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Acura RL



  • 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:

    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.

  • 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.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    "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?"

    When we talk about markets, I think we need to acknowledge the fact that the new RL doesn't really follow the path of the current RL. The cars have the same name, but I think Acura is trying (for real) to appeal to a different set of buyers with the newer version.

    My opinion on the current RL is that it's a tweener in the market. It's upscale, but not up high enough to be snobbish. And it's an affordable large car. Someone once described it as the perfect car for Real Estate Agents, and I think that fits. Buyers are likely to be looking for a quality car that provides a decent ride, decent passenger capacity, and doesn't break the bank.

    The new RL is a different animal. I think Acura will lose a lot of their current clientele with this paradigm shift. But I think they will also gain quite a few by stealing from other brands. The new RL seeks to add a dash of sport to the car. This car wants to be a sporty sedan, not a luxury cruiser. I doubt the interior will be all that large, and while it will feature many of the latest gismos and gadgets it give up some comfort in order to appeal to the driving enthusiasts.

    Meanwhile, this list of cars from that post...

    "BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Jaguar XJ, Audi A8 L"

    ...doesn't really represent the competition for the new RL. It appears that Acura wants to take on the BMW 5 series, not the 7 series. They want to tackle the Audi A6, not the A8. They are not competing against the LS430, but the GS330.

    So, I don't think that the RL is really going after the "top European cars". Acura is aiming for the rung just below the top.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    With the new RL, Acura is trying to go back in time and perhaps improving upon it. The Acura Legend was a success, but never meant to compete with more powerful V8, and offered a sensible alternative with a balance between sport and luxury. The orientation got lost with the 1996-2004 RL. It leaned away from the balance into the world of isolation.

    But, the RL wasn’t the only car affected by poor decision-making in the mid-90s. Integra wasn’t redesigned, TL got softer and blander too (compared to the Vigor that it replaced), CL wasn’t along the lines that the CL-X concept indicated and SLX was a bad excuse for a luxury SUV (dressed up Isuzu Trooper).

    1999 TL attempted to revitalize the Acura lineup, and succeeded. MDX followed it up. These two ended up being the Civic and Accord of the Acura lineup in terms of carrying almost 70% of the sales volume. CL redesign looked promising outside of its mediocre (and largish) body style. That drive train deserved a Legend Coupe (or CL-X concept) like styling.

    And then, the TSX arrives to compete with the likes of Audi A4, BMW 325 and Lexus IS300 (a forgotten car in the Lexus lineup). It seems to replace the void left by Vigor/2.5TL and improving upon it.

    Presence of TSX allowed Acura to move the TL upscale into the mid-30s price range. Even with a 15% higher base price, the TL continues to match or outpace sales of the 1999-2003 TL. And that’s good news for Acura.

    Now, it is RL time. It should make it a trio of sedans with a good balance of sport and comfort packaged with niceties that people expect from luxury nameplate. What would it compete with though?

    IMO, lack of V8 engine option wouldn’t matter outside of automotive journalists babbling about it. And if that were the only excuse they can come up with against this car, it would be wonderful. As the market reveals, cars with V8 as an option don’t sell as well as it is made out to be. Just because RL happens to be Acura’s flagship, doesn’t mean it is competing with Audi A8, BMW 7-series, Jaguar XJR, Lexus LS430 and Mercedes S-Class.

    For starters, Acura has oriented this car to be a midsize luxury sedan, and it isn’t going to be priced at $60K or above with all the goodies. That is (at least) a 25% premium we’re talking about. In fact, many of its competing cars with six cylinder engines will go into mid-50s and unlikely to offer any more power. So, while there may be a few who would like to plunk down $55K for a badge, there should be enough buyers to help Acura meet or exceed its (rumored) first year sales target of about 15K units for the RL.

    IMO, the direct competition: Audi A6/3.2Q, BMW 525/530, Cadillac STS, Infiniti M35, Jaguar S-Type, Lexus GS330 and Mercedes E320 (E350?).
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    >I doubt the (RL) interior will be all that large, and while it will feature many of the latest gismos and gadgets it give up some comfort in order to appeal to the driving enthusiasts.<

    Two points I would like to add:

    Number One: If this car is uncomfortable, if the driver seat is heavily bolstered and tight as one finds on other "sporty" cars, Acura has lost me as a customer. Period. I simply will not buy a car that requires me to use a shoehorn to get in it.

    Mercedes made that mistake with its new E class. They changed the driver seat and made it tight and narrow, and according to the dealers I have spoken with, a lot of people walked away because of that.

    Number Two:

    I am not looking for a "sporty" car, I am looking for luxury or (Road Luxury = RL) if you will -- luxury & performance. I would be pleased if the car had guts (hp + torque), handles well and is generally a road loving, crisp, responsive car. I would be quite happy with that.

    My idea of a good mixture of performance and luxury is a BMW 740iL with the performance package. Extremely comfortable and roomy car, with lots of horsepower and above average handling characteristics.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Well, the Legend was never a truly sporty car. That car offered respectable performance, but body roll and the lack of a V8 stopped it from being the real deal.

    The Legend did well in the market because it was a decent compromise between land yacht and cramped sports car; it was bargain-priced compared with the others; and it was well styled. If you were to rank the car on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being luxurious and 10 being sporty, the Legend was probably an even five.

    Lux 1...2...3...4...*5*...6...7...8...9...10 Sport

    The RL was none of those things. I think Robertsmx is right about it. It lost its mission trying to isolate the driver in a cocoon of luxury. The RL tried to be a 1 on that same scale... and failed.

    The new RL seems to be an attempt to get back onto the sporty side of the scale. But based on what I see, they seem to be aiming at a higher sport ranking than even the original RL. Maybe a 7 or 8 on that scale.


    And I suspect that some buyers, perhaps Legendman, may be disappointed. Fans of the original Legend may like it. But fans of the current RL may not.
  • >>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.

    Tell him to wait for the RL. Even though I really like the styling of the RL, it doesn't turn my head like the TL does. However, the AWD of the RL totally beats the TL. And for me, with my 3' long legs, the auto tilt steering wheel feature of the RL is a must. As I get older, I simply can't crank my legs under the low-slung steering wheel of the TL. When I test drove the TL, that was the one feature that stood out for me.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I&#146;ve been contemplating replacing my 98 Accord with TSX but arrival of redesigned TL has made the choice a little more difficult. And even the RL is getting my attention too! TSX appeal (over TL) is largely due to its sub-30K price tag, and it would be easier on my wallet to go out an purchase one (instead of lease an RL). It is going to be a tough choice for me. Purchase TSX (or TL), or go out and lease the RL. And then, there are these other intriguing options on the horizon as well.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Gimme one of each...
  • cericceric Posts: 1,093
    click on M-Concept
    click on the "Exclusive"
    type in "imagine" as passwd.
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362

    Thanks for the link! I did watch the videos and I must say, as far as the exterior is concerned, I like it a lot more than the new RL. Not in love with the front grill on the M, but so many cars these days have weird looking logo-esque grills one has to accept that at some point. The side and tail look great to me.

    So, who knows about the new M class Infiniti's?

    1. How much will the M45 cost?
    2. When will it hit the showrooms for sale?
    3. How's the horsepower and handling?
    4. How is Infiniti's reliability - lately?
    5. Resale value -- still less than Acura?
    6. Any chance that they will tone down the "Jetson's" style dashboard control panel?
    7. Is this a worthy "adversary" of the RL, handling and performance wise, or is this car a plush ride in a svelte suit?

    Thanks in advance for any info you guys can knowledgeably share.
  • adamar1adamar1 Posts: 14
    I just want to thank those who gave some excellent responses to my posting. You expressed many of my personal sentiments which I did not express in my posting as I wanted to get the opinions of others and see how they coincided with mine. I didn't really expect answers vastly dissimilar to what you expressed as I think that we Acura fans seem to have a similar genetic structure when it comes to cars! Now that you have responded you might be interested in where I stand on the RL and what my car history has been.

    I owed all GM cars until I leased a 1996 RL quite by accident! My last GM car was a classic looking (in my opinion) 1991 Buick Park Avenue which I loved. Then they redesigned the Park Avenue in 1993 into the most ugly oversized piece of tin that I have ever seen. I vowed to never buy another Buick!

    My daughter graduated from college in 1996 and we decided to consider economical cars to lease, with the Honda Accord in mind as a great starter car. Much to my surprise the Accord lease was expensive and therefore we decided to check out the Acura Integra which had a special edition (fully equipped with leather interior) at a much lower lease cost (notwithstanding that the sticker price was higher than the Accord). My daughter was thrilled with the car (now she drives a 2004 Honda Accord and loves it). After leasing the Integra for her, I decided to try the TL and RL. The TL was too sporty for me and I didn't feel comfortable in it.

    The moment I drove the 1996 RL I was in heaven--it was like sitting in my easy chair at home, it was the right size car, it was whisper quiet, it had an ultra smooth ride and the car practically drove itself. I also liked the conservative design. I was hooked and leased it! The car was a flawless machine in the 50k miles that I drove it. I then leased a 2002 RL which has some refinements. I also love this car, but think that the 1996 RL had a slightly quieter and smoother transmission (albeit slightly less horsepower). My present 39-month lease is up with less than 35,000 miles on the car. Again, it has been a flawless car that I never had to have the dealer make any adjustments to from the first day I drove it. I always had problems after I bought my American cars!

    I plan to extend my lease and take a look at the 2005 RL before deciding whether or not to buy my 2002 RL. If I buy it, I am sure it will give me many years of happy driving without having to worry about too many mechanical problems if I maintain the car well. I have a great Acura dealer with great service--that alone is enough to want to stay in the Acura family forever.

    I am not yet happy with the sportier look of the 2005 RL--I am not looking for a sports car look. However, I have an open mind about the looks. How the car drives and performs is what will probably win me over. I am very enthused about the all wheel drive (I would never consider a rear wheel drive car), the stepped up horsepower (as long as it doesn't drag down the MPG performance which is already lower than I would like) and other safety features. I am happy that the 2005 RL will not be a V-8 as I am very MPG conscious. The V-6 engine is smooth enough for me.

    I did test drive the 2004 RL recently which I think is a beautifully designed car with much more pep, but the ride is harder than the RL. Supposedly it isn't bigger than the RL, but I felt lost in the font seat which seems huge compared to the RL. Also, it needs an automatic telescoping steering wheel like the RL. I can't get the manually adjustable wheel close enough to me with the seat back (I have long legs) which bugs me.

    I have never driven any of the higher profile/performance rear wheel drive cars (MB, BMW, etc.) so I have no comparison. I have no interest in those European cars because I have heard the horror stories about their quality control and the high cost of maintenance. Moreover, I don't want or need a high performance car with a sports car feel. I am a conservative person who doesn't feel the need to outwardly impress anyone by the car I drive. I just want an upscale, comfortable, conservative and low maintenance car that I am happy with; so far the RL has fit that bill perfectly.

    So that is my happy Acura story thus far!
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