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Acura RL



  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081


    With all the "stuff" on the new 04 TL the 05' RL should be a tech knockout. I'm pulling for at least a 300hp engine and awd, and some truly good looking styling, not just a larger TSX/TL theme.

  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I'm pulling for a IMA engine. How's 300 HP while still getting 33 MPG!!!????
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I was too, but I don't think it will happen at least not initially.

  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    I've been hoping for an IMA version fo the RL, but I think that will come later. Right now, I think the best we can expect is the Valve Cylinder Management System from the JDM Inspire.

    While it's still "experimental", I wouldn't be surprised to see the Collision Mitigation System as either standard equipment or an option.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    it'd be nice. You could drag race with the tuned Civic at the stoplight and still be environmentally responsible.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    News Flash: I just got my Oct. issue of CAR magazine tonight and they're saing the new RL will be at Tokyo and will have the IMA system! The V6 would put out around 200hp with the electric motor making up the rest for a total of 300hp. We should know if any of this is true in about one month.

  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Promising news, but... only 200 from the V6? Not at all Honda-like.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    We can dragrace with the Civic at the stoplight!!!!! What size was the V6? 3.0, 3.5, etc..... But both the 3.0, and 3.5 make at least 240 Horsepower with Honda....... What happened here, Honda. Lost some HP with the CVT tranny conversion? I'm still glad we're getting a powerful Hybrid to compete with that diesel E-Class.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Actually 100 horses from the IMA is a little ambitious as well. If I had to guess, I'd say the engine would crank out between 240 and 260 with an addition 40-60 coming from the IMA. Electric motors generate quite a bit of torque at take off, but they lose it as the RPMs climb. In fact they lose quite a bit before the engine gets out of idle speed. So most of the electric power is best for low rpm performance. With that in mind, there would be little reason to tune the engine for the bottom end and it should be capable of more traditional Honda power.
  • Owned three of the big Acuras in a row and they just get better with every redesign. When will the 2005 RL actually hit the market--what month? Thanks.
  • I know the RL is currently being redesigned; however, it is long overdue! This article brings out some interesting points.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Actually, I think that entire review could be summed up with two sentences, "New cars are good. Old cars are bad." That's really all it's telling us. I don't disagree with the assessment of the RL, but the description of Acura's place in the market is weak.

    For example: the author cites the RSX and TSX as the way things should be done. With the TSX, I agree. However, the RSX is not meeting the competition head-on like the Integra once did. The RSX is a great car, but other cars have become just a good. Later in his own article, he states that the RSX is not selling well (this is an example of what is good?).

    Meanwhile, the MDX gets dumped on. Yet, MDX sales are doing just fine. While there is more competition, the MDX is holding it's own. Even with a less expensive Honda clone on the market, MDX sales are fairly strong.

    The author also seems to have forgotten that the TL was a powerful sales machine from 1999-2002. Sales have fallen off in 2003, only because it is an older design.

    His take on Acura history appears to be good for only two years. I bet that next year, this guy will tell us that the TL, RL, and TSX are what Acura should have been doing, while the RSX is a car from when Acura lost their way.

    The review is accurate for the RL, but short-sighted for the brand.
  • rmehtarmehta Posts: 1
    I don't know if this link has been posted, but is from

    It has a pic of the 2005 Honda Legend/Acura RL
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    It's been posted. Why not rebirth the Legend name?
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    the legend is a very remembered car... (so was the integra)
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    I, for one, am glad that the current RL does not wear the Legend nameplate over here.
  • l943973l943973 Posts: 197
    Thought this would be a good read before AutoWeek removes it. Its funny Honda seems to resists at all costs before moving to a larger engine. Remember when Hondas wouldn't budge on 4-cylinders in their Accords. Eventually, they caved in and put in a V-6. I see the same with Acura resisting to go with a V-8. How long do we have to wait before they cave in?


    Acura works to move product mix upscale; V-8 power essential, critics say

    By KATHY JACKSON | Automotive News

    SEATTLE -- Tom Elliott is counting on the new Acura TL to help bring the division out of a sales slump.

    Of the six largest luxury marques in this country, Acura was the only one to suffer a sales decline through the first nine months of the year. The TL, which goes on sale today, Oct. 6, can help.

    Elliott, who is executive vice president of auto operations for American Honda Motor Co. Inc., predicts that the TL will help Acura set a sales record this year of 180,000 units. That would be an achievement. Acura's sales dropped 2.9 percent in 2002 and were down 2.2 percent through Sept. 30 of this year.

    Some critics say Acura will never be a true luxury marque until it offers upscale rear-wheel-drive vehicles and V-8 engines. The TL runs counter to this theory - it's a front-wheel-drive car powered by a V-6 engine.

    Critics argue that it will compete against vehicles such as the Nissan Maxima and Toyota Camry, rather than, say, the Lexus ES 300.

    But Elliott says the market appeal of a V-8 is overblown. "I wouldn't say we won't do a V-8," he says. "It is one of the possibilities." But he admits that hybrids are the most likely route.

    Elliott says Acura will decide how to increase power on each product in the next six months. "We're really close to making a decision on a hybrid," he says. Such a vehicle could be powered by a 300-hp engine in the front plus a 100-hp electric motor in back.

    He also says the company is considering all-wheel drive, superchargers and turbochargers, but not rwd. But critics say a V-8 is essential.

    Consider the slow-selling RL sedan, Acura's $50,000 flagship. RL sales were 7,557 through the end of September, down 27.8 percent from the same period in 2002.

    The vehicle's 225-hp V-6 engine does not impress consumers, says Jim Wangers, president of Automotive Marketing Consultants Inc. in Vista, Calif.

    "It's not so much the power but the image," Wangers says. "The price of entry in the luxury segment is a V-8, not a hybrid or a V-6. Hybrids are not accepted mainstream cars yet."

    Says Daniel Gorrell, vice president for automotive of Strategic Vision in Tustin, Calif. "If they're going to be in competition with Mercedes and BMW, they need a flagship, and RL is not that. I don't see them being a serious luxury top-rung contender."

    Undeterred by critics, Elliott is gradually moving Acura's product mix upscale. For example, the company is reducing production of its entry-level RSX, which debuted in 2001.

    "The RSX is for young people, but we will limit the sales because we want to bring the brand up," Elliott says. "What we will do next is fix the RL. We want it to go upscale. It needs more power, more style. It will be totally redone, and part of that will be more power."

    For the moment, Acura dealers are defending the company's product lineup. "There's no question that the TL is upscale and doesn't compete against Hondas," says Jerry Britain, general manager of Downey Acura in Downey, Calif.

    Britain also doesn't think V-8s are necessary, saying that the Acura V-6s are reliable, reasonably priced and handle well.

    "The other luxury brands are dramatically more expensive, and they don't really have more creature comforts," he says. "The only problem I have is that I don't have enough vehicles."
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well I won't argue that the TL isn't a good car for its segment, possibly the best fwd luxury car going in that price range......but the RL gets gets its lug nuts handed to it by any every midsize luxury car going. They are in denial if they think anything else. It's the most ridiculous thing to read the back page of the new TL brocuhe and see the RL listed as the "flagship" with a 225hp engine when the TL has 270hp and more features, Acura has it bass-ackwards.

    I await something truly spectacular to correct this for the 05' year.

  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I'd buy a hybrid luxury sedan!!!
  • The only things I want in the new RL is sun shade, in dash CD, more wood trim, more pockets for storage, better cup holders AND BETTER GAS MILEAGE!

    IMHO, the RL is the perfect family sedan for the individuals with children but are still too young at heart for a volvo wagon and aren't ready to unload the cash for the nicer luxury SUVs yet.

    I know I bought mine cause it looks stylish, roomy, has just enough luxury options and is VERY RELIABLE.
    I'm not racing a 5 series BMW from the stoplight in the city or pacing lexus 400 on the highway(which it does quite nicely). I think those who worry about 200hp vs 240 should look at the TL which is a sport sedan while the RL is more a touring Sedan.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    the TL is considered a Performance Touring Sedan
    The RL is considered a Touring Sedan
    The Infiniti I35/M45 are considered Touring Sedans
    BMW 5-Series is a sport-sedan.
    Too young for a Volvo wagon???? Audi will sell you an A6 or maybe an A4......
    I'D BUY A HYBRID LUXURY SEDAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • l943973l943973 Posts: 197
    You also need to consider the demographics of RL buyers. They are usually much older than those of say a 5-Series owners (as much as 10 years difference). (There are exceptions of course).

    Take a look at the LS430 owners out there. They have a 290hp but the majority of them get out-accelerated by Civics and Corollas and they don't seem to care. If your going to drive the car like that, a 4-cylinder engine is probably good enough. It seems they are more concerned about the ride comfort, interior quality, and space.

    The 5-series and TL have similar dimensions. In fact Acura admits using the 5-series as their benchmark for the TL on their website.

    If Acura follows the same trend that they did with the TL. That is, offer a car with value that is several thousand less then their competitors, then the RL will probably still stay in the mid-40k range but offer the ride comfort, interior quality and space offered in the 50-55k range. That would pretty much be the Lexus LS430.

    Keeping the car in the mid-40k range lets them keep the V6 but they must bump up the power to 300hp since your paying more than a TL.

    They will probably keep the dimensions on the RL similar to the current model since the TL has shrunk about 5 inches. The current dimensions still keeps the exterior size about the same at those of the LS.

    One thing I would like to see is an 3.5 RL-L. Stretch the wheel base from 114 inches to 121 inches for those who think the RL is too short.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    The reason why luxury cars (like the LS430, RL, and most domestic cars) have a big engine is not to go racing. Rather it is the effortless acceleration that is the appeal. Drivers in this class want to tap the pedal and get moving without any fuss. There should be a solid pull from the engine with as little vibration and noise as possible.

    That's why a four cyl engine won't do. It's probably why Acura kept the 3.5 in the RL rather than going to the 3.2 with a higher output. I suspect the 3.5 was easy to make docile and just as torquey.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    New crash safety to be introduced with the TL.
  • l943973l943973 Posts: 197
    I'm assuming you mean the RL instead of TL which is suppose to appear next Fall based on the quote from CEO Takeo Fukui.
  • First of all let me say this is an excellent message board for RL owners. I read through most of the posts last night and learned a lot about RLs and I want to purchase one.

    I am looking for advise about buying a '98 RL SE. The car is pearl white and gray. The car I am looking at has 32k miles on it, it is with the original owner, never wrecked and clean CARFAX report, he has all the service records, and is in showroom condition. He is asking $19,500. Is this a good deal? How many white SEs did they make? Is there any significant difference in the '99 up models? Should I be concerned about buying one not from the Acura certified program?

    Any help is appreciated.
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    The RL is an excellent choice, so long as you're not looking for "sport" or interest in your drive, jdengineer. I've really enjoyed my '02.

    A couple of suggestions to help you make your mind: Search out the TMV for your model/miles here at Edmund's. ON a car like the RL, Edmund's does a very good job of approximating wholesale/retail/private value of a car for your zip area.

    Second: Invest a couple of bucks at your local Acura dealer for a complete PPI, a stem to stern exam of everything by a competent Acura mechanic. In a car with 5000 mi/yr. you may have a creampuff, or you could have a car that has dried seals and neglected maintenance -- the Acura mechanic can tell you.

    Third, an Acura is one of the few cars I would be perfectly happy driving without an extended warranty. If you're especially cautious, perhaps you can get one through AAA -- expensive but reliable.

    Hope this helps. JW
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Thanks for catching that. Yes, the article states that this will be part of the structure in the RL.
  • Thanks for the advice JW. I have about talked myself out of buying an RL since I am really looking for something fun. After 10 years of ownership, my '93 Accord EX is still an awesome car with 205k miles (and I will keep it for my daily driver), but I've had it ten years and want something to play around with. My '00 Chevy K3500 pickup is more fun to drive than an RL (not nearly as refined, but more fun).

    I have driven several '00 RLs in the past few days and agree that these cars score a ZERO for sport/fun factor. I drove my sister's '03 Accord EXV6 again today (she's had it just over a year now) and although I'm not crazy about the looks, it's much more fun, much faster, and it almost equals the RL in interior amenities/luxury.
    Also, I am 6'2" and my hair rubs against the headliner in the RL (I did not exect this since the Accords are smaller and have ample headroom). I may try to find a '95 Legend to play around with since these cars have a more sporty look and feel (and more headroom from what I can remember).
  • scott31scott31 Posts: 292
    I am 6'3" and had no trouble fitting in my '95 Legend LS Coupe. (great car btw)
  • I just read in Tues. Oct 28, Wall Street Jounal that the CEO of Honda said the new RL will NOT be front wheel drive. He didn't rule out all wheel drive. All he would say was that the new RL "would distinguish itself from the competition". That leaves it up to your imagination what that might mean. I personally think the all wheel option is the most likely because many current RL owners don't want to give up the winter time driving advantages the front wheel drive offers. Besides if they come out with a rear wheel drive model that doesn't really do anything to distinguish them from their competition. Just my $.02
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Exactly. Clever way of saying it will be awd. Since awd is in the picture the rumors about a 300hp V6 must be true too. They must feel that the new TL's 270hp is at the limit of what should be routed to the front wheels. Can't wait to see this car, and now we wait for Detroit since nothing turned up at Tokyo.

  • If next RL has awd it will be a hit . Bring back the legend name at same time.A lot of former Legend fans would return to the fold in droves.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    I don't get why so many target the RL for being bland on the exterior while the Lexus LS 430 is even blander than the RL. That I never understood. To me Honda is really keeping their eye on Acura now that the Honda name is established. I think the TL despite its price at 34K will give BMW all they can handle. As for benchmarking the 5 series its a good benchmark. Acura might give the Germans all they can handle like Cadillac is starting to do now. I agree with post 121 the RL has to be priced favorably to be competitive.
  • The RL doesn't have ANYTHING to fall back on! It's no where near as luxurious as a Lexus V8, or sporty as a BMW, or have the interior of an Audi, or the status of a Benz.
      It has no strengths to speak of. Either pick on it because it has no engine or no looks.

      Six of one, half-dozen..
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Few things....
    AWD would cater to those living in Northern Climates, yet need or want a roomier car than the A4, 325Xi, and X-Type, yet can't afford the Audi A6 and don't want a Volkswagen Passat.

    As for horsepower, try bumping it up to 285 Horsepower from the Odyssey's 3.5. (tweak here and there, or add IMA)

    And, for a stretch RL, not a bad idea but 3.5 RL-L doesn't sound good. 3.5 RL-X sounds better. (to me)

    IMA- hoping it has it, because that WILL set it apart from the competition, which don't have IMA. (or any sort of Hybrid power)

    Pricing- how about $47K-$50K? That seems fair. You're paying less than if you bought an LS430 and if equipped with IMA, you can be more eco-friendly than the LS430 sitting in the lane next to you.
    Just my 2 cents.....
  • My wife drives a 98 SA. It has 65,000 miles. She gets an ABS yelow light ON time to time. It comes & stays for some time. The next time you start the car & the light is gone. The brakes look OK but I am not sure about ABS.
    Anyone had the same problem?
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    ABS lights which recur indicate a problem and that system is not one which I'd like to experiment with given traffic, weather, and road conditions. Of course it could be just a faulty sensor or light .... "just"? JW

    Btw, what's an "SA"?
  • Has the brake fluid been flushed and refilled as recommended? That is important with RL's. If not start with that and having your service provider clean the abs sensors on each wheel. That is the least costly place to start and solves most light indicators with a low mileage car like yours.
  • Thanks for your help. I will let my dealer to check the brake system.
    SA is a special addition that was made in 98 & I think 97 models. They are 2 tone exterior; black with dark gray or white & light gray. We had a very good deal on it at that time (we have a white one). All SA had the same package. Thanks again.
  • The 05' RL will be a 300hp gas/electric hybrid AWD. He was saying this as if it were fact, not a maybe. Anyone else hearing this?
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    but I'd like it, and it seems logical.
  • I am heavily considering a Certified 2002 Acura RL as a business car. I will be putting a lot of miles on it and need something that is classy but ulta reliable. I know Honda / Acura's are reliable but I want to know if, from your ownership experience, you would say that the car has been great and trouble free?

    I am a Realtor and like the car's size, the ride, wish it had more power, wish it was sportier but considering its use I think it will work well. I would definately never buy a new one because I can depreciate a car faster than anyone.

    I'd like to know what's the most amount of mileage you have on your RL? A few years back, I had a Honda Civic with a half million trouble free miles and hope for similar success with the new car.
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    well, supercooper, I too have an 02 and if I remember an early Edmund's review of the RL (forget which year) they profiled it as the ideal car for the Real Estate crowd.

    My own '02 has only 32000 miles on it but this engine is noted for 150000+. I sure wouldn't worry about its durability, unless you tend to neglect your cars .... if you tend to drive them for high mileage I can't believe you wouldn't be careful about the maintenance!

    Yeah, I agree with you about its being boring, but after I've driven it for 6-8 hours (I bought it because my job then required me to do a lot on the highway) I'm not tired. And on I84 through Hartford or I95 around DC, I'm not looking for entertainment ,,,, just a decent stereo, a comfortable seat, and not too much noise from the road.

    I don't know what you've had before, but to me this sounds like a pretty good car for your needs. What's the '02 selling for now? JW
  • prophet2prophet2 Posts: 372
    My experience with an immaculate "pre-owned" '96 RL over the past three years has been superb.

    Purchased in October 2000 with 36.8K miles. At present, 88K miles.

    Other than the normal service schedule every 7.5K miles, these are the other repairs:

    1) front brake pads @45K;
    2) original battery @53K;
    3) rear brake pads and oxygen sensor @67K;
    4) timing belt and water pump @75K (6 yr.);
    5) radiator/hoses @82K (top tank leaking).

    Car already had new tires (Bridgestone Turanzas) when purchased. Still has a lot of tread left, but I expect to replace all four tires sometime in 2004.

    In my opinion, I haven't been "nicked" with excessive costs. It has been a throughly enjoyable driving experience and I paid less than 1/2 the original MSRP - the first owner took the depreciation hit.

    You should do well with a certified '02. You could fare less well with almost anything else.
  • if what you say is true expect alot of people to come home to acura and bring back the legend name.
  • I own a 1998 RL . Recently the TCS light has been coming on after any hard cornering. I can drive straight lines and the light will not come on.The dealer thinks it may be the TCS module but I am reluctant to authorize this repair at a cost of approx.$1500. Has anyone had this problem?
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    Low tread could be accounting for some slippage. JW
  • I have had Acura's for 10 years I had the vigor, the Legend, and two RL's and have loved them all I just turned in my last RL this Dec and am driving a tempory car until the new 05 comes out I have followed this for sometime I had hoped that there was going to be a V8 but that is fine I guess.

    They make a great car and they are not viewed as a snobs car
  • I cannot see why Acura is so tight lip about their new redesigns. On the Lexus GS 430 board, many are discussing the new redesigned GS based on the concept vehicles introduced at the Tokyo Auto Show. I think releasing small amounts of info along with some sketches of the new RL will get everyone exciting about the uncoming introduction in 05.
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