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Acura RL



  • Thanks for response. I still haven't seen anywhere any indication about extended incentive. The line from your dealer sounds fishy. Could be a baiting trick. One RL left!? I've seen dozens RLs on the lots here in Central NJ, where market for upscales is still quite active.
    I suspect your dealer might have had one demo version with 5K on odometer, which he wanted to push to you with a made up "dealer incentive".
    By the way, do you know when they start rolling out 03s, (which by all accounts is unchanged car) and when incentive for those might kick in?
  • I haven't done any searching to find out, goldkey, but Acura often runs incentives by region. So I don't know if that may be the problem. I just gave the dealer I use a call and he says the incentive is still on (I didn't get specific) and he has two on the lot (outside Boston). I'm sure, like your experience indicates, that there are plenty available through a search. Finally, Acura uses incentives to diminish excess supply (obvious, I knwo) -- I suppose if they sold them faster than they anticipated they could put the brakes on by removing the incentive.

    If you're worried, could you buy out of your lease for the balance and sell the car for more than the residual on your own early? Also, some have claimed good success at

    Just curious: if you opt out of the RL because the incentive goes, what do you plan to go to instead?

    Go Bluejays.
    Joe W.
  • Actually, I do believe this dealer only has one left. I'm in the Midwest, and I don't think there is a dealer around here that would ever have a dozen RLs on the lot. However, there were quite a few earlier in the month, and when I drove through this past weekend there were only three left, and one had "sold" on it. But yes, you do have to watch for the demo trick.

    It sometimes takes Edmunds awhile to update the incentive information, and many sites do not list dealer incentives, so its usually better to just call.
  • Hey jwilson, thanks a lot for the swaplease site. I just peeked thru. Seems like great thing with a great idea behind it. I don't think I could buy out my lease (with only few months left) and dealer's "buy-out" price is too high to be worth it. This is a freaking 99 Camry with high residual value, but the worst among recent Camry generations, in my opinion. I can't stand the car; can't wait to dispose of it. 'Sides it has dents.
    Anyway, if RL doesn't come thru, I am really not sure what alternatives to go for. On one hand there are so many out there, on the other hand RL is the only one that kinda fits my requirements: FWD, level of luxury and size-wise for a reasonable price. If you look around there aren't that many around like it. Lexuses are either too crumy or too pricey. I kinda like Lincoln LS V8, which also sold with big discounts, but it's RWD, and they say '03 will have 300 improvements. So, makes me wonder: should I wait for the new issue? because how bad a 40K car has to be to need 300 improvements? I also think about Avalon. But I can't stand Toyota, and if they say RL with 225HP is sluggish, then what about Avalon with 210HP!?
    Do you have suggestions? I'll appreciate.
    Hey, if RL doesn't come thru this year by the time I return my car, I might use your swaplease option after all.
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    I agree that whether the incentives will be extended is primarily a function of supply and demand. If there are plenty of RLs left, Acura may even have to increase the $4000 incentive. On the other hand, if the RLs are moving rapidly out of the lots, the dealers may keep part of the incentives to increase their profits.

    IMO, RLs selling at mid-thirties provide good value. This is so because many entry-level luxury cars are selling at much lower prices, including the TL, Avalon, I35 and Maxima, and they provide comfort and technology that are close or comparable to the RL. Unless RL makes substantial improvements, it is difficult for Acura to justify a much higher price, much less the MSRP, which Acura knows is unrealistic.

    As there will be little or no change to the 03 RLs, I think they will be sold, initially, close to or slightly below invoice. As time passes, they will have to be sold again with incentives or rebates, in light of past and current sale records. The 04s will be anyone's guess, since Acura has not let anyone know about them; although it has been rumored that they will be completely different or significantly upgraded.
  • I sure don't find the 225hp 'sluggish' -- perhaps if I were a driver who liked to "light up" the tires, I'd find it too weak. Of course it won't win a drag with the "big names," but that's what you get with a 6cyl. fwd.

    I still drive auto-X on the weekends, goldkey, and I've owned cars with much greater hp (and much greater $$$), and I'm totally satisfied. To me, value isn't a dirty word; it's a car that's comfortable on the road and always always runs. So far as acceleration is concerned, I'm less inclined to worry about 0-60 than I am, say, 30-80 (for driving in traffic) and as someone who has to drive behind slow-moving cars on a two-lane road for 30 miles each morning, I'm satisfied ... not blown away, but satisfied.

    Suggestions: well, what about the TL? or the G35? smaller, but very nice cars.

    Go Bluejays.
    Joe W.
  • I checked out earlier this week, and the 2002 RL's without Nav were in the $39,500 range. This afternoon they are back down in the $35,500 range so I beleve Acura is continuing the $4K incentive.
  • Hey, thanks for the update, Actually, I didn't even hope it'd come back again. You are right the incentive is back. In my zip area that price actually shows $34,800. O'K, I think, I am going to try to get this deal. All in all, I think one can't go wrong with such a fine car for 35K, if you are looking for something plusher that Camry/Accord fair.
    I followed jwilson's suggestion to take another look at TL. And my heart still is not there. Feature by feature and on paper TL looks like a better deal. TL has more advanced modern features not present at RL, which is a tad old-fashioned in comparisson. TL is faster and corners like a rock. But something is missing for my taste. I think ride and cabin feel. Driving TL might keep you exhilarated and on your toes looking for the next traffic light to beat the crowd on the punch.
    But that's not what I am looking for. I felt tense and jittery in TL and conscious of that low headroom all the time. (later I figured that it is not the low roof that bothered me, but very close point of where windsheild and roof meet). RL, on the other hand gave me complete relaxation, and I guess that's what I need in a car. Hope, the deal will come true. If not, not big deal, I am not going to cry over it. Spending that much money another day on another car is never going to be a problem.
  • I'm glad you were able to get what you want.

    Just as a point of info -- the interior measurements of the RL and the TL are VERY similar, almost exact. The difference, as you point out, is the rake of the windshield.

    Joe W.
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    I went to a bookstore today at lunchtime and flipped through a couple of magazines. The October issue of Motor Trend says the price of the 03 RL is from 29k to 35k. I think it is a typo; however, a quick glance at other car prices appear ok. Did MT misprint the RL price or does the listed price has some validity? Check it out. In any event, please let us know how you fair at the dealer with your prospective purchase.
  • Here is the entire review from Motor Trend on the 2003 RL:

    "Benefiting from a host of upgrades for '02, Acura's senior sedan gains only new wheels, taillights, and minor trim changes to set off its comprehensively appointed '03 package. The RL's mechanical features include a 3.5L/225-HP SOHC VTEC V-6, electronically controlled four speed automatic transmission, double wishbone suspension, four-wheel dics with ABS, stability control, and front/front-side airbags. On the luxury front are leather upholstery, wood accents, a full complement of power assists, climate-control A/C, Bose audio, and OnStar. A DVD nav system and cargo net are the sole options."

    And yes, Motor Trend lists the price as $28,980-$33,480. Be sure to take this magazine with you when you visit the dealer. Everyone will have a nice laugh over that pricing.

    And I believe this is the first VTEC engine in the RL. doesn't mention the 2002 having a VTEC. Perhaps the RL is sharing the TL's engine? It should have the Type S engine (IMHO).

  • One thing I keep forgetting to ask, does anyone know what platform the RL is build on? As best as I can find out, it isn't shared with anything else Honda sells in this country. Is it used for anything in Japan? Would love to know if anyone has the 411.


  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    I've always found it odd that the flagship sedan doesn't incorporate the parent company's ubitiquious VTEC system.
  • Most everyone seems to be talking about new cars, but I figured I would post this as an FYI. I bought a 1997 RL in April with 96K on it for 13K. I just spent $2700.00 on it yesterday. The water pump and timing belt were due to be changed, plus the accessory belts and I had to replace the right front strut (as it was sagging) so I did the left one to. Also, my mechanic found that the crank shaft position sensor was about to fail, so another 200 for that. I really like the car, but parts are expensive. I have 103K on it now and I would like to get to 150K with another major outlay (plugs and trans/diff were serviced two months ago). The car is wonderful, but watch out for the maint.
  • mike734mike734 Posts: 128
    It is amazing how expensive the parts are for this RL. My insurance is much more than for my 2000 Odyssey because the parts are so much more. It irks me because they are sometimes identical to Honda parts but with a different part number. A flasher/turn relay is $75, The horns are about $50 each. BTW watch out if your differential pinion seal is leaking ($660). Fix it now or pay much more later if it blows and you need a new tranny.
  • goralgoral Posts: 138
    You paid $2700 for timing belt/water pump + 2 struts??? Ouch!!!! I just had the timing belt/water pump/belts replaced by my mechanic. Charged me $250 for labor and I bought all OEM parts online for just over $300.
  • I own a 1998 Camry, it's been good to me since I purchased it used a little over a year ago, but I don't really like it. I purchased it to have some trouble free transportation while I was in a transition of having a kid, getting a degree, and got a job.

    To make a long story short, I'm thinking of getting a White 1998 RL with 48K miles for 22k. Does this sound like a good deal? I want a car that makes my 1.5 hour a day (65 mi ) commute easier.

    Any input will be greatly appreciated...
  • The MDX has been upgraded to 260hp using the same 3.5L engine.

    The 3.5L engine in the RL is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from the 3.5L engine present in the MDX/Odyssey. The 3.5L of the MDX/Odyssey is of the J-series of SOHC engines from Honda, which also includes the 3.0L engine of the Accord and the 3.2L engines of the TL/TL-s.

    The J-series engines (3.5L of the MDX etc) are Transversely mountable engines with a 60 degree "V" angle. The 3.5L in the RL is a Longitudinally mountable engine with a 90 degree "V" angle. The 90 degree "V" angle is ideal in a V8 engine, while the 60 degree "V" angle is ideal in a V6. The 90 degree V6 needs bandaids like balancing shafts to quell vibrations.

    Normally Automakers go for a 90 degree V6, ONLY when they need to make a V6 on the same production line as their V8 engines. For example, the Oldsmobile 3.5L DOHC engines have a 90 degree "V" angle, since they are built on the same production line as the Northstar 90 degree V8 engines of Cadillac. Putting balancers to quell vibrations is cheaper than building an entirely new production line. I wonder why Acura put a sub-optimal 90 degree V6 in the RL ? And not even providing it with Variable Valve Timing technology that Honda already employs in almost all other cars of theirs, leaving the RL engine, just a notch above such old school engines as the General Motors Pushrod engines ?? Strange, very strange...

  • jjpcatjjpcat Posts: 118
    I was also puzzled by Honda's decision to use its lowest-tech engine in its more expensive autos except NSX. Same applies to the auto transmission. But I guess Honda believes no matter what kind of engine and transmission they put into RL, the most they can sell is 40k-50k each year and not making a whole lot of profit. The solution? Don't bother with its improvement. This generation of RL came out in 1996 and there won't be a new generation till 2004 at the earliest.

    Trying to keep its environment friendly image, Honda may not want to develop any V8 engines. And without V8 engines, I guess Honda would be extremely lucky if they can sell 40k/year in $40k+ range. I think Honda knows this and thus it isn't too eager to make improvements to RL.
  • I think. It will go on sale in a little over a year.

    2 pictures at:
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