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Acura RL



  • shotgunshotgun Posts: 184
    ...Hey Shotgun, am I mistaken but didn't Acura give up the larger, existing RL frame and utilize instead the TL frame? (I believe that someone had recently posted to that effect) The car is shorter is it not? Just wondering...

    Yes they did - the point is that the old RL frame was a good frame which might be able to accomodate the SH-AWD configuration and a new V8. I mean, why should Honda/Acura not capitalize on the sunk costs of R&D, development, and manufacturing used of the old RL frame?

    As far as changes from the prototype are concerned, I believe some of the interior appointments, specifically the shift console area, is enhanced. I didn't notice any sheet metal changes - but you know, those "spy shot" photos of the two RLs in the Dulles airport area, appeared to have a less "pointy" nose...although it was difficult to tell by the photos - did anyone else notice that?

    On another note - which car magazine, do you think, will have the first shot at testing and reporting on the new RL?
  • chillenhondachillenhonda Posts: 105
    Was at an Acura dealership with a friend who picked up a new TL. Asked the dealer for 2005 RL information. GOt a tri-fold brochure, not too informative, but he said he has about desposits, all from people who just WANT it, no matter what. He also said there is tons of anticipation in the company and sales body of the SH system. The ride and drive for employees is in early Sept he told me.
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    >As far as changes from the prototype are concerned, I believe some of the interior appointments, specifically the shift console area, is enhanced<

    Do you mean that they were enhanced for the benefit of the NYC Auto Show prototype, and may not be in the final production version? Kinda like the overly gaudy Infiniti interior we were discussing here a few weeks back? I sure hope that they LOSE the brushed aluminum metal console.

    As to which magazine will go first with RL coverage, my guess is MOTOR TREND. Automobile Magazine already had the 2005 RL on the cover -- albeit in a ridiculously short-sided story covering the RLs competition. No doubt, that article did not endear Automobile Magazine to Acura. Moreover, as Automobile likes to do detailed styling analysis, I suspect that given the morphed and derivative appearance of the new RL, that Acura will eschew anymore "help" from their magazine.

    If MOTOR TREND is at all true to their name, they will have a lot to talk about vis a vis trends as reflected in the RL's new SH-AWD. Plus they may chose to talk about the state-of-the-art collision safety frame structure that Acura/Honda will be premiering in the RL and the new Odyssey starting this fall.
  • shotgunshotgun Posts: 184
    No, the prototype was very basic with many of the refinements missing. For instance, the protoype had the bland, round, seat heating control buttons on the console whereas the production model will have the more modern and attractive rectangular versions.

    I tend to agree with you that Motor Trend might be first. After all, it was Motor Trend that gave the Legend it's Car of the Year honors back in the late 80's. The Automobile Magazine article, in my opinion, doesn't count, it was a mere overview of the car - no tests, specs, driving impressions etc. which I expect in a real review.

    I'm anxious to read Car & Drivers and to a lesser extent, Road & Tracks impression of the car. But most of all, Legendman, I'm anxious to read about your take on the car after you've seen and perhaps driven it...primarily because you've expressed such profound disappointment in the car...
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    >Legendman, I'm anxious to read about your take on the car after you've seen and perhaps driven it...primarily because you've expressed such profound disappointment in the car<

    Indeed, I too am eager to opine on my experience with the new car, and as of that date you shall hear them. But let me say that my complaints toward the 2005 RL prototype are, in large measure, geared toward the exterior styling and also the interior styling, as well.

    I've long been enamored of the BMW 740iL's styling as well as that of the current Mercedes S430. My hope had been that Acura would sculpt something fresh, something elegant, something classic. Only time will tell in the long run, whether they achieved that; and in the short run, well, we've only got another month to a month and a half to finally see what new sheetmetal Acura has wrought.
  • acuraphileacuraphile Posts: 131
    My '96 RL has 102k miles logged and could pass for new. It has never stopped running. The one repair was upper ball joints. I upgraded tires to Michelin 225/55 after 50k miles and found the handling vastly improved. Timing belt and water pump have been taken care of and new mats and battery installed. My problem? I have just placed a deposit on a new RL and the dealer informed me that ten new deposits have preceded mine. A color chart was not available but, oddly, a description of the available colors was at hand. The three light colors were white, and two shades of silver.
    I don't recall the description of the darker colors as they hold no interest for me. The two exterior silver shades are accompanied by taupe interiors.
    Botom line: Do I relinquish my trouble-free '96 which has accepted regular gas for nine years, in exchange for what I have slavered over for at least five years,a sophisticated premium drinker whose complexity might cause me countless hours of discomfort and a dent in my wallet? I am embarassingly fond of my '96 friend who (which?) has treated me so considerately. I was the first '96 RL buyer at my dealership and have been treated with kid gloves, assuring me that my '96 will continue to be cared for if I continue to keep it and have my deposit refunded for the "unknown."
    I'm severely disappointed with the exterior of the new RL, having hoped for something bold and innovative after such a long model run.I concur with a recent comment in this thread that the '96 RL's design is of a quiet nature, but it is graceful. The 2005 appears squat and blunt. I'm puzzled at Acura's unwillingness to commit departing from the hum-drum. Are they phobic?
    I recall, when I was age four, looking out the window and telling my mother: "There's a Packard...a Diana....a Chevvy....a Chrysler; each badge clearly distinguished from the others. What happened that brought on the cookie-cutter mentality? In dim light, one is hard pressed to tell a LS430 from a current dim light.

    So, I need to walk around the new RL for an hour, peer at every line, examine the interior with steely eyes, feel its thrust, check out the SH-AWD and ergonomics and then agonize again about the prospective exchange.

  • shotgunshotgun Posts: 184
    Aaahhh - Acuraphile, what an eloquent post, a pleasurable read indeed! It brings to mind my first Acura, a 1989 gold Legend coupe. It was an absolutely gorgeous vehicle with elegant lines with an agility and athletic prowess that put the BMW 5 series of the day to absolute shame. I put 140k miles on it and then donated it to charity for the requisite tax write off. The 89' coupe was followed by a 99' RL which equally impressed me with it's steel vault-like solidity, smooth cruising manners and trouble free demeanor - I liked its timeless conservative styling and although I was less than enthused over its lethargic performance off the line, I was sufficiently pleased with its high speed behavior which was never nervous but always relaxed and confident. Gas mileage was so, so, but as the saying goes, "you can't have it all". I strategically sold the 99 just prior to the announcement of the 05' RL to maximize my return and the sales strategy appeared to have worked, I got $18,600 for it April 04'. Needless to say, I've always maintained that Acuras' epitomize the notion (or concept) of value, reliability and performance to be complimentary and not mutually exclusive.

    Now I was excited when I saw the first "orange background" artist rendering of the prototype 05' RL but my excitement quickly turned to disappointment when I saw pictures of the prototype at the April NY Auto show. Somehow, like you, I expected more. Then I started to read the various posts which declared the new RL to be "Camryesque" or "bland" and my disappointment grew. However, in all of the posts, there were some voices who lauded the RL's styling, calling it "timeless" or "enduring" and these statements caused me to take a second look! As I closely and slowly re-examined the vehicle I noticed some interesting design cues. The RL's penta grill was a carry-over from the previous model and somehow establishes the vehicles heritage much like Mercedes and BMW grills do. I hope they keep it a long time to establish and enhance the cars character. The rear, although, "Banglesque", is, IMO, more elegant and fluid than the BMW original and flows very nicely into the sophisticated looking side panel and slope of the rear roof line. The headlights have a "sinister" or "mean" look about them which nicely complement the "smiling" penta grill which seems to be saying, as so eloquently stated by Jeff88 on this board "...As for the rl, "subtle and aggressive", I say more like subtle and leering. The pictures I've seen make the car appear to be saying "I'm getting xxx'd tonight". Or "My driver is getting xxx'd tonight?." Hahahaha, way to go Jeff88!

    Another interesting design cue is the very substantial flare of the fenders and the extreme rake or angle of the windshield which gives the car that bold, squat appearance and places the vehicle in motion while standing still. To close, I believe the 05' RL it will garner the same comments five years from now as my 99 RL did five years after its introduction "...Hey man that a fine looking ride..." My conclusion, at this juncture, is that the car looks good! It has, what one refers to as...Style!
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    >Do I relinquish my trouble-free '96 which has accepted regular gas for nine years, in exchange for what I have slavered over for at least five years,a sophisticated premium drinker whose complexity might cause me countless hours of discomfort and a dent in my wallet?<

    I can relate Acuraphile. I still very much enjoy driving my very comfortable and reliable Legend LS. But it seems to me that you have adroitly answered your own question. By all means, let's both wait and have a look up close and personal. Why be the first to buy a car unless there is an imperative for doing so?

    I would much prefer to see the car, drive the car, and wait for some feedback from the early guinnea pigs. Acura is introducing a whole new driving experience with the SH-AWD. Will you like it? We won't know until we drive it. Will it be problem free or tempermental and trouble prone? No one can say for sure.

    I am not worried about getting a car (a new RL). Perhaps I should be, but then again, I have never had trouble locating a new car that I want to buy unless perhaps it's the last month or two of the model year.

    Would you have any use for keeping the older RL? Got a kid at or near driving age? Have a vacation home and need a reliable car when there?
  • prophet2prophet2 Posts: 372
    Touche! My sentiments exactly!

    Like you and acuraphile, my experiences with the line go a long way back! My original purchase was in April 1986, three weeks after the dealership opened. The following have been in my "stable" over the last 18 years:

    '86 Legend sedan - silver; 5-speed manual; 2.5L V6, 151 HP; traded my '78 BMW 320i; kept it for only 15 months as I then traded it for ......

    '87 Legend L coupe - silver; AT; I was enamored by its lines, leather, slightly larger 2.7L V6 with 161 HP; Motor Trend "Import Car of the Year" award; ordered in 4/77, took delivery 7/87, kept it for 17 months and traded it in 12/88 for an '89 Mazda MPV one week before my son was born (needed more carrying capacity); but I kept the ........

    '87 Integra 4-door hatch - champagne; AT; bought in 4/87, traded it in 2/91 for .......

    '91 Legend LS 4-dr sedan - gold; AT; leather; a great car that my daughter's friends referred to as the "golden chariot;" sold it to a client whose son wrecked his '88 Legend L 5-speed sedan;

    '87 Legend L coupe - gold; AT; I missed my original coupe and had a chance to buy it after it came back to the dealer in a trade; I actually took it on a test-drive, but found it lacking as i suspect that it hadn't been maintained as frequently as I do with my cars; picked this up from a private party in 1997 for $4500 and put 61K on it till my daughter "totaled" it in 8/01; GEICO paid $3750 ($4250 - 500 deductible) .....

    '96 RL - pearl white; purchased 10/00 at 36.8K miles; formerly owned by a doctor; immaculate than and now; currently 98.5K; repair items other than wear-and-tear (battery, tires, brakes) have included radiator, CV boots, and power window motor/regulator (2).

    My daughter cruises around in her '03 RSX, a typical "chick car."

    As far as the '05 RL goes, I'm focused on the total package. The looks intrigue me. I'm not concerned about the lack of a V8 - since Honda can get 300 HP from their V6, I don't feel the need to get "two more cylinders." With the AWD, the FWD vs. RWD argument is irrelevant. And, I don't need to spend $60K to get a luxury car. In my opinion, the '05 RL has the "goods" where it counts!

    My goal is to keep my '96 in the driveway as I don't need to trade it as a pre-requisite to buying an '05. I have additional drivers on the horizon and I need extra wheels if I'm to avoid being a taxi service.
  • Just curious Prophet, what do you do for a living? I'd love to have owned that many Acuras ;)
  • prophet2prophet2 Posts: 372
    Just click on my underlined handle (prophet2) and it will take you to my profile.

    The reason I'm looking for another car is that my '96 RL is in its final year of depreciation (2000-04 = five years). My "better-half" made the suggestion of getting a new vehicle for me and sending the '96 RL to Texas for our daughter in grad school. We're leery of buying a used vehicle up there from dealers we won't know (if she was going to Univ. of Washington, we'd buy from Craig ["isellhondas"]).

    Tax considerations ...... now, there's a good EXCUSE to buy a new car!
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    >96 RL - pearl white; purchased 10/00 at 36.8K miles; formerly owned by a doctor; immaculate than and now; currently 98.5K; repair items other than wear-and-tear (battery, tires, brakes) have included radiator, CV boots, and p
    ower window motor/regulator (2).<

    Did you do the timing chain, water pump and belts at 90K or before? That's another $750 or so. Notwithstanding, what a great car to give a grad student. Why buy a pig in a poke when you already know the service history of your car.
  • jeff88jeff88 Posts: 94
    Having just sold my '96 with 105k miles on it, I would say hang on to yours for at least 6 months after the '05 rl unless the drool factor completely overwhelms you. The '96 may have lost it's depreciation factor but can't you still expense for biz miles and usage? (It still won't lose much in selling price.) The '05's are going to have a 1.3:1 ratio of interested buyers to cars and getting in on an early delivery may be an exercise in frustration rather that fun. (Car buying should be fun!) Give it 6 -12 months and the cars will catch up to demand and getting exactly what you want in terms of color and interior will be easier. Plus, you get to let many others do the heavy-lifting in terms of reaserch for you.

    Course, you are reading the rantings of a confirmed "used car" buyer thanks to the excellent experiences I've had with porsche and acura and saddened by the thrusting of a company car upon me. Would have loved to have kept the '96 rl with a monthly stipend for car usage however, had no choice. the current owners of my old ride report that they still love it and as the 3rd owners, they still think of it as a great choice. (Just found the "red key" to get it to them post sale.)
    Also, I must play on the world's best-drivng, old fart soccer team. After yesterday's match we gathered in the parking lot for a couple of beers. Our rides included a '96 tl, '04 tl, '03 slk, '98 740il, '04 xj8, newish rx, some large US suv's including my wife's expy and a new triumph motorcycle.
  • prophet2prophet2 Posts: 372
    All done at 75K - I went by time (6 years) rather than miles. I regarded those as "wear-and-tear" items as they're scheduled maintenance in my POV.

    I agree whole-heartedly that it's always better when you know the car's history vs. "a pig in the poke." I've even considered sending it to a neighbor island for my use on trips there, business or vacation - I travel there 4-8x/year.

    Which is why we recently picked up a '98 Nissan Altima SE from my sister-in-law - we know its history. Nothing wrong with it: my niece got the "hots" for a Toyota Tacoma (4x4, crew cab), so the Altima was just sitting in the driveway.

    Jeff - those are some mean wheels you've listed. No doubt a lot of well-heeled guys on that team.

    I'm also a confirmed used-car buyer for myself even though I go NEW for the ladies in my life. My "pre-owned" '96 RL was purchased for $20K + fees, marked down from $22K. Got it the day before the ad broke in the paper, beating out several who called the next morning.
  • adamar1adamar1 Posts: 14
    I leased my first Acura RL in 1997 and fell in love with it immediately! I always drove GM cars until that time--I am now happily married to Acura. When my lease expired, I leased a 2002 RL. My current lease expires at the end of this month and I am seriously considering purchasing it for the residual value of slightly over $22,000, as the car has less than 34,000 miles. However, I may extend my lease until October and then make a decision if I want to consider the 2005 RL.

    I am very disappointed at the pictures of the 2005 RL which will arrive at the dealer showrooms sometime in October. I think it looks like an updated more aerodynamic version of the current RL. It looked liked an RL the moment I saw the first picture. Like you, I expected something very new and different, but perhaps slightly more conservative. The rear view looks more like the Honda Accord than my present RL, which could pass for a Mercedes or Lexus LS430. I don't like the look of the center of the dashboard which is a garish silver color. I think it cheapens the RL. I suspect that the 2005 RL will list for $48-50,000.

    If you have been happy with your 1996 RL, think twice before moving up to the 2005 RL which obviously will have a lot of new features compared to your present RL, especially some great safety features and 4-wheel drive. Based on what you said, I have to be crazy to lease another RL right now considering the low mileage on my 2002RL and the fact that I love it. I am like a happy kid every time I drive it!!!!! So why spend all of the additional money to get the 2005 RL right now. Moreover, when the 2005 first comes out I am sure that we will pay top buck for it whether we purchase or lease it. Therefore, it pays to wait awhile. The best time to buy a car is in the early winter months when sales are usually slower or at the end of the season if you don't mind a car one year old.

    Good luck with your decision!

    P.S. I drove a 2004 TL loaner today for the first time when I left my RL at the dealer for service. It was totally different from the RL (more power, tighter steering, less smooth ride, bigger feeling car). I doubt that I could ever move down to the TL--it's not my kind of car. However, it is a great looking car and probably a car that appeals to someone who wants a more sporty car. Dollar for dollar it is one of the best car values on the road today, and I believe that it is a top seller.
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    I have heard nothing but accolades for the TL -- whether from magazine test drivers to real owners -- even my mechanic has one and loves it.

    The TL is a terrific looking car, viewed from any angle. The rear end in particular is quite good looking, aerodynamic and muscular. If it were a bigger, roomier car, I would buy one in a heart beat.

    It's hard to understand how Acura got it so right with the TL and wrong with the 2005 RL. My surmise is that when Acura set out to redesign the RL they had their German competition in mind, including the new Mercedes E class and the more expensive BMW 745iL. Thus, I think that once again they fell into the trap of me-tooism. On the other hand, I suspect that they felt that they had a lot of latitude with the TL and gave the designer(s) his/her head and they ran with it.
  • tls02tls02 Posts: 20
    OK, my 2 cents: I have a 2002 TL-S that I am going to trade in this fall. I was going to get another TL as soon as the 2005's come out. I thought that that 3 years was just right and the '05 might have something more than the '04. Then I went to the NYAS in April to see the RL, GS and the M45. While all 3 cars looked good, I'm not a fan of the GS or the M45. Then I looked at the RL and I loved the front! Thought that the sides were OK and couldn't decide if I liked the back at all! The trunk was protruding like a new BMW. (Could not see the inside, the doors were closed and windows blacked out.) So, do I go for a smaller car that looks great, that would probably appeal to some one 45, or do I go for a more conservative, classy car? I'm 58, but I think that I'm still 37...,(wish I were...) I'm buying and can afford either car. PS- I just test drove a MB E-320 last week. Car drove great but almost every option was extra, really got me PO'ed. They don't even give full leather standard??? But the car did drive great and it does not look like an old mans car any more...
    Oh well...decisions, decisions
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I was hoping for a more agressive RL as well. While the previous TL was always a "great buy" it never impressed me in terms of any sense of style, inside or out. The new one is a knock out, the car that single handedly dragged Acura into the spotlight, as the TSX doesnt seem to be all that popular. Needs more hp, I think. The RL just seems to "big Honda" for me. I know that kind of statement is usually something one of the German boys would say, but thats how I feel about it. Also its interior ergonomics, what seems like a very funky control scheme, is questionable.

    tls02, if your more interested in sport than rear seat legroom, I suggest you stick with the TL. The RL might have a 30hp advantage, but the size and weight will eat that right up. The TL A-spec can also rip through the cones at blinding speed, and the RL wont be able to match it. You'll notice that an S4 can out slalom an RS6, despite the larger car's MASSIVE power advantage. The new M might not be your cup of tea, but if you want AWD, which the TL doesnt offer, and more sport than the RL has, how does an '05 G35x grab you?
  • hello all, this has been a very informative board. My grandmother, a very active person for her age who drives daily, is looking to replace her 1997 lexus es 300. she's not looking to spend more than the price of the current es 330, and people have been recommending other cars to her, such as the infiniti g35 (which i would think is too sporty), toyota avalon (not crazy about the styling), and volvo s80 (less reliable). one of my grandmother's few quibbles with the smaller lexus was the smallish back seat, and i would figure that the RL would solve this. also, i know she would appreciate the conservative styling of the RL, versus the swoopier lines of some of the newer cars (especially the new ES 330, which imo looks horribly bloated, at best). would i be right to assume that, given the incredibly soft demand of the RL - especially in its final year before a complete redesign - it could be very comparable to the ES 330 in price? thanks in advance for any feedback.
  • My salesman just called me and gave me a list of the colors for the 2005 RL:

    Premium Pearl White
    Carbon Grey Pearl
    Celestial Silver
    Desert Mist (Champagne)
    Opulent Pearl Blue
    Lakeshore Silver Metallic
    Redondo Red

    Most come with two choices of interior color.
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