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Acura RL



  • So um, yeah... the numbers I quoted were from two sources... MT and C&D magazines. I did not simply "guess" about the numbers based on something I may have read in the past. Appears R&T has even different numbers from these mags, so who is right/wrong? Variances are from professional drivers who have driven and tested all of these vehicles.


    If you would like to debate the nature of BMW as the benchmark for performance sedans, knock yourself out! The issue is not whether the RL is a good piece, but whether it is truly ready to compete as a performance benchmark in its class. I'm afraid that a little time is needed for Acura/Honda to sort out the platform issues (SH-AWD) that now plague this 1st-year car. Still, it is a fine auto, but just doesn't get MY juices flowing... just my personal opinion.


    If you'd like to sort out the discrepancies across these testing sources, please do...


    '05 Acura RL 70-0... 180 ft. - C&D Road Test

    '04 BMW 545 70-0... 156 ft. - C&D Road Test

    '04 BMW 530 60-0... 115 ft. - MT Road Test

    '04 BMW 545 60-0... 121 ft. - MT Road Test

    '05 Acura RL 60-0... 127 ft. - MT COY Test

    2004 530i 60-0...131 feet. 80-0...231 feet

    2005 RL 60-0...126 feet. 80-0...224 feet


    Certainly, tires, testing venue, driver, etc. all contribute to testing "numbers". What I rely on is cumulative data over time by mfgr... believe BMW has more than proven itself. Acura is finally getting there with a larger sport sedan, as the prior RL was a nice transportation appliance. Give it time... ;-)


    IMO, place these cars on the Nurburgring or similar circuit with professional drivers and then test the braking dynamics of these cars to sort out characteristics/differences. That would help to distinguish braking dynamics in these road cars. BTW, one class-leading attribute for the RL is its safety score... that is commendable.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    Taking a few minutes here before the family arrives We have a lot to be thankful for on this 2004th Christmas.


    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you forum readers and posters. and to you Shotgun...(read your Bio)..."Don't drink to much Cognac over the holidays...but if you do... you can always guessed it..."Shotgun"!
  • I have a 05 RL and I live in Anchorage Alaska and I can tell you it handles wonderfully in the snow. I've never slid,skid or loss control if you live in the north the RL is a true thing of beauty.
  • Like many of you that have been doing a lot of research on the different options of cars to choose from, I spent over three months reading reviews, test driving cars and reading the remarks across all the forum's I finally narrowed my search down to two cars..the 530i and RL. Both cars are outstanding and offer different sensations. I really enjoyed the ride & handling of the 530i, but thought the interior was somewhat cold and the styling was a little too bold for my liking. In the end, I choose the RL and have had the car for five days. One of the first things I did was drive it straight from the dealership to a local wheel outlet and switched the stock wheels/tires for Yokahama 255/40/19 sport tires with a 19" wheel. The new package does two things 1) give incredible handling without sacrificing the smoothness of the ride and 2) gives the car a fabulous look that really makes the car standout!


    Overall, knowing it's still very early in the new car relationship, I'm head over heals crazy over this car. There are so many things about this car that I'm learning about every day and still have much more to learn. For anyone on the fence regarding buying an RL..jump off the fence and run to your nearest Acura dealership. You will not be disappointed in your decision :0)
  • aclcaclc Posts: 20
    Did you replace the tires that came with the car or are they original equiment?
  • I replaced the wheel/tire package that comes with the RL (Michelin 245/50/17)and received a $500 credit from the company I purchased the new wheels & tires from. If you've seen the prototype pictures of the RL when it first came out, that is the look you will get. The prototype had a 20" wheel which actually fits on the RL, but requires a 35" sidewall. When you get that narrow a sidewall, it starts to impact the feel of the ride. The 19" with the 40" profile looks outstanding and still keeps the integrity of the ride.
  • lvdhlvdh Posts: 29
    To say that you will not be disappointed with a purchase of a new 2005 RL assumes, of course, that the RL you receive works and does not break down 10 miles from the dealership, and that if it does break down, that Acura/American Honda Motor Company has the parts available to fix it.
  • shotgunshotgun Posts: 184
    And "Happy Holidays" to you Jjacura! Received a gift bottle of Martel Cognac "XO" - Needless to say, both myself (at home) and my Acura RL (on the road) have been, shall I say, "spirited" this holiday season...


    I've enjoyed this forum immensely and wish you all the best this holiday season...
  • "I've enjoyed this forum immensely and wish you all the best this holiday season..."


      I'd like to express my thanks and best wishes, as well. JJ, Shotgun, RobertSMX, et al...almost without exception, the posts have had a fraternal quality; really gratifying - and edifying.


     I guess that it's been five or six months since I signed on to this forum and I doubt that I missed many posts. It's been fun watching the bonding progress - and the friendships blossom.

    Heady stuff, considering the general bleakness outside these pages.

      My wife and I drove out to Montauk the other day and put on 200 miles. Our Lakeshore Luxo ran like a dream...nary a problem. The Gershwin "Concerto in F" came pouring out of the speakers with such great presence and the 300 HP made passing a swift and secure maneuver.......

    octogenarians like "displacement" too! :-)


    Again, best wishes for a splendid New Year!
  • larry6larry6 Posts: 26 long as we are getting sentimental..although I am not a very frequent contributor to the site, I am quite an avid follower of the experiences (both + and -) of the people who are interested in Acura 05 RL. I too especially appreciate the contributions of JJ, Acuraphile, Ivdh, Shotgun and others... who contribute to the site frequently. It's really quite amazing...that this medium provides owners of something heretofore rather difficult to achieve: communication among customers and potential customers. Heretofore, customers with problems...were only known to dealerships and manufacturers, whereas, sites such as Edmunds allows us to unite with common destiny. What do we seek -- nothing but to share information about a product we are interested in -- and -- to be treated fairly by the manufacturer with whom we entrusted our lives -- our cash -- and our enthusiasm for modern technology. Wishing you all good health -- and happy trails.
  • lvdhlvdh Posts: 29
    Well said larry. Information and knowledge are power.
  • after giving the nav system a three fingered salute (nav button, cancel button, menu button pressed all at the same time for 3 sec), and then selecting the navi diagnostic, the system tells me that the XM Hardware Interface Processor Electonic Control Unit is not functioning. That explains why nav traffic doesnt work and acuralink doesnt receive messages. dealer says he'll replace the HIP.ECU.


    on the plus side, the car handled EXTREMELY well in the pre-xmas ohio/indiana snow storm i had to traverse. no complaints on the SH-AWD.


    but in the below zero cold temps that followed, the driver side lock dimple stopped functioning for a time. like the navtraffic problem, several folks are now reporting this one and low temps appear to be more coincidence than cause. so be on the lookout for another fix from Acura soon.


    ahhhh, i just love software!
  • LVDH, I'm very sorry to hear about your troubles and the total disregard for Napleton to address your issue in a serious manner. I really do hope you get relief soon.


    Let me say this first. Try to resolve this using the correct channels (i.e., Acura Customer Service, Napleton Owner, Honda America, etc.). If you don't get results here is what I suggest you do.


    Take out a full page advertisement in your local paper (the bigger distribution the better) and title it "An Open Letter to [Owner's Name], Owner, Napleton Acura and [President's Name], President, Honda America." and clearly state what has happened and what you expect them to do. If they don't respond to this then I have no idea what will get them to respond.


    I for one would donate to the cost of said ad.


    Since I'm not a lawyer, you might want to consult with one before doing this just to make sure you can't get sued for libel...


    Sorry if this might be a bit over the top, but I'm so tired of hearing about dealerships who just don't care or do the right thing - especially after they've got your money.
  • lvdhlvdh Posts: 29


    I appreciate your input and your generous offer to contribute to an advertisement.


    Acura Customer Service and American Honda Motor Co. have been notified of this problem essentially since day 1. A case file was opended by Acura Client Services and said matter was assigned to a case manager who has not been helpful or responsive. To date, neither Acura Customer Service nor American Honda Motor Co. have resolved this problem.


    As for a full page ad, although it would be wonderful to see such a print ad, it is really cost prohibitive. As for the legal issues regarding libel, truth is always an absolute 100% defense to the accusation of defamation (libel or slander).


    But what you say is not at all "a bit over the top". What is really over the top is as follows:


    1. A brand new 2005 Acura RL which I purchased on or about 12/15/04 broke down within 10 miles after taking delivery from Napleton Acura due the SH-AWD and VSA failing;


    2. Napleton's service department said "the battery was low";


    3. The vehicle then broke down a second time just a couple days later again due the SH-AWD and VSA failing;


    4. The vehicle has been in Acura's service department for 10 days since it was purchased 12 days ago;


    5. Acura cannot repair the vehicle because parts are not available;


    6. Neither Napleton, Acura/American Honda Motor Co. nor Acura Client Services have offered to replace the vehicle and have done absolutely nothing to resolve this problem;


    7. I'm paying principal and interest to American Honda Finance on a vehicle which I do not have possession of and cannot drive because Acura cannot repair it.


    That's over the top
  • How are the roads where you live? In PA, even the stock tires and wheels ride fairly hard. There doesn't seem to be many wheels that fit the car yet. Did you find others as well? Assume you didn't like the 18" aspec wheels either.
  • lvdh,


    I recently took delivery of my RL, have driven over 250 miles, and luckily no issues. It's a great car, as long as you commit to understanding its new features and capabilities. But the manner with which this dealership and American Honda in general have responded to your problem, concerns us all. I expect any dealership to step up and do all it can in a situation like this. Having to wait nearly 30 days for parts is unacceptable "BS" in this day and age. Your car should be on worldwide alert with necessary parts there in 2-3 days via FedEx. In my business (large scale computers), we overnight parts with a "whatever it takes" attitude.


    This is an unacceptable situation none of us should have to experience. Although a newspaper ad has an immediate impact for the local readers and dealerships, I believe the power rests right here.


    I have read this forum since early September and have appreciated all the many comments and insights from its contributors. I knew I wanted the Acura RL since I've owned two prior Legends with a combined driving experience of over 455,000 miles - never a road failure or major issue. I never looked back at other car manufacturers because I've come to appreciate the Acura reliability and value. I would estimate that the vast majority of new '05 RL owners have had positive experiences with their new cars. But nothing in life is a guarantee and it appears that your car suffered some oversight in the manufacturing process.


    I would agree that they should replace the car immediately. Unfortunately, in the exercise of business, the approach is always to attempt a repair before replacement. But the delay in corrective action coupled with the lack of customer support rendered by the dealership and American Honda is totally unacceptable.


    Suggestive Action -


    Leverage this forum's RL participants in a communication campaign to American Honda specifically referencing your situation and case number so as to request a feedback assurance that this type of situation is not standard practice, will not occur for all new Acura RL customers, and that all of us as a group want to know that Acura (American Honda) is capable of supporting their products on an immediate and timely basis.


    I believe there are many of us on this forum who have purchased the RL and leverage this dialogue as a learning exercise, with rare occurrences of actually contributing. For the benefit of all of us, now is the time to exercise our power of communication. As was stated earlier, this forum has given us an ability to share experiences and thoughts that in prior years was never possible. Well it also gives us the ability is initiate change for the good of all of us. It starts with this issue.


    If the forum agrees with this approach and lvdh acknowledges as such, then lvdh should communicate the case number and any current information for us to act individually.


    American Honda needs to step up and correct this situation.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    We can listen and we can make suggestions, but we can't embark on an official protest campaign on his/her behalf, nor can there be a "fundraising" effort, or anything else of that nature.


    I know you all want to help - the way to do that is to continue to offer suggestions of possible action. As I'm sure lvdh realizes, the forum may not be asked to campaign in that manner per the Membership Agreement (linked on the left side of the page).


    Instead, we'll keep the suggestions and the empathy coming and hope the situation works out for the best.


    There is something about which I am not clear, and maybe this was addressed earlier and I missed it - lvdh, do you have a lawyer or a consumer rep of some sort involved in this? Have you contacted your state BBB and/or an office of consumer affairs? You might want to think about that route if you haven't already.


    I wish you all the best in getting this resolved.
  • shotgunshotgun Posts: 184
    "... I'm afraid that a little time is needed for Acura/Honda to sort out the platform issues (SH-AWD) that now plague this 1st-year car..."


    Plague?!?! Thats a little strong my friend. The isolated problems encountered with the SH-AWD mechanism are far from being a "plague". Based on my personal experience, as an RL owner, and what the automotive media has to say about the new RL I would love nothing better than to see the RL compete with it's contemporaries on the Nuernburgring!


    Whereas credit is due to Mercedes, BMW, and Audi for their automotive engineering prowess, past performance, and history of reliability & quality - it appears to me, that like in so many other fields - auto manufacturers from the land of the Rising Sun are eclipsing their Teutonic rivals...
  • lvdhlvdh Posts: 29
    Update from LVD.


    Still no response/answers from Acura/American Honda Motor Co and RL remains broken down and sitting in an Acura dealership's service department.


    Last Thursday I spoke to the assistant to the Executive VP of Automotive Operations at American Honda Motor Co. and she represented to me that someone from corporate would call me today (ie. Monday, 12/27/04). So far, I have not received the courtesy of a return call. So, I decided to follow-up myself, and I again called America Honda Motor Co. Inc.'s corporate headquarters in California and to my surprise a recorded message came on which essentially stated "the corporate offices are closed until January 3, 2005."


    This situation remains absolutely shocking and atrocious on the part of Napleton Acura, Acura/American Honda Motor Co.


    A date of January 3, 2005, will mean that almost 3 weeks will have elapsed since my RL broke down with 200 miles on it appears that my RL still will not be repaired come January 3, 2005.
  • clpurnellclpurnell Posts: 1,087
    I see you have an FX and an RL. What made you get the RL instead of waiting for the new Infiniti M. Also which Vehicle do you like better. I have a little over a year left on my FX lease and have been very happy with it but thinking about going back to a sedan. I like the RL, M, 5 series and new GS. However there isn't much out right now that I would give up my FX for.
  • For the record, I have 1250 miles on my '05 RL (delivered on 11/20) and have had ZERO PROBLEMS. And if I ever do, I certainly won't broadcast it on every Acura forum on the internet because ultimately it can only discourage people from buying the car and (surprise!) bring the resale down. I will only discuss it if I feel the need to ask advice of other owners who may have experienced similar problems. Unfortunately, the "squeaky wheel" saying is all too true.


    And Acura is certainly not the only brand whose service departments aren't familiar with new models. My Lexus SC430 had horrible runflats that produced a teeth-jarring ride (check out the forums) and the dealer refused to acknowledge the problem. As a matter of fact, even when I replaced the runflats with non-runflats at my own expense the dealer didn't even know what to quote me for a spare tire kit.


    It seems that every Acura message board is now buzzing with "SH-AWD issues" because of a couple of owners who have had problems. I'm here to state that, from everything I've read, the VAST MAJORITY of '05 RL owners have had no problems and are very satisfied with their cars. No need to turn this into another "combustible Pinto" or "unintended Audi acceleration" story.
  • When I purchased my 2004 Acura RL it was presented to me as a luxury vehicle. Nice drive, fully equipped, classic style, dependability without all the Lexus style hoopla and pricing.


    Now it seems that Acura has changed its approach and takes on a new direction. Emphasis on luxury gives way to sportiness. According to the Acura official, the pre-2005 Acura RL is a "couch-mobile". Acura also admits that "We tried the luxo approach, but, frankly, it just wasn't us", as per January issue of Road and Track magazine.


    While many companies in the past tried to change their image, none of them usually separated themselves from their prior models in the fashion Acura seems to be doing.


    Question to all: do you believe that the resale value of pre-2005 Acura RLs will be affected in any way by the new direction that Acura is taking with the 2005 RL?
  • shotgunshotgun Posts: 184
    Clpurnell - The RL, IMO, offers more and looks a little more elegant and leaner than the new Infiniti M. Of course the RL's promised reliability, SH-AWD and state-of-the-art technology appealed to me as well. For some reason, the new Infiniti M model looks a little "overweight" or "bloated" to me and the interior did not appeal to me as much as the RL's. In fairness to the "M", when I see it in the flesh it may look better since all I've seen were photographs which may not have done it justice. (The same was true for the RL - although the M's rear end, to me, leaves a lot to be desired)


    I bought the FX for my wife because, frankly, it's the best looking SUV out there (its a head turners for sure), has oodles of power, and performs almost like a true sports car. Although the FX is a "rough rider" its fun to drive - plus, my wife loves it! (as do I). Only complaint thus far is what appears to be premature tire wear - and those 20's are going to be expensive to replace. In any event, I highly recommend the FX35 - like you, I'm immensely pleased with it!


    Which do I like better - the RL or FX? The RL! Its a more civilized, refined, and comfortable ride which exceeds my FX when it comes to overall performance. Although I must admit...the FX is a little more fun to drive - I love the growl of the engine and the thumbs-up gestures I get from young people certifying my "He's got a cool ride" status!
  • lvdhlvdh Posts: 29
    I am truly happy that you have not experienced any problems with your RL and hope that you never do. However, without meaning to be disrepectful, consider the following:


    Do you think that this issue can or will be concealed from the general public merely because we should not discuss it?


    How do you think recalls ultimately occur?


    How do you know that the vast majority of owners have had no problems?


    Do you know, or have you had direct contact with, the the vast majority of owners?


    In light of that thousands of RL's have been sold, aren't there just a handful of concerned owners writing about this issue?


    What's to say you won't experience problems 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, etc, from now?


    Wouldn't you want this issue dealt with and corrected ASAP - isn't that in all RL owners interets?


    Don't you think your comments are just a little selfish?


    It very easy to say what you say and look the other way, when you are not one of those owners who is experiencing these problems.


    Once again, I wish you much happiness with your RL. You paid for it with what I'm sure was hard earned money and you should enjoy every benefit that comes with it.
  • larry6larry6 Posts: 26
    Everyone is entitled to an opinion...and I don't think we should try to censure any conversation so long as the focus here involves the 05RL. The problem experienced by Ivdh involves a central component of the vehicle....and earlier posts (even one by myself) suggested that back in late October that Acura had this problem licked -- which apprently may not be completely the case. It may be just a matter of time, before all of the RL's experience a similar failure -- who knows. Rather trying to conceal the problem to protect resale value, I believe each of us has the responsibility to speak to the issue -- be it positive (and I'm certainly glad that the early returns suggest that most 05RLs escaped this problem) or negative information. Also, it is in all of our best interests to monitor Acura's response to this possibly rare instance -- just to be sure that we can in good conscience recommend a similar purchase to our friends and family. Hearing what we have... would any of us recommend a friend to visit the Napleton showroom until we learn how this problem was handled. Perhaps they will come through on this -- once they fully understand the nature of the problem and the fact that more than one customer and potential customer are aware of a potential problem with the supposed excellence in customer care that they provide after receiving an almost $50,000 purchase price. It is clear, that the ball was dropped on this one. But the season is early - and a pennant is still within reach -- but management will have to show responsible judgment -- which I hope that it will. That would do more to maintain the resale value and propell the overall success of the car than anything else.
  • lvdhlvdh Posts: 29
    Once again, well said!
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    As noted, the RL is known for its reliability. If you intend to keep your 04 RL for more than 6 or 7 years, why should you care about resale value? The new 05 RL is $15k more expensive, given its cutting edge technology, revolutionary design and new-found sportiness. If you are satisfied with the nice drive of your so-called "couch mobile" (I just don't know why an Acura official would even make such a comment), that is what counts. Be happy with your purchase :-)
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    It saddens me to hear that your brand new RL is out of service so soon and neither the dealer nor Honda/Acura is doing much in response to your problem.


    When I had a problem with my second Nissan Maxima (I have three and buy a new one every 5 years), I wrote a letter to the executive marketing director of Nissan USA and sent it by certified mail and fascimile. Within five days, I received 2 phone calls: one from the consumer service dept (which previously had not responded to my letter to that dept) and the other from the executive's assistant. To make the long story short, the dealer gave me a substantial discount on a part which I believed might have been covered by a recall that Nissan had issued four years ago, but I did not take my car in because it did not then have any problem.


    If Nissan can accommodate a customer on a $28k car, Acura and its dealers should do their very best for customers who pay $50k. It is penny wise and pound foolish of them to treat you this way. Keep up the pressure on Honda/Acura, especially after the new year, at which time the corporate offices should return to full operation. Best of luck.
  • My concern is the manufacturer's commitment to its vehicles. Making a comment about exiting model as a "couch mobile" does not make me happy. I cannot be happy with something that is labeled by its own creator as a couch mobile. Now I feel completely different about my vehicle and probably will sell it rather quickly (this comment stays in my head, this is me driving a couch mobile). This unfortunate comment only added to my prior concerns about this vehicle. Paying over $40K for this vehicle, I expected comparable value. Before I bought RL I tested GS, M45, DTS,530 and couple others. RL won on the overall packaging, sort of Goldilocks approach. Nothing too hot, but nothing really too cold neither. I thought that the shape was classic which would help the resale value. I had this car for about 15 months. While no major problems were encountered, some annoyances are present. Driver's window is not tight and I can hear the wind if I drive fast enough. Also sounds can be heard from this window if I hit a bump. Dealer tried as he could, but nothing was really fixed. Leather is wearing off like in the below $20K vehicle. Had a GM vehicle before, none of these problems nor any other problems were present. I also noticed that RL does not have sufficient torque to be reliable in critical situations where quick acceleration is needed. While I still believe that overall value is there, this car is not worth over $40K new in my opinion, especially comparing to what was there available at that time. I could have gotten the GS 430 for 6 grand more. Now I wish I would have done that. The current resale value of my RL is way down, so I am stuck, unless I am willing to accept the difference. The new RL does not impress me at all. It does not have the look. (try to find it quickly on the large parking lot between other cars). It is smaller everywhere, the engine has the same problem as the prior version, too little torque to be called sporty. For the same money (around $50K) you can get much better cars with a higher resale value and higher overall appeal. The 05 RL is neither BMW-like nor Lexus-like. The all wheel drive does not help the fact that it still drives like a front wheel drive vehicle. Shorter wheelbase than the 04 model does not help on a highway. Trunk is so small that any longer trip requires careful planning with your baggage. While the SH drive is better than a typical front wheel car, it is not even close to the experience of a luxury rear wheel drive competitors.
  • aclcaclc Posts: 20
    How did you find out about the "three fingered salute?"
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