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Acura RL vs. Infiniti M35



  • They just need to scale back on those hideous tail lights.The car would be phenomenon (cosmetically) IMHO if the rear was designed better.
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    But only other drivers see your tail lights...usually pulling away from them.
  • I have mixed feeling about which car to buy. The M35X or the RL. I do not like the interior of the M35x - think the wood looks fake and cannot get the aluminium available in the sport option (why?). The mileage in the M35x I hear is not great. The RL doesn't have the camera (which can be added), but the reliability seems to be not as good although this could have been on the 2005 and fixed in 2006. The big advantage for me with the RL is the Collision Braking Mitigation System which the M35x does not have. I often am not paying enough attention and suddenly have to slam my brakes on because the car in front has stopped. Would love to hear comments about this system - it seems to be a huge plus in MHO.
  • racer_xracer_x Posts: 8
    I posted this message on the "RL Problems and Solutions" forum, but it should probably have gone here, so I'm reposting it.

    >>Read the 40,000 long term test of the Acura RL, Car&Driver took it off
    >>it's 10 best list because of all the problems they had with the car,
    >>8 unscheduled dealer visits to fix a host of problems, they were
    >>not happy with this car.

    Consumer Reports has issued their "Top Picks for 2006", in which they select the best models in 10 categories. The Infiniti M35/45 took top honors over the RL in the Luxury Sedan category. The Consumer Reports review of the RL concludes "We expect reliability to be average, according to our latest subscriber survey. [New Car Reliability: Average (3/5)]"

    That's pretty damning for Acura, especially since the TL is the top rated Sedan in the $30k-40k range. However, it certainly appears to reflect and expand on exactly what is shared on these boards, as well as apparently backing up exactly what was experienced by Car & Driver: a host of annoying technical issues experienced by thousands of new RL owners with the newly designed RL.

    Compare that to Consumer Reports' reliability rating for the Infiniti M35/45: "First-year reliability has been outstanding. [New Car Reliability: Much better than average (5/5)]"

    The RL and the M35 are both clearly excellent vehicles, but the data now conclusively shows that the new RL has some serious reliability issues, especially when compared to both Acura's own very highly rated TL, as well as their main competition, the Infiniti M35.

    However, it now seems quite clear that the M35 is the superior vehicle, especially when reliability data is factored in.

    I'm sure Honda/Acura is working hard to bring the car back up to their usual excellent reliability standards, but I can't help but think they simply rushed this one onto the market for some reason. Since I'm dumping my problematic leased Audi A6 2.7T, the main thing I'm looking for in my new vehicle is reliability. The latest CR reliability data has pretty much pushed me from "torn between the two" all the way over to the M35x. Plus I can't believe the RL cabin is only 1.2 cubic feet larger than the TL (99.1 vs 97.9), compared to 120.1 cubic feet with the M35 (sans premium package which alters the rear seats a bit). That boggles my mind.

    - Racer X
  • billyperks1billyperks1 Posts: 151
    I test drove the RL last Saturday and absolutely loved the car.For the money I don't think I can go wrong, but I will test drive the M35x in the near future and see how that works out.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,926
    If I recall, I believe that system would be somewhat comparable to Infiniti's "Presafe" system, but the Infiniti system is better as it actually "positions" the passengers for a possible crash.
  • ilasilas Posts: 18
    Wow, racer x, you must be on some kind of crusade against the RL, because you keep writing completely baseless and counterfactual statements. Maybe you should actually read the CD long term test at (it is scanned for all to see there). CD DID NOT SAY they took the RL off of their top 10 list BECAUSE of the problems they had. Totally untrue. Further, they praised the car as well, but you forgot to ignore that one, or the fact that it was the dealer that screwed up and caused some of the trips back to have things fixed right. Read the first paragraph and stop making stuff up. Also, where do you get the "thousands of RL owners" having problems stuff? Right, like their are even thousands of posts you have read about the RL (where?). Well, I have read more posts from people praising their RLs than people trashing them. I also compared the m35x against the RL, and for me the RL blew it away in every respect.

    I do agree that Honda might have rushed the RL in 2005, but I also bet that in five years, the current RL will prove a very reliable car. It is just too early to say definitively whether this will be true, in the same way that one cannot yet say that the M series will be more reliable than the RL over time.
  • drpmddrpmd Posts: 1
    I have owned my RL for 14 months now and still love the car. Yes, I do believe that the car was probably overpriced, but as far as driving enjoyment I have not been disappointed. I think in general the car itself looks better both exterior and interior-wise than the M. The only problems I encountered involved XM traffic chip and very minor stuff. XM traffic in socal is fantastic to have. The only thing that disappointed me was the base 17" rims if you want to be picky, where soon I will replace them with 19s.
  • tonymagtonymag Posts: 6

    Can't agree with RL being overpriced I paid $43,500 for my fully equipped 2006 RL after contacting four Acura dealers for prices. When I was shopping, I also looked at the Infiniti M35x and Audi A6 3.2. Price for both with options I wanted ran from $52,000 to $53,000. Neither Infiniti nor Audi would come anywhere close to the Acura price. Best they would offer was $2,000 off of the MSRP. Neither could deliver a car with the color and options I wanted.

    Bottom line. I get a car with everything included at $7,500 below the other guys.

    Now tell me again why the Acura price is too high.

    I guess I'll hear that Acura's price is so low because of poor sales. That could be but I live in a large metropolitan area and I see as many RLs on the road as M35x and Audi A6.
  • acronceacronce Posts: 1
    I was all set to buy an RL earlier this year when a project at work swamped me. I'm only just now recovering and trying to figure out if I still want the RL.

    I'm definitely leaning towards the RL over the M. My only reservation now is the RL's reliability. Between Consumer Report's "average" reliability rating and Car & Driver's poor reliability experience (8 unscheduled service visits during their "Long-Term Test Review"), I'm spooked enough to delay my decision.

    Of course the CR report and C & D's article were for the 2005 model. Maybe with the RL's second year in the US there's been some improvement?

    Can some more RL owners on this list comment on their reliability experiences?

    Thanks in advance,
    Allen Cronce
  • nebraskaguynebraskaguy Posts: 341
    Can some more RL owners on this list comment on their reliability experiences?

    I've had my 05 RL since Oct 04. Other than a few minor things, I've had no problems with my RL. If I had to buy another car tomorrow, it would be an RL.
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
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  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
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  • johnhaydjohnhayd Posts: 11
    i've had my rl 2006 w/tech pack x 2 weeks:no problems with anything. no probs with doorhandles (carwash x2), no rattles. xm and xmtraffic work fine (sf ba area). I too waited until I thought the bugs were worked out. also, I believe below market financing ends at end of april. good luck.
  • 6sptl6sptl Posts: 24
    Personally I think the interior of the M is hideous compared to the RL. Th infinity M35 x is actually fractionally slower than the RL (the M45 is much faster). The infinity has a small edge in handling which IMO has disappered with the RL tech package whose 18 inch rims improve handling significantly over the "base" RL. The only luxury item the infinity has over the rl is cooled seats every other luxury item that is optional on the M is Standard on the TL. The backup camera, however, is a 300 buck option on the RL. The RL did have some minor teething electrical glitches than have been resolved now. Thus reliability should be as good if not better than infinity, given Acuras much better long term reliability over infinity as a brand. I'm an die hard honda fan thus, I cant deny a little bias. However I think the differences are at best small and cut both ways. Given my long Honda history and the complete satisfaction that I've expirienced with every one I've owned for over 2 decades the M is not even in the running. Personally, the only car I would consider over the RL is an M5 and that would be only because of its overwhelmingly superior performance. The 5 series is seriously ugly and I would not even dream of comparable reliability. Obviously living in the land of snow the M5 is another non starter, superperforming RWD cars are an utter waste in the northwoods of Wisconsin. :cry:
  • blov8rblov8r Posts: 567
    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.

    More than YOUR personal opinion ... I'm with you on this issue. My M35 is a Sport so I don't have to look at the matte wood grain that to ME (as to you) actually looks phony. While real polished wood isn't the way real wood looks and would be garbage on furniture, in a car I think it looks much better. My wife's Lexus ... case in point. Bart :shades:
  • psychhpsychh Posts: 6
    We have had new RL now for three weeks - amazing car and has exceeded our high expectations so far. Purchased the RL after several months of shopping and reading -- the M was a contender, but came in third behind RL and Audi A6. In our area (midwest) infinity had 12 M's on the lot and Acura had only 5 RL's...yet Acura offered a good deal at 42,500...Infinity did bargain, but not that much. For our tastes, the RL is a good buy at 47,500 and a fantastic buy below 44,000...
  • erfanerfan Posts: 12
    Can someone compare the RL with a 530xi? I am in the market for one of these.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Try the Luxury Performance Sedans discussion. Or if you'd like, you can go to the main Acura RL page and create a new discussion. You'll see the "Add a Discussion" link on the right just above the discussion list. Feel free to do that.
  • carfan28carfan28 Posts: 43
    You can purchase a 2006 RL in New Jersey for under $42K and probably closer to $41K. This makes it much less expensive than the M 35X with the same features.

    My lease is up in Spring, 2007 so I'm considering both of these vehicles.
  • I'm an owner of a first year Acura MDX. The car is great, but has more than its share of problems. In my personal experience, it seems that Acura has more "teething" problems with first year models. For Acura, it seems better to wait for the 2nd year, "Service Pack" edition.

    According to Edmunds, the 2005 RL (first year model) had 0 recalls and 37 Technical Service Bulletins.

    In comparison, the 2006 M (first year model) had 0 recalls and only 5 Technical Service Bulletins.

    Based on that, and the C&D long term test, I would be hesitant to buy a first year, 2005 model. I'm sure the 2006 model RL is much better.

    I am still in the process of finding a 2006 M. We already had an MDX, and simply didn't want another Acura in the garage. And I like the M's exterior (execept for tail lights) and really like the interior.

    At this price point, everything is subjective. If we all just needed transportation and cars were an appliance, this thread would be "Accord vs. Maxima" or "Accord vs. Camry".

    Both are great cars, IMHO.
  • dunde71dunde71 Posts: 33
    The RL does not even have a spare tire just because they come with run flats which are expensive and wear faster. With a run flat you go about 100 miles. If you happen to do long road trips often and have a flat on the highway ...good luck finding a autoshop open during the weekend. A 50k car and would look stupid without a spare. I guess if you do mostly local commute then you are fine. Atleast the m35x has a spare in this respect.
  • ghstudioghstudio Posts: 970
    Unless you have a full size spare in your M, you have about a 75 mile's really a wash between the compact spare and the run flats.
  • Both are great cars. I recently test drove them and here are my impressions:

    RL had a quieter more luxurious ride and gets better gas mileage. Price is much cheaper for a 2006- some left over- with the same amount of tech goodies as the M. Acura has a better reputation for reliability than Infinity. Wood/leather luxury steering wheel is available on the RL. Best navigation system on the market and real time traffic reports.

    M has a sportier feel and handles better. Rear camera is the best I've seen-same one that the $130K 7 series BMW uses."Birds eye" feature on navigation is a neat and unique feature. 2007 came out in Spring so the 2008 model may comeout in Spring, 2008- my time frame for getting a new ride. 2007's will be lower priced. DVD video's may be watched through the navigation system when the car is in park. Rear DVD option with rear passenger screen is available.

    Both cars have AWD,Bluetooth,Homelink, XM, comfy seats, great paint job,good color selection- inside and out. DVD-A surround with good sound system.

    Can't go wrong with either choice. It depends what features are most important to you.

    Warning, one of the interior color options for the M is very controversial: Bourban leather. It's a love it or hate it color. I find it to be hideous, but others may love it. The Acura TL comes in a similar color. It's a very orangy color and I test drove it and found the interior combination of the black,orange, tan and gray not complimenting each other very well.
  • acuratacurat SoCalPosts: 74
    Recently almost bought a 2006 RL at $40K but balked at the pathetically low trade offer on my 2004 TL non-navi. Strongly considering 2007 TL for touch-screen navi with real-time traffic; sportier, less $$$. Hanging fire for now.

    Took another look at last year's Consumer Reports luxury performance sedan issue and their 2006 Buying guide. The 2006 Infiniti M35x merits an unprecedented 97 points against the 2006 RL's lackluster 76. (TL got 90.)

    Seems to me that consumers on like RL better (9.7 vs. 9.1) and most folks, like carfan28, conclude that they aren't that different. Subjectively the M strikes me as a little bit unattractive, though not as ugly as the G35 or the BMW 5 series. True Cost to Own is better on the RL. Pricing is trickier on the M because of all the darn options and packages. I hate that--that's why Honda/Acura has gotten 100% of my business for the past several years.

    A 21-point spread--wow. Is RL really a C+ car and M35x an A+? (Then there's the fun and price-performing 2007 TL to consider.) Help me out here!

  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    Drive them both back-to-back and decide. They have different flavors. If you don't like either, keep looking. I have an 06 M35x for several reason, one because I fit in it better, a second is I like it better. You may not. The backup camera is sooo habit forming - when I drive a car without one, I feel so naked.
  • Very surprised by Consumer Reports. The 2005 RL had many recalls and since they emphasize reliabilty maybe that's why they gave them the low rating. CR normally loves Acuras. I know the 2006 model was problem free so the March Car CR mag will show the RL as a Top Pick- is my prediction.

    Another benefit of the Acura's is their naviagation systems are "on the fly"- you can input while driving.

    I do like both cars, and I think either is a good pick. Not sure what the 2007 RL's are selling for. I do know that leftover 2006's are still very inexpensive- hovering around $40K in NJ for a non-tech version. Tech version for 2006 is the run flat tires and the Stay in the Lane system. Other version does not have run flats.

    2007 RL has a rear camera and MP3 player port built in on all 3 models:

    There's a non-navagation model without wood trim, a model just like the 2006 regular model, and the fully loaded model with the run flat tires and Stay in the Lane system.
  • acuratacurat SoCalPosts: 74

    Thanks for the thoughtful analysis! Of course I agree with your conclusion. (BTW Stay in the Lane is an Infiniti feature--the Acura has Adaptive Cruise Control and Collision-Mitigation Braking System but no lane-departure warning.)

    Here's the update: I could resist no longer and pounced on a 2006 RL Tech/CMBS/PAX at $42,475 + TTL here in L.A. a couple of weeks ago. Missed my sweet-but-squeaky 2004 non-navi TL for all of 5 minutes after trading it in. This dealer went $1100 higher on the trade than "my" dealer and gave up their entire holdback on the RL. Never even drove the Infiniti M as I have issues with their styling and did not like their local dealers back when I owned a sluggish 2000 QX4. The M is difficult to discern from the 4-door G from certain angles. There is no mistaking an RL vs. a TL.

    BTW I have seen only 2 other RLs in those 2 weeks. Exclusivity is a nice thing. Sweeeeet!! :)
  • ocimocim Posts: 45
    Exclusivity is a nice thing? Yes, if you have it! I find it hard to believe that anyone would not buy an M simply because it is similar in appearance to another infinity product. Don't all BMW's and Mercedes' look alike? Isn't it better that all the models within a certain luxury brand look similar, rather than making them look like on of their mainstream products. In my opinion, the reason the RL's sales are hurting is because the TL is more attractive, similar in size, and looks less mainstream than the RL, which has a strong resemblance to the Accord. In that regard, it would have been better for the RL to resemble the TL, giving it the similar Acura family look. I can't understand why Honda would have done something like this. Perhaps this helps the already strong Accord sales. Obviously, the RL sales figures are sluggish - as evidenced by the necessity of deep discounts on the RL - something that you do not generally see on a luxury brand. Now, I wouldn't not buy the RL simply because it resembles the Accord - but I definitely would not call it exclusive.

    The consumer reports ratings represent an unbiased evaluation which is independent of price. They subject these cars to many tests - simulating a variety of driving conditions and road conditions. This is quite different from an impression one might get from test driving a vehicle for a couple of hours. In my experience they are fairly accurate in their assessment of all products they test. For example, in 2000 I purchased a new Acura TL, despite the fact that CR rated the Lexus ES300 considerably better. After a while I wished that I made a different decision. The TL was a good car, but not a great car. Everything that I grew not to like about the Acura (not obvious in my initial test drive), was shown to be a weakness by CR in their evaluation. Our 1997 Camry (similar to the Lexus ES 300), on the other hand, turned out to be a fantastic car and overall a lot better than the TL. I had also owned a 1995 Maxima and also found it to be a better can than the TL. Both the Nissan and Toyota brands seem to have a better ride quality. For some reason, Honda products have a high frequency "tink" sounds over pot holes, while the Nissan and Toyota products, have a low frequency "thunk" sound - giving them a much more solid feel.

    According to CR the Infinity M35X has an advantage over the RL in ride, handling, braking, roominess and thus far, reliability. Resale value is also better on the Infinity.

    I recently test drove the M35X and was really impressed. It is exceptionally roomy in the rear seat for a mid size luxury sedan. The ride is smooth and the handling is great. I don't know how they did it, but it's like having a European sedan and a [non-permissible content removed] sedan rolled into one - excellent road feel and creamy ride. The engine is responsive, the braking is sports car like. The quality of interior materials is also impressive in this price range. The whole car is wrapped in leather. All the controls are really easy to use, including the NAV system and the excellent back up camera.

    I think I might be tempted to listen to CR this time.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,926
    ... BTW I have seen only 2 other RLs in those 2 weeks. Exclusivity is a nice thing. ...

    Exclusive or just plain unpopular?
This discussion has been closed.