Last post on Apr 18, 2013 at 12:02 PM
You are in the Acura RL
What is this discussion about?
Acura RL, Sedan
Aug 11, 2004 (10:46 am)
With the new RL, Acura is trying to go back in time and perhaps improving upon it. The Acura Legend was a success, but never meant to compete with more powerful V8, and offered a sensible alternative with a balance between sport and luxury. The orientation got lost with the 1996-2004 RL. It leaned away from the balance into the world of isolation.
But, the RL wasnít the only car affected by poor decision-making in the mid-90s. Integra wasnít redesigned, TL got softer and blander too (compared to the Vigor that it replaced), CL wasnít along the lines that the CL-X concept indicated and SLX was a bad excuse for a luxury SUV (dressed up Isuzu Trooper).
1999 TL attempted to revitalize the Acura lineup, and succeeded. MDX followed it up. These two ended up being the Civic and Accord of the Acura lineup in terms of carrying almost 70% of the sales volume. CL redesign looked promising outside of its mediocre (and largish) body style. That drive train deserved a Legend Coupe (or CL-X concept) like styling.
And then, the TSX arrives to compete with the likes of Audi A4, BMW 325 and Lexus IS300 (a forgotten car in the Lexus lineup). It seems to replace the void left by Vigor/2.5TL and improving upon it.
Presence of TSX allowed Acura to move the TL upscale into the mid-30s price range. Even with a 15% higher base price, the TL continues to match or outpace sales of the 1999-2003 TL. And thatís good news for Acura.
Now, it is RL time. It should make it a trio of sedans with a good balance of sport and comfort packaged with niceties that people expect from luxury nameplate. What would it compete with though?
IMO, lack of V8 engine option wouldnít matter outside of automotive journalists babbling about it. And if that were the only excuse they can come up with against this car, it would be wonderful. As the market reveals, cars with V8 as an option donít sell as well as it is made out to be. Just because RL happens to be Acuraís flagship, doesnít mean it is competing with Audi A8, BMW 7-series, Jaguar XJR, Lexus LS430 and Mercedes S-Class.
For starters, Acura has oriented this car to be a midsize luxury sedan, and it isnít going to be priced at $60K or above with all the goodies. That is (at least) a 25% premium weíre talking about. In fact, many of its competing cars with six cylinder engines will go into mid-50s and unlikely to offer any more power. So, while there may be a few who would like to plunk down $55K for a badge, there should be enough buyers to help Acura meet or exceed its (rumored) first year sales target of about 15K units for the RL.
IMO, the direct competition: Audi A6/3.2Q, BMW 525/530, Cadillac STS, Infiniti M35, Jaguar S-Type, Lexus GS330 and Mercedes E320 (E350?).
#3328 of 7385 Re: RL versus MB, BMW, etc. [varmint]
Aug 11, 2004 (11:55 am)
>I doubt the (RL) interior will be all that large, and while it will feature many of the latest gismos and gadgets it give up some comfort in order to appeal to the driving enthusiasts.<
Two points I would like to add:
Number One: If this car is uncomfortable, if the driver seat is heavily bolstered and tight as one finds on other "sporty" cars, Acura has lost me as a customer. Period. I simply will not buy a car that requires me to use a shoehorn to get in it.
Mercedes made that mistake with its new E class. They changed the driver seat and made it tight and narrow, and according to the dealers I have spoken with, a lot of people walked away because of that.
I am not looking for a "sporty" car, I am looking for luxury or (Road Luxury = RL) if you will -- luxury & performance. I would be pleased if the car had guts (hp + torque), handles well and is generally a road loving, crisp, responsive car. I would be quite happy with that.
My idea of a good mixture of performance and luxury is a BMW 740iL with the performance package. Extremely comfortable and roomy car, with lots of horsepower and above average handling characteristics.
Aug 11, 2004 (12:49 pm)
Well, the Legend was never a truly sporty car. That car offered respectable performance, but body roll and the lack of a V8 stopped it from being the real deal.
The Legend did well in the market because it was a decent compromise between land yacht and cramped sports car; it was bargain-priced compared with the others; and it was well styled. If you were to rank the car on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being luxurious and 10 being sporty, the Legend was probably an even five.
Lux 1...2...3...4...*5*...6...7...8...9...10 Sport
The RL was none of those things. I think Robertsmx is right about it. It lost its mission trying to isolate the driver in a cocoon of luxury. The RL tried to be a 1 on that same scale... and failed.
The new RL seems to be an attempt to get back onto the sporty side of the scale. But based on what I see, they seem to be aiming at a higher sport ranking than even the original RL. Maybe a 7 or 8 on that scale.
And I suspect that some buyers, perhaps Legendman, may be disappointed. Fans of the original Legend may like it. But fans of the current RL may not.
Aug 11, 2004 (2:32 pm)
>>Right now, he's debating between Lexus (ES330) and Acura (TL). I'm trying to convince him to wait an extra month or 2 to check out the RL.
Tell him to wait for the RL. Even though I really like the styling of the RL, it doesn't turn my head like the TL does. However, the AWD of the RL totally beats the TL. And for me, with my 3' long legs, the auto tilt steering wheel feature of the RL is a must. As I get older, I simply can't crank my legs under the low-slung steering wheel of the TL. When I test drove the TL, that was the one feature that stood out for me.
Aug 11, 2004 (2:39 pm)
Iíve been contemplating replacing my 98 Accord with TSX but arrival of redesigned TL has made the choice a little more difficult. And even the RL is getting my attention too! TSX appeal (over TL) is largely due to its sub-30K price tag, and it would be easier on my wallet to go out an purchase one (instead of lease an RL). It is going to be a tough choice for me. Purchase TSX (or TL), or go out and lease the RL. And then, there are these other intriguing options on the horizon as well.
Aug 11, 2004 (3:16 pm)
Gimme one of each...
#3333 of 7385 Want to watch Infiniti M videos?
Aug 12, 2004 (11:46 pm)
click on M-Concept
click on the "Exclusive"
type in "imagine" as passwd.
#3334 of 7385 Re: Want to watch Infiniti M videos? [ceric]
Aug 13, 2004 (12:48 am)
Thanks for the link! I did watch the videos and I must say, as far as the exterior is concerned, I like it a lot more than the new RL. Not in love with the front grill on the M, but so many cars these days have weird looking logo-esque grills one has to accept that at some point. The side and tail look great to me.
So, who knows about the new M class Infiniti's?
1. How much will the M45 cost?
2. When will it hit the showrooms for sale?
3. How's the horsepower and handling?
4. How is Infiniti's reliability - lately?
5. Resale value -- still less than Acura?
6. Any chance that they will tone down the "Jetson's" style dashboard control panel?
7. Is this a worthy "adversary" of the RL, handling and performance wise, or is this car a plush ride in a svelte suit?
Thanks in advance for any info you guys can knowledgeably share.
#3335 of 7385 Re: RL versus MB, BMW, etc. [adamar1] #1882
Aug 13, 2004 (8:36 am)
I just want to thank those who gave some excellent responses to my posting. You expressed many of my personal sentiments which I did not express in my posting as I wanted to get the opinions of others and see how they coincided with mine. I didn't really expect answers vastly dissimilar to what you expressed as I think that we Acura fans seem to have a similar genetic structure when it comes to cars! Now that you have responded you might be interested in where I stand on the RL and what my car history has been.
I owed all GM cars until I leased a 1996 RL quite by accident! My last GM car was a classic looking (in my opinion) 1991 Buick Park Avenue which I loved. Then they redesigned the Park Avenue in 1993 into the most ugly oversized piece of tin that I have ever seen. I vowed to never buy another Buick!
My daughter graduated from college in 1996 and we decided to consider economical cars to lease, with the Honda Accord in mind as a great starter car. Much to my surprise the Accord lease was expensive and therefore we decided to check out the Acura Integra which had a special edition (fully equipped with leather interior) at a much lower lease cost (notwithstanding that the sticker price was higher than the Accord). My daughter was thrilled with the car (now she drives a 2004 Honda Accord and loves it). After leasing the Integra for her, I decided to try the TL and RL. The TL was too sporty for me and I didn't feel comfortable in it.
The moment I drove the 1996 RL I was in heaven--it was like sitting in my easy chair at home, it was the right size car, it was whisper quiet, it had an ultra smooth ride and the car practically drove itself. I also liked the conservative design. I was hooked and leased it! The car was a flawless machine in the 50k miles that I drove it. I then leased a 2002 RL which has some refinements. I also love this car, but think that the 1996 RL had a slightly quieter and smoother transmission (albeit slightly less horsepower). My present 39-month lease is up with less than 35,000 miles on the car. Again, it has been a flawless car that I never had to have the dealer make any adjustments to from the first day I drove it. I always had problems after I bought my American cars!
I plan to extend my lease and take a look at the 2005 RL before deciding whether or not to buy my 2002 RL. If I buy it, I am sure it will give me many years of happy driving without having to worry about too many mechanical problems if I maintain the car well. I have a great Acura dealer with great service--that alone is enough to want to stay in the Acura family forever.
I am not yet happy with the sportier look of the 2005 RL--I am not looking for a sports car look. However, I have an open mind about the looks. How the car drives and performs is what will probably win me over. I am very enthused about the all wheel drive (I would never consider a rear wheel drive car), the stepped up horsepower (as long as it doesn't drag down the MPG performance which is already lower than I would like) and other safety features. I am happy that the 2005 RL will not be a V-8 as I am very MPG conscious. The V-6 engine is smooth enough for me.
I did test drive the 2004 RL recently which I think is a beautifully designed car with much more pep, but the ride is harder than the RL. Supposedly it isn't bigger than the RL, but I felt lost in the font seat which seems huge compared to the RL. Also, it needs an automatic telescoping steering wheel like the RL. I can't get the manually adjustable wheel close enough to me with the seat back (I have long legs) which bugs me.
I have never driven any of the higher profile/performance rear wheel drive cars (MB, BMW, etc.) so I have no comparison. I have no interest in those European cars because I have heard the horror stories about their quality control and the high cost of maintenance. Moreover, I don't want or need a high performance car with a sports car feel. I am a conservative person who doesn't feel the need to outwardly impress anyone by the car I drive. I just want an upscale, comfortable, conservative and low maintenance car that I am happy with; so far the RL has fit that bill perfectly.
So that is my happy Acura story thus far!
Aug 13, 2004 (11:34 am)
You have expressed my sentiments exactly. I have had at least one Acura in my garage ever since the line debuted in 1986.
I have been asked many times by well-meaning friends and clients as to when I'll be "moving up" to an Benz, BMW, Porsche, etc. My replies have always been:
1) I had a Porsche and BMW during my 20s and 30s, THEN I GREW UP;
2) When I show up with a Benz, my clients may well think, "Damned that Karl! He's driving OUR money!"
OTOH, I have heard compliments on my choices of fiscally-prudent well-built cars that allegedly demonstrate my "common sense."
When the Legend coupe first hit the scene, one of the car mags ran a comparison of it with BMW, Mercedes, and Cadillac. The Mercedes managed to tie the Legend only because the editors invented a new category, CACHET, for the article. I don't recall ever seeing this "quality" used again in their comparison tests.
BTW, my BMW crashed and was in the body shop for 5-1/2 months - lack of parts (fender, grill, hood, bumper, etc.). My letters to the US distributor headquarters in NJ were unanswered and unacknowledged.