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Acura RL



  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I’ve read elsewhere that Acura is targeting about 15K units in the first year (averages to about 1250 unit/month). This may or may not be on the lower side for the price class, but from perspective of a business, it makes sense to underestimate sales than overestimate it. Acura did it with TSX, when they announced estimated sales of 15K units in the first year, and ended up selling almost 25K.
  • low_ball_88low_ball_88 Posts: 171
    I am not sure if it is a good business strategy. For example, Toyota seems to produce an abundance of vehicles when introduced. I believe that philosophy of selling more at lower prices vs. sell less and command more money is a better business practice for the company and may not be good for the Dealers. I am a Honda fan and will purchase a Honda over a Toyota, but it is frustrating to have to pay MSRP!
  • tls02tls02 Posts: 20
    My dealer, in the Long Island, NY area, has told me that they are scheduled for their "Ride & Drive" of the RL on September 8th or 9th. They might have a RL in the showroom at the end of Sept. but most likely in October. They just received their Sept allocation's and it was for 2004 TL's not 2005's. The 5's will be coming in October along with the RL's.
  • danddand Posts: 1
    I may not remember correctly, but the 2002 was updated with improved handling and 15 more hp. The 2004 was also updated with an interior upgrade and std NAV and came in early 2003(I remember seeing it at the Chicago auto show in Feb '03). Therefore not many 2003's were manufactured or sold.
  • lemans1lemans1 Posts: 6
    Does anyone think that Acura has made any changes to the exterior or the interior of the 2005 RL prototype -- the one that we have seen in photos from the NYC car show and elsewhere?

    Ps. For some reason, I've now got Lemans1's handle -- this is Legendman posting. What's up with this???
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    If Toyota produces "an abundance of vehicle upon launch", why were people on waiting list for Prius, and paying 2-3K more over MSRP? I've not seen a Toyota (or Lexus) as a runaway success upon launch anyway. Its sales leaders ES/RX have pretty much "settled down" in terms of monthly sales (much like TL/MDX). A typical (monthly) sales number for TL is 5000-5500 units, and although it has been hovering around or above 6500 units/month since the redesign, it is likely to slow down. Honda moved production of Accords from Marysville to East Liberty to be able to increase production of TLs.

    MSRP to Invoice debate can be argued upon forever. I have never paid MSRP or above for any of my cars, and I don't plan on it anytime soon. But, there are cars that are still better value at MSRP than their competition at invoice.

    Do you think sales projection of 15K in the first year for RL is low?
  • shotgunshotgun Posts: 184
    Is it just me or do the headlights on the RL have a "sinister" look about them? I like the "mean" look of the headlights complimented with the "smile" like penta grill. It's almost as if the RL is grinning and leering at you...saying..."Yeh, just try it buddy, I got something for ya..."
  • It does matter how someone sits in the seat. If they lean forward or to the side it will come on telling you that the side bag has shut off. It is so the side bag doesn't blow into someone.

    However, that said we have had some trouble with that sensor and finally had it replaced under warranty.

    As for records, I don't know about routine stuff, but the service manager will tell you about warranty work if you give them the vin. I have done this shopping for TL's to see if the tranny had been replaced.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Headlights have been a very defining things in Acura/Honda lineup since the early 90s. Was there another mainstream car in 1990 or so with single lens headlamp like Accord did? Many automakers continued on with two piece headlamps thru late 90s.

    In the mid-90s, the 1995 Acura CL-X concept started another era of Acura/Honda headlight styling where headlamps took a shape other than a rectangle, a square or a circle. The production CL (first generation) got a slightly modified front end (unfortunately, not the entire styling that the CL-X was about), including the headlamps “stretched” at two of its four ends. The 1998 Accord continued on the theme, and the latest Civic headlamp appears to be an evolution of the same.

    Speaking of Civic, the 1996 Civic got the “big eye” look, and it got bigger in 1999 and 2000 Civic (something that the current Civic Si continues to have).

    The latest trend from Honda/Acura in headlamp styling is the shape tapering at one end (TSX, TL and the upcoming truck have it). In case of Accord, the headlamp’s main area is still “slim-line” but with an “eye-brow” reserved for the turn signal (the turn signal was moved up instead of “underlining” the slim headlamps in 1998-2002 Accords).

    In case of RL, there is some aggressiveness in the headlamp lens to go with a lowered grill (compared to the more upright grill in the current RL). There appears to be a transparent turn signal “underlining” the headlamps, but the line from the corner flows into the penta-grill which kinda gives it a mean looking stance. For that reason, I like the RL’s front end styling. It aggressive, and subtle, at the same time (is that possible?).
  • patentcad1patentcad1 Posts: 69
    I have a 2001 BMW 540ia and it has been flawless for 33,000 miles. It comes off of lease in October and I have been planning on replacing it with a TL. I love the RL - but have no pricing information at all which is frustrating. I'm presuming it will be similar to the current RL or slightly higher - $46-$49K? Anybody here have any clue?

    I doubt I'll spend that much but it would be nice to know. It looks like I'll just buy the TL with Nav ( I can buy one for $33K or so around here) and be happy. The dealers are giving me zero motivation to buy a 2004 so I'm probably going to go for a 2005. Anybody know if they're changing anything on the car? Adding foglights perhaps?
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    The current RL appears to be an expensive proposition for Honda to manufacture, since it doesn’t share engine, transmission and platform with any other car in the lineup. While loaded to the brim (including NAV), it tops out at $45K.

    The new RL will have benefit of platform (and potentially, engine/transmission) sharing. If the new RL is a stretched TL (MSRP $36K w/NAV?), additional refinements to address comfort, additional power and extra heft, besides additional features and SH-AWD, I expect a premium of about $10K. And that sounds reasonable IMO.

    By comparison, the current Lexus GS300 has a base price of $40K. At this price level, it comes with halogen lamps, cloth seats et al. Load it up with premium features, the MSRP jumps to $46K. A typical AWD system seems to add $2K (Mercedes 4Matic appears to add $2-4K depending on “class”). That would take the total to $48K.

    Going back to RL, if it happens to cost $45K with everything it is said to deliver, I will call it a bargain. Around $48, it will still be priced right.

    Pricing announcement should happen right before the launch, and we may be couple of months away from it.
  • jeff88jeff88 Posts: 94
    The RL would be extremely well-priced, particularly if it came standard with Nav. Anything aadded to the car would likely be "dealer" options such as trunk mats, splash guards, wind deflector etc.

    The TL does have foglamps integrated into the headlamp section. Unlikely there would be any changes there.

    Local paper, Houston Chronicle, had an interesting article about design and styling changes across the world. Just as I was trying to get a rant going in here about derivitive styling, this article reads that there is a styling movement afoot that has Euro/German, US and Asian specific appearance. Nissan and Cadillac are thought to be leaders in this movement with the new versions of their cars; Daimler-Chrysler is mentioned with the new 300c. The germans are said to have been evolving into their own looks with vw, audi and bmw leading the way. One thing I disagreed with in the article is that the 350z was said to be an example of nissan's new appearance but I still think it looks a bit too much like the tt as others have echoed in here.

    As for the rl, "subtle and agressive", I say more like subtle and leering. The pictures I've seen make the car appear to be saying "I'm getting xxx'd tonight". Or "My driver is getting xxx'd tonight."

    This last line is probably going to be edited...
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 593
    Jeff, dude, did you ever make it up to the nyc area? 'm sorry haven't been checking FMO for updates.

    I personally think Nissan's style is completely francofied; having spent some decent time living in France while Nissan was busy reinventing their image, I see a strong resemblance between the Nissan's in the US today with the car's their new parent Renault has all over france. I personally don't think for once that they look good, except the front and profile of the Altima. The rest look like copycat thingies to me. I find them blah actually, wannabe's. I can point to every Nissan which is a straight pick up from a corresponding slightly older line model from the Renault pack... most actually.

    Talking about Lexus, even my future grave won't let me turn in my grave with their looks. As for the outgoing RL, however understated and aged it looked, I thought the look was simple and classic, non-aging... I'm actually quite not fond of the new RL shape... but considering I'm one of the few minorities that like most of what they see in the new BMW 5's and 7's, that's kinda odd that the RL didn't hit me. For that reason, I wasn't mightily impressed with the new TL when it came out. Maybe it was the shock factor of how condensed it looked compared to the spread out looks of the outoging TL. But the TL has grown over me in the past one year. Smaller or not, I think it's got the edgy presence that is just right. On the topic of Edgy presence, I know caddy is selling cars faster than they can make, but I bet 5 years from now, nobody would want to touch what looks essentially like the same tupperware box in metal cut in different sizes.

    Oh gawd, I'm running foul here, considering I actually started the day on a great positive attitude.

  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    So what's the Renault equivalent of FX, G35 coupe, Z? I bet there's none. Anyway the Nissan look is so much more interesting than the Honda look. I haven't seen one auto magazine that disagrees with that!
  • prophet2prophet2 Posts: 372
    One thing I've learned is that I don't need to be the first guy in town to get the newest model. I admit there were times I was among the first: 1986 Legend; 1987 Legend L coupe; 1989 Mazda MPV; 1991 Legend LS; 1993 Nissan Quest; 1995 Mazda Millenia. I generally waited until the furor died down a bit, like the 1991 Legend. The dealer was holding for a minimum $4-5K front when they first came out in Nov. 1990 - I bought three months later at the price they offered ($3500 under MSRP) which was less than half of that ($1800 front). Maybe I could have gotten it for less, but they have to eat, too.

    They have targeted me as the potential "first buyer" for the 2005 RL. I am perfectly content to tool around with my still-immaculate 1996 RL, even with 98K+ miles on the clock. There is a high probability that an '05 RL will end up in my garage, but not before I decide to get it. It is likely that my '96 will still grace my driveway.
  • jeff88jeff88 Posts: 94
    & miss it a lot!

    it looked almost new when it was sold a few months back with 105k miles on the odo.

    If looking today, would likely get a 2002 tl/s with < 30kmiles on it for a lot less than a new rl. the '05 rl would be bought in '07...

    Ksso, didn't get to NYC, went instead to San Fran for another meeting. may still be up that way this year.
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    Anyone know what a 2004 RL will be going for now, or when the new 2005 RL hits the showroom?

    Would anyone here buy an '04 rather than the new '05 RL?

    Will 2004 RLs (and earlier RL model years) take an especially large hit when the newly redesigned RL goes on sale?
  • tartinitartini Posts: 2
    I had an internet quote from my local (NJ) dealers for a 2004 RL @ 37,200. I also would like to know when the 2005 will be avialble in showrooms to view.
  • shotgunshotgun Posts: 184
    Yes, I believe 04' and previous RL's will take a significant hit. I'm anticipating a $48,500 price range with availability or delivery in early October 04. There's been some speculation that Acura/Honda is developing a V8 - If that's the case, I wouldn't be surprised if they used the pre-05 RL platform/chassis as the base for it's development. It was, after all, a fairly stout and large platform which could, IMO, be used as the start point of a new V8 model.
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    >It was, after all, a fairly stout and large platform which could, IMO, be used as the start point of a new V8 model<

    Hey Shotgun, am I mistaken but didn't Acura give up the larger, existing RL frame and utilize instead the TL frame? (I believe that someone had recently posted to that effect) The car is shorter is it not? Just wondering.

    Any thoughts as to whether a mid-year '05 would look any different, inside or out, than the early production model '05 RLs?

    Finally, I will ask once more of my fellow forum members (not in vain, I hope) does anyone have a good reason to believe that the final '05 RL that arrives in October will look any different -- in or out -- than the NYC Auto Show photos depict, or those seen in recent on-the-road "spy" reports?
  • shotgunshotgun Posts: 184
    ...Hey Shotgun, am I mistaken but didn't Acura give up the larger, existing RL frame and utilize instead the TL frame? (I believe that someone had recently posted to that effect) The car is shorter is it not? Just wondering...

    Yes they did - the point is that the old RL frame was a good frame which might be able to accomodate the SH-AWD configuration and a new V8. I mean, why should Honda/Acura not capitalize on the sunk costs of R&D, development, and manufacturing used of the old RL frame?

    As far as changes from the prototype are concerned, I believe some of the interior appointments, specifically the shift console area, is enhanced. I didn't notice any sheet metal changes - but you know, those "spy shot" photos of the two RLs in the Dulles airport area, appeared to have a less "pointy" nose...although it was difficult to tell by the photos - did anyone else notice that?

    On another note - which car magazine, do you think, will have the first shot at testing and reporting on the new RL?
  • chillenhondachillenhonda Posts: 105
    Was at an Acura dealership with a friend who picked up a new TL. Asked the dealer for 2005 RL information. GOt a tri-fold brochure, not too informative, but he said he has about desposits, all from people who just WANT it, no matter what. He also said there is tons of anticipation in the company and sales body of the SH system. The ride and drive for employees is in early Sept he told me.
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    >As far as changes from the prototype are concerned, I believe some of the interior appointments, specifically the shift console area, is enhanced<

    Do you mean that they were enhanced for the benefit of the NYC Auto Show prototype, and may not be in the final production version? Kinda like the overly gaudy Infiniti interior we were discussing here a few weeks back? I sure hope that they LOSE the brushed aluminum metal console.

    As to which magazine will go first with RL coverage, my guess is MOTOR TREND. Automobile Magazine already had the 2005 RL on the cover -- albeit in a ridiculously short-sided story covering the RLs competition. No doubt, that article did not endear Automobile Magazine to Acura. Moreover, as Automobile likes to do detailed styling analysis, I suspect that given the morphed and derivative appearance of the new RL, that Acura will eschew anymore "help" from their magazine.

    If MOTOR TREND is at all true to their name, they will have a lot to talk about vis a vis trends as reflected in the RL's new SH-AWD. Plus they may chose to talk about the state-of-the-art collision safety frame structure that Acura/Honda will be premiering in the RL and the new Odyssey starting this fall.
  • shotgunshotgun Posts: 184
    No, the prototype was very basic with many of the refinements missing. For instance, the protoype had the bland, round, seat heating control buttons on the console whereas the production model will have the more modern and attractive rectangular versions.

    I tend to agree with you that Motor Trend might be first. After all, it was Motor Trend that gave the Legend it's Car of the Year honors back in the late 80's. The Automobile Magazine article, in my opinion, doesn't count, it was a mere overview of the car - no tests, specs, driving impressions etc. which I expect in a real review.

    I'm anxious to read Car & Drivers and to a lesser extent, Road & Tracks impression of the car. But most of all, Legendman, I'm anxious to read about your take on the car after you've seen and perhaps driven it...primarily because you've expressed such profound disappointment in the car...
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    >Legendman, I'm anxious to read about your take on the car after you've seen and perhaps driven it...primarily because you've expressed such profound disappointment in the car<

    Indeed, I too am eager to opine on my experience with the new car, and as of that date you shall hear them. But let me say that my complaints toward the 2005 RL prototype are, in large measure, geared toward the exterior styling and also the interior styling, as well.

    I've long been enamored of the BMW 740iL's styling as well as that of the current Mercedes S430. My hope had been that Acura would sculpt something fresh, something elegant, something classic. Only time will tell in the long run, whether they achieved that; and in the short run, well, we've only got another month to a month and a half to finally see what new sheetmetal Acura has wrought.
  • acuraphileacuraphile Posts: 131
    My '96 RL has 102k miles logged and could pass for new. It has never stopped running. The one repair was upper ball joints. I upgraded tires to Michelin 225/55 after 50k miles and found the handling vastly improved. Timing belt and water pump have been taken care of and new mats and battery installed. My problem? I have just placed a deposit on a new RL and the dealer informed me that ten new deposits have preceded mine. A color chart was not available but, oddly, a description of the available colors was at hand. The three light colors were white, and two shades of silver.
    I don't recall the description of the darker colors as they hold no interest for me. The two exterior silver shades are accompanied by taupe interiors.
    Botom line: Do I relinquish my trouble-free '96 which has accepted regular gas for nine years, in exchange for what I have slavered over for at least five years,a sophisticated premium drinker whose complexity might cause me countless hours of discomfort and a dent in my wallet? I am embarassingly fond of my '96 friend who (which?) has treated me so considerately. I was the first '96 RL buyer at my dealership and have been treated with kid gloves, assuring me that my '96 will continue to be cared for if I continue to keep it and have my deposit refunded for the "unknown."
    I'm severely disappointed with the exterior of the new RL, having hoped for something bold and innovative after such a long model run.I concur with a recent comment in this thread that the '96 RL's design is of a quiet nature, but it is graceful. The 2005 appears squat and blunt. I'm puzzled at Acura's unwillingness to commit departing from the hum-drum. Are they phobic?
    I recall, when I was age four, looking out the window and telling my mother: "There's a Packard...a Diana....a Chevvy....a Chrysler; each badge clearly distinguished from the others. What happened that brought on the cookie-cutter mentality? In dim light, one is hard pressed to tell a LS430 from a current dim light.

    So, I need to walk around the new RL for an hour, peer at every line, examine the interior with steely eyes, feel its thrust, check out the SH-AWD and ergonomics and then agonize again about the prospective exchange.

  • shotgunshotgun Posts: 184
    Aaahhh - Acuraphile, what an eloquent post, a pleasurable read indeed! It brings to mind my first Acura, a 1989 gold Legend coupe. It was an absolutely gorgeous vehicle with elegant lines with an agility and athletic prowess that put the BMW 5 series of the day to absolute shame. I put 140k miles on it and then donated it to charity for the requisite tax write off. The 89' coupe was followed by a 99' RL which equally impressed me with it's steel vault-like solidity, smooth cruising manners and trouble free demeanor - I liked its timeless conservative styling and although I was less than enthused over its lethargic performance off the line, I was sufficiently pleased with its high speed behavior which was never nervous but always relaxed and confident. Gas mileage was so, so, but as the saying goes, "you can't have it all". I strategically sold the 99 just prior to the announcement of the 05' RL to maximize my return and the sales strategy appeared to have worked, I got $18,600 for it April 04'. Needless to say, I've always maintained that Acuras' epitomize the notion (or concept) of value, reliability and performance to be complimentary and not mutually exclusive.

    Now I was excited when I saw the first "orange background" artist rendering of the prototype 05' RL but my excitement quickly turned to disappointment when I saw pictures of the prototype at the April NY Auto show. Somehow, like you, I expected more. Then I started to read the various posts which declared the new RL to be "Camryesque" or "bland" and my disappointment grew. However, in all of the posts, there were some voices who lauded the RL's styling, calling it "timeless" or "enduring" and these statements caused me to take a second look! As I closely and slowly re-examined the vehicle I noticed some interesting design cues. The RL's penta grill was a carry-over from the previous model and somehow establishes the vehicles heritage much like Mercedes and BMW grills do. I hope they keep it a long time to establish and enhance the cars character. The rear, although, "Banglesque", is, IMO, more elegant and fluid than the BMW original and flows very nicely into the sophisticated looking side panel and slope of the rear roof line. The headlights have a "sinister" or "mean" look about them which nicely complement the "smiling" penta grill which seems to be saying, as so eloquently stated by Jeff88 on this board "...As for the rl, "subtle and aggressive", I say more like subtle and leering. The pictures I've seen make the car appear to be saying "I'm getting xxx'd tonight". Or "My driver is getting xxx'd tonight?." Hahahaha, way to go Jeff88!

    Another interesting design cue is the very substantial flare of the fenders and the extreme rake or angle of the windshield which gives the car that bold, squat appearance and places the vehicle in motion while standing still. To close, I believe the 05' RL it will garner the same comments five years from now as my 99 RL did five years after its introduction "...Hey man that a fine looking ride..." My conclusion, at this juncture, is that the car looks good! It has, what one refers to as...Style!
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    >Do I relinquish my trouble-free '96 which has accepted regular gas for nine years, in exchange for what I have slavered over for at least five years,a sophisticated premium drinker whose complexity might cause me countless hours of discomfort and a dent in my wallet?<

    I can relate Acuraphile. I still very much enjoy driving my very comfortable and reliable Legend LS. But it seems to me that you have adroitly answered your own question. By all means, let's both wait and have a look up close and personal. Why be the first to buy a car unless there is an imperative for doing so?

    I would much prefer to see the car, drive the car, and wait for some feedback from the early guinnea pigs. Acura is introducing a whole new driving experience with the SH-AWD. Will you like it? We won't know until we drive it. Will it be problem free or tempermental and trouble prone? No one can say for sure.

    I am not worried about getting a car (a new RL). Perhaps I should be, but then again, I have never had trouble locating a new car that I want to buy unless perhaps it's the last month or two of the model year.

    Would you have any use for keeping the older RL? Got a kid at or near driving age? Have a vacation home and need a reliable car when there?
  • prophet2prophet2 Posts: 372
    Touche! My sentiments exactly!

    Like you and acuraphile, my experiences with the line go a long way back! My original purchase was in April 1986, three weeks after the dealership opened. The following have been in my "stable" over the last 18 years:

    '86 Legend sedan - silver; 5-speed manual; 2.5L V6, 151 HP; traded my '78 BMW 320i; kept it for only 15 months as I then traded it for ......

    '87 Legend L coupe - silver; AT; I was enamored by its lines, leather, slightly larger 2.7L V6 with 161 HP; Motor Trend "Import Car of the Year" award; ordered in 4/77, took delivery 7/87, kept it for 17 months and traded it in 12/88 for an '89 Mazda MPV one week before my son was born (needed more carrying capacity); but I kept the ........

    '87 Integra 4-door hatch - champagne; AT; bought in 4/87, traded it in 2/91 for .......

    '91 Legend LS 4-dr sedan - gold; AT; leather; a great car that my daughter's friends referred to as the "golden chariot;" sold it to a client whose son wrecked his '88 Legend L 5-speed sedan;

    '87 Legend L coupe - gold; AT; I missed my original coupe and had a chance to buy it after it came back to the dealer in a trade; I actually took it on a test-drive, but found it lacking as i suspect that it hadn't been maintained as frequently as I do with my cars; picked this up from a private party in 1997 for $4500 and put 61K on it till my daughter "totaled" it in 8/01; GEICO paid $3750 ($4250 - 500 deductible) .....

    '96 RL - pearl white; purchased 10/00 at 36.8K miles; formerly owned by a doctor; immaculate than and now; currently 98.5K; repair items other than wear-and-tear (battery, tires, brakes) have included radiator, CV boots, and power window motor/regulator (2).

    My daughter cruises around in her '03 RSX, a typical "chick car."

    As far as the '05 RL goes, I'm focused on the total package. The looks intrigue me. I'm not concerned about the lack of a V8 - since Honda can get 300 HP from their V6, I don't feel the need to get "two more cylinders." With the AWD, the FWD vs. RWD argument is irrelevant. And, I don't need to spend $60K to get a luxury car. In my opinion, the '05 RL has the "goods" where it counts!

    My goal is to keep my '96 in the driveway as I don't need to trade it as a pre-requisite to buying an '05. I have additional drivers on the horizon and I need extra wheels if I'm to avoid being a taxi service.
  • Just curious Prophet, what do you do for a living? I'd love to have owned that many Acuras ;)
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