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Acura RL

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  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    I see your point a lot better, viper. How is the reliability record on the 9-3? Could you come out better (easier) if you were to work the same logic on a cheaper GM?

    JW
  • The reliability of Saabs, along with most GM products, is suspect in my mind. Although, according to recent JD Power results, it looks like the perception of reliability lags actual reliability of GM products. It's probably the opposite for makes like Honda and Toyota. Even if the quality of some of their products starts to come down, everyone and their mother will swear by Honda/Toyota reliability.

    I guess the market is relatively efficient. In other words, you really do get what you pay for. The 9-3 lease is so cheap because they are not selling and there's got to be a reason for that.

    I think I've pretty much decided to just hold on and see what happens. I'm going to a different Acura dealer now, so maybe that'll help matters a little bit.

    The previous dealer I went to always based their maintenance on Acura's "Extreme conditions" intervals which is every 3 months or 3750 miles. The regular interval is is 6 months or 7500 miles. Whenever I pointed that out, they made me feel guilty about "not taking care of my car." They always tried to do things that aren't really in the owner's manual either. Then again, extra oil changes don't really hurt the car.

    This new place that I'm going to sticks to the 7500 mile interval and they haven't tried to add extra maintenance items, YET. I'll just have to hope for the best.

    I really appreciate everyone's insights.

    It would be great if I could hold onto this RL until Honda switches it over to rear drive.

    Later,

    Peter
  • px260px260 Posts: 42
    I also agree on keeping a car for a long time. Unless you have the financial means to lease one car after another and carry a debt forever, it only makes sense to keep your car. Think this way, even after you drive the RL until the engine falls out (extreme case), you will only need to pay a fraction of the new car cost for repair. SAAB/Volves are extremely pricey to maintain; I've heard of $1000+ for a two wheel brake job, major service is $600+.

    I think the only important thing to maintain your car is changing oil. My problem-free '87 Integra lasted 180k when it got involved in an accident. Your RL should last well past 250k without major issues.
  • swsmsswsms Posts: 62
    What would be a decent offer for a brand new 2002 RL? Is $35K unreasonable? could I go lower? I know there's a $3500 incentive for the '03s, but I think I can get a better deal on an '02. I want to get rid of our '97 RL before the '04 RL comes out in the spring.
  • swsms - that would depend on where you live and whether or not the RL you're looking at has the navigation system.

    in my area (NJ), it looks like non-navi 2003 RLs are around $2500 below invoice.

    maybe you can get a 2002 to for 3000-3500 below invoice. it really depends on the demand in your area and the dealers inventory.

    px260 - thanks for the vote of confidence. i would definitely come out ahead if i made to 250m without any major problems.

    so, is anyone else dreaming about a rear-drive RL with at least 300hp like i am?

    considering that the current RL has not been updated since model year 96, honda must have some crazy type-s model coming out.

    time to log out and go home.

    later,

    peter
  • px260px260 Posts: 42
    Viper, if you want to save some $$, why not try changing the oil yourself? All you need is a good floor jack/stands and a set of metric socket set. The $80 investment I made 20 yrs ago paid off after two oil changes. I would change the oil at 5k interval (easy to remember), and while you are at it, you might as well changing the air filter (at 15k interval). The oil and filters probably cost you $25 and 30 minutes of your time. Over years, it will save you a lot of money, and waiting time at the dealer. That is pretty much all you need to do for the 15k service. Keep in mind that all the newer engines are very well made and you shouldn't need to do a whole lot of maintenance. Next, find a good/reliable mechanic that specializes in Hondas and take your car there for the major service (should be around $250). This is how I maintain my Maxima and it's been running fine at 150k after 13 yrs.
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    Apparently ... from comments in AutoWeek and other publications ... the dream for the rwd platform is by the boards along with the dream for the V8. Honda has no V8 or large-car rwd projects on the books. According to "leaks" the plan is for a hybrid luxury car, awd perhaps, to be released about a year from April. (Search back about a month or so for some discussion and references.)

    JW
  • I think you're dealing w/ a head vs. heart decision. I would say your comment about at the "end of 3 years w/ the Saab you have nothing to show for it" is the real issue. I think you have got to get out of the car payment rut asap. That may sound harsh, but you're not going to get ahead until you pay off the RL and keep driving that until the wheels fall off(a good long time from now). I've got a 96 also w/104K and I expect to drive that for another 104 or pass it along to a child. I agree w/ the recommendation to get away from the Acura dealer asap cause you will pay a big premium for their work. I've owned mine for 3 yrs. and I've only had it to an Acura dealer twice because of timing belt and warranty issue. The only maintenance I do is oil changes and I do those myself(not hard at all and I'm all thumbs).Your estimation of $1500/yr may be accurate, but it's way high from my experience.

    You also can stretch that timing belt to 105K before changing. That's the recommendation on the website(owners manuel says 90k). Just my $.02
  • Has anyone used Meguiar's Scratch X to remove fine scratches from the paint? If so, what kind of applicator did you use? Terry applicator, Foam applicator, micro-fiber applicator, something else? I tried to use it, but it didn't seem to do much other than give me more fine scratches!!! Thanks for your help.
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    in my experience, it only scratches my wallet. ONce I'd switched to Zaino, I used their swirl remover, same with Zymol on a show car.

    JW
  • Ahhh, the joys of suburan living ...

    Yes, one day I might learn to change my own oil. As of now, I live in an apartment building and I don't even have my own parking spot, let alone a garage to change my oil in. I leave my key at the garage, where they jam the car into whatever little space they have at the time.

    Isn't city living great?

    Anyway, I'd like to thank everyone again for all the advice. I feel better knowing that there are others out there who have faith in the Acura product.

    Later,

    Peter
  • I have a 2000 RL which came with 215/60/16 tires. I know that in 2001 or 2002 Acura increased the tire size to 225/55/16. Has anyone with a 2000 or older RL increased to the 225/55/16 size when they replaced their tires? If so, have you noticed any problems (e.g. rubbing, spedo incorrect, etc.)? If no one has switched, does anyone know if there would be any problems switching?

    Thank you.
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 283
    I used Scratch X on my SUV. It's not bad consider it's only $7. What color is your car? Mine is white. Scratch X covers up the scratches pretty nicely, but don't expect that the scratches will disappear totally.
  • The ABS motor on my 97 RL runs loudly for about 20-30 seconds upon start-up. Within 10 minutes the ABS light comes on, and then the ABS system no longer works. The local Acura dealer is happy to replace my accumulator/modulator for $1300 or so (no longer in warranty). It seems like several people have had similar problems. My questions are 1) Since this is a fairly common defect, does anyone know of special extended warranty coverage from Acura to cover this problem?; and 2) I wonder if the accumulator/modulator can be repaired instead of replaced? Any feedback will be appreciated. On a six year old car, I doubt that it makes sense to pay $1300+ on the ABS system.
  • 2003 RLs have $3,500 marketing support. The first dealer (Tustin Acura) that contacted me offered to sell me, over the phone, a RL for $35,421. The invoice is $38,921 (including $500 shipping) and the marketing support (to the dealer?) is $3,500. I used the Edmunds dealer feature - it worked well.

    It may be cheaper to buy a 2003 than lease.

    The residuals on the 2003 is ~47-48% (~$21.9k), down from 54% ($23.3k)on the 2000. The 36mo/15k yr lease is ~$535 before taxes due to the low residual. My credit union found one for $570 before taxes.

    My insurance company's bank (USAA) is offering 4.99% six year loans, so I'm going to buy out my lease for $23,350 on my 2000 RL, which gives me $376/mo payments for six years.

    I hope to be able to sell the car in four years for about the balance due at that time on my loan (~$9,500). I estimate the car will have 110k miles on it.

    If I turned my car in, I would have a $750 mileage penalty due, which would have to be "added" to the cost of any other vehicle that I purchased.
  • Hello,
    I recently purchased my first REAL LEGIT LUXURY CAR. It is an 99 Acura 3.5 RL with 28350 miles. It is the CLASSIC RL color - Nighthawk Black. A lease return from Mass. I just wanted to ask a few misc things that hopefully other RL owners will have experiance with.

    I was going to use Zaino from everyone's recomendation. But i was wondering what everyone uses? Want to get at least a leather conditioner and something that will maintain the AMAZING shine on the black. What should i get - Z-2, Z-3, Z-6 ?

    Also I was wondering if anyone has info on tire sizes. The stock wheels are very nice and shine, but ultimatly i would like my next purchase to be some really nice alloys or chrome rims. I am asking because I remember someone saying that either a 17 or 19 SHOULD HAVE FIT, but didn't and requred shaving. Anyone put on different size tires?

    Any knowlegde on things you have heard or experianced is greatly appreciated!!!!

    I am glad to say that I am now a LEGIT member of this board. I feel SO SO at ease in my RL so far. I bought it Wed, Feb 5th 2003. THANKS
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    at the Chicago Auto Show. I think it opens next Friday, 14th. Any info will be appreciated by all! Supposed to have a V8, that's what I read anyway.
  • jfavourjfavour Posts: 105
    I have heard conflicting things. I read today that the 2004 RL is another minor refreshening of the current model with some interior and exterior upgrades and the complete new model won't come out until the 2005 model year. Prior to that I had read people thinking the new 2004 RL would be front wheel drive, based on a lengthened 2004 TL, with a high output V6 or possibly (some people hoped) a hybrid AWD system with a V6. It seems to be the consensus that the new RL will not be a V8 or RWD. I find the latest news (or rumors) very disappointing.
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    If you search back 2 or 3 months here, you'll find a number of posts based onw hat was being published re: the hybrid design at that time.

    What is certain: Honda does not have a V8 program and sees no reason to try to beat the Big 3 (MB, BMW, Lexus) at their own game. Honda's strong suit has always been technology. So: ?????

    JW
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    One thing is almost certain (with Honda rumors, it's never 100% certain)- it's going to be a big V-6...3.8L or 4.0L.

    It's expected to have either 300hp or close to it, and similar torque output. With that in mind, I strongly doubt it'll still be FWD, unless Honda can manage to prevent torque steer.
  • I just purchased a 2000 RL (my first real luxury car as well) and have many questions. Email me at mattlemon@columbus.rr.com and we can discuss each others questions and maybe help each other out.
  • I hope everyone had a good weekend.

    http://www.autoweek.com/cat_content.mv?port_code=autoweek&cat- _code=carnews&loc_code=index&content_code=07799113

    According to Autoweek.com, Acura says rear drive is not critical to its success.

    It says that Acura coupes and sedans with up to 270hp still have a luxurious feel with front drive. Anything more would require all wheel drive.

    It looks like the next RL will have AWD. Isn't it supposed to debut at the Chicago Auto Show this weekend?
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    thanks for the link. That's a dealer who said that, viper, not an Acura spokesperson. Of course he may still know something.... it could happen!

    And the RL is due for Chicago, at least according to the Edmund's teaser for the show.

    It's my guess (or hope?) that the TSX ($$) will now fill the bill above the RSX ($) and the TL/CL can move up a notch higher ($$$) with the new RL ($$$$) with full features and between $45k and $50k .... still safely below the MB, BMW, and Lexus price floor but (fingers crossed) with a technologically advanced platform.

    It doesn't need to be wildly popular (a luxo hybrid would be interesting) but it does need to be attractive enough to give a halo effect for the rest of the lineup, along with the '05 redesign of the NSX which is also long overdue, no matter how lovely it is.

    JW
  • A Ferrari you can drive every day.

    Why didn't anyone else think of it?

    Makes me want to go out and buy lotto tickets!

    Honda definitely has the goods to go head to head with MB, BMW, Lexus, and Infiniti. I wonder why they're so conservative. Is it because of cash? They're relatively small compared to the other players, so maybe they don't want to throw cash around like it grows on trees.

    You would think that they would have a decent amount of money lying around from the 400,000+ Accords they sell every year in North America alone.
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    But the name of their game is profit. Do they have a "loss leader"? I can't think of one. If they get heavily into competition, or too much into the smaller niches (like peformance) then they may not get the return they are used to. No dummies there, just us hungry customers (maybe).

    JW
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    Honda was, at one point, the smallest of the so-called Japanese Big5. Now they're the 2nd largest, and the only other Japanese brand left that's independently owned. Don't think they'd want to mess with a formula that's been very good to them so far. So if bland and conservative cars got them this far, why mess with it?
  • l943973l943973 Posts: 197
    I went on the Chicago Auto Show website and used their live cameras to panned in on the Acura booth while still under construction and it looked like the RL is pretty much unchanged.

    The lights were on so it was hard to see the front. I snapshot the picture, but can't seem to get the imc src syntax right to put it here.
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Honda definitely has the goods to go head to head with MB, BMW, Lexus, and Infiniti. I wonder why they're so conservative. Is it because of cash? They're relatively small compared to the other players, so maybe they don't want to throw cash around like it grows on trees.
    Based on my observation, Honda's strategy appears to be profit based growth. This could be one of the reasons why they managed to grow slowly but steadily, even in bad times. Unlike Nissan, they may not be willing to take financial risks, especially in a competitive market, and be gobbled up by a larger player. Nissan too, could revive its lineup because of the cash flow it received from Renault, otherwise $37 billion in debt is nothing to brag about.

    From sales point of view, the marketing execs must believe that there is little to no advantage going RWD, and they may be right. Acura may be heading in the direction that Audi has been using, and Volvo is trying to emulate as well, FWD layout, with optional AWD. This may be reflected in next RL. Even for 2004, it wouldn't surprise me if Acura lifted the power train off Acura MDX, including VSA, and put it in the RL. It would give the flagship a much needed shift in terms of bragging rights, the 260 horses to go with it.
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