Last post on Nov 18, 2010 at 1:44 AM
You are in the Acura RL
What is this discussion about?
Acura RL, Acura TL, Sedan
#117 of 166 Re: OK, OK, I concede! [tamparl]
Dec 12, 2006 (7:13 am)
I think the "closers" in comparison with the TL were build quality, safety (4000 pounds, advanced compatibility engineering, SH-AWD, ACC/CMBS, 5 stars on every test), more sophisticated appearance, seating for a family of 5, a certain exclusivity compared with the ubiquity of the TL, impressive integration of all the technology, and very little tradeoff in terms of performance and maneuverability. I kept seeing the occasional RL on the freeway and it was always a head-turner. After reading these posts and some other reviews (especially cnet.com), I drove the RL again with a more receptive attitude and finally realized it is a tremendous value, especially for the price. The difference between the bristling-with-tech 2006 RL CMBS-PAX and the NavTraffic-equipped base 2007 TL was, in the end, only about $8K; even less versus the Type-S boy-racer version. Not to mention that my wife finally said, "Oh, go for it, honey." Ding-ding-ding-ding-ding!! Now that I'm driving it, I agree that the RL is serene in traffic, which I'm generally not. It gives me hope for redemption of my Type-A personality. There's also the not-too-distant redesign of the TL to consider. I'm sure it'll be a great car...for my son.
#118 of 166 Re: OK, OK, I concede! [acurat]
Dec 12, 2006 (3:27 pm)
Well great minds think alike. Your post reads as if it were my own post. It sounds like we went through nearl identical AcuraAnalysis in our choice to slide into an RL from our TLs. Oh, and the wifey sounds like a keeper. Does she have a sister?
#119 of 166 Re: OK, OK, I concede! [acurat]
Dec 12, 2006 (4:40 pm)
"There's also the not-too-distant redesign of the TL to consider."
Yep. The 4G TL is estimated to have 300+hp and AWD. I agree with habitat- the RL needs to have a V8, sportier suspension option and a manual tranny. Otherwise, its sales will continue to dwindle.
RL is a great value but Acura really needs to step up its "flagship" to remain competitive in the market.
Congrats and enjoy your new ride
#120 of 166 Re: OK, OK, I concede! [ggesq]
Dec 14, 2006 (5:41 pm)
Found this on TOV:
Automotive News Quotes President of HRA, Suggests Acura's Ready for V8s
Date: December 11, 2006 11:55
Submitted by: Jeff
Source: Automotive News
Credibility Rating: Not Specified
In a story released early this morning on Automotive News' website (you'll need a subscription to read it), several cherry picked quotes are attributed to Hirohide Ikeno, President of Honda R&D Americas, Inc. (HRA). The general indication is that Acura executives are (finally) considering extending their drivetrain family beyond the realm of 4-cylinders and V-6s and specifically mentions a V-8 as a clear possibility (V-10s are already a certainty). Mr. Ikeno was quoted as saying that it's important for Acura to have larger engines available, and that he's "pushing for it". Mr. Ikeno was also said to have indicated that Acura would be dropping some hints of "its new direction" at the Detroit show, with no further elaboration.
The author of the article spoke to Mr. Ikeno last week "during a reception for the opening of Honda's advanced design studio in Pasadena, Calif." If by "reception" they mean "open bar", then there were probably more than a few interesting gems slipped into casual conversation that evening.
Despite the fact that the article reads a little bit like a campaign ad or a movie poster ("...Hilarious!!!..." "...uplifting..." "...trustworthy."), and there seems to be a lot of stitching together of thoughts, we think that the story is legit.
Now I'll offer a little bit of TOV perspective. While we were at the LA Auto Show a few weeks ago, we spoke to a good number of Acura and Honda folks and when we asked the Acura people about what sort of stuff to expect from Acura at the Detroit show, the responses were anything but consistent. One person we asked (who may or may not be involved in the NSX project) told us that there'd be "nothing much, really", while others responded that we would see "really cool stuff. You'll definitely want to be there."
In the past, anybody and everybody associated with Acura or Honda would quickly dismiss and shun any talk about motors with cylinder counts greater than 6, and punctuate their responses with reminders that V-8s were unnecessary and inefficient. Ask the same sort of questions today and the nature of the response is completely different. The air of denial has all but vanished at Acura today - the response to the ages old "You guys really need a V8" comment is now generally a subtle nod of agreement, perhaps coupled to a muted "yeah, I know...". As if to say "we know, we're working on it. Now let's talk about what we have now." Takeo Fukui's V-10 announcement several years back probably helped matters along, but for a while even after that some of the Acura folks still acted as if that announcement was never made.
Will we see a V8 offered in an Acura soon? It depends on what you mean by soon, but frankly it wouldn't surprise us to see it happening in the next 3 years or so. And let's face it - Acura may not be able to afford to wait much longer than that. Let's hope for more clues between now and the Detroit Auto Show.
#121 of 166 Re: OK, OK, I concede! [ggesq]
Dec 15, 2006 (6:11 am)
"RL is a great value but Acura really needs to step up its "flagship" to remain competitive in the market."
And, as further evidence of that true-ism, as far as I can tell, there are no other "flagships" so closely priced and directly compared to the sub-flagship model, as is the case of this entire forum.
We don't have an LS460 vs. ES forum, a 7 series vs. 5 series vs. 3 series, an S-class vs. E-class vs. C class forum or even a M45 vs. G35 forum.
I've been one of the few proponents of moving the RL to be more distinctive and a true performance sports sedan that could be competitively priced firmly in the $50-$55k+ range, if it offered a high quality, performance competitive alternative to the 550i 6-speed ($60k+ well equiped). Right now it's a tweener and not really anything more than an AWD, luxury upgraded, sports depleted TL. Which isn't a bad thing, just very limited in market appeal, as evidenced by diminimus sales volumes at below invoice pricing.
If I want a luxury, slushbox equiped sedan, I can spend the next two weeks test driving $45-$60k cars every day and not hit them all. The E class, A6, Jaguar S, M45, Lexus GS and LS, BMW non-sport 5 series, Volvo S80, and on and on. But even though I am moments away from turning 50, I haven't lost the desire to have a sedan that is a pleasure to drive. And right now, with that criteria, I can have BMW line up a $50k 530i 6-speed, a $60k 550i 6-speed or a $90k M5 6-speed and have pretty much EVERYTHING worth considering at one dealership. Hello, Acura? Is anybody home in the strategic marketing department? That sure smells like a market segment you try to advertise to, how about delivering the goods.
#122 of 166 Re: OK, OK, I concede! [habitat1]
Dec 20, 2006 (5:16 pm)
Habitat, while I agree with many of the things you said, and I certainly cannot speak on behalf of Acura or other posters on this forum, as a buyer of Acura products, I believe Acura's targeted customer-base consists primarily of people who are more value-minded and who place reliability and functionality as opposed to flashy, status-chasing customers.
For example, RL and TL are at or near the top of their respective class representing high-value buys. Not only do these cars come pretty much fully equipped, their prices are very reasonable, when compared with similarly-equipped Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Lexus, etc. Further, while many of Acura's customers may also aspire for a car that is as sports-oriented as the more prestigous nameplates noted above, they are content enough with the performance level of their RL/TL for the prices they paid. Moreover, not everyone desires to drive a manual and, instead, prefers the convenience of your so-called slushbox for their daily commute. Thus, IMHO, this really comes down to the type of customers Acura wants to appeal to. As a current owner of Acura's TL and MDX (if I recall correctly), you may share some of my sentiments stated herein. True?
If Acura can improve the qualities of their dealerships with respect to customer services such that they are on par with the prestigous nameplates, I believe Acura may attract even more customers who share the above-stated sentiments.
#123 of 166 TL-S M.T. Break-in period
Dec 21, 2006 (10:37 am)
I am in the processing of trading my ES in for a type S 07 M.T. Now, during the negotiation processing, i was asking the sales person about break-in period for manual. He said that for manual vehicles, they DO NOT need to have an elaborate break-in. Just take your brand new type S out and race. I don't think this is right; i am very skeptical about his answer. What do you guys think? Please post your inputs. thanks
#124 of 166 Re: TL-S M.T. Break-in period [richbf2]
Dec 21, 2006 (11:38 am)
Take my break in recommendation for what it's worth:
For the first 800-1,000 miles:
Do not exceed 4,000 rpms. Avoid full throttle acceleration. However, do not "lug" the engine either and shift into a higher gear too soon. Keep the "cruising" engine rpms varied between 2,200 to 2,500 on the low end and 4,000 on the upper.
Avoid repeated short hops. Try to drive the car for a minimum of 10-15 minutes so that the engine oil and mechanical parts fully heat up. This helps everything expand and contract fully and "seat" properly. Unfortunately, the water temperature is NOT a good guage of this, as it heats up much quicker than the oil.
No cruise control for extended drives at a constant speed / rpms.
After that, you can let it rip. These are the recommendations I got from sources I trust - Porsche race team technician, Honda factory rep, BMW "Motorsport" mechanic. I applied them to my Honda S2000, Acura TL and 911S. While the TL may fall on the lower end of these other high performance engines, it's still worthy of proper break in, IMO.
#125 of 166 Re: OK, OK, I concede! [kennyg8]
Dec 21, 2006 (12:07 pm)
There is no doubt that both the TL and RL represent good values. But, IMO, one of the reasons the TL sells well and the RL doesn't is that there isn't much about the RL that induces real excitement and distinction from the TL. The TL does very well in the "entry level luxury performance sedan" segment where value is one of its strongest attributes. But the RL gets whacked in the "flaghip sedan segment", compared to Mercedes, Audi, Lexus, BMW, etc.
IMO, the RL might do better if it put more space between itself and the TL, both in attributes and price. My suggestion that Acura target the 5-series was based partly upon my selfish interests, but also upon my belief that it afford the better market opportunity. Other than BMW, the other nameplates you mentioned really aren't that "sports oriented". They are luxury and prestige oriented. So, if Acura were to upscale the RL, I would think a sports/performance oriented approach would open more market share than simply another techno-crazy luxury offering like the self parking, butt massaging Lexus.
And I am a realist. The BMW 550i 6-speed represents no more than 5% of all 5-series sales. So Acura offering 6 and 8 cylinder versions, with automatic and manual transmissions, and RWD with SH-AWD optional at different price points may be the best way to cover all bases.
It's been 16 years since Acura introduced the $65,000 NSX at a time when the most expensive Lexus LS400 was $40,000. They shook up the automotive industry with such a bold offering and had Ferrari and Porsche shoppers taking a close look. I may be wrong, but I think that Acura still has what it takes to be a performance oriented alternative to BMW - at least with their "flagship".
If they don't do something, I believe the RL will remain a car that is very competent and a good value, just not very well embraced by the general public. If I am not mistaken, Honda sold more "specialty", limited production, hand built S2000 roadsters in the second and third year of their model run than Acura has sold "mainstream" RL sedans in theirs.
Maybe I should get one of my hedge fund buddies to pony up the funds to commission a run of 5,000 "Habitat-edition" RL's: 425 hp 7,500 rpm V8's with your choice of a 6-speed manual or paddle shifting DSG with RWD. And a Porsche inspired PASM adjustable suspension. Price $60,000. No one would confuse that with a TL. And nothing would touch it in the luxury performance sedan segment short of a $90,000 BMW M5. Orders?
#126 of 166 Re: OK, OK, I concede! [habitat1]
Dec 21, 2006 (3:48 pm)
I agree the TL and RL are great values in the respective segments they compete. However, I do not believe the RL, although Acura's Flagship is a head to head competitor with other flagships. I do not believe it is intended to be.
I also believe that the TL likely 'steals' some of the RL market by being such a great value and similar content. It offers a buy to 'almost' get RL content at a TL price.
But I do not believe that is the primary reason the TL outsells the RL. One is simply marketing. The TL has been toubted as a BMW 3 chaser. The created excitement for the TL. It simply has more marketing and media attention than the RL. But further, the TL competes in the $30-40K bracket. The RL in the $40-50K bracket. There are simply more buyers in the TL bracket, and the TL did well in that market. The RL is an enigma in the $40-50K market. It is a flagship, but not marketed as a competitor to flagship (perhaps an alternative). There are fewer buyers in the bracket so the competition is fierce for those fewer buyers. With Acura's feeble marketing of the RL, these fewer buyers are naturally more likely to go with a recognized luxury product (BMW, Lexus, Audi, Jaguar and even Infinity).
Although I think the RL is a tough to applaud at 50K, I think it is a no brainer in the lower 40K range. Problem is, people just don't KNOW the RL should be on the list to compare.
When I look at the efforts to market the Honda LEGEND in the world market, it appears Honda has truely made attempts to market and educate buyers of the LEGEND's attributes (especially SHAWD). And looking at this car selling worldwide, they may actually be achieving the sales totals they desire. But as to why the RL is such an enigma in the US may be that the US (and ACURA corporate) have set higher expectations for US sales then what Honda has set for global sales expectations.