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Acura RL vs. Infiniti M35



  • 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.
  • irnmdnirnmdn Posts: 245
    RL also needs AWD not to suffer from torquesteer unlike RWD GS, M
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    you're missing the point. It don't matter WHY the RL needs AWD. So what if it does? It also needs tires, a steering wheel and and an engine. It comes with AWD, so why debate why it needs it? arthurmnev was making the point that the RL (with AWD) handles better then the AWD M and the AWD Lexus. If you have evidence to the contrary, share it.

    As to which car NEEDS AWD the most, well, I think that's another topic for another forum.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I see slightly different styling, don't you? :confuse:

    Actually I think the styling difference accounts for only about $595 of the price difference. The other $24,405 is for the SH-AWD, the extra 100hp, the Navi, Bluetooth, DVD-A audio, voice recognition, XM, smart key, memory seats, auto headlights, etc, etc, etc,.....should I go on?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I haven't seen the RL and the M35x compared. Have you?

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Yeah I'm not sure if there are any professional reviews of the M35x at all. You'd think somebody would do one, considering the M35x and GS300 AWD compete much more directly with the RL than the GS430 and M45 do (I'm looking at YOU Edmunds), but apparently not.
  • rmd3003rmd3003 Posts: 11
    OK everybody, listen up. After reading posts by "irnmdn" and some other true car pro's I must admit: I made a horrible mistake when I bought Acura.
    I didn't know that I bought very very overpriced Honda with useless AWD system,
    horrible styling, very weak engine, so-so handling, very bad steering response, bad brakes and horrible resale value. I can go on and on.
    I wish I've read those very smart, classy and intelligent responses from "irnmdn" and co.
    Well, considering that people(and me) who buy Acura's have probably very low IQ , my next car for sure is gonna be ........ guess it...........
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Sorry you feel you made a bad mistake, but the IQ statement is uncalled for. Hope everything works out for you.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hey lexusguy, why don't you drop by editor Karl Brauer's discussion, Karl's Daily Log Book, and ask him about it? Let us know what he says.
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    In virtually every auto magazine comparison that I have read the M Sport has won. Car & Driver rated the M45 Sport (w/o AWD) handling as superior to the RL's SH-AWD, by a score of 10 to 8. Car & Driver reported that "the M45 is all about the driving experience. The car aced everything in the lane-change and skidpad tests" They went on to say "it spanked everything at the track"

    I am confused by all who try to claim that the RL outperforms the M :confuse: Perhaps in snowy wintery conditions the SH-AWD may confer an advantage.

    BTW: I own an Acura MDX and an Infinti FX35 - I am not wedded to either brand.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,101
    I interpert rmd3003 post as tongue-in-cheek. As most of the discussions here are opinions, then everybody is correct. The inner and outer beauty of any car is in the eye (and feet, hands and butt!) of the driver! Drive 'em all, buy the one that best fulfills your needs, wants and desires. That, my friends, is the best car!

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

This discussion has been closed.