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Acura RL vs. Infiniti M35

chintanchintan Posts: 4
edited March 2014 in Acura
Hey guys I know that there are already loads of discussions going on about this but its very confusing to keep reading pages on pages of subjective opinions. I will really appreciate if someone were to advice me which one is better in this discussion.

I have never driven any of them. I like the Infiniti M45 for its power but I feel that the technology in Acura RL is better. Is that true, because if the INFINITI technology matches ACURA RL then i'll go for the INFINITI. For someone who has driven these cars can you advice me.. I will really appreciate it.



  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The Infiniti M35x is more of a direct competitior to the RL. The 45 is RWD and has class leading V8 power, neither of which is available on the RL. As for the technology aspect, the Infiniti cars can match the Acura pretty much item for item if you get the Journey\Tech packages. The Acura also lacks the Germanic reflexes and interior space of the Infiniti cars, and suffers from a typically Honda lack of low end torque. The Infiniti ad campaign says "designed to outperform", and they arent kidding, as both the V6 and V8 Ms will stomp the RL in pretty much every performance catergory.

    You can probably tell which one I like better, but I would still definitely suggest that you do lengthy test drives of both cars.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Put me down for the M45 too. Rarely in recent years have I gotten so caught up and/or exicted about car from Japan inc. The M45 is imo the best value going in the segment, especially the M35. Like Lexusguy said that M35X will bury the RL on performance and as far as I've seen it will match the Acura gadget for gadget. It also looks better imo, though neither are much in the way of looks to me at this point.

    This is from a person who has always "liked" Acuras, especially the last 1991-1995 Legend. That was an Acura I would have taken over anything from Infiniti or Lexus at the time. Now however the M is the better car to me, especially since its a real rwd layout. Acura has hit a wall with their hi-hp V6s because no matter what they do from here on they're stuck with awd mandatory because they want to compete in hp with the V8s, yet don't have the proper layout. Sure 300hp looks nice on paper, but the M35's V6 is the better performer. I like the RL, but not at its 50K price. Innfeenati.

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The number of RL's I saw sitting on the lot the last time I was at the local Acura shop would make me think that an Acura dealer would be more open to negotiation than Infiniti might be. There's no way Acura is getting close to MSRP for the car anymore.
  • sacguysacguy Posts: 27
    Absolutely without hesitation.....the M.....would be my choice between the RL and M. Better performance, handling, and the tech goodies are equal too if not better overall.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I really don't see how they could have every gotten sticker for the RL or any other car in this class really. There are just too many choices and its not like any of these are rare, limited production vehicles. I guess its just the initial frenzy of everyone having to have one right now that would do that. The RL would be a runaway hit at 45K imo, but at 50K I'd take something else.

  • rajabhatrajabhat Posts: 15

    Then most certainly, drive them first. ***without*** the stereo on so you can detect any rattles and such. My 2005 RL handles superbly and the Bose sound system is the best I've heard. But...the suspension has a rattly sound and they're checking into it today. It must have been there from day one but the first few weeks I loved the sound system (XM satellite radio) so much I didn't ever drive without the radio on so I did not hear it!! The dealership is short of loaner cars whereas with Lexus they always had a loaner car available. Overall I wish I'd waited two months to get the new Lexus GS300 AWD.
  • cybersolcybersol Posts: 91
    Comparing apples to apples, I am going to talk about the M35x versus the RL. Others have already commented that if you want the V8, there is really only one choice.

    The M35x with Journey and Technology packages has the lead in technology IMO. Over the RL, it has Intelligent Cruise Control, a cool and useful Rear-View Monitor, Cooled Seats, and the Lane Departure Warning system. The RL has on-star, XM traffic link, and the power rear sunshade over the M35x. You will have to decide which features you would rather have.

    The M35x will also handle and perform better than the RL, if that is important to you. If it is not, then you should consider the Lexus, as someone else suggested.

    Most of all, sit and drive in them and pick the one that speaks to you. After all, they are all great cars.

    Enjoy, cybersol
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I strongly doubt that is an across the board problem with RLs. Its definitely a good idea to test drive any car with the stereo both on and off to test for things that all cars will have such as wind and tire noise, and exhaust note. Unfortunately the stereo is another area where the RL loses to Infiniti and Lexus. The Acura's is certainly good, but not as good as the Infiniti studio surround and Lexus Mark Levinson setups. When you have the luxury of offering options, you can have a pricey stereo that not everyone has to pay for if they dont want it.
  • rajabhatrajabhat Posts: 15
    Hi there, every model in the Lexus line has a slightly different implementation of the Mark Levinson. I believe the new GS300 2006 has 13 speakers!!! Wow. Its too late now, there's no question of selling my RL and losing $5000 just to buy the GS300!!
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Yeah they are individually designed for each car. Some implementations are better than others, the ES330's for example is just ok.
  • ffb13ffb13 Posts: 181
    my take.........

    when the lexus first came out ,simultaneously with he infinity q 45 my reaction was

    the lexus is a $50.000 car selling for $35,000.

    the infinity q45 is a $30,000 car selling for 45,000. that was back ,amy years.

    now 2005

    the lexus is a $50,000 car selling for 65,000.

    the infinity Q 45 is still a $35,000 car selling for $60,000.

    and now acura vs infinity m

    the acura is a $38,000 car selling for $ 50,000

    the infinity m35 and m45 are priced right on as compared to others.

    having driven all of the cars i can tell you that the acura rl is impressive but suffers from tire noise and every now and then wind noise came in.
    a glorified honda accord for twice the price.

    the infinity will be a tiring car over long ,all day trips .but most fun cars are so.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    We have forty-eleven discussions on all the cars that have come up here. This particular discussion was supposed to specifically help chintan pick between one of the two in the title. It's logical that folks want to add the others because they are natural comparisons, but we don't need yet another discussion for the same purpose.

    Chintan has previously been referred to the combo comparos that include the others that have come up. He said at the beginning he wants to decide specifically between the two subject vehicles. He knows where to find the discussions that include these others.

    We haven't heard from him since he opened this discussion the other day. Let's see if he's still around and where he is in his decision process - then we'll decide where to go.

    Meanwhile, maybe some of you could offer your reasons to pick one of the RL or M45 over the other - that's what he asked us to help him with.
  • howie1howie1 Posts: 1
    I have had 3 Lexus vehicles since 1998. I purchased my first Infiniti M35 in April 2005. It is by far a better performing, handling and looking vehicle than any Lexus on the market. Before making a stupid mistake and buy a Lexus take a test drive in an Infiniti. It out performs, handles better and has a better warranrty than Lexus. INFINITI RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    What? Just one month into the marriage and you're hooked for life? :surprise:

    I hope she doesn't break your heart! :)
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    A "best of both worlds" combo of German driving characteristics blended with Japanese cutting edge features and reliability makes for quite a car. I think most owners are similarly very pleased with their purchase.
  • chintanchintan Posts: 4
    Thanks a lot guys. I was kinda busy for a few day so sorry for not replying. I am guessing that all of you'll are definitely more or less in favor of the infiniti and so am I. However, just one question. One of the people said that infiniti m45 can not be compared to Acura Rl. However infiniti m35 can since they have a v6 engine etc. But if thats so why are acura rl and infiniti m45 both priced same? Is it that Acura has just made a mistake pricing their product or they are doing it just for the brand value.. I just wanted to compare these two because i thought that their price is similar and the Infiniti m45 has better v8 engine with better bhp so their must be something extra in the Acura which compensates for that.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The Acura's price is a little misleading, because its "base" price is also its "loaded" price. You can technically get into an M45 for about the same as the Acura's MSRP, but if you want comparable equipment, expect to pay several grand more.

    The M35x on the other hand, when similarly equiped with the features that the RL comes with as standard equipment, has a similar price tag.
  • rajabhatrajabhat Posts: 15
    Just 2 days ago I was kind of gripy and not too enthused with my RL because it had a clanky rattle going over ruts and bumps. Gee whiz I thought, Acura's flagship car is this poor in final quality?? Turned out it was a loose brake pad, they trouble-shooted it, fixed it, and now it rides as quiet as any luxury sedan. Handling is superb. Sound system, and integrated electronics including Satellite radio, Navigation system and OnStar, are all outstanding. All in an all-wheel-drive car. The Onstar Verizon phone that came with it was defective so they replaced it yesterday and it works fine now. But it does have a new phone # I have to get used to.

    Therefore I'm absolutely not wishing I'd waited for the Lexus GS300. I'm very enthused with the car now. I recommend it highly.

  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Well then, the only important issue remaining: Is it "trouble-shooted", or "trouble-shot"? :P ;)
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    There's nothing worse than buyer's remorse on a $50K+ car. I'm glad everything worked out and you are pleased with your purchase. Thats what counts.
  • chintanchintan Posts: 4
    Guys im sorry.. THERE IS MORE CONFUSION..hehe.. Ok i am all of a sudden hearing about the BMW 545i and how good it is. Now i know cant compare infiniti m45 with bmw 545i. But for me an extra $5000 doesnt make much of a difference. I want to buy a car for the next four years that i am in the states and it should be good. However, according to you'll which is a better buy. I know BMW costs more, i dont mind spending it but is it worth spending it on compared to INFINITI m45. Coz if the infiniti has most of it and there is nothing better in the BMW then its not worth buying the BMW..

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Its a bit more than 5 grand. A loaded M45 Sport comes in around $57 thousand, which is right where the 545i starts. Load it up similarly, and you're looking at least $65 thousand. What does the 545i do better than the M45 Sport? In my opinion, not much. The few magazines that have put the two against each other have ranked the M45 ahead, even when cost is factored out of the equation. Then there's the BMW's mediocre relability, and of course, iDrive. There's no way I'd choose a 545i over an M45, but you really should spend a lot of time with both cars. This is ultimately going to be YOUR car, not any of ours.
  • cohenfivecohenfive Posts: 85
    i've owned a lot of 5 series bmw's and have driven the new m. although i would likely purchase the m over the new 5 right now, the bmw will still have an edge in terms of handling and steering. the edge is probably pretty slight now but the bimmer is still a bit more of a driver's car if that is what floats your boat. on everything else i'd say the m has the advantage (except for prestige value whatever that is worth).
  • robertashrobertash Posts: 13
    I have driven BMW 545i and can tell you Audi A8 out does it in performance, handling and comfort at a MUCH LOWER PRICE
  • scoop4scoop4 Posts: 40
    I just traded my 528i BMW for a 2006 M35x and couldn't be happier. The BMW was great until the mileage got over 70K and at that point the cost for repair (partially caused by the weak dollar) was huge. I had to replace a windshield wiper motor and it cost me $1000. I started to hear noised in the rear end and the service tech said that it could be bearing and differential and would cost over $3000 to fix. BMWs and other imports are great as long as you dump them before the mil age gets too high I also own two Porsches and won't tell you what they cost to keep running.

    Mercedes, BMW and Audi had to throw in free service to get attract buyers. Look on page 18 of the April issue of Consumer Reports and they rate the reliability of new cars. Japanese cars were at the top and German cars were at the bottom.
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    You really need to drive these cars and decide which one appeals to you. You're asking people whether vanilla ice cream is better than chocolate ice cream.

    The RL and M35x are very close....on paper.

    But they offer different driving dynamics, ergonomics, styling, and technology. Both offer good quality and value. Comparably equipped, they are priced very close to each other, although better deals are available right now on the RL. (But you've already said that saving a couple thousand is no big deal to you.)

    We looked closely at both models. It was almost a toss-up to me. I preferred the interior and exterior styling of the me, it looks classier. I dislike the garish tail lights of the M, and the boy racer tailpipes. To me, the cockpit of the RL is nicer than the ATM-like design of the M35x dash. I also prefer the blue & white lighting in the RL instruments over the yellow & red lighting that Infiniti and Nissan use way too much, IMO.

    If you squint, the RL looks like a Euro-spec Honda Accord (or TSX) on steroids. If you squint, the Infiniti looks like a Nissan Maxima on steroids. Looks are very subjective.

    The M35x is more the driver's car, and felt better to me from behind the wheel. It is definitely quicker than the RL, and it feels like a RWD car. The RL feels more like a FWD car. The M35x's engine is louder and the ride is a bit harsher. The M has a roomier back seat, if that is important to you. I enjoyed DRIVING the M more than I enjoyed DRIVING the RL.

    Although pretty close, I prefer the technology in the RL. Infiniti's lane departure system, back up camera, front/rear DVD are not high on my list of importance. The RL has a trick navigation system, active noise cancellation, and an innovative all wheel drive system. Both offer bluetooth and voice recognition, and sound systems are comparable.

    My wife much preferred the RL. Since she is the 80% driver, we bought the RL. So far, she loves the car (hence I am only a 5% driver.) If I were the 80% driver, I may have gone with the M35x since it's more the driver's car.

    But it's that close.

    Go drive these cars for yourself.
  • calsteamercalsteamer Posts: 1
    I drove both cars many times, and I ended up buying the Infiniti M45 non-sport. For the money it was the best value, and a lot more fun to drive. The dealer was great, the car had all the technology you could want, it is much roomier, and it feels much more solid than the Acura. Both are great cars, but they are very different. Just a note, I am getting almost 23mpg combined city/highway.
  • pvspvs Posts: 9
    I don't think you should compare M45 with RL. Most direct comparison is M35x Journey+Tech vs. RL. Actually, if the final price matters, and based on current deals, RL is about the same as M35X+Journey. In this comparison RL has better technology.

    I test drove extensively M35X Journey/ Tech and RL. Ended up buying the RL.
    While I liked the acceleration of the M35 I did not care for the noise and ride quality. My wife simly called it "disturbing". M35 does have slightly more space and I liked its ventlated seats.
    I'd say that Acura feels better in terms of the interior material quality. But M35 is much better than any other Infiniti I have driven.
    I agree that RL isn't as fast taking off. But at highway speeds it is plenty fast.
    Overall, both cars are excellent.
    We could not justify paying anything extra for the Infinity with Tech/Journey over the Acura. The final difference in price was about $4K and Acura won.

    I have only had the RL for two weeks. The car is quiet, rides well, especially after I fixed air pressure in the tires. All electronics and toys work well, no issues. Navigation system, voice activated commands work; it takes time to learn the car though.Bluetooth HFL with Motorola 710/Verizon is a great combo, had no problems pairing them together
    Steering is precise and SH-AWD is great in the rain-I tried some roller coaster-type turns while accelerating

    Good luck. I think any of these cars is a great buy, much better than similar or more expensive European sports sedans of the same class.
  • rmd3003rmd3003 Posts: 12
    I completely agree with post by "pvs" above.
    I just picked up RL over M35x. Yes, M35x. I didn't even compare RL to M45.
    I consider M45 high performance sedan, while RL and M35x are just performance sedans. Plus M45 is 5-10 grand more than RL(similarly equipped). So if money is not an issue and you take sport over comfort, than M45 is clearly should be first on your list. On the other hand If comfort you priority, than RL still very good choice.

    Now to the point of RL vs M35x(loaded). They are the same price. I drove both twice. That's how they appeared on my list:
    M35x 55% performance - 45% luxury
    RL 45% performance - 55% luxury
    Both are fine cars. It's not about which car is better, it's about what your priorities are.
  • prophet2prophet2 Posts: 372
    I had a test drive with the M35. Impressive power. However, the dealer did not have the M35x (AWD) on the lot. I had previously driven the RL.

    I concur with pvs and rmd3003. These are splendid cars for the money and do not lag behind their European competitors except for "cachet."

    We have only one dealer each for Acura and Infiniti . It's doubtful that the RL prices will drop $3-4K below MSRP. Same for the M series - they're still talking ADM!
  • valuebuyervaluebuyer Posts: 24
    I tested both - and you are correct - the 35x is the appropriate comparo. The Inifinit won by a narrow margin overall. But the decision was a no-brainer in Canada - Honda jacked the price about CAD$10K over the US pricing. So, my M35x is the best vehicle I've ever had (I'm a recovering former BMW crackhead - I understand the unreasoning allegience BMW crackheads have to this overpriced, shoddy brand), and Acura ensured that the M sells bucketfulls in Canada this year by its conscious (???) decision to sell only a few RLs - to people who have no other use for the extra 10K.
  • kfhmailkfhmail Posts: 199
    The appropriate comparison is whatever the buyer wants to compare. It is his criteria not he is comparing the RL to the M45...

    But the best advice has already been said...go test drive both of the cars to make your decision. And...if you like a particular color make sure you look at it both at night and in the daylight...some colors look very different in different lighting...
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Test drives at night are also a good idea. The interior lighting of some cars has bothered me to the point of being distracted from the road.
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    I too am down to the RL vs. the M; however I prefer the M35 Sport. Part of what makes comparisons difficult is finding an "exact" apples-to-apples situation. For me I am smitten with the optional OEM 18" wheels on the RL. On several extended test drives I sensed/felt no loss of ride or noise level by upgrading to the 18's (I can get them for about $1500). I emphasive the wheels because 18" are standard in the M. The M-Sport adds 19" 5 spoke wheels similar to the 5-spoke optional 18's on the RL. In addition the M-Sport offers a type of rear wheel steer that in my opinion (as well as many/most car mag comparisons) handles as well as the RL. So having "justified" an RL vs. M35 Sport, how do they compare? Its a tough call and I am not yet decided.

    A few weeks ago the RL had the edge but in South Texas AWD is not a necessity to me (clearly the SH-AWD is the RL's claim to fame). The RLs other technological "advantages" are its AcuraLink w/ integrated OnStar, RealTimeTraffic via Navi, XM, and Bluetooth. But that is also a double-edged sword. Many internet forums (including Edmunds) are reporting issues with this technology; not only are there Acura related hardware/software issues, there are also many kinks with OnStar and XM service. In all honesty OnStar, XM radio, and RealTimeTraffic are not compelling reasons to buy a car in my opinion. I concede that Acura Navi is superior (I previously owned an '01 MDX and currently own an '04 MDX).

    However currently the M35 Sport has a slight edge. I really the looks of the 19" wheels. It offers a sophisticated back-up camera (why Acura, why?) that is very useful to me on a daily basis. The Sport Package handles very well and the ride and noise levels is no worse than the RL (and maybe better - need more test drives). The M is an '06 vs. an '05 and will therefore have a future resale advantage. Infiniti's Navi is also very good (I also own an '04 FX35) and I really enjoy the Birdeye View option. An '06 M35 Sport w/ Journey Package, Navi and Full Size Spare (why Acura, why?) is less than an '05 RL w/ optional 18" wheels

    So what to do? Still undecided. I'd say if AWD is critical and OnStar and XM are important then the RL is a worthy choice (if you don't mind paying extra for it; including expensive annual service contracts in the future). Curently (I have flip-flopped before) I prefer the M's styling, functionality, and value.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Go with the M. The RL is very nice, but Infiniti definitely has the better car.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Actually I think the Lexus GS may look more upscale than either one of them.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I must say I haven't been so impressed with a car from a non-German brand in a long time. Infiniti is like 3 for 3 with me now, G35 Coupe, FX, and now the M. Never would have thought it.

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Definitely the Infiniti.

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Ghosn and co. have made a few mistakes with Nissan products, the Quest probably being the biggest, and they are having some reliability problems with Quest and Armada, but the Infiniti division just can't seem to make a bad car since Ghosn took over. ..Well, except for the QX56. Much like the QX4 before it, its just not different enough from the Nissan version. The 4Runner\GX470 do a much better job of seperating themselves. That aside, the next Q and especially the GT-R should be very interesting. I dont think Toyota would be doing another Supra if Nissan wasnt bringing the GT-R to the states, as clearly cars like the S2000, RX-8 or 350Z werent enough to convice them.
  • s54s54 Posts: 29
    One serious thing to consider with the RL is Acura first-year build quality. Take a look at the Acurazine forum and even after discounting forum whiners, it reveals issues.

    I have a 2004 TL that is a first year model and had rattles/pops and vibrations from day 1, which were eventually fixed. I had to replace three sets of tires due to vibration issues and I am afraid the same thing is happening with the RL, FWIW.

    I really liked the RL's attributes (as I did the TL), and although I liked the M35 better, the RL was knocked out due to potential quality issues.

  • irnmdnirnmdn Posts: 245
    RL is a mid-side FWD sedan(Accord) masquerading as a AWD sports sedan.
    M is based on a FM RWD platform designed with sport in mind (Z,G35).
    If you like bland and boring go with the RL- I doesn't look too different from 2000 Accord. On the plus side bland designs age well unlike flavor of the month. RL interior is slightly better.

    Historically Acuras had better re-sale value than Infiniti, but Goshn-era Infinities hold their value quite well.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    The M is a first year model too, so I would be just as concern about reliability issues. The G35 has had its share of problems.

    I think you guys are giving Ghosn too much credit too soon. Yes, he introduced some nice models to resuscitate a dying company, but he's had problems with quality issues, and some dubious designs (Maxima, Quest). He's got some work to do before I would qualify him for the hall of fame.

    With Nissan where it was when he took over, even I could have improved things!
  • irnmdnirnmdn Posts: 245
    glorified honda accord for twice the price. for AWD, NAV, +60
    You nailed it.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Oh yes, I'm sure its just that easy. You should take over for both Bill Ford and Rick Wagoner, after all, Ford and GM arent in nearly as bad a shape as Nissan was in the late '90s, so it should be a breeze for you to fix both companies in say 3 years or so, as Ghosn did.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519 long have you had been inflicted with this condition....of interpreting what people say literally? Well, I hope they can give you a prescription for it. Good luck.
  • arthurmnevarthurmnev Posts: 5
    RL without a doubt. I haved had the car since november 04 and love it; i drove infinity m45 & lexus and there is really no comparison as to what SH-AWD will do for you on a 60 mph 45 degree turn.
  • irnmdnirnmdn Posts: 245
    no comparison as to what SH-AWD will do for you on a 60 mph 45 degree turn.
    Can you point us to any source which says RL's AWD is better than M35's.
    On the contrary, there has been few reviews commending the rear-wheel bias of Infinity AWD which gives it a sportier handling. M35 also has better weight distribution.
  • arthurmnevarthurmnev Posts: 5
    SH-AWD accelerates outer rear wheel relative to the turn (i.e. hard turn left will result in rear right getting more torque then rear left) That significantly adds to stability during turns where you get high lateral G force. I have seen (and felt) the difference during test drives on both G35 and RL; in final analysis, SH-AWD was a selling point for me.

    The only thing Acura screwed up (IMHO) are the tires -for some odd ball reason Mich. hx mxm4 are the stock tires - and God, they are horrible in snow although wet/dry traction is really good
  • irnmdnirnmdn Posts: 245

    I expect slightly different styling for $25000 more
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    What you're not mentioning is that the RL NEEDS SH-AWD in order to not suffer from extreme understeer because of its unbalanced weight. The M35 doesnt need anything like that. Its not derived from a FWD platform, and thus no AWD magic is required to fix problems that arent there.
This discussion has been closed.