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Acura RL



  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Well, then, I think you have made my point. I have not been stranded by my Audis (since 1977). My co-worker has been stranded by his Acura.

    I take these with a grain of salt, because my personal recent experiences have not had many bumps in the road and no issues that cause me to be stranded.

    So, those of us who have a "particular" predilection for a brand (I, thus far, for Audi) and who have never been stranded are not "off their rockers," likewise, if a Jaguar or Lexus ever left you stranded, it would be the last one you would consider?

    For me, this time, I am struggling with yet another characteristic -- value. I have mentioned that I cannot find the value in BMW, even though I have never driven a bad one (actually owned one for almost three years, in fact) -- and I am beginning to think that the $50K RL may be "more car" than a similarly priced A6 (also for '05). Indeed, I actually have been boning up on the GS300 for '06, to make certain I fully consider the "contenders" in the Premium Sporty car market (some 9 months from now).

    This forum and the spate of test drives my wife and I have taken, has made my choice less obvious than ever before. A back to back test of the new A6 and RL will hopefully be very revealing.

    Another thing I have been able to confirm, the RL will have On*Star and at least for '05 Audi will not. My 2003 allroad does have On*star and I do use it regularly and frequently especially when I travel (generally within 250 miles of Cincinnati). This may be a plus for Acrua and a minus for the Audi too.

    So, I remain impressed that I finally found someone who has a long list of problems with his Acura -- like I said before, in an odd way, this indication of less than perfect reliability is, for the Acura, a plus. Indeed, even your comments about your Jaguar hardly make it seem like a car to avoid. In the Jag's case, however, I am less enthusiastic about its styling, so for the mean time, it is "off" my list altogether.

    But remember, my list fundamentally may be flawed as I am not even considering any vehicle that cannot be had with AWD. Of course, the Acura passes as does the Audi -- and as you and others have pointed out, there are more AWD variants coming with each passing MY.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Let me make a claim that “I know someone who had a winning multi-million dollar lottery”. What are the chances we all know someone like that in person?

    Statistics can help us understand the bigger picture, not personal experience. What, some might call perception, exists for reason(s). Acura RL and Lexus LS have been held high in terms of reliability, and that must be with a reason. It does not mean that 100% of their owners have had cars without trouble.
  • proeproe Posts: 157
    One important fact that people forgot is that you want the cars to have problems as you design them otherwise automobile companies will go out of bussiness already. You make huge profit on aftermarket services. However, what you do not want to see is that the cars have problems within warranties as companies will have to spend money to fix it if they ackowledge that the problems do exist. Also, what contributes to the car problems is the aftermarket services that you have. As whoever work on your car may intentionally tighten the bolt so much that it cracks the panel, so you will have a oil leak, say, after 5,000 miles, and you will come back to spend more money. At the end, it is how much money that you could come up when your car has any problem.
  • rwalker07rwalker07 Posts: 16
    Does anyone know if Acura is still considering a Hybrid for the RL model. I know there were rumors for the 05 model. Perhaps 06 or beyond.

    I really think this would make a great car one of the truly best.

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    If the GS350GT offers a hybrid system with more than 300hp, you can pretty much count on Acura to come up with a counter offer. Its clear that their days of sitting quietly and offering half decent cars are over.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    If hybrid happens, I expect it to come around as the initial sales "slow down", meaning, a year or two down the road. It might also depend on reception of Accord Hybrid that would be approaching near-luxury market. Given the compatibility of Honda's IMA system to just about every existing engine the company makes, it wouldn't take much to throw one in the RL.

    If there is any argument that can be made against new RL, it would be that the V6 can't match "the low-end torque" of a 4.0-4.5 liter V8. IMA can easily address that.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Exactly, thats the reasoning for the RX400h as well. Lexus knows its X5, ML, Toureg, and SRX competition all offer V8s, and HSD is the perfect way for them to address the additional power and performance of an 8 while getting a mpg boost, rather than a penalty. I'm quite sure that by the end of the decade, a significant portion of Toyota and Honda's lineups will offer hybrid power, if not have it as standard equipment. Most likely specialty cars like the Prius and Insight will disappear, as they will become redundant.
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 593
    I absolutely mirror your statements. Toyota & Honda are definitely in the lead over the hybrids, atleast in the market and they'll keep that going forward and if we cannot finish the Iraq quagmire soon enough, it is indirectly a boost for these companies to keep pushing that envelope of hybrids... and I definitely think each honda & toyota will sport atleast one hybrid variant in each model line up.

  • We purchased a 2000 RL from the auction and it does not have a Navi DVD. Even if it did, it would be outdated. Are there websites that sell discounted replacement DVDs or are we stuck with having to purchase it from the Acura dealer?
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    My guess is thats something you would have to get from a dealer. Updated NAV dvds dont seem like big ticket items that could spawn dedicated websites or even ebay auctions.
  • l943973l943973 Posts: 197
    I know in the Acura owners link, you can order DVD updates there. I'm not sure if they send it to the dealer for the installation or not.
  • proeproe Posts: 157
    I agree with you in terms of alternative fuel will replace portion of gas need in the future, however, I think people just forget about diesel. As in Western Europe, the cars sold with diesel engines in them is around 44%, and it will be 50% by 2005.

    The VW Touareg TDI has a twin turbodiesel V10 engine that produces 310 hps and 500 #-in of torque, and it redlines around 4,400 rpm, and EPA for the car is 17 city/23 highway. I do not think any car with V10 with this much output will have this kind of mpg. Plus, I think diesel is like 30c/g. And from another article I read, it id very common for diesel engine to have average mpg in a range of 35mpg, so if your oil is 18 g., then your driving range would be around 630 miles.

    I think by 2006, people will consider to switch to diesel. I know I would give diesel a try.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Diesel is okay too, but even with all the advancements (not only in terms of output and emissions, but NVH as well), they are still considered inferior to gasoline counterparts. Diesel also makes more sense in some countries (not USA) since it is “a lot” cheaper than “petrol”.

    I want to see hybrid technology evolve (and it doesn’t have to be gasoline based, since it could use diesel and some fuel cell prototypes are hybrids as well) and for good reasons. Cars like RL can benefit from it, with added low-end torque (when needed) to curb the “demand” of “must have V8”, and without having to burn more fuel, instead potentially save some besides improvement in terms of emissions. And since cars in this price class are not as price sensitive as are the cars in $15-25K price range, it would be much easier to go with more frills (like, use of ultra capacitor instead of batteries).

    I also see possibility of AWD systems using electric motors (several prototypes have been shown) to replace (or compete with) mechanical/electronic AWD systems. Both choices add weight and cost, but only one can improve fuel economy, emissions and add power.
  • talon95talon95 Posts: 1,110
    "Diesel is okay too, but even with all the advancements (not only in terms of output and emissions, but NVH as well), they are still considered inferior to gasoline counterparts. Diesel also makes more sense in some countries (not USA) since it is “a lot” cheaper than “petrol”."

    And as I understand it, even the most advanced and cleanest diesels currently available would fall considerably short of meeting the much tougher emissions standards that will be put in place in California in the next couple of years. Given the size of the market for luxury cars in California, if a diesel luxury car would in fact not be able to be sold in that state, it would be a significant downside for the manufacturer.

    I'm very curious to see what kind of mileage ratings the new "big engine" hybrids such as the Accord V6 hybrid and the rumored RL hybrid would get. So far, all we've seen in the US are smaller hybrids with 4-cyl engines as the gasoline powered component. At least in the case of the Accord, it doesn't seem like power is a problem, since the hybrid will be rated at 15 hp higher than the standard V6.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    And very likely, much higher low end torque. I'm anticipating more like 260-270 lb.-ft arriving at 1500-3000 rpm (something that can be expected from a 4.0 liter V8).

    Besides, diesel engines tend to be heavier. Honda 2.2-liter i-CTDi weighs about 375 lb., about 70-90 lb. more than Honda 2.2-liter DOHC VTEC (Prelude). For that kind of additional weight, a more powerful electric motor can be added to boost low end torque, emissions and fuel economy without giving up available power at the top end.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I know it sounds crazy, but in Europe a number of diesels are now using aluminum for the block and cylinder head. The new ultra-powerful VW Touareg diesel is just such a unit, and I think (?) the 3.0 BMW diesel is too. Also the future Subaru boxer diesel is reportedly also to be aluminum.

    So the excessive weight penalty one normally associates with diesels may be a thing of the past.

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Cars such as the E320 CDI currently cant be sold in California, New York, and 3 other states. Proe, 17\23 isnt that great, or anything to really get excited about. The V8 gets something like 15\20, so its an increase of 2 and 3mpg respectively. Big deal. The 400h should be getting 35mpg+ in the city, an increase of FIFTEEN mpg over the gasoline version. You can fill it up at any street corner, its 50 state legal, and will most likely be ULEV\SULEV. HSD is also still in its infancy. Toyota plans on having 150+ hp electric assist motors in the next few years, as opposed to the 400h's 40hp motor.
  • satiresatire Posts: 71
    A friend was at the local Acura dealer who told him that the list price will be $52,000. True?
  • boomsamaboomsama Posts: 362
    The A8 4.0L V8 gets about 36mpg
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Um.. what engine are you talking about
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Honda has started its diesel “run” with the 2.2-liter DOHC I-CTDi using aluminum and it is supposedly the lightest engine in its class (by at least 10 kg as “The Telegraph” below mentions it). But at 375 lb. (a number I obtained from another website, it is about 80 lb. heavier than the 2.2-liter DOHC VTEC engine that powered Prelude for a long time. Another website (also European source) mentions it being 70 lb. heavier than the gasoline powered Honda 2.4/I-4 (also offered in European Accord).

    The Telegraph: Honda Accord (Diesel)

    BTW, the “mpg” ratings use “Imperial Gallon”. Correct me if I’m wrong, 40 mpg in UK would be 33 mpg in the USA.

    A mild hybrid system seems to add 60-70 lb. as well (mostly from batteries, and that could improve over time). Much of the weight of the electric motor in Honda IMA system is nullified by reduction in weight of the flywheel (since they are bolted to each other directly).

    This takes us to potential development of diesel engine for future RL/Legend. In a power hungry market, RL will need to have substantial power. Even if Honda developed a 3.5-liter V6 version of its diesel engine, it would be rated at 225 HP/400 lb.-ft (or something like that). Impressive it would be, but in terms of performance, it may only match the gasoline V6. And saying “225 HP” does not work as well as saying “300 HP”, even though the torque rating would probably be 400 lb.-ft at 2000 rpm versus 260 lb.-ft at 5000 rpm. And people (esp media) will still complain about lack of “V8”.

    This takes us to “mild” hybridization. A reasonably powerful electric motor could add 80-90 lb.-ft at the low end. And even if it adds nothing at the top end, getting the car rated at something like 300 HP @ 6200 rpm and 320 lb.-ft at 2000 rpm could serve as a recipe to appreciate the best of both worlds. Besides, the gas mileage (and emissions) would improve. But, media is still going to be stuck at “lack of V8” (even though just a few will consider it if it were around as an option).

    Both, diesel and gasoline-electric hybrid will add to the cost (I hate to say “diesel versus hybrid” since hybrids could use diesel engines as well). But, so will a V8.

    But, IMO, the most promising aspect of hybrid technology could be its use as AWD system (and power “adder” at the same time). But, if Acura were to consider hybrid based AWD for RL, would they let go of SH-AWD? That will be interesting to see. We do know that Honda adapted ATTS the way it works in RL’s SH-AWD in 2001 Dual Note (“super sedan” using hybrid AWD).
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    A diesel RL isnt going to happen.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    A diesel "Legend" could happen though. And if the luxury car market does end up going in this direction, RL could too.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    That would mean the development of an all new V6 though, wouldnt it? Isnt Hondas only diesel a 4? I honestly dont see the luxury car market going in that direction. Toyota cleary is interested in HSD instead, and something like 4-5,000 E320 CDIs a year doesnt signal a "radical change" to me.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I doubt Honda will stick with one (diesel) engine formula for too long. Next might be a 1.7-2.0 liter version. But, if Honda plans to re-introduce Legend to European market, they could offer (and potentially develop) a V6. It will all depend on the direction the market takes.
  • boomsamaboomsama Posts: 362
    the 4.0L TDI engine in the A8
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I see. Audi doesnt offer that engine here, only their 4.2L gasoline powered V8.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    4.0l V8 TDI in A8 is rated 36.6 mpg (extra urban), but the mileage is in "imperial gallons". Converting to "US" gallons, the "extra urban" mileage would be 30 mpg. And it doesn't translate directly to EPA Highway estimate either.

    For instance, Civic Hybrid is rated 66 mpg in UK (extra urban), which translates to 55 mpg (using std "gallons"), compared to 51 mpg that EPA estimate puts (for highway).

    In that sense, 4.0l TDI may end up getting rated at about 27 mpg by EPA for highway. (4.2l gasoline V8 is rated 32 mpg in UK, translates to 27 mpg if you use std gallon instead of imperial, and EPA rates it at 24 mpg for highway).
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    24? Thats it? Toyota's ULEV gasoline V8s can get that, according to the EPA.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    24 mpg is EPA (highway) estimate for Audi 4.2/V8 gasoline in A8. The same engine is rated 32 mpg ("extra urban" in UK).

    The math for EPA highway estimate translates to 27 mpg for Audi 4.0/V8 TDI since the "extra urban" rating in UK is 36 mpg.

    On a similar note, if Accord Hybrid does get rated 38 mpg (highway), and is sold in UK, it should get rated over there at 50 mpg (extra urban). And that is not too far off 52 mpg rating that the Accord Diesel gets (also extra urban).

    Accord Hybrid and Accord Diesel would have similar low end torque numbers, but the hybrid would end up having 115 additional horses. And this would show the potential of hybrid technology better than any production hybrid has shown thus far.

    Another reason why RL/Hybrid can be an intriguing possibility instead of going the typical "V8" (or diesel) route.
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