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Acura RL vs. Acura TL

timnytimny Posts: 142
Sorry to seem schizophrenic - I am having trouble making up my mind about what what car to buy, but am leaning towards the Acura RL. On the plus side, my wife and I negotiated an incredible deal for the RL and an MDX (Touring w/NAV). Total price for the two comes in at under $79K, if I pull the trigger now. But I am still uncertain.

Help me decide.

I am having to give up a six-speed since my bachelor days are over and my wife doesn't like to drive an MT, so that has me looking at near-to luxury cars like the RL. I love the new 330i, but a) there's no 330xi model available yet, and b) what's the point of an AT BMW? I also like the styling and ride of the M (and, for that matter, the G), but after reading here about disenchanted owners (and seeing my friend's Infiniti inexplicably burn-up three sets of front brakes in under 20,000 miles), I am skeptical about Infiniti. And the Lexus 300AWD - hot!, but tres cher!

So now I am looking at Acura, but can't decide between the RL and the TL. Doubtless the RL is a refined (and fine!) ride, and the Formula-1-ish paddle-shifters are intriguing (might almost make up for having to drive an AT!), but the styling ... I don't know: it looks a lot like an Accord (and a comparably equipped Accord is $20K cheaper, and technically roomier). Meanwhile, the styling of the TL is great, but I would prefer AWD to FWD. Is it worth the additional $12K, though?

Give me some advice!
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Comments

  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    How about the 530ix?
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    I negotiated an incredible deal for the RL and an MDX (Touring w/NAV). Total price for the two comes in at under $79K, if I pull the trigger now. But I am still uncertain. ... I also like the styling and ride of the M ... but after reading here about disenchanted owners

    I'm currently debating the RL vs. the M35. The M35 entered the picture several months ago due to the overpriced nature of the RL (at the time). The newer heavily discounted prices on the RL is intriguing however. Your combined total price isn't much help evaluating the deal - how much is the RL part of it? The TL is a heck of a car and a good deal in and of itself (I'm even thinling of getting a TL and saving the money); I have been struggling since March to convince myself that the RL is worth ~$10K more than the TL - I'm not sure that it is :confuse:

    Your comments about disenchanted M owners is a bit puzzling; I have not gotten that impression at all here on Edmunds. Actually the RL is having a lot of QC issues that is being reported here and on other dedicated forums. The preponderance of reported issues with the RL is the Number 1 thing holding me back. I've more or less decided to forgo the '05 RL due to its problems and either get the new M35, wait on the '06 RL, or save the money and get a TL.
  • nebraskaguynebraskaguy Posts: 341
    I bought my RL in October and absolutely love it. A good friend just bought a TL and I've ridden in it a number of times. My take:

    Both are great cars. The TL is especially great considering the price.

    I prefer the TL's styling to the RL's, though the longer I drive my RL, the more I appreciate the styling.

    The AWD in the RL really sells it for me.

    One of my few complaints about the RL is the somewhat choppy ride. The TL's ride is even choppier - much more of a sports car feel.

    I don't believe the TL is as quiet as the RL.

    The nav system on the RL is the best there is. While the nav system on the TL is very similar, it isn't as easy to operate as the RL's.

    Aside from those items, either car would be a great car for you.
  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744
    Some advise you ask... Well...at a packaged price of $79k for the RL and MDX. Effectively you are paying $36k for the MDX after what should be about $43k for the RL. Is it great? Pretty good but not where that should be your decision point.

    RL vs TL. I driven both and decided on the TL. The AWD is nice, but I found enough road bite with the TL. The RL to me is trying to compete with the luxury sports sedan of Lexus LS and maybe the BMW 5...but I found the amenities of the TL to be comparable to both just mentioned. Cabin size of the RL might be roomier...but it just didn't fit the profile needs and wants I seeked.

    As for the paddle shifters....I am not a big big fan....and should not be a decision maker and a novelty that the up coming Lexus IS330 is trying to push. Somewhat interesting...but you can also do the same with the TL sequential-shifter...where you can mimic manual shifting with the fine TL automatic.

    Although the RL is a fine bargain at $43k...is it worth the additional $12k above the TL? You have to make that decision after multiple test drives...I selected the TL. If I was considering a mid-$40k sports sedan...I might even pony up a few additional dollars and consider the Lexus GS series. Either way...it is very difficult to beat the performance, amentities and value proposition of a TL.
  • timnytimny Posts: 142
    Can you elaborate more on the QC issues you know about the RL? Do you know of similar issues for the TL?
  • timnytimny Posts: 142
    Interestingly, the sales agent blurted out that if the TL has AWD, they'd sell no RLs at all ... then he quickly back-pedaled on his statement.
  • timnytimny Posts: 142
    TL = 35
    RL = 44
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    The Acura dealer told me that the RL is selling so poorly becuase it looks just like an Accord, and the TL is just too much of a value. IMHO the RL is not worth thousands more than the TL.
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    Just read thru the Edmund's Problem Forum on this website, as well as the other major Acura RL Internet Forums.

    seamusnh, "Acura RL Owners: Problems & Solutions" #275, 22 Jul 2005 10:26 am!make=Acura&model=RL&ed_makeindex=.ef4f332

    Most of the problem appear to be electrical and/or software related; e.g. XM issues, NavTraffic issues, Key Fob problems (dead battery), etc. Most seem minor and somewhat typical to first model year releases; however there are too many in my opinion and I'd just as soon wait on the '06 or get something.
  • quest3quest3 Posts: 33
    And twice on Sunday. Why would you pay 10-12 grand more for a better navigation sytem(someone's opinion) AWD and power rear shade, that just doesn't add up and especially when the least expensive of the 2 cars is clearly most definately with out a doubt the better looking vehicle.. Maybe the two bodys got switched accidentally at the factory when they were concepts and no one realized it. And If the TL goes AWD (I think maybe 07 if it does) they'll sell less RL then they are now. Its a wrap for the RL, they need to drop that price to about 5 grand more than a TL then some people will over look the less attractive styling but personally I'd still get the TL.
  • acraandyacraandy Posts: 8
    The RL doesn't just have AWD, it has SH-AWD which is quite an amazing feature. It handles very well, especially considering it's size.
    IMHO, the RL is too small for it's price range. It has some nice features. The Navi is noticably better, but only if you live in a city with the real-time traffic monitors (I think they are up to 25 of the largest US cities right now)
  • nebraskaguynebraskaguy Posts: 341
    The Navi is noticably better, but only if you live in a city with the real-time traffic monitors

    I really disagree The RL's navi has an easy to use joystick as opposed to the touch screen on the TL. Also, you can program the RL's navi while driving since it has voice feedback. The basic system is the same, but I find the RL's more refined to use.
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    I agree, the price difference between the two cars is too much for the RL to compete against the great looking, great value TL. The TL is a great blend of sportyness, lux and power that is hard to beat.
  • nebraskaguynebraskaguy Posts: 341
    I agree, the price difference between the two cars is too much for the RL to compete against the great looking, great value TL.

    Each to his/her own. I love my RL and wouldn't trade it for a TL for anything. A good friend has the TL and wouldn't trade it for my RL straight across. The TL is a great value, but the RL is an absolute dream to drive.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,480
    "Each to his/her own. I love my RL and wouldn't trade it for a TL for..."

    And that is the final word on all of these "mine's better, faster, prettier and a better value" ego matches on several of these boards. While it's fun to argue, you vote with your wallet. The car you buy, until you decide otherwise, is the absolute best car for you!

    If I wanted to spend in the $50k range there is no doubt I would have driven the RL. And M35/45, E Class (actually I did drive the E Class a couple of times. Very nice, but I decided I didn't want to spend $50k and to be honest just couldn't see the ~$20k difference between the E and the TL) and maybe the 530 (it's just that it looks so bad on the outside and dull/downmarket on the inside. Sorry, I'm shallow and need a pretty face...) and A6. From what I're read, the RL is a strong competitior.

    Anyway, Nebraska, enjoy the RL as much as I (and, if I can read between the lines, frisconick ;)) enjoy the TL and blueguy and KD enjoy their Bimmers. Winners all.

    '13 Jaguar XF, '11 BMW 535xi, '02 Lexus RX300

  • shs111shs111 Posts: 39
    Just today I traded my 2004 TL for a 2005 RL. The RL was not available when I bought the TL, and I have loved every minute, every mile of the TL. But I wanted the advanced all wheel drive of the RL (I live in the Boston area, so in some respects all wheel is a necessity, not a luxury), and also liked its smoother ride (albeit a marginal difference to me). Only when the RL price dropped (I got it at $44,585 plus a very decent trade value on the TL) was I willing to consider it.

    Kudos to Acura for two great cars.
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    Anyway, Nebraska, enjoy the RL as much as I (and, if I can read between the lines, frisconick ) enjoy the TL and blueguy and KD enjoy their Bimmers. Winners all.

    Very well put! We go back and forth on what car is best, but these are all really great cars, and we are lucky to be able to afford them.
  • taxesquiretaxesquire Posts: 681
    You offered that one of the reasons the RLs nav is better than the TLs is that "you can program the RL's navi while driving since it has voice feedback."

    You can program the TLs nav while in motion, too, and it has the same voice recognition, voice prompts and feedback too.

    I do believe the RLs joystick is easier to use than the TLs - I hope it is b/c the TLs is not easy to use - but I wonder why they got rid of the touchscreen. Even those who prefer to use a joystick should be able to appreciate having the option?!?
  • nebraskaguynebraskaguy Posts: 341
    but I wonder why they got rid of the touchscreen

    They may have gotten rid of it because the touch screen doesn't hold up well. I had the touch screen on my 99RL and after two years there were permanent spots on it at places I frequently touched the screen.
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    I have seen touchscreens cash registers in bars but the bartenders use a plastic stick instead of their fingers, I assume because it does not mess up the screen.
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