The Acura RL is a four door five passenger luxury sedan that Acura slated as a replacement for the Acura Legend. From 1996 up to 2004 the first generation of the RL, more commonly called the 3.5 RL, was produced. Changes were minor from year to year, receiving a navigation system in 2000 and more power in 2002. This vehicle didn’t stand out well against some of its flashier, more sporty competitors and although it came fully loaded and with a very reasonable price, it was considered staid and conservative. Honda introduced the RL as we know it in 2005 in one fully-packed trim only. The next year they added in a Technology Package with even more techie stuff like adaptive cruise control, collision-preventing radar-based active braking system and even run flat tires.
For 2009 however, Honda has rolled out the Acura four door luxury sedan as their new flagship. Over 80 percent of the vehicle has been revised or redesigned. The intent has been to give the Acura a unique and instantly identifiable new look.
Under the hood is something else you might not expect. The RL features a V6 in a class of cars more commonly enhanced by V8s. However, if one rates that against the rising fuel costs, the V6 could be a decided advantage. Still this 3.7 L V6 engine with 300 horsepower and 271 lb-ft of torque is the most powerful engine ever offered for the Acura line. This engine is paired with a five-speed automatic manumatic-style transmission and with Acura's Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive (SH-AWD) system. This system uses something called torque vectoring, which decides on the amount of torque sent to each wheel. This helps in low-traction road surfaces and improves cornering. With this system, the driving only gets better the longer the car is out and about.
The EPA fuel economy rating for the Acura RL is 16 miles per gallon in the city and 24 miles per gallon on the highway.
The Acura is meant to be easy on the driver and is therefore packed with technology to enhance the driver’s life. The interior is easy on the eyes and on the body in terms of comfort, and there is a large navigation screen for the mapping system as standard equipment. The system includes a Zagat restaurant rating system and real-time traffic and trip rerouting as well. Also standard are amenities like a back-up camera, heated and ventilated front seats, GPS based climate control system, active front lighting and even a back up camera. For entertainment, there is a 10 speaker surround-sound stereo with six CD/DVD audio changer, satellite radio and optional iPod integration. If you add in the Technology Package, you'll get a voice activated navigational system.
In the safety department, the Acura is no slouch either. There are standard front, side and head airbags, ABS, traction control, and stability control. For the next step up in the line there is radar-guided cruise control and Collision Mitigating Braking.