Last post on Apr 18, 2013 at 12:02 PM
You are in the Acura RL
What is this discussion about?
Acura RL, Sedan
#3090 of 7385 Getting excited and then. . .
Jul 13, 2004 (6:50 am)
. . .rain on my parade.
Many long time lurkers and posters alike certainly know that there is a camp that seems to be virtually certain that Lexus and Acura and some other (usually Japanese) cars are of the highest caliber with respect to reliability. And, those of us who have -- finally -- placed a Premium Japanese car on our shopping list are beginning to believe that it is possible to have a high quality, fun to drive, high performance car that is simultaneously reliable. Previously, I, for one, had come to think that extremely high reliability often carried with it a price of driving blandness or other less desirable traits.
Perhaps the almost obsession with reliability -- that I lack -- stems from the fact that my non-Japanese cars have NEVER stranded me (and I am 53 and have had some 30 total cars in my garage (this accounts for my wife's cars, too, BTW).)
So, I ask one of the people I work with -- who has an Acrua (1999) what he thinks about his car. He says he really likes it (he also has a Honda). I ask him the $49,000 question, "would you own another one?" Without hesitation he says "no way!" I asked him why, especially since he says he really likes [driving] it.
He started listing the number of things that have gone wrong with the car -- most of them relatively minor, BTW -- that had "stranded him."
Recently, he and his wife decided to go on a 4 day long weekend trip. He says, they get into the car and roll down the front driver's window and they heard a crunch or crash and the window motor broke off and the window was stuck permanently down. It was a Saturday, he had no appointment and he lives in an apartment and doesn't have a garage -- the car could not be left out in the elements with the window down. The long story is that they lost a full day of their long weekend and took the Civic instead.
On another out of town trip, the entire electrical system failed. And then there was one after another brake related problem. And, um, well after about the fifth "little" problem, I thought his one Acura had practically as many problems as our 27 Audis have had COMBINED.
Perhaps, this is an anomaly. I actually believe it is. But, the point is, we consumers often buy based on anecdotes. Had my only exposure to Acura have been my co-worker, well I would probably not even consider moving forward with a test drive of the new RL (although the test drive of the TL was certainly fantastic).
So, this ONE LONE man's niggling problems have put a slight chink in the armor of the Japanese reliability -- uh, well, maybe it's more of a blemish than a chink, but it is, finally, somewhat good to hear that these cars aren't "perfect."
I read so much stuff on these forums that constantly praises several brands and likewise disses several others (VW to name but one) -- and I was getting to the point where my truth detection meter was darn near pointing to "if it sounds too good to be true. . ." well, you know the rest.
I can now move forward, once again, feeling that some of these too good to be true stories of "Legendary" reliability, are just that, too good.
And, from my point of view, that's the best news I've heard in a long time.
#3091 of 7385 Re: Getting excited and then. . . [markcincinnati]
Jul 13, 2004 (7:05 am)
haha. funny anecdote.
some time ago, we were remodeling our house and the garages were filled with ahem, stuff. I take my wife's bmw convertible out for a spin and the rear driver side quarter mirror gets stuck in the fully closed position. This means I am screwed, because I see rain clouds gathering, the top won't go up and there is no place to stowe the car. I called BMW 24 hour service and the woman hooks me up with the local dealer. The local dealer says, sorry its a sunday, i've no mechanics. I am 20 miles from home. BMW 24 hour service support woman tells me, "sir, pull into the nearest covered parking that you can find, and send us the bill for whatever time it needs to sit there"...
I have had immense minor gripes with my wife's car. But most in that company treat me well. But... I recently got one of my "free" scheduled services from the local dealer. The dealer refuses to give me a loaner. Says I did not buy a car from them, can't give a loaner. (I moved from out of state). I am thinking, wow, I plunked down almost 50K for a car and this jokers tells me this? I called up 24 hour service and told them my problem. They connect me to some other department and the dealer calls me next day saying, sir we could have settled this, why did you go to HQ? I tell him, lets see how good you are, or my next car is going to be bought 50 miles away.
So yes, as donbl so well put it, it all finally boils down to the dealer and their service department.. some of them make our worst problems vanish with a smile, some make our least problems look like giants.
Jul 13, 2004 (7:34 am)
Anecdotes v statistics -- age old problem. My take on this whole discussuion around why we purchase what we do has a bit more than a little ego involved in defending our decisions. No one wants to look like they made a bad decision, especially those among we who research the heck out of our choices. (Paralysis by analysis?) Research, decide then ultimately, cross our fingers.
For those who prefer reliability over dash, then to have an experience with the above mentioned acura is doubly troubling. The worst of both worlds. Luckily for that owner, you reported he/she loved to drive it so they might have been having the ultimate "Jaguar" experience, at least statistically speaking. I.E., love to drive it but it's a pain in the shop.
Today's audi company is probably still trying to overcome the audi experience of a decade ago when consumer reports had strings of blackballs on the electrical components and brake reliability lines.
It doesn't mean that the electrical systems on the newest audis are bad at all, it means they once were and audi suffers from the historical perception. Today's jags, from a reliability standpoint, probably outclass most cars from the mid-90's but are still discredited with the pre-ford experience. Anecdotally, my in-laws xj8 has been wonderful along with their caddies and buicks. no problems whatsoever.
Only cars I've ever been stranded in were my datsun '74 610 wagon with a blown oil headgasket; and my '73 volvo 144s with a broken fuel line. both occurred well after 100k miles. have never been stranded in an american car!
the '96 rl I just sold was completely reliable and not costly to maintain after warranty. so was our '95 explorer so I can't really laud acura for being much better than ford then can I? anecdotally, that is...
Jul 13, 2004 (8:17 am)
Statistics say that 1\2 as many Japanese cars have major problems as European cars. Thats still means that SOME of those cars are going to have problems. Not even Lexus makes 100% perfect cars. However, given that the '04 SC430 had like 1\3 of the industry average of IQ problems, they are about as close as you can get. I've never been actually stranded (my Jag has stalled a few times but the engine restarted). If I was, that would be the last car of such and such particular maker, I dont care how much "fun" it is otherwise.
Jul 13, 2004 (8:53 am)
Well, then, I think you have made my point. I have not been stranded by my Audis (since 1977). My co-worker has been stranded by his Acura.
I take these with a grain of salt, because my personal recent experiences have not had many bumps in the road and no issues that cause me to be stranded.
So, those of us who have a "particular" predilection for a brand (I, thus far, for Audi) and who have never been stranded are not "off their rockers," likewise, if a Jaguar or Lexus ever left you stranded, it would be the last one you would consider?
For me, this time, I am struggling with yet another characteristic -- value. I have mentioned that I cannot find the value in BMW, even though I have never driven a bad one (actually owned one for almost three years, in fact) -- and I am beginning to think that the $50K RL may be "more car" than a similarly priced A6 (also for '05). Indeed, I actually have been boning up on the GS300 for '06, to make certain I fully consider the "contenders" in the Premium Sporty car market (some 9 months from now).
This forum and the spate of test drives my wife and I have taken, has made my choice less obvious than ever before. A back to back test of the new A6 and RL will hopefully be very revealing.
Another thing I have been able to confirm, the RL will have On*Star and at least for '05 Audi will not. My 2003 allroad does have On*star and I do use it regularly and frequently especially when I travel (generally within 250 miles of Cincinnati). This may be a plus for Acrua and a minus for the Audi too.
So, I remain impressed that I finally found someone who has a long list of problems with his Acura -- like I said before, in an odd way, this indication of less than perfect reliability is, for the Acura, a plus. Indeed, even your comments about your Jaguar hardly make it seem like a car to avoid. In the Jag's case, however, I am less enthusiastic about its styling, so for the mean time, it is "off" my list altogether.
But remember, my list fundamentally may be flawed as I am not even considering any vehicle that cannot be had with AWD. Of course, the Acura passes as does the Audi -- and as you and others have pointed out, there are more AWD variants coming with each passing MY.
Jul 13, 2004 (9:32 am)
Let me make a claim that “I know someone who had a winning multi-million dollar lottery”. What are the chances we all know someone like that in person?
Statistics can help us understand the bigger picture, not personal experience. What, some might call perception, exists for reason(s). Acura RL and Lexus LS have been held high in terms of reliability, and that must be with a reason. It does not mean that 100% of their owners have had cars without trouble.
#3096 of 7385 Problem free cars?
Jul 13, 2004 (11:58 am)
One important fact that people forgot is that you want the cars to have problems as you design them otherwise automobile companies will go out of bussiness already. You make huge profit on aftermarket services. However, what you do not want to see is that the cars have problems within warranties as companies will have to spend money to fix it if they ackowledge that the problems do exist. Also, what contributes to the car problems is the aftermarket services that you have. As whoever work on your car may intentionally tighten the bolt so much that it cracks the panel, so you will have a oil leak, say, after 5,000 miles, and you will come back to spend more money. At the end, it is how much money that you could come up when your car has any problem.
Jul 13, 2004 (2:37 pm)
Does anyone know if Acura is still considering a Hybrid for the RL model. I know there were rumors for the 05 model. Perhaps 06 or beyond.
I really think this would make a great car one of the truly best.
Jul 13, 2004 (7:23 pm)
If the GS350GT offers a hybrid system with more than 300hp, you can pretty much count on Acura to come up with a counter offer. Its clear that their days of sitting quietly and offering half decent cars are over.
Jul 13, 2004 (9:15 pm)
If hybrid happens, I expect it to come around as the initial sales "slow down", meaning, a year or two down the road. It might also depend on reception of Accord Hybrid that would be approaching near-luxury market. Given the compatibility of Honda's IMA system to just about every existing engine the company makes, it wouldn't take much to throw one in the RL.
If there is any argument that can be made against new RL, it would be that the V6 can't match "the low-end torque" of a 4.0-4.5 liter V8. IMA can easily address that.