gradually climbed upwards. Acura did too, but messed up in the mid-90s. Now, back again.

    However, I've started to put Acura above the rest, simply because it is delivering the car as a luxury car should be... loaded.
  • igibanigiban Posts: 530
    Perception of Acura as a lesser to MB/BMW/Lexus is not so much due to its cars. It makes good cars. It's the origin and lineup. Acura started out with Integra before they came out with Legend. Integra was not a luxy at all. Even now it still has RSX which is no luxy either. You don't see Lexus doing that. Acura is sending mixed signal and on this high $$ segment, image means a lot which does not tolerate mixed signal too well. At about $50K I know many will be opt to get a 530i or E320 with lesser contents than RL, simply because well, it's a different logo.

    I'd suggest Acura dumping RSX (or move it to Honda), and offer a two door version of TSX. That will make its lineup cleaner with less confusion. That said, I may be sad to see Acura not there for those who care more about the virtue for cars for the $$ than they do about status symbol.
  • shotgunshotgun Posts: 184
    (...) Acura started out with Integra before they came out with Legend(...)

    I beg to differ my brother - Acura's debut was made with the Legend!
  • prophet2prophet2 Posts: 372
    When I stepped into the showroom when Acura first opened their doors on April 1, 1986, they had both the Legend and Integra on the floor. The emphasis, however, was on the Legend. It was no April Fool's joke. 2-1/2 weeks later, we made the deal - I left my trouble-prone '78 BMW 320i (121K on the clock) there and drove off in a new silver Legend 5-speed MT. I've had at least one Acura in my garage ever since.

    The way I see it, the RSX serves the role of a "two-door TSX" in the line-up. Sales-wise, the CL as a two-door version of the TL was a bust and was dropped, the same as the Legend coupe after an intial boom. Two-doors seem to sell well in the "lower line" - my daughter's dream cars were the Integra LS Special Edition and now the RSX she drives. She would dispute the notion that her RSX is not "luxury."
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 685
    In addition to solicitation he did not respond to the premise of a lower price for the Audi S4. Out-the-door prices are what count. Even though the interior room of the new RL will be A6-size, the six cylinder won't come close to the S4's Audi V8 in performance. Bigger size is NOT better. Parking and turning circle are very important. Take it from a past owner of many Audi models: The RL may well be much more reliable, but it must compete with equal priced cars like the S4.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    If bigger is not better, what is the point of Audi A6? And, Audi A6/4.2 is going to start at $52K. And Audi A6/3.2 with "the works" is likely to be about the same as RL.

    Between RL and A6 (or any other competing car), it will ultimately boil down to better engine, better dynamics, feature content/appointment, and not to be ignored, a perception (or not) of quality and reliability.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I agree with you on RSX. Not that I want to see it moved to Honda lineup, but that it should really be a TSX Coupe, and preferably with SH-AWD.

    But as far as badge perception goes, Legend was the car that came out to represent Acura. Integra was added to satisfy dealers who wanted a volume seller. And now, Acura doesn't rely on RSX for volume, much like Lexus (ES330 and RX330), Acura TL and MDX are getting that job done. This proves that Acura has managed to climb to rely on a price class that can be considered meat of the luxury class.

    Even with BMW, if you notice, chunk of its sales comes from 325i. In case of 5-series, it is 525 and 530 (almost evenly split between the two engine choices).

    As far as people choosing to ignore RL simply based on badge preference, it is really their problem. But then, they may never know what they're missing. That said, I'm sure Acura will muster enough buyers to meet or beat its sales target. In the end, that is all to count.
  • igibanigiban Posts: 530
    Thanks for guys pointing out the correct timing of Legend vs. Integra. I guess when I visited Acura dealers the first time I shopped for a car (early 90'), I saw more Integra at the time and Legend was not that luxurious as the later versions that came out in mid 90'. Since then Acura has been always struck to me as somewhere between Honda/Toyota and a true luxury brand. Had they expanded from Legend and up it'd been a Lexus already before Lexus became Lexus of Today.

    $50K cars are not gonna be sold as many as sub $40K ones, no matter which brand from this bunch it is. The point is that $50K car is a very different segment from the near-luxury one where image perception matters a lot less. If the new RL is just as good as 530i or E320 for the same price, guess which will be picked more often? It will take a much better RL to offset the image gap. Maybe the new RL can do it and I am sure Acura intends so. The last RL did not cut it, in fact, it's not even close. The last TL and the MDX put up good #'s but they have to be priced less than their counterparts of Lexus to get it done. The new TL does finally compete very well, even price wise, in its class. Maybe Acura finally got it right and that the new RL can mean show time!
  • For about 6 months the MSRP should have been $46,900. The price TODAY is too close, to the the German and other Japanese competition. The fact that it also has a 6 cylinder, despite its horsepower rating is for a time not the big deal it probably will become next spring.

    A few test reports will go far to launch this thing.

    I am the guy who, to this day, things the VW Passat W8 should have "flown" off the showroom floor. And, I, to this day, think the Pheaton is a bargain, relatively, especially with the deeply discounted lease deals that are widely avail and locally publicized. If you are going to spend that much money (MSRP) you probably need a few more accolades.

    Hey, I think the STS is overpriced, at this point, too.

    The Chrylser 300C AWD loaded to the max will be about $10K less than the Acura. And according to CEO magazine, not that that, per se, should change your mind, the 300C is THE car below $50K.

    I, for one, am about 5% disappointed in this pricing scheme. The car, probably, IS the value some of us think. But give it 6 months, for Pete's sake, to be fawned over by the automotive press and the BLOGS we all, probably, participate or lurk in.

    Color me still thinking the A6 is looking a lot better than it did 30 days ago.

    Of course, here in River City, there are plenty of 2004 Phaetons for LEASE at a number than begins with a "5" AND includes all maintence for 50K and no worries about depreciation since the lease is "closed end."
  • cericceric Posts: 1,093
    Several points to make here

    Accessory:
    - Deck lid spoiler
    - Under-body spoiler
    - 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels
    - Wood-grain steering wheel
    - Trunk tray
    - Wheel locks
    - Backup sensors
    - Door visors
    - All-season floor mats
    - Moonroof visor
    - Nose mask
    - Wood gearshift knob
    - Cargo net
    - Gold emblems
    - Car cover

    I'm disappointed that there is no backview camera. I guess sensors would do for now..
    No surprises in color combinations. As expected, parchment is more orange-ish while the taupe is more gray-ish.

    In one paragraph, the brochure mentions about the lateral g of RL... and I quote,
    "during our skidpad tests, the RL put up a remarkable 0.89g of lateral force. By comparison, the Acura NSX - our renowned 2-seat sports exotic - has generated 0.90g in our skidpad tests..." Wow, that is amazing... can't wait for the test-drive.

    At a footnote, it mentions that "Gasoline with octane number lower than 91 may be used, with reduced performance." That is good to know just in case there is no choice.

    The brochure only shows photos of the following exterior colors
    - Celestial silver metallic (pure silver)
    - Lakeshore silver metallic (grayish silver)
    - Meteor silver metallic (greenish silver)
    - (very small) Redondo red metallic (red)
    and black interior.

    OK, that is all I have found that may be of interest to you.
  • "Meteor silver metallic (greenish silver)"
    I guess it's more like "blueish silver" -- it's the same color found on TSX!

    Thanks for the info!
  • kenw1kenw1 Posts: 30
    I am looking at 7 choices: 2005 RL, 2005 A6 3.2, 2005.5 A4 3.2, 2005 Infiniti G35X, 2005 BMW 330xi, 2005 Lexus ES330, and 2005 BMW 325xi. I am planning to get the car on a low mileage 36-42 month lease (12,000 km/8000 mi per year if available) as I have only clocked 42,000 km on my present 1999 Lexus RX300. I am thinking of waiting until the '05.5 A4 becomes available in March before buying as by that time the other cars should have lost their brand new status and better discounts/lease terms may become available. I would probably also consider the current '05 A4 3.0 if they give a really good deal at that time.

    As I live in a hilly part of town, AWD is preferred, even tho we only get snow a few times during the year. I had a '95 BMW 325 RWD and got caught in a snow storm and couldn't make it up the hill back home. I loved the car, but decided to change it for a '97 A4 2.8 Quattro, which was great. My wife really liked the A4 interior. Both cars (as well as my present RX300) gave great service. We are seniors and like to have a nice comfortable ride, but also have enough power and maneuverability to get us out of trouble if necessary. Also, aids like parking sensors would be helpful.

    I'd like to hear your opinions on these cars and if I should wait till March.
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    Got my brochure today. I found it a bit underwhelming. Had hoped for more.

    Too many shots of the car in silver (3 flavors); not enough of the other colors offered, IMHO.

    Main 2 interior shots were with the Ebony (Black) interior. I would have liked to see a larger view of the cabin in Taupe or Parchment.

    Lots of photos of the car were taken from overhead, that is, looking down on the car, instead of from the side in profile. This is a common technique used by photographers to make the car look better: longer, leaner and showing more sculpting angles, such as those on the hood. Certainly these are very flattering views, but, ones which we as owners would rarely see.

    I don't recall seeing a full size, ground level, full profile in the entire brochure. There are a couple taken from the left side rear and right rear, which shows the car in perspective, with a view of the rear trunk. The car looks muscular from these vantage points. The front end shot looks aggresive, but I keep seeing the "cross-eyed" headlights in the front grille.

    I'm not crazy about the somewhat zebra-striped wood veneer, with the grain direction going from front to back -- as opposed to left to right, etc.

    I am pleased with the palette of exterior colors this year. While I have not seen the car in person, the colors that were shown looked good in the lighting in which the photos were taken -- some of which was side light, late afternoon, dusk, and nightime. Time of day is important because the sun imparts different hues, especially at dawn or dusk. The Celestial Silver shot at the beach looks a tad like it has some gold or champagne in it, but I suspect that this is the effect of the afternoon position of the sun, and retouching, which can be seen on the rear bumper, etc.

    I think that getting the colors right is an important milestone for the RL, as the last few years offered colors that did not move me at all (had I found a color I liked I would have bought a 2003 or 2004 model).

    I think they could have filled up the catalog pages with a little bit more info and some more photos on the many systems that the car now offers. The coverpage seemed a waste to me, with no car at all seen -- just a birdseye of some beach houses, a curvy asphalt road, some beachfront, and foamy white, wavy green seawater. It kinda reminds me of the ultra abstract TV commercials that were meant to introduce the first generation of a new line of cars called "Infiniti". They featured rocks and water, and no car -- if memory serves. I hope Acura is not foolish enough to retread that same ground. At least they better show the car this time around!

    In summation, the new '05 RL is a big improvement and should do a lot better than the moribund RL of prior years. I am happy that I have now seen the new colors and the interior color choices, and will look forward to seeing the car in person.
  • Thanks for the heads up on the Motor Week show. It was great seeing it in action on something other than a small video on the internet.
  • aclcaclc Posts: 20
    How does the Dealer add backup sensors as a non-factory option? Does anyone know how this accessory would work (?lights above rear glass that warn you of the proximity of car behind you?)?
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    **I am the guy who, to this day, things the VW Passat W8 should have "flown" off the showroom floor. And, I, to this day, think the Phaeton is a bargain, relatively**

             Unfortunately the Phaeton is all dressed up and no place to go ... people like to look at em', some will even buy a few (and the word here is "few") the biggest problem is the "brand recognition" and the ego ~ $60 grand for a VW.?

                 The perceived value ends up flopping around like a mullet and the resale falls like an anvil, 04 Phaetons are barely breaking the $35ish figure with 3/5k, $25,000 is a expensive drive around the block .. dealers are having a hard time trying to move them and once they are sold, they have a tough time keeping them out of the service lanes .. not much "good" going on here.

                 What will sell the new RL's will be the reliabilty and longevity factor .. now, whether they will see that $47ish figure we will have to see, no back-up beep beep.? bad marketing ...................... ;)

                                  Terry.
  • monet5monet5 Posts: 32
    The dealer installed backup senor probably is just like the option for the 03TL. They drill holes in the rear bumper and install the sensors (4 I think). Some audiable alarm in the cabin sounds as you approach something in the rear. Frequency of the sound increasing as you get closer to an object.

    As I recall on the TL the senors are black in color so on a dark car (ex: Black) you cannot really see the senors. However, on a white TL they really stuck out.

    I've read where a number of people think a camera would be better, but personally I prefer the audiable senor. It allows me to know how close I am while still looking around for other objects on the sides. I have the senor on my A6 right now and love it. Living in a large city (Chicago) it makes parking a breeze.
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 685
    If you fit the A4 comfortably, the wait to March 05 may be worthwhile. The current 3.0 engine will be an orphan like my W8. Unless the A6 handling is greatly improved from those I have driven, you will find it sloppy after owning an A4; my W8 Passat wagon handles much better!

    You have left out a very reasonably priced AWD alternative: The Subaru Outback H-6 LLBean now has a well finished interior and performs much better than the Lexus ES330. The reliability of this six cylinder Subaru should be similar to that of the RL. As a senior who highly values seating position and visibility I choose wagons....and the Subaru is available in a wagon.
  • shotgunshotgun Posts: 184
    Ceric - I'm getting conflicting reports on what the "Lakeshore Silver" looks like. Some say it's greenish silver, other claim it's blueish, yet others point to pictures where it looks medium blue almost like denim. I'm actually looking for a greenish silver color. Please take another look at the Lakeshore and Meteor Silver (perhaps you and one other person could do this to reach consensus) and share with me and others exactly which secondary color the Lakeshore & Meteor Silver leans toward - light blue, greenish, denim, or whatever. Your help is appreciated...
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    >I'm getting conflicting reports on what the "Lakeshore Silver" looks like. Some, like you, say it's greenish silver, other claim it's blueish, yet others point to pictures where it looks medium blue almost like denim. I'm actually looking for a greenish silver color. Please take another look at the Lakeshore Silver (perhaps you and one other person could do this to reach consensus) and share with me and others exactly which secondary color the Lakeshore Silver leans toward - light blue, greenish, denim, or whatever.<

    I took the catalog outside into the daylight this morning and here are my impressions of Lakeshore Silver. Looking at the metallic color chips (and not the photographs) and changing the angle back and forth from reflection to reflection, I see two distinct colors.

    Looking at the chip somewhat at an oblique angle, without being able to see the shiny clear gloss reflected back, the color looks grey -- maybe a gunmetal grey with a hint of gold/brown in it. I saw no blue whatsoever.

    When looking at it straight on, and through the reflective,shiny clear coat gloss, the color takes on a metallic gold/champagne color. Again, I saw no blue.

    The Meteor Silver, on the other hand, definitely has a very pale blue/hint of green metallic look, depending on the angle of viewing. I think the Carbon Grey has some green in there.

    Just as an aside, I took some color ships from a BMW 740 catalog that I had lying around, and pulled off some of those chips and taped them near the new Acura RL colors. Interestingly, the RLs Celestial Silver and the BMWs Titanium Silver seemed pretty close in color and hue. The RLs Desert Mist Metallic looked pretty close to the BMW Sahara Beige. The RLs Carbon Grey Pearl is pretty close to the Anthracite Grey of BMW, and depending on angle of viewing, and both have a hint of green in there.

    Hope this helps you Shotgun.

    I think that the new paint process Acura describes in the brochure adds a whole new dimension to the paint. I'll have to see the car in person -- during daylight and at dusk -- to get a better sense of how the cars will really look. The photos in the catalog are misleading for reasons I mentioned in an earlier post, including time of day the photos were taken and the amount of retouching, which I think was substantial in many shots.
  • aclcaclc Posts: 20
    Thanks monet5, your post was very helpful.

    Are wheel locks worth getting from the dealer or elsewhere? Any sites online that would sell wheel locks for the 2005 RL?
  • aggie76aggie76 Posts: 265
    I've got both the sensors and a back-up camera on my LS430 and it's the best of both worlds for backing up & parallel parking in my opinion. Had a case where the sensors didn't see a short thin pole, for whatever reason, but I saw it on the camera and held up. Using the camera when doing parallel parking also makes it a breeze on finding that curb.

    I really hope the RL does well but like many others, I think the pricing is a touch high for it. Having owned 3 different Acura's, and currently have an MDX which is really a great multi use vehicle for my active family
  • aggie76aggie76 Posts: 265
    I've got both the sensors and a back-up camera on my LS430 and it's the best of both worlds for backing up & parallel parking in my opinion. Had a case where the sensors didn't see a short thin pole, for whatever reason, but I saw it on the camera and held up. Using the camera when doing parallel parking also makes it a breeze on finding that curb.

    I really hope the RL does well but like many others, I think the pricing is a touch high for it. Having owned 3 different Acura's, and currently have an MDX which is really a great multi use vehicle for my active family
  • aggie76aggie76 Posts: 265
    I've got both the sensors and a back-up camera on my LS430 and it's the best of both worlds for backing up & parallel parking in my opinion. Had a case where the sensors didn't see a short thin pole, for whatever reason, but I saw it on the camera and held up. Using the camera when doing parallel parking also makes it a breeze on finding that curb.

    I really hope the RL does well but like many others, I think the pricing is a touch high for it. Having owned 3 different Acura's, and currently have an MDX which is really a great multi use vehicle for my active family.
  • igibanigiban Posts: 530
    How many standard trims are offered for the new RL? I read somewhere that Nav is standard which leads me to think that there's only one trim, the fully loaded trim (accessories aside)? Is there one w/o GPS? What's the msrp said on the brochure?

    The 91 octane not required is surprising as even TL requires that. Marketing in the works maybe?
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    One trim. Everything is standard, except the dealer-installed accessories listed above.

    I believe that 91 octane is "recommended" for both the RL and TL. It is possible to run either car on lower octane fuel, both with reduced performance.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    An MSRP of $48,900 sounds high when you consider "base price" for the competing models which is usually around $41K. Case in point, Cadillac STS/V6 has a base MSRP of $40,995.

    But, to compare to RL, feature by feature, you would need the Luxury Performance package which puts the price tag at $49,590. At this point, STS and RL will be comparable in features, but STS will not have AWD. AWD typically adds $2K-3K (or $4K if it were the 4MATIC applied to Mercedes S-Class).

    But, Acura has opted to go with one trim for all strategy. I would think that they know, buyers in this class typically want their car with stuff, not stripped.
  • "But, Acura has opted to go with one trim for all strategy. I would think that they know, buyers in this class typically want their car with stuff, not stripped."

    I guess it makes it a lot easier to order: you just choose exterior/interior colors and you're all set to go! :-)
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I prefer it that way for my own purchases. Packages and options get me lost. It has also made it easier for me to negotiate the price. The problem with one-trim pricing is that it creates a perception of priced high. You will see a fair number of people comparing base models of competing models to RL. So, simply advertising on the premise of a stripped trim but sending only loaded models can also do good from market POV.
  • igibanigiban Posts: 530
    This one fully-loaded-trim-only strategy is a sharp contrast to MB/BMW world where the advertised base has no even leather to begin with. Granted Acura used to pretty much have two trims only with GPS in between. I guess Acura thinks too many features of the new RL is tied to the screen and so you got to have it.

    Acura might also bet that most people buying this near $50K Acura RL are for its contents, and not for badge. In the case of MB/BMW, that's often the other way around. There're many who would get a base MB/BMW + minimum packages, just to get the badge taken care of. It'd be a disaster for MB or BMW if E or 5 series are sold only fully loaded.
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