Ok, my dad bought himself a new ride a few weeks back and I finally got the chance to drive it while in the mountains this weekend.
This is a very understated car. That may be why you don't see many of them. Style wise it is not that much different than the Acura TL. The RL doesn't stand out, which is a good thing and a bad thing. The cars it is selling against, BMW 5 series, MB E-class, Lexus GL or LS are all pretty flashy, you know exactly what car they are when you see them, nothing else looks like them. That is the problem with the RL it doesn't stand out and in a sales segment where 50% of the buyers are buying the car for status reasons then the RL just doesn't work. BUT, if you don't care about how flashy the car is then this just may be the best of the bunch...
Very nice finish everywhere. Plenty of head, leg, and shoulder room in every seat. Middle seat in the back is a bit cramped but that is to be expected. Leather seats, leather arm rests and door pulls, you can tell Acura cut no corners on the quality of the materials that went into this car. I could adjust the seating position to fit my frame and driving style perfectly. Power everything (seats, mirrors, headrests!). Only 2 real complaints:
1. The passengers seat was not height adjustable. I found this odd, how hard would it have been to add this? I found this did make the passenger seat sit a bit uncomfortably. Heck my wife's IS300 has this feature and so does my MINI. An odd choice not to include this in a loaded car.
2. Dead peddle. Yet another car that locates the dead peddle much to close to the driver. Ended up having to put my left foot right next to the brake peddle or crossed in front of the seat to be comfortable.
Controls and Audio:
The RL comes with the high end electronic control system. Acrua's version of i-drive I guess. Very powerful system that includes voice control options for everything. System is actually very easy to use since there is about 15 ways to access everything. Plenty of shortcut buttons everywhere and the interface and menu screens where very easy to figure out. Everything was nicely within reach. Sound system sounded nice but I really didn't get a chance to wring it out to really give a good opinion.
Drive and Ride:
Very steady on-road feel. Handled quite well for such a big car. Very nice cruising on the highway. The transmission seems a bit rough for a luxury car. You can fell every shift. It does respond very quick and the manual shift feature with steering wheel paddles is very nice. But again, my wife's IS300 is supposed to be a sportier car, it too has the manual shift option and the only time you really notice the shifts is when it is in manual mode.
So, if you are in the market for a roomy luxury car, give the RL a chance. I think you will find it stacks up nicely against the BMW, MB, Audi and Lexus offerings and I am betting you can find a used one for a great price.
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