Last post on Nov 30, 2007 at 6:21 PM
You are in the Acura RL
What is this discussion about?
Acura RL, Infiniti M35, Sedan
Oct 17, 2005 (11:23 am)
Since I had used these forums heavily when trying to decide between the RL and the M35x, I thought I'd return the favor with my thoughts on my search and eventual purchase. I have been a Honda/Acura customer for years and loved their combination of technology and reliability. I looked forward to getting an RL as I got towards the end of my 2002 TL lease.
On the plus side, I liked the quality of the interior and the standard equipment list.
On the minus-side, when I test-drove the RL, I was surprised about how much searching I had to do to figure out fairly basic functions on the center panel- audio and other functions alike. I also had difficulty with the b-pillar which was somehow always in the way when I turned to the left to look at traffic on that side. The lack of a rear-view camera or sensors really bothered me, as I had gotten to love them in our Honda Odyssey Touring - they make parking so much easier. I was struck by the 'soft' feel of the gas pedal and brake. I could clearly get the car to accelerate pretty well if I needed to, but it required a heavier foot than I was used to, and that made merging into traffic less pleasant that it should have been. The same applied to the brake feel. I love the Honda/Acura Nav system, but was somewhat irritated at the lack of a touch-screen and the hassle that added to using the system. I do not use the voice activation more than 10-20% of the time.
I tried the M35x fairly reluctantly, as I was put off by the additional cost to configure it similarly to the RL. My first impressions were that the interior did not 'wow' me as much as the RL (but I have gotten to like it a lot now), but that the gas and brake pedal feel were great in comparison! It has much more accessible acceleration and stopping power than the RL - by an order of magnitude.
The Navigation system looks better (with Infiniti's Bird-View) but I find that I still can get more out of the Honda system- there are more ways of inputting data, in more logical sequences, and you have access to a lot of usable functions while the car is in motion, that Infiniti does not let you do. One thing I miss a lot is Honda/Acura's ability to look forward at facilities available at exits along a route that you have. It was great for planning rest stops or hotels during long drives. Overall, I think Honda are still the leader with these systems, but the Infiniti version is not bad by any means. One warning- a source of major aggravation for me on the Infiniti is the cut-off with titles with the XM radio display, so that I cannot see full names or titles. It drives me nuts!
The back-up camera beats Honda’s system easily. I wish I had sensors as well, but do not miss them terribly. It would have always been a source of annoyance in the RL, even if I paid $600-1200 to install them. I'm told the bluetooth setup in the M35 is slicker, but I cannot vouch for that since I did not try it in the RL. The lane departure warning system is neither here nor there for me, but I like the laser cruise control. There is definitely more engine noise in the M35x, but it is a pleasant growl only when I accelerate. At cruising speeds, it is a very quiet cabin. The premium audio system is great, but so is the RL's. Another downside was I opted for a full-size spare, not realizing that it takes 3 cu ft away- the trunk is definitely smaller than I'd like.
Overall, I love the much sportier drive, the backup camera and the interior room in particular, and have been very happy so far with the M35x.
Oct 17, 2005 (6:15 pm)
That was a pretty good assessment of both car's electronics features.
As far as this comparison goes, I think both cars are very good all-around, but do certain things better than one another. In the end, it is a matter of preferring sportiness of the M or the quiet, luxuriousness of the RL. If I had to pick, I would say I'd go with the RL because it is still a pretty good handling car with good power, but it is seling for around $40K these days (as opposed to another 4-5K more for an M).
#193 of 269 Re: The "M" [billyperks]
Oct 17, 2005 (6:20 pm)
Here, here - I've test driven the M(35X) and pretty much love it. Unfortunately, I ended up driving behind one in Cincinnati and was put off by the lights when looking at the vehicle dead on. The 05 RL has a better looking rear. Just wish they would stretch it a bit more.
#194 of 269 Re: [harrybush00]
Oct 18, 2005 (9:39 am)
As far as this comparison goes, I think both cars are very good all-around, but do certain things better than one another. In the end, it is a matter of preferring sportiness of the M or the quiet, luxuriousness of the RL.
Purely subjective. I find the M35 to be more luxurious and just as quiet (as ocrice did as well) as the RL.
#195 of 269 Re: The "M" [ak99]
Oct 18, 2005 (9:42 am)
I've test driven the M(35X) and pretty much love it. Unfortunately, I ended up driving behind one in Cincinnati and was put off by the lights when looking at the vehicle dead on. The 05 RL has a better looking rear.
In spite of the superior rear-view camera in the M, I have yet to be able to see my car's rear end as I drive down the street. I sit and drive on the inside and consider any car's exterior to be subordinate to its interior. Overall I find the M with Full Aero Kit to look better than the RL; hgowever I do agree that the M's tail lights are its weakness
#196 of 269 Re: [msu79gt82]
Oct 18, 2005 (2:42 pm)
Edmunds compared the M35x versus the RL as part of a five part test and said, "With its aggressive gearing and big tires, the M35x has noticeable engine and road noise on the highway. The firm suspension passes on the bumps more sharply than the others, too. None of it makes the Infiniti uncomfortable over long distances, it's just not going to lull you to sleep like the Acura."
#197 of 269 Re: [18pctgray]
Oct 18, 2005 (6:13 pm)
Edmunds compared the M35x versus the RL as part of a five part test and said ...
Yep Edmunds has their OPINION, and so does Car&Driver, and so does Motor Trend, and so does CR, and so ...
I however was giving you my opinion You see I have been on numerous extended test drives in more than one of each and I know how quiet each one is on roads in my area
#198 of 269 Re: [msu79gt82]
Oct 19, 2005 (3:36 pm)
Well, you know what they say about opinions...
Here's fact instead of opinion:
Here's the interior noise level of the M35 compares the the RL per Autoweek magazine.
INTERIOR NOISE (dBA) M35 RL
Idle: 44 40
Max first gear: 75 70
Steady 60 mph: 65 63
Perhaps one of the engineers on this site can explain the logarithmic significance of dBA measurements.
#199 of 269 Re: [18pctgray]
Oct 19, 2005 (4:46 pm)
Here's fact instead of opinion:
The only FACT that matters is the one bewteen my ears
Unless of course you are buying
Here is a FACT that cannot be denied. I test drove two RLs and two M35s - they were exactly the same to me in terms of interior noise level. If someone else is paying then their perceptions carry weight. Otherwise
#200 of 269 Re: [18pctgray]
Oct 19, 2005 (5:18 pm)
I'm not an engineer (nor do I play one on TV...nor did I sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night), but in a nutshell:
Every 3 decibels is a doubling of sound, every 10 is a ten-fold increase....However (there is always a, "however"), every 10 decibel increase is roughly a subjective doubling of sound.