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Acura RL vs. Infiniti M35



  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    Having driven FWD, RWD, and AWD cars in bad weather, I can attest to the fact that AWD cars do indeed have much better handling. Splitting torque to four wheels will reduce the chance of losing traction under acceleration.

    While FWD cars do have an advantage over RWD cars in bad conditions (I have never fishtailed simply from accelerating in an FWD), the exception is going uphill in icy conditions. Some FWD cars actually have to choose another route or back up the hill.

    If I were to live in a dry climate without much rain, snow, ice, or sleet (like southern CA ;) ), I would agree that FWD cars would suffice for most people. I would take oversteer from a RWD car anyday over the understeer of FWD, though.
  • OK, i am a tad confused. I am one of those that is still torn between the RL and M35x..i test drove the RL and really like it. I really like the Navigation on it and have only read about the Nav on the M35x. on CNET, it shows the following for the M35x

    GPS Navigation system - CD ROM data Not available
    GPS Navigation system - DVD data Not available
    Trip computer Not available
    Live traffic data Standard
    Touchscreen navigation Not available
    Voice activated navigation Standard
    DVD navigation system (non-GPS) Standard

    What is Non GPS Navigation..and does the M35x have Live traffic Data? and i thought the M35x had a touch screen display. Are they just wrong?
    The only real negatives i have with the RL is the no "cooling" seats, love that with the Navigator and no DVD-Video
    On the M35x does it have Park assist or is that the camera? And does anyone have any experience with the Park Assist addon for the RL?
    The only downsides for me on the M35x is the Real time traffic..but is that a deal breaker? I dont know yet.
  • And does anyone have any experience with the Park Assist addon for the RL?

    Yes, I added the Park Assist on my RL. It's great. I have to parallel park frequently and it allows me to get in fairly tight spaces without playing bumper cars. Also, my office parking garage is awful, with lots of columns and corners. It's very helpful there.
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    The M does use GPS. You can see which satellites are closest and which are being used.

    It does not have a touch screen. I consider this a plus as you don't end up with marks on the screen that have to be frequently cleaned (it does get dusty, though).

    The back-up camera is great.

    Real-time traffic is only useful in a few cities in the U.S. If you are not in one of those cities, it is useless. I believe there is an extra $3 charge per month for that XM service.
  • Thanks for your answers, i was confusing the touch screen with the Lexus IS350.

    Does anyone know when the RL 2006 is coming out?
  • ocriceocrice Posts: 1
    Since I had used these forums heavily when trying to decide between the RL and the M35x, I thought I'd return the favor with my thoughts on my search and eventual purchase. I have been a Honda/Acura customer for years and loved their combination of technology and reliability. I looked forward to getting an RL as I got towards the end of my 2002 TL lease.

    On the plus side, I liked the quality of the interior and the standard equipment list.
    On the minus-side, when I test-drove the RL, I was surprised about how much searching I had to do to figure out fairly basic functions on the center panel- audio and other functions alike. I also had difficulty with the b-pillar which was somehow always in the way when I turned to the left to look at traffic on that side. The lack of a rear-view camera or sensors really bothered me, as I had gotten to love them in our Honda Odyssey Touring - they make parking so much easier. I was struck by the 'soft' feel of the gas pedal and brake. I could clearly get the car to accelerate pretty well if I needed to, but it required a heavier foot than I was used to, and that made merging into traffic less pleasant that it should have been. The same applied to the brake feel. I love the Honda/Acura Nav system, but was somewhat irritated at the lack of a touch-screen and the hassle that added to using the system. I do not use the voice activation more than 10-20% of the time.

    I tried the M35x fairly reluctantly, as I was put off by the additional cost to configure it similarly to the RL. My first impressions were that the interior did not 'wow' me as much as the RL (but I have gotten to like it a lot now), but that the gas and brake pedal feel were great in comparison! It has much more accessible acceleration and stopping power than the RL - by an order of magnitude.

    The Navigation system looks better (with Infiniti's Bird-View) but I find that I still can get more out of the Honda system- there are more ways of inputting data, in more logical sequences, and you have access to a lot of usable functions while the car is in motion, that Infiniti does not let you do. One thing I miss a lot is Honda/Acura's ability to look forward at facilities available at exits along a route that you have. It was great for planning rest stops or hotels during long drives. Overall, I think Honda are still the leader with these systems, but the Infiniti version is not bad by any means. One warning- a source of major aggravation for me on the Infiniti is the cut-off with titles with the XM radio display, so that I cannot see full names or titles. It drives me nuts!

    The back-up camera beats Honda’s system easily. I wish I had sensors as well, but do not miss them terribly. It would have always been a source of annoyance in the RL, even if I paid $600-1200 to install them. I'm told the bluetooth setup in the M35 is slicker, but I cannot vouch for that since I did not try it in the RL. The lane departure warning system is neither here nor there for me, but I like the laser cruise control. There is definitely more engine noise in the M35x, but it is a pleasant growl only when I accelerate. At cruising speeds, it is a very quiet cabin. The premium audio system is great, but so is the RL's. Another downside was I opted for a full-size spare, not realizing that it takes 3 cu ft away- the trunk is definitely smaller than I'd like.

    Overall, I love the much sportier drive, the backup camera and the interior room in particular, and have been very happy so far with the M35x.
  • That was a pretty good assessment of both car's electronics features.

    As far as this comparison goes, I think both cars are very good all-around, but do certain things better than one another. In the end, it is a matter of preferring sportiness of the M or the quiet, luxuriousness of the RL. If I had to pick, I would say I'd go with the RL because it is still a pretty good handling car with good power, but it is seling for around $40K these days (as opposed to another 4-5K more for an M).
  • ak99ak99 Posts: 5
    Here, here - I've test driven the M(35X) and pretty much love it. Unfortunately, I ended up driving behind one in Cincinnati and was put off by the lights when looking at the vehicle dead on. The 05 RL has a better looking rear. Just wish they would stretch it a bit more.
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    As far as this comparison goes, I think both cars are very good all-around, but do certain things better than one another. In the end, it is a matter of preferring sportiness of the M or the quiet, luxuriousness of the RL.

    Purely subjective. I find the M35 to be more luxurious and just as quiet (as ocrice did as well) as the RL. :shades:
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    I've test driven the M(35X) and pretty much love it. Unfortunately, I ended up driving behind one in Cincinnati and was put off by the lights when looking at the vehicle dead on. The 05 RL has a better looking rear.

    In spite of the superior rear-view camera in the M, I have yet to be able to see my car's rear end as I drive down the street. :surprise: I sit and drive on the inside and consider any car's exterior to be subordinate to its interior. Overall I find the M with Full Aero Kit to look better than the RL; hgowever I do agree that the M's tail lights are its weakness :blush:
  • Edmunds compared the M35x versus the RL as part of a five part test and said, "With its aggressive gearing and big tires, the M35x has noticeable engine and road noise on the highway. The firm suspension passes on the bumps more sharply than the others, too. None of it makes the Infiniti uncomfortable over long distances, it's just not going to lull you to sleep like the Acura."
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    Edmunds compared the M35x versus the RL as part of a five part test and said ...

    Yep Edmunds has their OPINION, and so does Car&Driver, and so does Motor Trend, and so does CR, and so ...

    I however was giving you my opinion :shades: You see I have been on numerous extended test drives in more than one of each and I know how quiet each one is on roads in my area :)
  • Well, you know what they say about opinions... :blush:

    Here's fact instead of opinion:

    Here's the interior noise level of the M35 compares the the RL per Autoweek magazine.


    Idle: 44 40
    Max first gear: 75 70
    Steady 60 mph: 65 63

    Perhaps one of the engineers on this site can explain the logarithmic significance of dBA measurements.
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    Here's fact instead of opinion:

    The only FACT that matters is the one bewteen my ears :) :shades:
    Unless of course you are buying ;)

    Here is a FACT that cannot be denied. I test drove two RLs and two M35s - they were exactly the same to me in terms of interior noise level. If someone else is paying then their perceptions carry weight. :blush: Otherwise :sick:
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    I'm not an engineer (nor do I play one on TV...nor did I sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night), but in a nutshell:

    Every 3 decibels is a doubling of sound, every 10 is a ten-fold increase....However (there is always a, "however"), every 10 decibel increase is roughly a subjective doubling of sound.
  • edspider1edspider1 Posts: 195
    db is logarithmic. You can definitely tell a 2-3db difference. I've been in both cars too and the RL is always quieter. I really appreciated getting these numbers. It does confirm the exhaust "music" the M allows into the cabin, but when upon reaching cruising speed it's pretty close. The RL though is quieter.
  • BushwackBushwack Posts: 258
    Most of the comparisons between the M35 & RL are on the money. While I like the M35's agressive exterior better then the RL's, the RL's interior (ergonomically) fits me like a glove. I also feel the nav system is better on the RL as is its stealth-like conservative appearance (hence why in the past I've owned a Buick Regal GS -something about driving a near luxury car with performance and amenities appeals to me). Both the M35 & RL have similar features and it all comes to personal preference, value....and price.

    I just purchased an RL. For what I paid ($42K w/ 18" chrome rims), the value far surpasses an equally equipped M35. If purchase price for both vehicles were comparable, the decision to choose would have been extremely difficult.
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    Most of the comparisons between the M35 & RL are on the money. While I like the M35's agressive exterior better then the RL's, the RL's interior (ergonomically) fits me like a glove.

    Congrats and good luck. I agree that interior is more important than the exterior as a deciding factor.
  • donbldonbl Posts: 42
    Trying to resolve between RL, GS300 and M35 and one determining fact may be the back seat.

    Must take daughter and husband and a tall person will not fit in the back of the RL. It is really tight back there.

    Could put him always in front but that is what it would take.

    M has better clearance.

    Other stuff seems about equal. Love that M demo disc for the surround sound. Might buy the radio and get the car as option.
  • I have 9,000 plus miles on my M35X and I drive for pleasure without any thought of saving fuel. I am averaging 16.9 MPG and do a 60/40 split between Highway and city driving.

    I have not reset the milage calucation in about 6000 miles so it is a true long term average.

    I wish the fuel tank was a little larger to increase my range. was used to getting 300 plus miles per tank in the Saab I drove prior.
  • You're doing well. I'm on my third tank now and have barely been getting 15 mpg so far, all in city driving (which includes some time on city freeways).
  • Hi,


    The M35x with the premium package does have the power rear shade too..
  • Hi all,

    My dealer on Long Island (Atlantic Infinity) had a difficult time searching for my M35x (Premium Package)
    He did call me to give me a Vin number for the exact vehicle (Sand with Wheat interior) but had to go to another dealership. After making inquiries about the Vin number with Infiniti Corp, (1 800 662-6200) they informed me that the car left Japan on December 6th 2005. Here are my questions: Can this car be tracked as it crosses the pacific and heads for the east coast? (any website for this?) Also, the car is coming with the high polished Chrome wheels (18 inch) which I told my salesman I didn't want. Do you think infiniti will let the wheels slide or replace them with the standard 18 inch titanium hubs?
    Finally, if it left on December 6th from Japan, can anybody approximate a date when It would arrive at my Infiniti dealer on Long Isalnd NY?

    Anyway, glad to be a new member here

    TIA for all replies.

    Alan Russell
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hi, welcome! Congrats on your arriving new wheels!!

    Since this is a specific comparo between the RL and the M35, your question would really be better placed in our Infiniti M35/M45 2006+ discussion. Why don't you follow that link and repost there.

    Again, welcome - hope your M35 arrives very soon!
  • Sorry Pat,

    was a bit confused..I did send the post to the appropriate forum as you suggested.

    Maybe you can reply with any knowledge that you have..


    Alan Russell
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    No need to apologize ... glad to have you here! :-)
  • In my opinion, the "cons" on the M35x are as follows: (1) a trunk door that is rather heavy and much harder to raise up than other cars in this class, (2) the wood on the interior does not look as expensive as the Acura RL and some of the others.

    The main plus to this car is the rear view camera that I think is a huge safety advantage! You have to pay extra to get it on the RL.

    The main down sides to the RL, in my opinion are (1) a much wider turning radius than the other cars in this class, and (2) not enough back seat room.

    Personally, I think the appearance of the RL is as sporty as any of the others although I don't think any of them look that great.
  • varixvarix Posts: 72
    I always find the difference in opinions regarding the wood trim in the M35 and RL interesting. IMHO the matted wood trim of my M35x is very elegant and reminds of the trim on large pleasure boats and yachts I've seen at boat shows particularly with a light coat of furniture polish, it doesn't shout at you like the shiny and slippery or wet-looking trim in other cars, however I must admit the RL's not too bad in this respect. The shiny look always seems over polished, stuck on and "noisy", like it's trying too hard to convince me it's wood and still looking like plastic. My M35x trim still looks like the real wood it is. Obviously just my thoughts...
  • I've seen a number of posts on these boards about wood with matte finish as opposed to the polished wood. I'd never seen the matte finish so didn't have a comparison. However, at the Washington Auto show last week, I saw several cars with the matte finish and did not like it at all. It looked fake to me - sort of like it was wood grain stamped on. Just a personal opinion.
  • I shopped these two cars for a couple months, and I ditto your comments. I liked different things about each of them, but not enough one way or the other to have a clear choice. So, I finally decided to go buy a new car a few weeks ago and went to the Acura dealer (since I liked the last two Acuras I bought from this dealer 2 and 4 years ago). I sat around the dealership waiting for the internet salesman (whom I made an appointment with the night before and asked to see when I arrived) for 45 minutes at which time I tried to get another to help me but he wouldn't infringe on the other guy's deal. I left and went to the Infiniti dealer where I received their undivided attention and drove home a new M35X.
    Now that I've been driving the M35x, I'd also throw in that its gas mileage is lower than I expected (haven't hit 17 yet with mixed city and highway driving), and the seat heater isn't the warmest and doesn't warm the seat back at all. However, my kids enjoy the back seat room much more in the M35x, and I like the exterior looks better.
This discussion has been closed.