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
#244 of 269 Re: Consumer Reports...? RL vs. M [acurat]
Dec 19, 2006 (5:30 pm)
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.
#245 of 269 Re: Consumer Reports...? RL vs. M [carfan28]
Dec 22, 2006 (10:22 am)
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!!
#246 of 269 CR report on RL and M35
Dec 24, 2006 (11:58 am)
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 Jap 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.
#247 of 269 Re: Consumer Reports...? RL vs. M [acurat]
Dec 28, 2006 (10:52 am)
... BTW I have seen only 2 other RLs in those 2 weeks. Exclusivity is a nice thing. ...
Exclusive or just plain unpopular?
#248 of 269 Re: CR report on RL and M35 [ocim]
Dec 29, 2006 (5:42 pm)
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.
Ever heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy? Everything they said would annoy, you probably remembered and started looking out for. You also expected them to annoy you.
I bet if you had evaluated the cars for yourself you would have had a higher chance of having a different outcome.
I think you should start buying cars for you and try as hard as possible not to let others influence you. After all it is you who has to drive the car.
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.
That is because Acura/Honda makes driver's cars. Their cars are made with driving and handling in mind. As such, the ride is not as floaty as you might find in other marques./
This is not uncommon to anyone who has driven European cars of any make.
In their older driving culture, the premium is put on the driving experience rather than isolation from the world around you.
I hope you find a car to like. The M is a great car.
I would try to avoid CR next time and take your time and test-drive the car several times.
CR is a poor substitute for proper car testing.
By the way, what do you think about the Lexus GS?
Have you evaluated it in any way?
What about the Germans?
What is your take? Are they out of your price range?
#249 of 269 Re: CR report on RL and M35 [readerreader]
Jan 01, 2007 (10:26 am)
Happy New Year readerreader!! Thanks for the psychological evaluation But, I think you may have missed my point. I was simply trying to say that CR is much better equipped to evaluate cars under many conditions than most people could by taking the car on a test drive. You would have to spend a lot of time in a car to evaluate the car in such areas as ride/noise under many road conditions, emergency handling, braking, as well as reliability. I live in Western Pennsylvania (worst roads in the world) so ride is one thing that I think I can reasonably evaluate.
CR’s mission is also to provide an unbiased report. So, I use them as a guide to narrow down my choices. I actually had some issues with my TL before I saw that the same areas were identified as weaknesses by CR. I tend to be sensitive to rattles, squeaks more than the average guy (at least that is what my wife says). The Toyota’s seem to have fewer problems in these areas. Just as a small example, when I turn from the road onto the curb of my driveway, as the front wheels start to climb onto the curb you can hear the twisting noises on the TL. The Camry, on the other hand, even with over 200K is solid as a tank (until its recent demise in an accident). I do think that Honda products are great. I have a 2004 Honda Pilot and I feel it is the best package under 45K. However, it too exhibits those twisting noises.
Now, on to your other questions. To date I have test driven the M35x (twice) BMW 530xi, Lexus GS350, Acura RL and just for good measure the Toyota Avalon Limited.
Here is my impression of them:
The BMW had good handling and ride. However, the car’s acceleration was not as good as the others and it’s not overly roomy for passengers or cargo.
The Lexus, much to my surprise, had the worst ride, and it also has cramped quarters and trunk. The engine was quiet and the power was excellent, but the handling was not spectacular. I think the Toyota’s suspension engineers have taken a lot away from ride without gaining much in handling. However, its interior is so much nicer than the rest that it makes you want to ignore everything else.
The Acura RL had the quietest engine. It was fairly responsive as well. The handling and ride felt better than the Lexus but not as good as the BMW or Infiniti. Again, as it seems to be the norm here, the car felt a little cramped.
The Toyota Avalon is a lot of car for the money. I would probably purchase it if I was looking for a FWD car. It is very roomy, has high quality materials and it seems to be fairly competent in most areas. Not overly exciting to drive and I am not crazy about the exterior styling. However after purchasing my first AWD (Pilot) a couple of years ago, I realized that is the way to go if you live in Western PA.
The Infiniti seems to match my needs at this point in my life. Its acceleration, ride, handling, braking, and fit and finish are all very good to excellent. And it is the only car that comes close to the Avalon in size. The only thing that I noticed with the Infiniti (and BMW) is that its engine sounds a little louder than the others here. I hope that this is just the manufacturer’s intention to make the cars sound sporty rather than worse engineering.
I have not purchased anything yet. It does not seem like Infiniti here wants to deal much on these cars. Any suggestions?
#250 of 269 Re: Consumer Reports...? RL vs. M [carfan28]
Jan 02, 2007 (11:55 pm)
I don't know if Infiniti M has the same Bose as FX, but Bose in FX is crap. I own FX45 and had to go to a car stereo shop and replace junk speakers, and and throw away tne stock sub. Costed me $3K extra to get decent sound out of Infiniti. Bose is NOT about great sound. Mark Levinson is. Acura apparently also uses Bose. Look in any car audio mag - you won't find much Bose there. Hey, second from the top Alpine CD/FM + two a/d/g speakers sound better than the entire 8 speakers + sub Bose junk in FX45.
#253 of 269 M35x vs RL
Jan 24, 2007 (3:59 am)
I owned a 2005 RL for two years and have had a 2007 M35x for 3 months. Following are some reactions:
--More room in the M. I am 6'3" and I like the higher seating position. For me, the front seats are also more comfortable. There is slightly more room in the back and the trunk is definitely much larger and more useable, although the trunk opening is smaller in the M.
--The handling on the RL was slightly better. Better directional stability (i.e. the steering is a little "nervous" on the M) and the SH 4WD cannot be beat. The RL is normally more in FWD, while the M is normally more in RWD. Makes a difference and is personal preference. I believe the ride is better on the M, although a little firmer.
--RL had better mileage. I regularly got 28mpg on the highway vs 23 on the M. This is due to the much lower 5th gear and closer gear ratios in the M. The M has smoother acceleration and better shifting as a result, but the penalty is the gas mileage. Both cars need a six speed or maybe, in the case of the M, the Nissan CVT.
--The NAV systems are a toss-up. The M's system is faster, has fewer annoying warning screens, and has friendlier views. The RL had the ability to call up a longer list of destinations, complete with phone numbers-really handy for calling a hotel from the road.
--The quality of the M has been perfect to date. I was really put off by all of the recalls on the 2005RL. It never left me stranded, but dealing with all of the recalls was a real pain. It was not an Acura-like experience. Both the Acura and Infiniti dealers are 50 miles away.
--Depreciation experience is yet to be determined for the M. My RL dropped 35% in value-trade vs. MSRP-in two years. Much was due to the rebates necessary to move the 2006 models. Not as bad as most American cars, but worse than my 2002 Lexus LS 430.
--Styling. The RL does strongly resemble a Honda Accord. This was a major mistake in restyling the RL as was shortening the wheelbase by nearly 2 inches. On the other hand, the M is pretty non-descript as well. I am OK with the styling on both and am more interested in the drive and quality.
--Mechanical. Both engines are works of art and smooth as butter. Same for the transmissions, with a slight edge to the M on upshifts, and a bigger edge to the M on downshifts. More engine sound with the M, which I like. It is closer to a BMW in character, while the RL is more like a cross between a Lexus and a Honda. Why can't American manufacturers build engines like these?
--Miscellaneous. Like the push button start on the M. Like the back-up camera on the M-now on the 2007 RL. Dealer experience for both has been great. it's really nice to be treated well vs. the low quality at most American car dealerships. A few more standard electronic toys on the RL, none of which mattered to me.
In summary, these are two great cars and you can't go wrong with either one. Preference should be largely based on the test drive, the price, and the proximity and quality of the dealer.