Last post on Nov 05, 2013 at 12:08 PM
You are in the Acura RL
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Acura RL, Sedan
#4853 of 7386 RL vs. TL value
Nov 20, 2004 (5:32 am)
I bought a TL 6-speed in May after being fully convinced my next sedan would be a 5-series. The combination of the new TL's performance characteristics, saving $15-18k over the 530i (or $25k+ over the 545i), Acura quality and reliability and the long list of standard features made the decision relatively easy.
Prior to the TL, I came pretty close to getting a Boxster S as a "fun" car in 2002, but opted for the Honda S2000 and had absolutely no regrets. Saved $25k+, matched the performance of the Porsche and required a grand total of 4 oil changes in 2.5 years.
But, when I took my TL infor service last week and was given an RL to test drive, the Honda/Acura value equation was missing. At least compared to the TL or S2000. If faced with the choice of a $50k RL or $60k 545i, I would jump for the 545i. The RL was just too little more than my current TL in luxury, and LESS in performance. Granted, I am partial to a manual transmission and might feel differently if the RL were so equiped.
I think the RL is a very nice car, but, like the former RL, I think falls into a "tweener" situation where it doesn't provide the performance or prestige of its upper class competitors, nor does it look or feel like a $15k upgrade to the TL. I hope for Acura's sake, it doesn't suffer a pre-mature death, but even the service manager confessed that he doesn't see the value.
Nov 20, 2004 (12:49 pm)
Acura needs to wake up and realize that it takes more than outstanding reliability and fit and finish to distinguish a luxury car. Most non-German luxury cars are reliable and those that arent great it that area seem to sell anyway. I see a lot of people here are talking about the RL as if it is far ahead f the competition in build quality and overall quality. It is too early to say that when you consider that Lexus, Infiniti, Cadillac and even Jaguar make high quality cars. The initial and long term quality surveys bear this out and I dont think there are any luxury car s left ont he market that dont have good build quality. Cadillac knew their cars had to stand out because features and quality alone would not get buyers into the vehicles. Acura needs to realize the same thing because all luxury cars are great these days. Another thing to remember about quality is that much of drop off in German quality is due to excessive electronics and the RL has just about every electronic gimmick found on the competition and then some. In the past Acura left out a lot of features to keep prices down and that was probably a good thing in terms of reliability. With the RL they have jumped in with both feet and could find themselves with a lot of glitches that have affected MB and BMW lately.
As for the great V6 in the RL, I really dont see the point. It's nice to have all that hp from a 3.5 V6 but the car doesnt outperform other cars in its price range, nor does it get significantly better mileage. Because of it's high curb weight the car barely outruns much weaker V6 competitors. Cars like the A6 and STS equipped with weaker six cylinder engines will probably run 0-60 in the mid to upper 6 second range.
Nov 20, 2004 (3:48 pm)
"Cars like the A6 and STS equipped with weaker six cylinder engines will probaly run 0-60 in the mid to upper 6 second range."
Surely you mean the 8 cylinder STS as the 6 cylinder is a slug compared to the RL.
Nov 20, 2004 (4:08 pm)
My black/black RL is the 21st car I've owned, and today makes it 30 days, w/ just over 3000 miles.
Over the years I've had many different kinds, including Rolls Royce, Mercedes, Cadillac, Volvo, Honda, Toyota, Chrysler, among others. I bought the '05 because:
1) It had the nicest quality and feel of any I've sat in or driven in recent memory.
2) It is specifically NOT flashy in any way.
3) It'll equal or outperform almost anything in reliability. I don't want a car with a warranty, I want a car that does not NEED a warranty.
The most interesting comment I've heard yet was from a client after I gave her a ride. She owns a Chrysler dealership, BTW. "Nice looking car, good lines. What is it?"
-This was sparked because all my cars are stripped of their badges/logos and repainted for cleaner lines-
I replied: "Thank you. I made it myself. Me and Honda."
For me, anyway, this car is close to perfect. Now give it Toyota's HSD and I'll buy another one tomorrow.
#4857 of 7386 RL tires
Nov 20, 2004 (8:46 pm)
Would anyone know if I could change my RL tires to a 255/50R17 without any problems with the car? That way I get more choices of tires, and get to put on my favorite tires. I am not happy with the OEM tires on the car.
#4858 of 7386 Re: RL vs. TL value [habitat1]
Nov 21, 2004 (12:15 am)
Post 4850 by Habitat1 and post 4851 are very insightful posts in my opinion. Each of the comments are well thought out and highlight some of the compromises Acura made with the RL (and the rationalizations that people make to defend the car).
I doubt the RL will die a premature death but I am really hoping Acura pays attention to some of the concerns being raised. I would really rather buy an Acura than a BMW, Mercedes or Audi, but it looks like it may have to be a TL (wait for 2006 and hope for SH-AWD).
#4859 of 7386 Re: RL vs. TL value [gogglespiasano]
Nov 21, 2004 (7:44 am)
"Value" is comparative. In the mid-luxury car segment, RL competes well (if not exceeds) comparably equipped A6, 5 series (V6) and E320, with top reliability to boot. On the other hand, RL should not be compared with A8, 6 or 7 series, S series, LS 430 and Q45, because those cars are at the top of the "pecking order" and they cost quite a bit more. Like many posters have said, only apple to apple comparison makes sense.
Likewise, we should NOT compare TL to Accord because they are in different segments, but they are at or near tops in "value" within their respective segment.
Also, "value" has both objective and subjective components. A person who is financially well off and does not mind spending more for whatever reasons (including prestige, new technology, bragging rights or simply personal satisfaction) would not care about the incremental $15k. To him, all the "intangibles" are worthwhile.
#4860 of 7386 Re: RL vs. TL value [gogglespiasano]
Nov 21, 2004 (8:05 am)
It is interesting to read the 4850 and 4851 Posts, I agree. Bottom line for us TL owners...it was a very easy decision to pass over the 2004 TL when it arrived last year after a long anticipated wait for the all new design. Glad we waited for the new RL which we really feel very good about and purchased. It will arrive for Thanksgiving!
#4861 of 7386 Re: RL tires [nate]
Nov 21, 2004 (8:43 am)
Stock Tire (245/45/17)
Sidewall: 4.3 in
Radius: 12.8 in
Diameter: 25.7 in
Circumf: 80.7 in
New Tire (255/45/17)
Sidewall: 4.5 in
Radius: 13.0 in
Diameter: 26.0 in
Circumf: 81.8 in
Speedometer reading with non-stock tire is 1.4% too slow. When your speedo reads 60 mph, you are actually traveling 60.8 mph. (This would be acceptable)
New Tire (255/50/17)
Sidewall: 5.0 in
Radius: 13.5 in
Diameter: 27.0 in
Circumf: 84.9 in
Speedometer reading with non-stock tire is 5.3% too slow. When your speedo reads 60 mph, you are actually traveling 63.2 mph. (This choice would not be acceptable)
#4862 of 7386 Re: RL vs. TL value [kennyg5] / Tire size
Nov 21, 2004 (10:38 am)
"Also, "value" has both objective and subjective components. A person who is financially well off and does not mind spending more for whatever reasons (including prestige, new technology, bragging rights or simply personal satisfaction) would not care about the incremental $15k. To him, all the "intangibles" are worthwhile."
I fully agree with that statement in principle. It just doesn't apply to me personally with respect to the $15k increment between a RL and TL. For me (an admitted manual transmission oriented driving enthusiast), the RL is at best equal to the TL 6-speed in performance and driving enjoyment. The luxury side of the RL is somewhat above the TL, as is its interior size. If my TL was stolen tomorrow, I might indeed have a difficult time deciding whether get another, or to go for a $60k 545i 6-speed or to go for a $55k E320 CDI. Those $25k and $20k increments buy some "real" performance advantages over the TL, as well as some other "intangibles". But the $15k increment for the RL hardly buys me anything, given MY personal preferences. If the RL offered a 6-speed, sport suspension option and V8 competitive with the 545i for $60k, I'd probably be much more likely to consider it. I fully appreciate and respect that some who value luxury over performance and have a $50k spending limit might find the RL to be their best choice.
Regarding tire size / speedometer error:
If I'm not mistaken, the RL comes standard with 245/50 tires, not 245/45. Therefore, a 255/45 would be a closer match. However, it should be noted that ALL Honda/Acura speedometers read 4-5%+/- too fast to begin with. If the speedometer says you are doing 70, you are actually doing 67+/-. This was confirmed by my service manager in a call with the regional representative. It can also be easily checked by setting your cruise control and using a stopwatch to time miles on a marked highway. The only exception to this "programmed conservatism" in speedometer readouts by Honda/Acura is the digital readout of the S2000, which is spot on accurate.
As such, you can jump up a tire size or two in actual outside diameter and still not be reading too low.
P.S. BMW's and Porsches are even further off on their speedometer readings.