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Acura RL

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  • . . .I finally got to see up close and personal a new Black on Black RL.

    My previous comments -- without prompting were echoed by my wife when she said "it looks a lot like an Accord, especially from the front." The rear end looks very German (to me), a lot of BMW influence there. The interior is gorgeous -- Audi look out! -- in black, the rear seat and leg room looked a bit tight, but overall the package presented itself in concert with its price, IMHO. It is NOT a BMW 7, a big S class Merc or an A8 -- but it wasn't meant to be, and it sure isn't priced like one.

    Personal choice -- no black interior.

    I liked the wheels, the tail pipes and the fact that the car looks to be in motion when parked.

    I could not get into the car, but the door was open and I poked my nosey head in as far as I could on the passenger side (front) -- otherwise I had to peer into the thing.

    Soon there will be some "test" cars available -- I can't wait. Of course by that time, I am certain to have forgotten how the A6 3.2 drove to compare with the RL.

    This has to be the nicest car Acrua has ever made -- and beating the TL, now that's saying something.

    I'll agree with some posters who say the look is understated -- I think that is a plus!
  • I went through the same process. I had a chance at a used 2005 Acura RL (1,300miles and fully loaded). I offered $47K and then walked. It is probably still available on the internet @ Sterling McCall (Houston, TX). I then got lucky and picked up a 2002 LS430 (22,500 miles with Nav.)for $10K less. For me, its room and comfort and known reliability far outweighs a hotrod V6 awd of unknown reliabilty.
  • I have to say prophet, you have a problem reading (and that was a pretty pathetic post). Habitat1 and my post which I presume you were commenting upon had alot of issues besides trunk space on the RL.

    Also, the cost of the RL was not our (or speaking for myself) the primary concern.

    I assume you can read (in addition to just calling people cheap). However, in case you cannot or are too lazy to go back and read the posts, I will restate my reservations as simply as possible for your comprehension:

    1. I have no problem with people serving as cheerleaders for the RL. I may buy one.

    2. Its peformance characteristics (braking and acceleration) are basically average in its class (braking is actually subpar) and don't compare all that well with a TL or an Infiniti G-35.

    3. Its interior is nice and it has alot of gadgets but the lack of back seat and trunk space mean that it is not a "best in category" luxury car as some people claim based on vague assertions.

    There actually was much more nuance in the posts made by me, Habitat1 and others. However, I guess I made the assumption that you might actually read them. Rather than inferring people are cheap because they are not cheerleaders for the car, perhaps you should consider that you are easily duped by a few fancy tech features which don't really define a luxury or performance car. Being able to brake more rapidly, accelerate better and carry several people and their baggage comfortably define that to me. If you want to run out and pay MSRP for a car that can't do many things better than a $35,000 car (and probably not as well if TL gets SH-AWD next year), that is your perogative. I can afford whatever I want. However, before you look down on people as being cheap, perhaps you should first consider that perhaps you are gullible.
  • prophet2prophet2 Posts: 372
    If you're so thin-skinned that you thought I was talking about YOU, then there's nothing I can do about that! Or do you hold such a high opinion of yourself that, in your mind, it HAD TO BE YOU I was referring to?

    My comment is a GENERAL one which applies to ANY vehicle. No matter what the price-point is, or what Edmund's TMV is, there will always be those for whom the price is TOO HIGH! For some, the economic reality will dictate that they have to make another choice - they simply cannot afford it. For others, they are indeed CHEAP and will waste everyone's time in a fruitless pursuit.

    For the record, I drove the TL and recommended it to my sister over a 525i with its anemic 184 HP and inane I-drive. Also, the G-35 and M-45. I didn't come to same conclusion as you.

    I am only pointing out that the usable trunk space would be more than adequate for me and my needs. If it isn't for you, fine! Look for something else. I don't care what you buy, really I don't!

    As far as paying MSRP. we have only one Acura dealer and the nearest one on the west coast is 2500 miles away. It would not make sense to pay the sales tax in California or Washington as their rates are higher than ours, plus the additional ocean freight cost.

    So, those who have to be FIRST will pay what the traffic will bear, even to forking out ADM over and above MSRP. Others will be patient and wait till things simmer down.

    It worked for me when the second-generation 1991 Legend came out. I waited three months after the initial furor and the dealer went to $30,699 from the $34,200 MSRP price, no charge for pro-pack + TTL. They offered this to me, I didn't have to work them down. Cynics will say I could have gotten it even lower. Maybe, but not worth my time.

    On the other hand, Odysseys commanded a premium for THREE YEARS, even with three dealers in town. I got mine in 2001 for MSRP (no ADM), at a price LOWER than a corresponding Toyota Sienna EXL. The Odyssey had more equipment than the Sienna and Edmund's TMV was still HIGHER than MSRP.

    The RLs here are equipped differently and the MSRP is slightly lower at $48,900 including the shipping charge. I hope for a repeat of 1991 when sales were slow and the prices had to be adjusted quickly to stimulate sales,
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    "2. Its peformance characteristics (braking and acceleration) are basically average in its class (braking is actually subpar) and don't compare all that well with a TL or an Infiniti G-35."

    I agree that stopping distance is one of the worst in its class. But I disagree with acceleration... it is the best in its class among 6 cylinder automatic performance luxury sedans, at least until the M35 comes out.

    Sure, the acceleration lags behind that of the TL or G35, but so does every other car in the RL's class.

    "3. Its interior is nice and it has alot of gadgets but the lack of back seat and trunk space mean that it is not a "best in category" luxury car as some people claim based on vague assertions."

    I like combined legroom as a rough comparator of room in sedans:

    RL: 78.7
    A6: 78.2
    5: 77.5
    E: 77.5
    STS: 80.9

    The RL is a distant second to the STS, but better than A6, 5, and E nontheless.

    Yes, trunk space sucks, and is the worst in the class in this regard.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    "Habitat, in YOUR case, you will not even consider the RL when you shop because it lacks MT (your preference)."

    Partly true - the lack of a manual transmission does handicap the RL when I compare it to other performance oriented sedans, like the $33k TL 6-speed or $60k 545i 6-speed. (But AMG doesn't make a manual transmission, and I probably wouldn't kick an E55 out of my garage.) I also seriously considered the automatic-only Mercedes E320 CDI. As a matter of fact, the Acura dealer I bought my TL from in May is also a Mercedes dealer and they talked me into considering the TL. I consider the price difference between the RL and E320 CDI to be minimal ($7k +/-) when amortized over 6-8+ years.

    I think part of my problem in assessing value in the RL is that it was/is being marketed as a "performance oreinted luxury sedan". I recall reading early claims that the SH-AWD of the RL was capable of producing a 1.0 lateral G. If that had turned out to be true, the RL clearly would be a class leader in handling. As it turns out, the RL I drove did not feel as though it handled any better on a twisty drive through Rock Creek Park as my TL 6-speed. (Let alone a BMW 5 series).

    So, part of the blame for the somewhat underwhelming reviews of the RL in this forum has to go to Acura's marketing department. IMO, The RL is not a performance sedan and should not be marketed that way. It is a very nice, relatively affordable luxury sedan. You know the old adage, it is better to under promote and over deliver than the other way around.

    P.S. Not to repeat myself, but I never said I thought the RL was a "bad value". It's just that in purchasing the TL (and Honda S2000), I felt I was getting a great value compared to the competition.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Apparently, people haven’t been listening to my blabber on trunk space measurements. Not all vehicles are spec’d using the same standard! This is especially useful to understand if you insist on paper based comparisons. Here is an excerpt from an article on a UK market van that mentions the two cargo space measurement standards used in the industry.

    Honda uses the VDA method which results in smaller (but more practical) numbers for the trunk size.

    They're likely to take more than a passing interest in Ford's £20,350 Transit 350 long-wheelbase high roof Jumbo. It offers a whopping 14.3m3 of carrying space according to the measuring system favoured by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), and employed by the bulk of van manufacturers. It measures how much sand, rice, or other fine grained material the cargo bay will hold. This approach takes into account all the little nooks and crannies that are of no practical use to the vast majority of users.
    Almost uniquely, Ford also quotes the figure produced by the more realistic VDA method. It's the method the Big Blue Oval prefers, despite the fact that it results in a less impressive figure than the SAE total. The initials VDA stand for Germany's Verbund die Automobil Industrie. It fills the load box with blocks each measuring 200mm x 100mm x 50mm, and unable to fit into all those odd little crannies, then counts the total. By this measure, Jumbo's load bay provides 12.3m3 of space.

    What Van? heartily approves of the VDA's approach to calculating cargo space, and believes it should be quoted by all van makers. It may not look quite so good in their glossy publicity material, but most van owners will find the VDA figure a lot more meaningful.


    Here is a link to the article

    This illustrates a whopping 15% difference in cargo space measurement between SAE and VDA methods!
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    C'mon, 0.87g on all season high profile rubber is impressive for a realtively softly tuned luxury cruiser! I have not seen an official claim for 1.0g for RL though, but seeing how it did in C&D's test with the kind of rubber the tarmac gets to see, I wouldn't rule out the possibility of approaching 1.0g.

    As for value comparisons, you couldn't compare cars from different class to arrive at the conclusions. Many would consider Accord EXV6 to be a better value over TL, and Accord LX as better value over Accord EXV6.

    You've to be able to see where RL belongs, and how it goes about its business. It is not about value, it is about class.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    Does Honda/Acura use the VDA method for all their cars?

    Who else uses the VDA method?
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Honda uses VDA standard for its cars. Although this is not mentioned in Honda/Acura's website (or places we typically see), Honda has been using VDA method forever. Here is a link to spec sheet. Do a find on "VDA".

    BTW, I discovered something interesting while trying to provide a link to the same. Check out the trunk specifications, first in cu ft and then in liters:

    E320: 15.9 cu ft
    RL: 13.1 cu ft

    RL appears to have much smaller trunk space (if we completely ignore the standard used for the measurement). In liters...

    E320: 450 liters
    RL: 452 liters (Honda clearly mentions use of VDA formula)

    Well, in this case, RL has larger trunk!
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    Cool. My wife's Accord trunk suddenly feels larger. =)

    Do Toyota and Nissan use VDA as well?
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Comparison of Cabin/Trunk dimensions for Audi A6 / Mercedes E320 / Acura RL (in order, with largest number in bold):

    Front
    Head Room: 37.5 in / 37.4 in / 38.5 in (E320 measurement without moon roof)
    Leg Room: 41.3 in / 41.9 in / 42.4 in
    Shoulder Room: 57.1 in / 56.4 in / 58.5 in

    Rear
    Head Room: 37.8 in / 37.7 in / 37.2 in (E320 measurement without moon roof)
    Leg Room: 36.9 in / 35.6 in / 36.3 in
    Shoulder Room: 55.9 in / 56.1 in / 56.1 in

    Total Legroom: 78.2 in / 77.5 in / 78.7 in
    Cabin Capacity: 96 cu ft / 97.2 cu ft / 99.1 cu ft
    Trunk Space: NA / 450 liters / 452 liters (Audi specs unavailable in liters)

    Now to suggest that RL is cramped is a stretch especially when you throw comparable numbers for its primary competition.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I don't know about Nissan, but I doubt Toyota uses VDA (given the kind of numbers they come for the trunk specification). Toyota, is far more marketing savvy than Honda is (IMO). Not many will dig deeper into the world of specifications, outside of what is provided to them.

    Speaking of your Accord (if 2003+ model), Honda quotes 491 liter trunk for JDM Inspire (basically a 2003+ American Accord). Perhaps Honda chooses to be conservative in America when it comes to specifications.
  • I've had my pearl grey/black '05 RL for about 2 weeks now. Just returned from a 1000+ mile (roundtrip) road-trip for the weekend. If that didn't give me the opportunity to get to know it very well, I don't know what will! Here are my thoughts after well over 12 hours of driving time over the weekend:

    - engine is superb. love the on-ramps, very silky. same goes for transmission. i especially like how the engine burbles a bit under hard acceleration, and then disappears while cruising.

    - high speeds come easy. almost too easy. i got pulled over for 84 in a 65. ouch. very nice crusing vehicle.

    - interior comfort is outstanding. i still haven't found my sweet spot as far as seating position, but i was comfortable and had plenty of room (6'2").

    - steering wheel could be thicker. i will look for an aftermarket solution for this. anyone know of anything.

    - would like rain sensors

    - fuel economy is decent, but the gas tank is small.

    - while understated, the car still got plenty of looks and compliments.

    - nav and traffic were very useful. wish the UI for finding restaurants and gas stattions etc along the highway was just a tad more intuitive.

    - fit and finish are very good. appropriate for the price.

    overall i love it. think my $ was well spent. anyone aware of a ski/board/bike rack for the 05 RL yet?
  • I too have found many of the same that carguy5 mentions. I've owned my RL (Redondo Red/Parchment) for about three weeks now. Had the opportunity to drive more than six hours in it. Very comfortable and I can't see why anyone would complain about the V6 engine in this. I found the pick up to be excellent while at speed, and from a standstill more than adequate (not quite the power/torque of a V8, but at my age I don't hot rod at red lights much anymore).

    I use the Blackberry 7100t with the Hands Free Link and have had no problems with the Bluetooth.

    carguy5, I find it easiest to find restaurants simply by saying, "Find nearest Italian restaurant" and it works like a charm. I do admit that doing the same via the controls is a bit more cumbersome, but that's what makes voice control so valuable. Though, I wish you could input an address in one voice command instead of "piece-mealing" it in several voice prompts.

    One slight annoyance. When you put the car in reverse, one of the side mirrors turns down so you can better see the road. I like this feature as it's in most cars in this class. The only problem in the RL is that you have to decide which side mirror you want to work this way by selecting the "adjust" mirror switch in one of three positions. If it's in the Left position, the left mirror moves down in reverse; Right position, right mirror; in the middle position neither will move down in reverse. How come I can't have BOTH mirrors move down when in reverse (like BMWs, Audis, and MBs)??
  • r2917r2917 Posts: 67
    0.6" difference in rear legroom and people are implying the RL is cramped in the back? Odd since a 0.6" difference is nothing.

    Is it that the RL's front seats have different shaped backs so it causes leg room to feel less? Does Acura measure rear leg room a little different than the others?

    Interesting...

    Oh and I also think the SAE method of measuring trunk space sounds silly compared to that VDA method. Who cares how much space is in every nook and cranny if you can't even get a good sized object to fit in the trunk?:)
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 72,943
    Tilt-down mirrors.. I have a BMW and they work just like the Acura.. left, right or none.. you can't do both at the same time...

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  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,926
    for trunk space is your own eyeballs. And I believe the SAE measurment is still a better indication of usable volume. The way I understand it, VDA is based on having a bunch of rigid blocks in the cargo area. How many people put rigid cargo in their trunks? People carry a lot more flexible cargo than rigid and those nooks and crannies come into play. Heck, do they even make hard luggage anymore?

    Yes, the opening comes into play, but I can't think of a sedan, big or small, that doesn't have an opening big enough to get a standard sized suitcase or set of golf clubs through.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,926
    Both mirrors in my car tilt down in reverse.
  • Hmmmm. I could have sworn when I first drove my RL they both went down when in reverse. And I could "swear" that when I test drove both the BMW and Audi that BOTH mirrors tilted down in reverse.

    I'm losing my mind...
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