Last post on Nov 18, 2010 at 12:44 AM
You are in the Acura RL
What is this discussion about?
Acura RL, Acura TL, Sedan
#133 of 166 Re: OK, OK, I concede! [habitat1]
Dec 22, 2006 (5:58 pm)
Tamparl, while marketing may affect the public's perception of the car, I generally agree with Habitat that one cannot make too much of marketing. In the final analysis, substance will/should prevail over form, once the advertised car has been test driven.
Indeed, what's in a name ... that which we call a Legend would smell so sweet? Although I don't know much about the Honda Legend, based on my quick review of this article from the following website
there is little difference between the Legend and RL, except for night vision and right-hand drive.
I think we all agree that the RL is a competent car with a high value quotient, but when compared with some of the prestigous nameplates (as mentioned), it pales a bit in the high performance and ultra luxury areas. But that is perfectly okay, particularly if you are happy enough with RL performance/luxury level, given the price you paid.
I also agree with Habitat that Acura can produce, and is highly capable of doing so, the so-called "Habitat-Edition" RL with his proposed specs. There is a market for the high rollers who go after ultra high performance and luxury.
However, it may require much R&D, and at the end, whether it is successful will be judged by the number of cars sold and the profits made (if any). Does Acura want to take a gamble, just like it did with the NSX? Hmm ...
#134 of 166 Re: OK, OK, I concede! [kennyg8]
Dec 22, 2006 (7:37 pm)
I do agree with you both. But my point is not as much as the vehicle itself proving it's worth against competitors by exceeding the performance benchmarks of the flagship segment, as much as Acura getting the RL into the minds of the general buying public. Enthusiasts will seek out the performance options and carefully compare, than the less demanding (performance) buying public (I include myself in that). That larger group of buyers will be drawn by image, perception and product acceptance (and it must be a good product), but performance may not be the apex for a majority of these buyers. Admittingly, I do not hold the RL as critically as both of you (I could not care less what the 10th of a second performance numbers are, or th g's on the skidpad. I do CARE how the car feels by the seat of my pants), but I dismissed the RL when I made my TL purchase, simply because I did not know much about the car other than it had similar content to the TL and was 10-15K more. I think that buying group qualifies a good chunk of the buying public, and I do put a lot of weight to marketing to get their attention. If Acura wants acknowlegement in the 50K+ range, I think they need to make the public more aware of what the RL has to offer as thier flagship, AND the RL would have to be improved to justify a 50K+ pricetag (IMHO). But I do not see Acura doing that as of yet (maybe in the future with stories of v-8 development). And if Acura decides (for now) not to be in that market, I think they need to change the marketing to improve upon the perception of what a really great car the RL is at its current pricepoint. I believe that would sell more RLs even with its current performance attributes. But I do not think enough people know what the RL is and capable of. On the enthusiasts board I am surpised how many 'informed' TL owners have stepped up to the RL and are suprised how good it is. And that is Acura's own buyers!
The type of vehicle that will gain Acura for the high end performance enthusiasts is another NSX product, with a bigger engine. That performance technology and impression would eventually trickle down into the more sedate sedan & flagship products. Or perhaps a true $50-60K flagship will rise over the RL, but that I doubt.
But in the 40-50K bracket, I think the RL is an exceptional vehicle. If it were higher end, 50K+ a more powerful (and likely less efficent) vehicle, it would not have been in my cross hairs. Heck, I nearly missed owning this fine vehicle once already.
Again, I agree with you both about the RL's standing in relation to what it could be. But from my angle, I'd settle for it just as it is, and I think more people would also if they only knew and were inspired enough to get their butt into the seat and drive one.
#135 of 166 Dear Santa/Acura; Next Year
Dec 23, 2006 (3:33 am)
I want to give you a 'heads up' for Xmas 2008, in case you listen to our ramblings. My next car will have: a silky smooth V-8 (BMW M-3/Lexus IS-F?), short-throw 6 sp. manual (like S2000), SH-AWD, 4 doors or 2 doors and folding back seats, adjustable suspension w/'sport' option (like MDX), sun-roof (my TL sunroof is fine), bullet-proof reliability (my Hondas & TL meet that requirement), and <$55 K (undercut 2008 M-3). If Lexus makes it, I will switch (IS-F?). If Acura make it, I will buy. Hope your workshop produces the Car in a year. To all sports car lovers visiting these forums, Safe Holidays & Happy New Year!
#136 of 166 Re: OK, OK, I concede! [tamparl]
Dec 23, 2006 (4:11 am)
I agree generally with what you are saying. Getting an RL in the low 40's is a tremendous value.
It seems however, that if Acura does not change the RL in 09 to be a staunch competitor in the 50-60k range as opposed to changing its marketing plan to improve upon the perception of what a great value it is- to me- seems like a celebration of mediocrity.
The sales figures for the RL are dismal. IMHO- it's not entirely due to Acura's marketing plan. If people want luxury they will go Lexus GS or MB E. If folks want performance, they will go Infinti M and BMW. If folks want a mix they might go Acura. The problem with the RL is that it is in a segment that requires having an optional V8.
At some point, I will be looking at the 50-60k range for a sedan and I would like to see Acura offer something substantive in this market.
#137 of 166 Re: OK, OK, I concede! [tamparl]
Dec 23, 2006 (6:41 am)
"But from my angle, I'd settle for it just as it is, and I think more people would also if they only knew and were inspired enough to get their butt into the seat and drive one."
You may be right, that Acura could increase RL sales with an all out blitz to try to get more prospective buyers give it a chance. But I think the increase would be nominal.
Acura can up marketing dollars for the RL by millions to "toot it's own horn". But the verdict is out, and the automotive press, early adaptors and general enthusiasts didn't fall all over themselves over the RL. Certainly not the way they did over the S2000 or even the little brother TL, with it's 2004 redesign. And let's look at that for a moment - the previous generation TL was a fine car, but really not much more than a gussied up Accord. When the 2004 TL came out, a much more BMW looking aggressive exterior style, a tremendously refined interior, a much more potent engine and suspension, and even an available 6-speed. According to my dealer, I'm one of about 10-15% of TL buyers that bought a 6-speed. HOWEVER, as soon as Acura offered it, along with the other performance upgrades, every car magazine in the rack had a cover story and road test on it. Bingo, Acura was no longer spending big bucks to toot it's own horn, everybody else was doing it for them.
If you put an RL next to a non-sport 530i automatic, you probably have comparable performance. But a lot of those 5 series are sold to people whose perception of it being the "ultimate driving machine" was formed from accolades from the automotive press testing a 550i 6-speed. With the present RL, Acura has nothing to get the blood boiling among the enthusiast crowd.
Another point - when that lustworthy Legend GS 6-speed was being sold at $41k in 1994, Acura had a $15-18k Integra, and the non-event $25k Vigor. Period. Very little overlap. As of last year the lineup had expanded to an RSX, TSX, TL and RL all compressed into an even tighter (in real dollars) price range. Acura spent a lot of time in the last 13 years focused on price points that were right in Honda's sweet spot, rather than competing with the Lexus GS and LS segments.
It is an anomoly to me that Acura deemed that the could sell a $41k car in 1993/4, but not a $60k car in 2006/7. In many ways, I think Acura has much more real engineering talent than does Lexus. Lexus has mastered the ultra reliable, ultra luxurious, ultra techno do-dadded, BUICK. BMW is the worldwide sales leader in the luxury market and they are performance oriented. Lexus has pretty much said, "we can't compete", and instead took on Mercedes. That leaves a market opportunity for Acura, IMO, that they seem hesitent to pounce on.
#138 of 166 Re: OK, OK, I concede! [habitat1]
Dec 26, 2006 (4:00 pm)
Lexus has mastered the ultra reliable, ultra luxurious, ultra techno do-dadded, BUICK. BMW is the worldwide sales leader in the luxury market and they are performance oriented. Lexus has pretty much said, "we can't compete", and instead took on Mercedes. That leaves a market opportunity for Acura,
Well-said - but I think Nissan/Infinity has admirably and ably sought to fill that market. Acura seems to have started to do so, but tapered off to a middle-of-the-road type of philosophy.
#139 of 166 Re: OK, OK, I concede! [taxesquire]
Dec 27, 2006 (11:49 am)
"Well-said - but I think Nissan/Infinity has admirably and ably sought to fill that market."
No offense to Infiniti owners, but I don't think they are much of a factor in the "flagship" category of luxury performance sedans. The "Q" sells in volumes that make the RL look like a hot car and the "M" designers are in serious need of some Prozac. I don't think it's sales are anything to write home about either. None of those cars offer a manual transmission and the kind of serious driving dynamics and handling of a 530i, let alone a 550i 6-speed.
The G35 seems to sell well and matches up better with it's competition. But the marketplace has relegated Infiniti to near insignificance in the higher end market.
#140 of 166 Re: OK, OK, I concede! [habitat1]
Dec 27, 2006 (12:29 pm)
I forgot about the Q - guess that says something right there - but the M is a great car. Handles well, great accelleration and a nice interior.
You're right that it doesn't offer a manual tranny - of course the RL doesn't offer a manual either. At least the M is RWD.
#141 of 166 Re: OK, OK, I concede! [habitat1]
Dec 27, 2006 (1:24 pm)
I just purchased a 07 Silver TL-S Auto. What a fun fantastic car. A month ago we had a 12" snow storm. After they plowed most of the snow, the TL-S got around just fine. I don't think AWD is needed unless you do a lot of driving in snow. I was suprised. Last winter I was driving a $40,000 loaded 4 door Limited Tundra. Just my 2 cents. I was worried the TL-S wouldn't get around in the snow, but it did.
#142 of 166 Hey folks
Dec 27, 2006 (2:01 pm)
This is supposed to be a comparison between the TL and RL. How about we meet up in Acura RL, Acura TL and/or Acura TL-S to continue these conversations about the individual vehicles.
See you there!