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Pros: On Star/Navigation System/Front Seats & Driver Controls
Cons: Gas Mileage & CD changer is trunk
Advice: Good buy, especially versus Mercedes, BMW or Lexus. If you have the money to splurge go for the other brands to be 'happier'. The 3.5RL is a 'poorman's' Lexus.I bought the 2002 3.5RL in February 2002. Overall, I am pleased with the performance of this vehicle. The 'On Star' and navigation system is a nice enhancement. The driver and passenger front seats are extremely comfortable and adjustable for me and I am 6'4', 280#...probably one of the most comfortable cars for 'big/obese' people. On the negative side, the rear seats comfortably seat 2 because 3 people would be uncomfortable for a trip lasting more than 30 minutes. The rear seat legroom is not bad but the rear seats do not recline to assist with contour. The Bose radio system is powerful and great but you must use the trunk mounted cd changer versus in dash changer. Visibility is excellent and the ride is similar to that of a Mercedes, BMW or Lexus. The car is a constant 'eye catcher' and makes a statement. If you want to save some money, buy the 3.5rl because you will be satisfied with the overall quality and performance. Previously, I owned a Montero Sport and I now find it 'difficult' to parallel park in NYC because I always seem to 'bump' the car. It is hard to estimate the amount of space available because of the styling...You always feel you have more space to maneuver but you really don't! The most disappointing part of this car was the gas mileage. I was told that it gets approximately 24 mpg on the highway and 17 in the city. Overall, I drive it on a highway to and from work - it gets about 16-18(tops) doing 55-60mph. That is sad because my gas bill is very high, even because it only take 'premium' fuel and NOT Plus or Regular. I tried putting Plus fuel in the car but felt the difference. So, if your looking to save money on the Acura 3.5RL because of the gas savings, you can forget about it. The other great points: heated front seats, nice sunroof, great interior texture and design, nice ergonomics and driver panel, radio and cruise controls on steering wheel for easy access. Overall, I like this car but will probably sell early to get back into a SUV! That happens to be my opinion, nothing against the car but I am sure there is something for everyone. Mechanically, this car is safe and sound - never worry about seeing a mechanic...this car just needs gas, oil changes and your set for the first 100,000 miles with no other mechanical expenses. I paid $41K for this car (with the navigation unit)...the sticker price was $44K. If you really think about it, it may be smarter to spend 12K less and buy the 3.2TL S because its a greater performing car with 260 horsepower vs. 225 3.5 RL. Makes no sense that the smaller vehicle has the larger engine. Go figure.
Pros: Interior comfort and ride.
Cons: Bit of an acceleration lag.
Advice: Get one.This is an excellent all-around luxury car. It has a comfortable, quiet ride, good visibility, and excellent suspension/handling. It is also a great looking vehicle with classic lines that will wear well over time. A good choice for someone who doesn't want to pay an extra $10k for the Mercedes/BMW brand name.
Pros: nice ride, cup holders
Cons: The price for the car. No interior storage space
Advice: Buy a used RL. Not much has changed on the car for years.This car is not worth the money. A fair price for a 2002 RL is about $27K, and that's giving it $1K for the name 'Acura'. Compared to any of its competitors or even cars costing $10K less, this car doesn't offer much. Power is too low for the weight and 'class' of car, engine is very noisey and sounds cheap. When the electric radiator cooling fan comes on, the car sounds like a truck. Inside the Bose stero has only 4 speakers and no CD player (slot) on the dash. It uses a truck mounted 6-CD changer, but the system won't scrample songs! The door speakers seem like an like an afterthought since they intrude into the small door map pockets. There is almost nil storage room in the cabin. Maybe you can put a small folded map in the door pockets. If you squeeze the owner's manual in the glove box, you won't have room for anything elese! For a 'luxury' car, there is no compass, all four windows don't retract automatically for venting, there is no auto-down window control, there is little rear leg room, the rear seats don't recline or fold down, the trunk hinges are the luggage crushers out of an Accord, there is no trunk organizer or net, there is no alarm system (just an ignition cutoff), orange-peel paint job, etc. The interior has fake wood and the AC and radio controls show your fingerprints when you touch them. Having said all this, I sure feel like a fool because I got one.