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Acura RL



  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    CR recommends the RL, and puts the TL in top of it's class. I think that is reasonable. CR does not say the Navi is bad just not intuitive. What's wrong with that? They also put the Accord top of it's class, so they are not anti-Honda or Acura. Just an unbiased good mag.
  • jhutonjhuton Posts: 6
    I too have found repeatedly that customer service at Lexus and Toyota dealers is better than Acura. I drive an 04 LS430 and recently was in the market for a similar sized 2nd car that would cost less but have the same features. I made several trips back to Acura and test drove the RL twice. A friend recommended I look at the Avalon Limited instead, which was a great suggestion. The Avalon is larger, faster, and less "plasticy" than the RL interior. Also, cooling front seats, reclining rear seats and 360watt JBL 12 speaker w/ voice controlled Navigation blew away the RL standard equipment. The only feature RL has not in Avalon is Bluetooth; easily resolved with an aftermarked BT kit. Either way I found both Toyota and Lexus dealer to be incredibly helpful. Easy to do w/ good cars I suppose...
  • Tried the new Avalon and found it quite different than was just described. (But then, people will differ.) I thought the interior was a BIG step down from that offered in the RL, materials-wise (fit and finish were fine). The sound system, for all its power was not nearly as clear as the system in the RL. And the handling...whoa! It drove like a big fat boat.

    But personal taste is what picking a car is all about. Enjoy your Avalon. I hope you have many happy years with the car. It's just not an automobile I'd ever drive, let alone purchase.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    Interesting that you would take the time to post in this forum to tell us about your discovery. It would be like an Acura RL owner considering purchasing another less expensive car and going to the Lexus LS430 forum to tell the folks that you drove their flagship but instead spent far less and bought a TL instead....???? Enjoy your Toyota with the aftermarket BT kit because that is exactly what you got. It's no Lexus! Also how is it that you were able to compare service at Lexus and Toyota compared to Acura. What Acura do you own?
  • acuraphileacuraphile Posts: 131

    Essentially, a hybrid benefits the ecology but damages the pocketbook. If Acura was to turn out a hybrid luxury performance sedan, imagine the implied cost. You and I particularly, would desire the new technology package, the cost of which, in combination with the added hybrid technology, would by 2011 no doubt exceed $65K or even $70K. Conceivable? The added MPG savings would recede far into the background, ground to dust by the enormity of the 2011 price.
    Having concern for the ecology is laudable, but in consideration of the price of fuel and the cost of going hybrid, there woiuld be no $$$ saved, IMHO.
    One thing is certain: if Acura went to a Luxury Performance V-8, rhe CD writer would probably write: "So, why no hybrid?"
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808

    Thanks for the reminder thinking was .....pennywise and dollar foolish! :sick:

  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744
    If you were looking for a similar sized 2nd car that wold cost less but have the same features as your LS430...and interested in staying in the Lexus / Toyota should have consider the Lexus ES.

    You are selling yourself short by going with Avalon...poor decision while maintaining brand loyalty.

    BTW...which Acura did you own to have established your customer service viewpoint? Enjoy the Toyota dealership care experience which is surely as fine as Lexus.
  • jhutonjhuton Posts: 6
    Looks like I hit a nerve. In the interst of being civil, I would suggest the following:

    1) I disagree with your analogy about owning an RL and going to an LS 430 forum. An RL and LS are really not comparable. Different features and buyers. Same reason I wouldn't compare my LS to an S class or 7 Series (different prestige levels and buyer needs). Like it or not, the RL is much more comparable to the Avalon Ltd. than to an LS430. The cost difference between an Avalon Ltd. and RL is only about $10k - this is less than many option packages in the V-8 luxury class.

    2) You can make this about money (ie, settling for a TL or Avalon) but that really isnt the point. If Honda were to make an Accord that is faster, roomier and similarly equipped to the RL, the RL wouldn't be a better car just because it cost twice as much. I don't understand your Bluetooth comment. You can buy an $18k car with BT- hopefully this single feature doesn't define your car or your buying experience. Even Car & Driver admits that the $49k RL msrp is higher than they would expect for similarly equipped v-6 cars.

    3) The subject matter in the forum relates to Dealer Service - which is exactly the context of my last post. I had every intention of buying an RL a month ago, it is a FINE car, BUT, if based on multiple trips to the Acura dealer I am underwhelmed by their experience, courtousy, and technical knowledge -- I'm not going to buy a car from them just to find out for sure that the dealer is not so good!!
  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744
    If you had the intention of buying a RL based upon your research and other requirements (and the context of your discussion related to dealer service)....but was not pleased with the buying experience....I would suggest and invite you to visit an alternate Acura dealership. Or if you had a great deal already agreed could always have your car serviced at an alternate Acura dealership.
  • jhutonjhuton Posts: 6
    Believe it or not I did look at the Lexus ES, and also looked at another LS. If you check the dimensions of the ES, you will find that it is substantially smaller than the an Avalon. Also, the ES is considerably slower w/fewer hp than Avalon. I am 6'4" and the RL was very tight for me (the RL back seat was tiny - though likely would never be back there). RL too, is slower than Avalon.

    I didnt care for the features of the Avalon Touring or LX, but the Avalon Limited model is remarkably similar to my LS (absent fewer pieces of wood trim and maybe a couple extreme Lexus features like the power back seat messagers and fridge in my LS). I conclued owning another loaded LS at $65k wasn't prudent for a few extra bells or as a second car. And, ES really reminds me of Camary (not to imply in any way that Camary is a bad car).

    See earlier comments as to Acura dealership service. No need to repeat poor experiences. (sales is acutally part of customer service last I checked)

    As far as the comment about Toyota dealership care being as fine as Lexus, I agree that you get what you pay for but I am willing to give up the free Starbucks at the Acura and Lexus dealerships for my 2nd car. The $9k that I saved from not buying the RL will buy me 5,625 cups of Starbucks (tall, black coffee at $1.60 per cup) OR 450 hand car washes (@$20 a pop) - but I guess that's not a fair comparison since the Acura dealer near me doesn' hand wash anymore anyway. (Lexus does!)
  • acuraphileacuraphile Posts: 131

    Uniformity and absolutism are rare commodities in our environment.
    I have owned nothing but Honda products since 1966, when I bought my first Honda motorcycle. That was followed by three succeeding bikes, three Accords, one Legend, and three RLs. Contrary to your presumption, (anticipating poor service based upon some level of inquiry that didn't ring of intense scrutiny), I have had nothing but the best experience with the three Honda/Acura dealerships involved in my past purchases. What would have led me back continually for thirty nine Honda/Acura years if my experience hadn't been in such sharp contrast to what I had received from other manufacturers over the years? To be honest, I've never found a car salesman, regardless of what badge he represented, who knew a damned thing about cars. I walked into my Acura dealership prepared to discuss nothing but price and delivery; I had already learned what was necessary. However, the service managers and mechanics have been nothing but outstanding.

    Now, having said all that, can one stumble into an Acura dealership and be treated poorly by witless, uninformed service managers and technicians? You bet yer boots!
    But back to my opening line: there are no absolutes, and it's obvious that Darwin didn't assure :D us of the Survival of the Fittest, but rather, sprinkled in a strata of aimless, incompetent, inconsiderate cretons just to keep us on our toes.

    "BUT, if based on multiple trips to the Acura dealer I am underwhelmed by their experience, courtousy, and technical knowledge -"

    I don't mean to sound contentious, but what knowledge, precisely, did multiple trips yield? Were the salesmen rude or uninformative? Did the Service Managers respond poorly to well directed questions by you? In fact, what credentials do you bring to your questions that produce such negative impressions. I'm just fearful that hyperbole sometimes plays a hand, and is the Viagra of cynicism.

    I regret that you can't envision sharing the fine expeience I've had being a satisfied Acuraphile.
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    ... y'all can harbor whatever opinion you want about CR. But please don't belittle mine simply because you don't agree.

    I continue to encourage everyone to seek other opinions as well. ... Sorry my dears, I don't have time for such hypocrisy and self-righteousness.

    I'm not the one who claimed that CR's automotive engineers also worked in the dishwashing detergent lab. I could care less what anyone's opinion of CR is, but I do care about facts. And anyone who thinks CR evaluates cars by the same folks who evaluates soap IS deluded. Clearly you have an agenda against CR and that is fine, as long as you are honest about it.

    FWIW: I never claimed that CR was any "god", nor have I recommended folks rush out to buy their recommended cars. I do claim that CR is a credible source of information and whose automotive reviews are just as "worthy" as other sources of information (e.g. Edmunds).
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    ... CR is a useful publication when it comes to paints, household products, and the like. However, to take its opinions regarding automobiles, as anything other than just another opinion, is laughable. It's frequency of repair records are tremendously skewed because of its subscriber base (unlike more objective reports than are still available via the internet and other consumer organizations). CR doesn't do objective surveys of the car buying public. It merely sends out "quickie" check off lists to those who already subscribe and buy into the CR mystique. (I know because though I continue to subscribe and get those little check off lists.)

    Why is CR useful for "household products" when evaluated by "household product" experts, but CR automobile reviews are "laughable" when evaluated by automotive engineers? :confuse: Why are household product (e.g. washing machines) frequency of repair records useful, but car frequency of repair records not useful? Are JD Powers reliablity studies useful? Are their checkoff lists more acurate than CR's?

    How is Car and Driver (or Automobile) Magazine's evaluations any more objective that CR's?? :confuse: C&D gets free use of "conditioned" vehicles to evaluate, whereas CR goes to the dealership and buys one off the lot.

    I am not here to defend CR. I am here to research cars (I may buy one soon). I really would like an answer to my question! WHY should I trust Car & Driver (or Automobile, Road & Track, Edmunds, etc) any more than CR?
  • jhutonjhuton Posts: 6
    I don't doubt that some Acura dealers are very good. You are correct there are no absolutes (if there were --people wouldn't be willing to spend time in Forums discussing their opinions).

    First impressions go a long way, however, and I have been buying luxury cars for over 20 years and know when a salesperson doesn't know what they are talking about.

    If I really liked the RL after I test drove twice- you are right I probably would have gone to another dealership and hopefully had a better experience.

    The salespeople werent rude, they just werent very smart about the car's controls and operations (particularly during my 2nd test drive). On my first visit a different salesperson spent the entire time telling me how Acura is so much better than Lexus - which really wasnt helpful or very professional. Maybe my expectation was too high. Not knowing how to demonstate the Nav system is a pretty fundamental flaw in this price range. Lastly the service manager gave all kinds of excuses/caveats when I asked about loaner cars that didn't impress me. At lexus if I pull up and if they dont have a loaner, they take a car off the lot to drive with out question (even when i dont have an appointment such as oil change).

    By the way, my response is only to the others in the forum that have experienced dealer problems too. I'm not here to Acura bash.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    I've seen the Avalon. It's a personal thing but I still think the exterior styling is boaty and bland. If YOU are comparing it to the RL there is no refinement and smooth distinctive appeal. It would be difficult to compare the interiors because if an automobile doesn't appeal to you on the outside then it doesn't matter. But the wife and I think the RL luxury class interior is great.

    My Acura dealer hand washes the car at service time and the Starbucks flows but the service is exceptional before and after the sale. The free loaners are brand new TL' cars to drive. :)
  • My Audi A6 lease is up soon, and I've decided to go Japanese this time. I'm torn among three choices: 2005 Acura RL, 2003 Lexus LS430, and 2006 Lexus IS250 AWD. I don't want to spend more than $40k. I found a RL with 8K miles for $39.5k and a LS430 with 25K miles for $40k. Pricing for the '06 IS250 AWD is not out yet, but I was told a loaded one will be around $39k-40k. I'm leaning toward the RL, my wife likes the LS430, and I've never bought a used car before. Which would you choose?
  • jsmaz1jsmaz1 Posts: 16
    My opinion: Either the LS430 or the RL. You are comparing going from luxury to speed (the IS). I just got my RL and its a great combination of luxury, styling and speed. And, for me, the best part of it is that it's a car that is kinda under the radar--so snob appeal is lower and you can get away with your great car and no preconcieved judgements about you!

    If you want gadgets, the RL. If you want full sized ride, the LS. If you want speed and a smaller car, the IS. It's pretty simple IMHO.

    Also, Bluetooth is such a great feature that could preclude the older LS. Side impact airbags, latch system, XM could also be an issue to you.
  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744
    If you spend a few more can get a brand spanking new RL. Not sure what type of miles were incurred in the first 8k you were mentioned...which is most critical in the long run. In will have a full command of choice of colors and options as the original owner.
  • liferulesliferules Posts: 531
    Yeah, that was my concern as well...why would someone want to sell their brand new RL that is less than one year old? I'd definitely carfax it, and even then, I'd be suspicious...

    There's no arguing about the LS being a great lux car, but not as much fun to drive. The IS may be pretty fun to drive (can't say as it's not out) but very likely won't have the interior of the other 2 cars...

    Good luck.
  • kennyg8kennyg8 Posts: 225
    You have a quite big range in taste of cars. The RL seems to straddle between the luxurious LS and the sporty IS. If you want to spend less than $40k, with a couple of thousand left over, consider the TL. Otherwise, go for the RL, which will cost you about $44k (base) plus $4k in TTL, unless you live in a low tax or tax free state.
  • I can't answer all your questions about CR. But a few can be answered briefly. First, judging house paint is pretty easy. It goes on well (or drips a lot). It's easily washed and retains its color or it doesn't. It covers other colors well (or not). And heat lamps and simple equipment can tell you if it cracks, etc. Testing automobiles requires a lot more, including seasoned professionals, elaborate equipment, test tracks, time, etc. CR has a test track, but it is limited, as are its resources and equipment (especially since it pays for the automobiles up front). When one car has faults, many times CR cannot go out and buy another. But when one sample is defective for an auto mag, several samples can be tested to see if the defect is inherent in the design or merely in a specific car. The rationale is simple, CR is stretched thin testing elaborate machinery, but not so stretched testing laundry detergents and the like.

    I never said its household product reports were any more useful than it automotive frequency of repair records. I did say that unlike other organizations (you mentioned JD Powers; there are others as well), CR conducts surveys of its own readers only. This is bound to reinforce the opinions of the CR faithful, but not necessary that of the public at large. (It's also one reason CR's surveys often differ from those of other organizations.)

    I cannot tell you that Car & Driver's opinions are more "objective" than those of CR's. (There may also be editors at Car & Driver who "ride herd" on the eventual outcomes of tests conducted by that magazine.) But C & D, Road & Track, and others have access to more equipment, more seasoned experts, more professional drivers and engineers, and more varieties of automobiles than CR. They often have more funds for testing, both short term and long term (often for more than one year). Further, such auto enthusiast publications have proffered the safety and sensibility of a well handling automobile for decades. CR came very late to that party and to this day, sometimes recommends automobiles that have sloppy responses.

    As to the "conditioned" cars that are given to auto mags, many times these are prototypes or even pre-assembly versions. And often they are sharply criticized for fit and finish (at least as often as you will find in CR). Plus, when comparisons are done in Car & Driver, for example, you usually get the separate opinions of several different drivers in addition to the main review. (Not the one size fits all, boiled-down-to-a-single-opinion that appears so often in CR.)

    CR would like you to view it as a jack of all trades. And its subscribers have to view it as a good source of information most of the time, otherwise it would go out of business. (I subscribe too, but certainly not for its auto reviews.) Unfortunately, it cannot be an expert on all matters with the limited resouces it commands. It must make compromises. And those are big compromises when it comes to expensive items like cars and little or no compromises when it comes to less costly items like dishwasher detergent.

    But it's your money. And you'll be the one investing it in an automobile that you hope and expect to last you for years. Research your candidates thoroughly and test drive each of them—more than once if necessary. That's really the only way to be sure you're making the right choice for you.
  • jweaver1jweaver1 Posts: 25
    I'm very close to purchasing a 05 RL, but I've got one major problem--the tires.Has anyone had any problems with the Michelin Pilot HX MXM4 tires that come with the car? According to Tire Rack, these tires are rated 13 out of 13 in the Grand Touring All Season caregory. The tires only received a rating of 3 (out of 10) when owners were asked if they would buy the same tires again! I've asked the dealer to swap them out with Michelin Pilot Sport A/S, but he is dragging his feet. Unfortunately, this will be a deal breaker for me. I'll see what happens...I've got another question. The CR review stated that the spare in the RL is a full sized, but the cars that I've looked at all have a compact spare. Does anybody have the full sized spare, or could CR have gotten their notes crossed and possibly be "wrong"?
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    (OE TIRES) we have had some good discussion on the OE tires in this forum in the past and you are doing the right thing swapping for the Pilot Sport A/S. (Hopefully your dealer will not continue to make you sweat it out.) Tire Rack's retail price difference is less than $100 total.

    (SPARE TIRE) CR is wrong because the RL comes equipped with a compact T155/70D17 110M Spare Tire. (and is also Verified in the owners manual)

    You will be getting a great car in the RL. Good Luck!
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    Our host Pat brought this Edmunds comparison test to our attention on another forum! The results lends even more credibility to a great car. THE ACURA RL
  • We finally purchased our 2005 RL last Friday. I had read through this entire forum prior to doing so and recall that several posts discussed an update to the navigation system shortly after they had purchased their cars.

    I also recall that no one thought they should have to pay for an updated one so soon. The next thing I remember seeing was that several owners received their updated disks in the mail. Could you please let me know if you received the disk as a courtesy of Acura or Alpine Navigation? Or, did you have to pay for it?

    I'm asking because I specifically mentioned that as we were buying the car and the salesman told me we would have the latest disk in our car. Today, I checked the system info and it tells me we have database 20041210, verson 1.10.00.
    I believe this is definitely last years as the Acura website states the current one is 4.13.

    Can anyone please help before I call or go to the dealership tomorrow. Thanks
    for any info.

    By the way, the car is one big toy! It's great!
  • I'm going to answer my own question. I've reviewed the messages from earlier this year and see that Acura sent you the updates at no charge.

    Also, I read in one message that you cannot just check the system info, that you need to eject the disk in the trunk. I have now looked at the disk and it is 4.13, so all's well.

    Even our cell phones paired easily and seem to work well - no problems on either end of the calls. They're Sony Ericsson T637's.

    The ride is even much smoother than our demo car. I intended to keep this car only until the warranty ended, but it may be difficult to let it go! :)
  • I seem to be talking to myself ......and answering my own questions....can't help it. I've been excited about our new RL! All I can guess is that everyone has succumbed to the heat!

    Maybe Pat is still cruising through occasionally?

    This is somewhat RL related and I hope it's okay to say it here because it's for the common good.

    Since we now have an XM subscription with the new car, I was looking at the website. With the subscription for the vehicle, we are entitled to access XM online at no cost. I haven't seen anyone mention that and just wanted to pass it on to anyone who might be interested. You can't spend all of your time in the RL!
  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744
    If I understand correctly...the XM Online is available with your paid subscription. Not sure if it is available during your 3 month trial subscription.

    Heads up folks. If your 3 month trial subscription is not pay full boat retail price of $13. If you get a call from the XM telemarketers...tell them it is too much and you want the promotion price. The promotion price is $77 for 12 months...$6.42 a month. Believe it is called the 'winback' program.

    What are everyone's thoughts on XM?
  • If I understand correctly...the XM Online is available with your paid subscription. Not sure if it is available during your 3 month trial subscription.

    Yes, XM Online is available during the 1-year (not 3-month) trial subscription. My only disappointment - I can't listen to it at work. Somehow, XM Online doesn't work with my network here.

    What are everyone's thoughts on XM?

    I love XM. I almost never listen to my CDs anymore. There's just too much variety on XM to limit myself to my library of CDs.
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