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Acura RL



  • To rubicon52:

    Ooops. Darn those misplaced decimal points. No, it wasn't quite THAT good of a deal. As you probably guessed by now, that should have read that I had just over $1,000 in repairs, and also that the warranty cost $1,000.

    To kidbebop:

    Since the original Acura warranty is only for the first 4 years/50,000 miles, it no longer applies. Any covered repairs would now fall under the Acura Care extended warranty, so it looks like you would be subject to the $50 deductible. I'd also be concerned whether the molding problem would be covered, since it sounds like they might try to classify it as cosmetic, similar to torn leather on a seat, etc. I hope you're successful in getting your repairs done.
  • namroknamrok Posts: 18
    I recently purchased a certified 99 RL from a local dealer. Great car except the windshield is pitted and has scratches (won't go in to how they got there). Anyway, I could have the windshield replaced, but I am concerned that it will never be the same (possible leaks, wind noise, rust, etc). The dealer offer me a 2000 with slightly less miles for $4500 plus trade of the 99. I know the 2000 has VSA and not sure what else different than the 99.

    Is there added value with the VSA? I intend on keeping the car for a long time and putting high miles on it.

    Any advice/input appreciated

  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 854
    Can you RL owners give me an idea of the miles-per-gallon that you get on your RLs? This would be for approximately 25/75 (city/highway). I would also like to know the RPM for exactly 70 mph. RLs are all 4-speed automatics, right? Thanks
  • namroknamrok Posts: 18
    I recently purchased a certified 99 RL from a local dealer. Great car except the windshield is pitted and has scratches (won't go in to how they got there). Anyway, I could have the windshield replaced, but I am concerned that it will never be the same (possible leaks, wind noise, rust, etc). The dealer offer me a 2000 with slightly less miles for $4500 plus trade of the 99. I know the 2000 has VSA and not sure what else different than the 99.

    Is there added value with the VSA? I intend on keeping the car for a long time and putting high miles on it.

    Any advice/input appreciated

  • mike734mike734 Posts: 128
    I get 19-21 MPG for 25/75 driving. I will check out the RPM at 70 but I also want to ask: Does anyone else notice a increase in engine/exhaust noise at about 79 MPH? This noise/harshness is not noticeable at slower or faster speeds but is kind of annoying at 79 mph.
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    VSA is, without a doubt, of real value. But so is $4500. And VSA may retail for about $200 more. Have you done a comparison of the two in the used section here at Edmund's? You can compare the two using exact mileage, zip codes, etc. Without that information it's hard to know; also, how long have you driven the 99? If you just drove around the block and brought it back, I'd be inclined to say the dealer is sticking it to you -- again, assuming the cars were priced the same to start with. All else being equal, there should be about $1500-$2000 difference and about 10,000--12,000 miles. I'd just change out the windshield; glass companies do a fine job these days.

    fredvh, I spend a lot of time at 80, or 3000 rpm. I'll look at 70 on the way home. In winter, @30lbs. in the tires, I get 20 or 21. In summer, @34 lbs. in the tires, I get 24 at 25city/75 highway. At 70, I would of course do better. If you get the MXV4 tires you'll find mileage is very sensitive to air pressure.

    If you want lots more discussion of the mileage issue, do a search on this board. There was quite a long discussion of it at several points about a year ago.

  • namroknamrok Posts: 18

    Many thanks. The mileage difference is 3,000 miles. The KBB and galves difference in wholesale price is about $3000. I have put about 1K miles on the 99 since purchase. VSA is only worth about 200 more? Edmunds shows a $2000 difference at the retail side ($3000 more than I paid)

    Many thanks, D
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    I was wrong, fredvh, by a hundred rpm. (However, this is the first mistake I've ever made :-)

    65 = 2400 rpm
    70 = 2600 rpm
    80 = 2900 rpm

    So $4500 sounds about right, huh namrock? He's giving you wholesale, or about $1500 taken off for the thousand miles, and charging retail. The $200 figure for VSA was strictly a guess -- to be more accurate, you'd have to find a car where it is an option ... even then, it'd be a different car, so I guess it comes down to what it's worth to you.

    Take care.
  • satiresatire Posts: 71
    Howdy all.

    Valid points all (sounds like you read the brochure). But nothing there is worth $17 a month to me. I have a cell phone. It goes where I go. Plus the biggest problem is 30% of my driving is done where cell phones don't work/reach. Oh well, I have until next July to change my mind.

    FWIW, I had the windshield replaced in my 1985 Honda Accord (and people wonder how I worked my way up to an RL). Never had a problem. Just make sure you find a good windshield installer. Get recommendations. As for VSA, I've yet to try to get it to work. Not sure I even want to.

    My gas mileage okay. Combo city/highway (30% city/70% highway) and the best I can do is 20-21. Yep, all RLs are 4 speeds. A fifth auto gear would be very nice and go a long way to improve that highway mileage.

    Nope, I've noted no such noise. But when next I dare break the law, I'll be sure to listen.

    Add on CD Changer-
    Anyone ever do this to the original factory radio? I'm thinking of having one added to my friend's 1999 TL (I'm playing Santa this year). I know the sound goes thru the FM radio so there will be a decrease in quality (but he has bad hearing anyway....just needs it to be loud enough). What I'm concerned about is the ease of install (even though I won't be doing it) and whether there will be any sort of permanent changes made to the car or its existing radio. I just want to make sure it can be returned to original condition should the changer not be to his liking.

    Finally, has anyone noticed Edmunds has given a quick view into the future of the RL? They don't say much but once again it seems certain that Honda isn't going to have a V8. Pity.

    Many thanks.
  • cwhytecwhyte Posts: 14
    I just purchased a White 97 RL Premium. It is in very good shape inside and out. The only real cosmetic issue is very noticable paint scratches behind all four door handles where people put their hands to open the doors. My guess is this may be a typical design issue for the car since people's fingernails will hit that area of the door to pull the handle. Has anybody else seen this problem on older RL's? It may be more of a problem with light colors....I'm not sure. The area behind the driver's door handle is almost grey from all of the fingernail scratches over the years. Can this be buffed out, or will I have to either live with it or have the area repainted?
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 318
    Have you tried wax yet? I got rid of those scratches by using wax.
  • I added a cd changer to a 2000 RL. I had it from a previous vehicle and wanted to be able to use it in the RL. It connects through the FM antenna. The changer is a Pioneer 12 disc and the changer is mounted in the trunk . I mounted the display unit in the ashtray opening (I don't smoke and the display unit is also concealed when the ashtray is closed. I was able to retain the use of the cigarette lighter plug.)

    I had a local stereo shop install the changer since the car was brand new and I was not ready to start removing the dash panels. I had to re-do the installation of the display unit since the shop messed up the ashtray mechanism, but that is another story.

    To be honest, the sound quality is excellent even though it is passed through the FM radio. I had tried other changers from Audiovox and Kenwood, but they did not sound as clear as the Pioneer, but I think this was more a function of the factory radio in my prior vehicle rather than the changers.

    The installation is very basic and I will summarize a general set-up.

    Changer mounts in trunk (or glove-box or under front seats if room allows). Changer wires into a power source that is switched on/off with the ignition and may also wire into a power source that is always on if the changer has any type of disc title memory. One wire to a ground. There is also a cable from the changer to the display/control unit that mounts in the passenger copmartment and is used to display and change the disc/track. The hardest part os my installation was finding a place to mount the display unit as I did not want it to be visible when the car was not being used. The last connection is for the FM radio and that consists of plugging the cars antenna cable into the changer and then plugging a cable from the changer into the cars radio.

    Once installed you tune the car radio to a specified FM frequency and turn the changer on and thats all there is to it.

    I would recommend getting a changer where you can change the FM frequency that the changer operates on from the display/control unit as oppossed to models where the FM frequency must be changed on the unit that is mounted behind the dash or in another inconvenient location.

    Hope this helps and happy holidays.
  • I just bought a 2002RL from my local Acura store in Overland Park, KS. I bought a non-navi model for $35,000. This is my fourth car to purchase from this dealer and they have been great to deal with and service has been excellent with all 4 cars. I am very pleased with the is put together soo much better than anything made in the squeeks or rattles and the paint is flawless. The ride and handeling are great and I like the conservative styling. I have seen the 2003 model and there are only 3 changes to then....the tail-light lens are now clear on top, the Acura emblem in the center of the grill is bigger and the style of the wheels is a little different and there are two new colors, carbon gray and solar if you are considering an RL I would grab a 2002 before they are all gone...this particular dealer Superior Acura still had about 5-6 of them.
  • ram03ram03 Posts: 2
    I recently brought my '01 RL into the dealer for a "popping" noise I was hearing from the right side of the car every time I applied and released the brakes. Initially, the service technician thought it was the ball-joints, so they replaced them. But this did not fix the problem. Then they thought it was the engine mount, so they replaced it. Again, did not fix the problem. Then they brought in the Acura area representative who said that it might be a "gap" in the seam of a body panel. They are trying to isolate this and said it may require replacement of the panel. The car has been with the service department for two weeks now. Has anyone heard of such problems? I'm beginning to wonder about the quality of Honda's "Luxury" brand. This is the second RL I've had and probably the last.
  • satiresatire Posts: 71
    Thanks sranger941 for the indepth look at CD changers. I really appreciate the info. I've purchased a Sony 10 disc changer and am having it installed the 14th when my friend is out of town on vacation. I hope he likes it as much as you've liked yours. And thanks for the info on hiding the controller.


    Was rushing down the freeway the other day and was certainly at and above 79mph. I did not hear the noise you mentioned. Sorry.


    Best of luck getting your RL fixed. But as you know, even a Lexus can have problems. Think of it this every day life would you accept a .1% defect rate? That's just one-tenth of one percent. So for every 1,000 M&M's you eat, one will not be perfect. Now take into account that your RL has approximately 14,000 parts. With our error rate in mind that means you've got 14 things on your car that isn't perfect. I'm not aware of any automobile manufacturer that has reached perfection.


    To answer my own inquiry, Acura will get the Japan/Euro version of the Accord as an intro sedan. Four cylinder car based on the US platform. However, the car is smaller than the new US Accord. FYI, should anyone care pics @ Also the 2004 TL might get 280 horses under it's newly designed hood.



  • cusafrcusafr Posts: 184
    WOW! I like that car! Any idea of size-price-HP-and when we will get it?

    Thanks-Nice Pics,

  • I have a 1996 3.5 RL Premium. For some reason there is no paint code sticker on my driver's side door jamb.

    I know that the color is called "Eucalyptus Green Pearl". Can anyone else with this color please tell me what the paint code number is?

    It would be appreciated.

  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    I drove both, and the Avalon, before getting my '02 RL. The ES300 ended up third on my list. While it offered more features than the others, the quality of the ride suffered, imo. (Obviously this is quite subjective.) It not only looked like the Camry but it drove like it too. The Avalon was equipped more like the RL (with a full option list) but still didn't have the solidity that the RL seemed to have and, in '02, didn't have the feel of performance, either. I know that I disagree with every review on earth, but I don't think anything offers as much quality for the cost compared to the RL. I have 20,000 miles now and am very pleased to be driving it on the highway.

    But I am going to have to get something else for the weekends that is more fun to drive.

  • If I know 2002 RL can be bought around $35000, I probably would buy RL instead of my ES300.
    What is wrong with Acura?
    How can your MSRP be $10000 higher than TMV?
  • I was comparing ES300 and TL, and I choose ES300.
    ES300 with some options get the price high very quickly.
    My budget was around $35000, I didn't even take a look on RL, because its stupid MSRP says $43000.
  • mrrogersmrrogers Posts: 391
    I checked the price of both a new 2003 RL and a 2002 RL at, and they are both $39320. It appears the $4000 factory to dealer incentive is gone. Does anyone know if this is just a problem with the website, or has Acura sold out the 2002 RL's?
  • Dude, maybe the site didn't refresh or something. 2002s are definitely all on a discount extending till 01/03, but basically till they sell them out. Who on earth will pay 39K for 2002 at this point!?
    My only question is when 03s will go on discount? If only they added few horses to make RL more appealing. I love the looks, but hesitant about lackluster HP for a heavy car. Still debating with myself about buying it.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    You indicate safety is one of your concerns. In that regard the ES 300 is the better choice. It has more safety features and a better crash rating.

    I think the RL is the only $40,000+ sedan that does not offer side curtain airbags.
    Acura's side-impact airbags are among the most sophisticated in production. They deploy from the seat bolster, rather than the door panel. Seven electronic sensors measure the size and position of passengers; if a youngster in the front seat is leaning against the door, for example (a situation where the airbag might do more harm than good), the airbag will not deploy. Furthermore, the front passenger airbag deploys with less force in light contact or at a lower speed than it would in a heavy impact or at higher speeds.
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 854
    I would like some real-world opinions on comparisons of the RL, TL, and ES300. In many articles they say the TL is the better bargain. Do you owners agree? I believe that you can get a new non Type-S for around 27,500.
  • Now, even the Accord EX V6 offers side curtain airbags/side-airbags, voice activated Navigation system etc., along with other goodies like a turbine smooth 240HP 3.0L V6 engine along with a 5-speed Automatic transmission. It is very smooth too. This should definitely show the direction of the next TL that should be coming anytime soon. I think the RL ought to be retired from the line-up unless they plan to introduce a new one pretty soon.

    This new TL will predictably eclipse its competitors like the ES300 etc., like the current generation TL did with the previous generation ES300.

  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    The RL is the new name of the Legend, which started the Acura lineup. Why would they want to drop it? But then again, why would they drop a name like Legend...but anyways, there is no reason why they should drop the RL. It's definitely (over)due for a redesign.
  • My comment was a bit rhetorical...if the 2003 RL does not have even the minimum features, that even a low-end Honda Accord is starting to sport, then it has no business occupying the position of the "Luxury Flagship" of a company.

    So unless they significantly enhance its content to match its competitors (rather than having less content than low-end products of Honda themselves), I think it should be taken out of the lineup. Automotive "time and tide waits for no car" !! They should either drop it till a redesign and then re-introduce it, or they should do some emergency surgery on the car that will make it more current.

    Retaining it as a premium product, will have owners of lower-end near-luxury competitors like the Lexus ES300 etc., comparing feature-to-feature with a true luxury product like the RL and pointing jeering fingers at it for its lack of "features". Hell even Honda Accord owners with their 240HP V6, 5-speed Automatic Transmission, High-tech Voice-activated Navigation, Dual-zone climate control etc., would jeer at the RL if they were to sit in it...the lacks of the RL are so glaring.

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