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Acura RL



  • prophet2prophet2 Posts: 372
    If they produce around 270 HP with this projected 3.8L V-6, a 5-speed AT like the TL/CL, six-CD in-dash changer, along with up-dated exterior lines (especially the rear), and without losing the smooth ride, I'll open my checkbook as long as the MSRP stays under $46K for the non-NAV.
  • The RL and other lower volume makes often do not get crash tested. There is a report from The Highway Loss Safety Institute( that is entitled "Injury Collision and Theft Losses." This is based on actual loss data as I recall. The latest report says the index for Injury and Collision for a 1998-2000 Honda Civic is 125 for example. This is in a range termed "worse than average". An Accord is rated as 102 exactly the same as a Camry. An Acura RL is rated as 66(Lexus LS 400 is 55) and is in a range termed "substantially better than average." The other data from test has a disclaimer that you are to compare cars from the same weight class only. All this says to me that the RL is a very safe care indeed. I know of no other safety data on the RL maybe someone else does.
  • I want to thank edmunds for there TMV pricing,I went to two acura dealers and after there offer said edmunds says $36,000 is a true price, one said nothing after trying to steal my trade and the other said, we can sell for less than that. They are now at $34,900 on a new 3.5RL, Boston Acura if your interested. Nice people.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    heck, if they just raise the V6 HP to 250 or more, and add a sport suspension option (yes, I do have a hangup on suspensions, as I believe every vehicle should handle corners well regardless of luxury or sport intention), who needs a V8???'s just that vehicles that handle like they are driven thru molasses should handle better...handling/cornering should not be an option, it should be standard...
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    I don't think any this will turn the trick in the current market. Right now there is a V6 @ 280 hp, and though it's in a sports car (350Z) it is a mass market vehicle, not a specialty car. If Honda wants the RL to pick up market share they're going to have to offer something that's perceived as better than competitors, not just adequate for current owners.

    They will need to offer hp that is perceived as adequate for a "big" car, just for the marketing, and I think the 300 hp barrier should be in their sites. And it's not unreasonable at 3.8 liter if they apply VVTi and other Honda technology.

    They will also need electronic gadgetry. Navigation was good once upon a time. Now -- Maybe voice-activated cupholders, tire pressure monitors that tell you when you have enough air in the tires (as you fill them!), maybe a combination fridge and subwoofer in the center console?

    Well, the point is that they have to come up with something that will be perceived as worth $45,999 (prophet2's suggested number) and competitive with Lexus, MB, Infiniti, BMW and so on.

    If they bring out a car in the mid-200s in hp, with nothing very special other than "nice" to drive, we'll have another car like Infiniti's M45 -- priced at the 40s but perceived as bland and predicted to be like the current RL ... offering little buyer interest until its price descends pretty far into the $30s.

    Just speaking as a customer .....

    TAke care.
    Joe W.
  • l943973l943973 Posts: 197
    Like Honda says, putting in a V8 isn't going to spark off sales. The Infiniti Q45 has been selling very slowly (less than 2000 for the last 5-6 months I believe). Thats low compared to the 14,800 RLs that sold last year.

    Still though that is much less than the ~39,500 BMW 5-Series and ~49,800 E-Class sedans sold last year.

    I think some brands just don't get any recognition. Look at the Audi A8, they sell less than 2500 models a year. The Lexus LS430 only sold about 15,000 models last year. If the RL is a sales flop, so is the LS430.

    The next RL has to really stand out in terms of value and features. The new E-Class now has 4-zone climate control. Putting in a V8 with 300 hp would make it no better than a Q45.

    Just looking at the competition, there is a lot that needs to go into the RL than just a larger engine.

    I see the next RL having a

    3.5L DOHC Hybrid V6 at 280-290 hp (can't up the NSX)
    (Fuel Economy would be best in class) (based off Acura DualNote)

    All Wheel Drive (also based off the Acura DualNote)

    Length would be 203 in long (making volume best in class)

    All the features found in the MDX and the features found in the Pilot and 03 Accord as standard equipment.

    Rear view camera (from the Pilot)

    This would include features like Side curtain airbags, XM radio, voice activated nav, and climate controls (from 03 Accord).

    A separate climate control for the rear passengers (from the MDX)

    I think that would be enough to generate good sales. (My only concerns are long term effects of sitting next to an electric engine and the possible EMF that it generates). That concern alone may be enough for me to purchase a different brand.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    You are incorrect on sales of the LS 430. Lexus sold 31,110 in 2001, more than its two closest competitors, the S-Class and 7 Series. Clearly it is no sales flop.

    As for the first six months of this year, sales are:

    13,049 - LS 430
    10,743 - 7 Series
    9,988 - S-Class
    4,538 - RL
    1,908 - Q45
  • goldkeygoldkey Posts: 36
    I disagree with posters who say RL needs 300+ enhancements including RWD, V8 300+HP engine to be an the map. People who argue this should realize that such a car will be a 50K car and will alienate/price-out many potential buyers while go head-on collision against higher-end Benz, Lexus models. Well, what makes these people think that would be a winning strategy for RL. I think Acura is being very smart in tryinng to get a particualr niche. They offer a value package, done in a cost effective manner with a price tag that is affordable to people who otherwise wouldn't shop for a luxury sedan, but might be tempted to sneak-in into luxury segment thanks to RL's low price. The same goes for FWD. There are some people, who just can not and would not have a RWD vehicle. So, why jump into a field with 10 compteting models, when you can be the single player in town? If RL goes RWD (which I am sure they won't), she'd go off my list automatically.
    It is all matter of perception, RL is considered deficient in some areas only as a luxury car. Read all reviews about Toyota Avalon. They are raving saying what a great value this best-kept secret near-Lexus car is. But fully loaded Avalon will cost you 33+K, with arrogant Toyota dealers not badging at all, and it is still falls far below RL in terms of features, handling/ride, power, warranty and dealer service all for 35K these days. So, Avalon is great family sedan and RL is wallflower of luxury cars. Who cares? The way I look at it, show me a car, which offers better value within 35K, and I'll consider it seriously.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    Maybe I'm missing something here, but the Avalon and RL are nearly $10,000 apart in price.

    $45,650 - RL w/nav
    $36,380 - Avalon loaded w/nav

    $43,650 - RL
    $34,380 - Avalon loaded

    With or without nav, you're looking at a difference of $9,270. Now, I know they discount both cars. Say you can get $2,500 off the Avalon. To make them equal, you would need to get $11,770 off the price of the RL. Maybe people get these kinds of discounts, I don't know.

    Even the invoice of the base RL is $38,920.

    I'm not saying the Avalon is good or bad, but the car is considerably cheaper than an RL. I just don't understand the comparison.

    If Acura is discounting the RL $12,000 (or even close to that), they need to reconsider their pricing. Discounts that high devalue the car and brand, as Infiniti has proven. They should just lower the price and give smaller discounts. The market is saying the car is priced too high relative to competitors.
  • l943973l943973 Posts: 197
    I don't think the LS430 competes against the 7-Series or S-Class. The price and outer dimensions of the LS430 puts it one class below the 745Lis and S500s.

    Even the demographics are not similar.
    Source: carpoint. I don't claim its accuracy so please don't flame me.

    Mercedes S-Class
    Average age: 52
    Income: $185,000

    Lexus LS430
    Average age: 60
    Income: $145,000

    The Audi A8 come closer at

    Average age: 62
    Income: $165,000

    I was curious to see where the RL stood.

    Acura RL
    Average age: 51
    Income: $107,000

    That sound about right. Strange, the income leve for Q45 (49, $100,000) owners is actually less than RL owners.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    For the most part buyers do cross-shop the LS, 7 and S.

    Yes, you will get the die-hard MB, BMW and Lexus fans who will just continue to get the same car no matter what.

    But the three cars are relatively close in price, interior dimensions (not counting the long wheelbase 7) and features. Plus they are all RWD. MB, BMW and Lexus each know they compete against one another at the upper end.

    Check any magazine comparison and you'll see the three cars are direct competitors.

    Thanks for the interesting demo info.
  • goldkeygoldkey Posts: 36
    lenscap, you are right, you are missing something.
    You compared RL and Avalon based on their MSRPs, and you came up with 9K difference. Then you arbitrarily applied $2500 discount to Avalon (???, in my experience Toyota dealers are most difficult to bargian with, but that's besides the point) and came up with 12K difference.
    The real comparison should be based on TMVs, everyone knows MSRP could be inflated. Carsdirect shows 33+K for loaded Avalon and 34,800 for RL (including Acura's rebate). So, Avalon is not "considerably" cheaper than RL, and coming back to my original point RL does offer considerably much more.
    So, in terms of values, I think RL is much better value although the bandwagon of car reviews make the opposite impression.
    I do agree with your point, that pricing/discounting game is lame and annoying and manufacturers should get real. It's bad enough dealers show you car with custom stripes and with a sticker on it 20% higher than what you know this car's market price is.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    Thanks for the clarification. I didn't know there was an RL rebate, among other things.

    I appreciate the response.
  • l943973l943973 Posts: 197
    Since the 03 accord sedan now offers a rear DVD entertainment system (with wireless headphones), I suspect the new RL will have this too.

    The accord will also offer an indash MP3/digital media player, and hands free cell phone system.

    Starting 10/1, the Accord, Pilot and MDX will offer XM radio.

    The accord sounds nice, just wish it came in 203 in sizes.
  • prophet2prophet2 Posts: 372
    Don't get me wrong, I love my RL. Best car I've owned and the best deal I've ever made. Great value for money paid!

    But, the sales figures don't lie. The current RL is in a "niche" that people aren't buying into. And, I think that's a shame! I'm merely looking for cachet "improvements" to enhance my driving experience, which are things already in other Acura models: in-dash CD changer; 5-speed AT; foot-release parking brake; a few more horses under the hood (270 from a V-6 sounds OK); and refreshed exterior lines. Oh, Pearl White paint. I'm not looking for RWD or a V-8 configuration. And, Joe's request of an improved suspension for cornering is "right-on."

    Remember, I hope for an improved non-NAV '04 model with an MSRP of $46K maximum. If not, the checkbook stays closed.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    I appreciate your earlier post #728, just please remember to make navigation an option...I just cannot understand why people pay $2000 to ruin the flowing lines of a dashboard, another toy to break, when a map and good directions will do... I will never buy a nav vehicle, but I acknowledge that people do want them...
  • prophet2prophet2 Posts: 372
    The Acura dealer here in "Paradise" only brings in non-NAV units. Anyone who gets lost on a 604 square mile island ought to get their license revoked!

    We have detailed map books which get revised annually. I've managed to get around whenever I've rented cars on the mainland with the help of street maps.

    Got better things to spend $2K on.
  • l943973l943973 Posts: 197
    Looks like there won't be any changes on the 03 RL because of the 02 increase in hp. Just some tail light changes and new wheels.

    The MDX has been upgraded to 260hp using the same 3.5L engine. It now includes Vehicle Stability Assist, new All Wheel Drive system and new 5-sp auto (possibly gear changes). Also a rear entertainment system is available with NAV (not sure if its voice activated as with the Accords). A rear view camera is also available. (Source: C&D).

    I expect the next RL will have many of these features as standard equipment. With the introduction of the 340 hp Infiniti M45 V8 in the RL price range, Acura will need to bump their hp up to about 350 to be best in class. (Possibly a 290 hp 3.5L V6 and a 60hp IMA). Still see AWD as an option since its in the Acura DNX prototype.
  • The maker-to-dealer incentive for RL is gone and so is the great bargain it presented. Does anyone know the history of incentives for RL, is it likely to come back and if so when? It just doesn't make sense for me to pay 4 grand more for a car than what I could buy it for yesterday. The only reason I didn't buy during this promotional period is because I still have three more month on my lease. I'd hate to pay for two cars at the same time, while needed only one. When you are forking out such an amount of money, it should be in a way convenient for the you, not under the gun. Hope, incentive will return, otherwise, no way I'll open my vallet for RL.
  • I called an Acura dealer, and he said the incentive has been extended, but not increased. He said he only had one 2002 RL left, but I would think the incentive would reappear pretty quickly on the 2003s.
  • 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.
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