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Acura RL

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Comments

  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    I think many folks do not see just how extensive the masking in that photo really is. We're not talkin' tape and badge removal. We're talking something like the S2000's optional hardcover stretched across the front end. The entire front and back might as well be shielded with full-size sheets of plywood.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    I've got major problems with every MB--could write a book on it. If someone put a gun to my head and said choose, I'd take an S and close my eyes to the amoeba head lamps, incongruent triangular tail lamps, and Taurus-like concavity (although not as exaggerated) along the sides. In my opinion, the only redeeming feature is its lonsdale proportion--there is a slender elegance to it as opposed to the porcine BMW 7.

    Merc1, I hope you don't take it personally. I'm a BMW owner and am coming down HARD on all new bummers.. I mean bimmers. I was always an Acura fan based on refined style, fit and finish... but apparently this is going to change... big time.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Oh, nothing personal taken...just curious when people say things like that. What cars do you find attractive?

    M
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    Without a warranty on a low-miles car (the part about Acura setting the car price is pure BS, I'm sure, though they do set the warranty price probably) and an independent inspection, I'd pass for sure.

    There are lots of good RLs out there with people who actually want to sell them. You can find another.

    Finally, I've bought cars at a distance before and arranged for the inspection by phone. It requires finding a decent garage (use the web??) and calling them to ask them to pick up the car and go through it. Not as good as being there of course, but better than nothing.

    Good luck. JW
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    On the sedan level-

    3rd Place: 03 BMW 530. Simple, even banal, but there are no exaggerated features. Sophisticated interior. Performance is unbeatable, however we're talking about design here.

    2nd Place: 04 Audi A8 with caveat. They should be arrested for the manhole-cover wheels. However, this is easily corrected. I would also trim down the upper end of the butt and shorten the roofline a bit so the rear end looks a little less truncated. Finally, flatten out the tail lamps--too much of a departure from the front end. This seems to be a lot of criticism for a second place car, but I'm probably being fussy.

    1st Place: 03 Acura TL. Proportions are damn near perfect, shapes are balanced and no one aspect screams for attention. I also like the low cut dash, and Acura upholstery is among the best. Nicely cut 5-spoke wheels hold it all together in sporty fashion. Too bad this couldn't be scaled up to RL. I might have done something a little different with the trunk lip, but it's not a stone in my shoe.

    Designer's dream: 04 Lamborghini Gallardo and Murcielago. I favor the latter in frontal 3/4 view, the former in profile. In trying to find fault with Lamborghini design one could make an argument with the bull in the badge. I could study these babies for hours and hours.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    02 911 Coupe and Boxster: prettiest butts around. Lines and shapes flow like no other. The evolution of the frog was exemplary. Purists stop in the mid 90's. I'll jump off here...

    On the design front Porsche shows signs of going downhill too. For lack of anything better to do they're starting to get heavy with the palette knife... cutting unnecessary swaths into the moldings and bumpers of the 03s. Also, how could they skip over a performance sedan and wagon in favor of a frivolous SUV pig? The technology they pumped into the Cayenne is amazing... and dubious. Spy shots of future Porsches are heartbreaking.

    I'm foraging for some good auto design news... somebody... HELP!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Very interesing...I too find the A8 and 911 to be very good looking cars, especially the 911 C4S.

    Where we differ is on the TL. I don't see anything remotely attractive about the Acura TL, it's dull and forgettable in standard trim and just slightly better looking in TL-S form, just my opinion.

    I've always thought the Boxster was good looking until you get a side view, it's too long in the front, looks like a giant lip sticking out. The Carrera GT has the same shape/design but is better balanced.

    I'd have to also agree that future pics of certain cars don't offer all that much hope. However I think it's still a little early to judge the 05' RL. I'm just guessing here, but I figure they'll make it look like an even bigger 04' TL, which is just a bigger version of the TSX. This is an age-old European car design theme...how'd they say it...same sausage, different lengths.

    BMW, BMW. I'm kinda in a state of disbelief over their new designs. I tried so hard to like the 7-Series, but at the end of the day I can't lie to myself, the car is just plain ugly. The new 5-Series doesn't promise to be any better. The 6-Series is merely "ok" until you see that Banglized trunklid, yuck. The X3 is funny looking too. Funny thing is though, the Bangle look is downright fitting on the Z4, I have to say he nailed it with the Z4.

    Oh, I guess since you're critiqing designs, I must ask what you think of the Bentley Continental GT, Aston-Martin Vanquish, Jaguar XJ8 and say...the Enzo.

    About the Cayenne, I think Porsche had to do it. As you see 911 and Boxster sales are way down this year, but Porsche's overall sales are up YTD, due to the pepper truck. The SUV market is just way too big for most companies to ignore. Even Maserati and Alfa have SUVs in the works. I loved the Lamborghini LM002, and a replacement would be wonderful for the brand I think.

    Sorry for rambling.

    M
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    I don't think you are rambling at all... thanks for the exchange.

    So I don't get slapped by the moderator for digressing, let me mention what's on my mind with the 05 RL. The Maxima shape comparison is accurate and disappointing. It seems many have a problem with "upright" and "boxy" shapes. The point is clear. However, I have a problem with four wheels--how boring that all cars have them. Upright and boxy comes with the sedan format--it's hard to get away from and most attempts are feeble in my opinion. A blue pinstripe suit is a blue pinstripe suit. Cut it from fine cloth and tailor it well. The wedge works with the RSX and sport cars that forsake the back seat. I say don't bring it to the sedan.

    Merc1, I need a day to respond to your post... good conversation. Will get to the subjects at a later date. Need time to digest the Bentley. I think I like the countenance by virtue of shape but I may have a problem with the molded plastic look.

    With regard to Bangle and BMW... I think they're going to have big marketing problems. Their direction and execution is way off. Will it be enough to sway the deep-rooted BMW performance cult? Not all, but many.

    Work beckons... later.
  • Not going to slap you :) I'm always happy to see people discuss & disagree reasonably. As long the discussion doesn't totally exclude Acura, I'm OK with it wandering a bit.

    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    The thing that bothers me about BMW with these designs is BMW has younger buyers in their 40's where as Mercedes and Lexus have buyers in their 50's. I don't think BMW's target audience is going to be down with their new styling. On the Z4 it looks kinda agressive for my tastes.

    Ok don't want to exclude Acura then. I just don't get why are their cars are going to look the same I mean the TSX isn't going to beat the Mazda 6, VW Passat, or Nissan Altima in any beauty contests but the TSX is still classy knida bland but the exterior styling has alot of class to it. As for the TL the headlights are going to be too small for a luxury car. When you see a luxury car in your rear view mirror on the highway you want it to make a statement in the styling department. The 99 3 Series makes a statement in the styling department as does the 02-03 TL. The 99-01 TL didn't make any statements. Another example of a car not make any statements in the exterior styling department would be the 95-99 Infinti I 30. There is no styling standout on that whole car.
  • wsag26wsag26 Posts: 124
    px260
    Exactly what I thought when I looked at the spy pictures. Reminds me of the Maxima. Looks like the same too..

    designman
    Everyone is following each other these days. When one comes out with a vehicle getting good ratings, the other comes out with something looking the same. I don't know, but what is our brands coming too???
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    Thats been happening for awhile. I mean the an 85 Accord really doesn't look that different from an 85 Pontiac Grand AM. Another example I noticed a 92 Camry and 95 Maxima have almost identical headlights. A 92 Camry still holds its styling well to a 95 Maxima to this day. I just think its trends. In the 80's it was a boxy look that was cool, In the 90's it was the "Jelly bean look". In the 00's its about cars looking tall and having as much interior room as possible. I just don't like mnufacturers making as much as interior room as possible with the individual car loking awkward on the outside. For example an 03 Passat has good interior and a nice exterior design. A poor example of making as much interior as possible and dissproportanite styling is the 03 Corolla.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    I agree with Designman on the TL. I'm not sure I would rate it as my favorite sedan, but the proportions are very well balanced and the details are tasteful.

    Overall, the "visual mass" of the greenhouse is appropriate for the length and height. The length of the hood and decklid give the eye a nice long line to follow. In fact, the decklid is one of my favorite aspects of the design. It trails downward against the rake of the front in a nice smooth transition. The trunk-lid is a simple arched shape that mirrors the simple arched shape of the rear window. The long nose and purposeful grill (added in 2002) give the front an athletic look. The Mazda6 is the only other sedan I can think of with a similar excellence in proportion.

    That said, the sheetmetal could use a bit more spunk. When you start with a good overall shape, you don't need gimicky lines and details. However, I think the current TL could benefit from at least one or two bold lines.

    I'm waiting to see unobscured pics of the RL before making judgements on it. I think the current one is styled well for it's shape, but it's the shape of older sedans.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Luv design talk. The people in the BMW group seem to prefer maintenance, performance etc... they don't dwell on looks. Kirstie_h, how do we get a dedicated design forum? Perhaps it already exists? Edmunds is pretty deep... maybe I missed it? Thanks.

    BTW I like the perceptions and descriptions I'm hearing around here. Kudos to all of you. Should have known, Acura attracts a good bunch. Keep it up.
  • l943973l943973 Posts: 197
    image

    I lightened up the image a little to get a better look at the side doors. The shape is similar to the design in the TSX and TL Concept.

    The nose mask must be pretty effective in preventing rock chips. I wonder if they sell those. :-)
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    The shape is the number one consideration--it fails. Accordingly, I believe the details will be boring at best. It is ironic how they plagerize, then believe that masking will protect their "innovations". I would have been happy if they just resculpted the chunky butt and gave it a well-endowed engine. Honda was the first-to-market with the luxury-division concept and perhaps the last to be afflicted with me-too marketing. You have to believe somewhere down the line they will have the wherewithal to overcome this... perhaps when we overcome SUVs and bottled water.

    merc1, I did forget the XJ8... indeed a classic looker. I also like the low CG. However I don’t like the butt... has the safety pin look that has plagued the industry and is epitomized with the Neon, Camry and... sorry... MB E. I find the tail lamps of this ilk abominable. They remind me of the last hunk of salami that sits on a deli shelf.

    The Vanquish is another heavenly masterpiece on the exotic level... curvaceous, athletic and yes... a butt that beats the Porsche. Dont’ like the fish-mouth signature grill however. The prominent upper lip sticks in my craw.

    Enzo doesn’t appeal to me. Although it has the brickyard influence, I find it to be a little on the dorky side. In general I’ve had a love-hate affair with Ferrari.

    I don’t know... was Lamborghini the Bill Gates of SUVs with the LM02? Looking into my crystal ball I see a world with mom’s driving their helmuted little dollies to school in Hummers clad with shell-resistant armor.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    You guys are right. The TL needs a little salt. Also, I shared the road yesterday with an 03 Audi 8 and decided I like it better than the 04. Revison:

    1st : 03 Audi 8
    2nd: 04 Jag XJ series
    3rd: 03 BMW 5 series
    4th: 04 Audi 8
    5th: 03 Acura TL
    6th: 03 Acura RL

    For the ages: I would imagine the following gets discussed in the Mazda forums but I loved the 929--there was a shapely bourgeois beauty. Too bad it wasn't around longer.

    Would like to hear your favorites and takes.
  • bartalk2bartalk2 Posts: 326
    Did someone say the '05 RL will be over 200" long? Is that speculation?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    My listing:

    Large Sedan: Mercedes-Benz S-Class (especially "Sport" trim). Runner ups: Audi A8L, Jaguar XJ and Bentley Arnage.

    The Mercedes S-Class, say a S500 in Sport guise is just a classic, imo. All the right proportions, and it looks like it will inhale the road. The Audi is also a classic, very subtle, conservative, without being boring. The XJ has lost a little from the 03' version, but it's another car that carries it's maker's design language very, very well. The Arnage needs to explanation. If you ever get to see on in White, you'll understand fully. I'm waiting to see the Maserati Quattroporte in person, it promises to be a very interesting car.

    Midside Sedan: Either the A6/RS6 or E-Class/E55 (tied). Runner ups: Jaguar S-Type, and BMW 5-Series.

    Take the BMW off staring in Oct. I've been a fan of the A6 every since it's 97' debut, it was simply Audi's best looking sedan, up until now (A8). Ahh..the E-Class...my baby. Can't say enough about the previous design (1996-2002) or the one before that (1986-1995), I've always thought the E carried whatever Mercedes' current styling theme happened to be at the time, better than any of their other 4 door models. The S-Type has come a long way since 2000, with it's 03' facelift, it now looks and feels like a Jaguar inside and out. An afternoon in a S-Type R may have something to do with it!

    Small Sedan: Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class, tie again between Mercedes and Audi. Guess you know who I think makes the best looking luxury cars on the road. The A4 is tight, taught and now for 04' Audi has decided to paint the WHOLE car, that grey mess had to go! The C-Class, especially in "Sport" trim is simply gorgeous to me. Whoever designed the wheels should get a medal. Runner ups: thinking...maybe the 3-Series, Saab 9-3 in Aero form, and possibly the Acura TSX.

    M
  • There's an existing discussion for the BMW -- Good, Bad or Ugly - Current and Future styling trends of BMW, which may be what you were talking about.

    If you want to open a new discussion on this board to talk about the direction automotive design is or should be taking, I have no problem with that. There are also a couple of active discussions about styling on the News & Views board, including the ever-fun Amateur Redesign Studio, Eyecandy, whats the hottest car out there?, and Oh the horror! (Opposite of the eye candy topic).

    If you want to start a discussion here go ahead, or if you'd prefer that I name it and start it, just let me know.

    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

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