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Possible future RL owner..... Need advice

 
Old 06-01-2010, 11:38 PM
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Smile Possible future RL owner..... Need advice

I'm planning on purchasing a new car around the first of the year, and to be honest, up until about two weeks ago, I never even considered an Acura RL. My cousin, from out of state, came down and owns beautiful 2000 RL and that got me thinking. I presently drive a 2001 Saab 9-3 and had considered a pre-owned Saab 9-5 or Cadillac STS V6, but now I'm head over heels for a 2008 (lakeshore silver/taupe) or 2009 (grigio/taupe) RL (non tech).

So my questions to you guys and gals are:

How is the reliability and maintenance costs (any AWD issues)
How does the car hold up over time (leather, interior trim, squeaks/rattles)
How is the ride quality (Floaty, Firm)
Performance (Used to a turbo with good low-midrange torque)
I really like RonJon's legend (liquid graphite) wheels for this car. Do 19's tarnish the ride quality or would it be advisable to stick with the stock size.

As much as I like to 2009+ models I would most likely be getting a 2008 because RLs seem to keep their value pretty good, and it needs to be around 30K or less to be a possibility. Or I could just wait longer for the 09's price to come down, which is not problem. You guys input would really help decide if this is a car worth waiting on.
Thanks, Adam84
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Old 06-02-2010, 08:41 AM
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A couple answers, but not all the questions you asked:

Q. Do 19" wheels tarnish ride quality?

A. That depends on if you like soft or firm. From the comments I've read here yes a 19" wheel will give you more road feedback. Some say an 18" wheel is a good trade-off. This question almost depends on you, what you like, the conditions you drive in, etc.

Q: Performance

A: Another subjective question. Do keep in mind this is a 4000lb AWD sedan. It's probably never going to be zippy/darty. You can upgrade the suspension, do some intake and exhaust work, upgrade brakes, change out the pulley. You will make improvements. But it will still be a 4000lb "family" sedan.

There's no such thing right now (without going esoteric) as a bolt-on supercharger, turbo, etc.

That said, I'm quite happy with mine! It gets up and goes, turns well for what it is.

So in relationship to what you should be expecting from the type of car it is, performance is great. If you try comparing it to a tiny Honda or whatever the latest crackerbox that GM/Ford/Dodge shoves a hot engine into and uses blocks of granite for springs you will be disappointed.

Q. Ride Quality

A. Not floaty. It's sort of that standard Honda-esque firm yet somewhat compliant ride. Acura wasn't trying to make a Cadillac here. You will hear the road and what is around you. I like that.

And now for the people who disagree with my answers

lol
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:35 AM
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If you are going to get an RL, avoid the base models and at least get a Tech Package, whether 2008 or 2009.
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:36 AM
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Welcome to AZ!

The RL for the years you are asking about is pretty bulletproof.

You may be disappointed in the low-end torque if you're used to a turbo. The torque becomes really apparent at about 3-3.5k rpm. Even so, I was never stuck in a situation when passing or accelerating onto a freeway ramp where I was in danger of not having enough power. You'll have to drive one to figure that out.

The ride is not floaty and as noted above, that is a consistent feature of Honda/Acura vehicles. It helps with road feel. I had 18s on my RL and it didn't affect ride quality appreciably. 19s are probably the largest I would have gone, in order to maintain ride quality.

You'll like the RL a lot...I certainly did while I had mine.
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:33 AM
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Another couple of answers, sort of:

1) Reliability & maintenance costs - I've got a 2005, and most people here will say go with a 2006+ to make sure all quirks are smoothed out over the years. That being said, I've haven't had any problems; you can always look at the sticky for the known issues/TSBs for a list. Maintenance costs are the same as any other premium brand, although lower than the European ones (BMW, Merc, etc.). 'Course now the latest fad is high-end makers rolling in maint on new models, so I guess that doesn't compare as well.

2) Fit & Finish Quality over time - I've got a 2005, and if I had it detailed, it would look brand new. Doors swing solid, leather looks great, no gaping seams exterior or interior - only thing I would say is the door handle interior shows the little scratches from your hand constantly grasping it to open the door.

3) Ride - same as others mentioned, firm enough w/o being rough - compliant enough to soak up the bumps w/o excessive travel

4) Performance - as others have said, it's over 4000lbs - what do you expect? It's always had enough pick-up for me, and the weight of the car contributes to a stable feeling at higher speeds. Think of the car as leaning more towards comfort than performance.

5) Tires/Rims - I like the stock, but it would be your ride. To me, after 17", you just get levels of decreasing ride quality.

Also, the Nav system is one of the best of all the brands. Controller wasn't super-complicated, and the only improvement I would want is better mic pick-up for voice commands (although that may have improved in later years also).
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Old 06-02-2010, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by romrunning View Post
... and the only improvement I would want is better mic pick-up for voice commands (although that may have improved in later years also).
And it was. The 2009+ models use the real estate originally reserved for On-Star controls to allow reconfiguration of the microphone system to a dual mike setup. This "stereo" setup allows the computer to determine whether voices are coming from the driver or other cabin occupants, further increasing accuracy. It is described in the July 2008 Acura Service News.

Voice command recognition for the navigation
system and HandsFreeLink® (HFL) has taken a big
leap in performance with the introduction of a new
ceiling console microphone assembly. This
assembly, which consists of two microphones
mounted side-by-side along with a microcomputer,
handles signal processing for the navigation system,
HFL, and active noise cancellation (ANC) (if
equipped). This helps filter out competing noises so
the navigation system or HFL can better understand
the driver’s voice commands and there’s less of
those annoying “Pardon” or “Please repeat”
responses.

When you press the applicable Talk button on the
steering wheel and give a voice command after the
beep, your voice actually reaches the left
microphone just a fraction of a second sooner than it
reaches the right one that’s farther away. The
microcomputer uses the timing of these two signals
to recognize and respond to your commands.
Competing noises (passenger voices, wind noise
from open windows, noise from dashboard vents and
side vents, etc.) simply get filtered out.
Because of the way things work, any passenger
voice commands get ignored. And this could be
mistaken by service clients for a voice command
recognition problem, which, of course, it’s not. The
navigation system and HFL are made to respond to
voice commands from just one person—and that’s
the driver. But that doesn’t mean your passengers
are treated like complete mutes, either. Once you’ve
placed or received a call with HFL, the microphone
assembly makes adjustments so that any of your
passengers can also join in on the call.
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Old 06-02-2010, 01:15 PM
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Thanks for the input. I know the RL isn't a rocket sled, nor am I expecting It to be. I just want something that is reasonably quick and will get out of its own way. As long as its not anything like my uncle's 1999 GS300.

Something I also forgot to ask is about observed gas mileage. The EPA ratings arent that great, but what are y'all acually seeing im mixed driving. My 9-3 gets about 18-21mpg, and around 28mpg highway. (With a heavy foot)
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Old 06-02-2010, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by adam84 View Post
Thanks for the input. I know the RL isn't a rocket sled, nor am I expecting It to be. I just want something that is reasonably quick and will get out of its own way. As long as its not anything like my uncle's 1999 GS300.

Something I also forgot to ask is about observed gas mileage. The EPA ratings arent that great, but what are y'all acually seeing im mixed driving. My 9-3 gets about 18-21mpg, and around 28mpg highway. (With a heavy foot)
If you search for MPG or mileage you will see a lot of answers from people over the years.

Me I tend to get ~21 mixed, and ~28 on the highway with cruise control
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Old 06-02-2010, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Chas2 View Post
And it was. The 2009+ models use the real estate originally reserved for On-Star controls to allow reconfiguration of the microphone system to a dual mike setup. This "stereo" setup ...
Huh, sure seems like my 2006 has dual microphones
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Old 06-02-2010, 02:35 PM
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Here's my :

1) Reliability & maintenance costs - I have a 2006 with 37,000 miles on it. Haven't had a problem with it yet . Starts every time and runs like new. During the warranty period my dealer provided free oil changes, so my maintenance costs have been more than reasonable.

2) Fit & Finish Quality over time - Again, a 2006 with 37,000 miles on it, but it is still as buttoned down as the day I picked it up from the dealer 4 years ago. Everything fits and is in its proper place. I did have to have the driver's door handle replaced a couple of times though.

3) Ride - I have the A-Spec suspenders and 19" wheels. Even at that, I love the ride. On the highway it's as lux as the standard set up when the road is smooth, but you do get a little more bumps and thumps over compromised surfaces. Never really harsh or jarring however.

4) Performance - Plenty for me.

5) Tires/Rims - I have 19's which I like esthetically and dynamically.


Hard to go wrong with the RL. It is arguably, the best car I have owned to date.
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Old 06-02-2010, 03:35 PM
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I got 25-26 mpg on the freeway with a heavy (75-80 mph) foot, and about 17-18 in the city.
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by phishfood View Post
Huh, sure seems like my 2006 has dual microphones
Look at the service news picture and you will see the difference in the set up. It is not clear if the original RL had two microphones, or just two grills so that a microphone could be placed for right hand and left hand drive as required. While unlikely, it is also possible the other grill is for OnStar. Regardless, the 2009 has a quite different set up, which is also used in the new gen TSX and TL according to the service news
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Chas2 View Post
Look at the service news picture and you will see the difference in the set up. It is not clear if the original RL had two microphones, or just two grills so that a microphone could be placed for right hand and left hand drive as required. While unlikely, it is also possible the other grill is for OnStar. Regardless, the 2009 has a quite different set up, which is also used in the new gen TSX and TL according to the service news

Dammit, now I need a newer RL.

Thanks alot.

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Old 06-03-2010, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by adam84 View Post
So my questions to you guys and gals are:

How is the reliability and maintenance costs (any AWD issues)
How does the car hold up over time (leather, interior trim, squeaks/rattles)
How is the ride quality (Floaty, Firm)
Performance (Used to a turbo with good low-midrange torque)
I really like RonJon's legend (liquid graphite) wheels for this car. Do 19's tarnish the ride quality or would it be advisable to stick with the stock size.
Reliability = bullet proof. I've owned both a 2000 and a 2005. No AWD issues.

Holds up very well. If you don't take it to the dealer - ever - then your chances of not having any rattles and/or other issues improves greatly. Mine settled after the first year and now has no rattles/squeaks at 92K miles.

Ride quality is excellent but shocks wear out and it feels lose around 75K miles. Replace with OEM shocks and the excellent ride comes back.

Very little torque at low rpm to the point of being annoying at times. Other than that, it has plenty and adequate power to move the 4K pounds +.

I would not go above 18" wheels because it will certainly ruin the ride.
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Old 06-03-2010, 05:25 PM
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About how much does shock replacement cost on an RL (give or take)
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Old 06-03-2010, 07:01 PM
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I was tooling around the internet, and found this RL. Hopefully I can go test drive it next week to see if I really like them as well as you all. http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.js...standard=false
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by adam84 View Post
About how much does shock replacement cost on an RL (give or take)
I bought replacement shocks (less than 1K miles on them) from a forum member who installed A-spec suspension. I don't remember how much I paid but it was very reasonable - there may be others who have them.
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Old 06-04-2010, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by neuronbob View Post
I got 25-26 mpg on the freeway with a heavy (75-80 mph) foot, and about 17-18 in the city.
Same here. Around 18 city/24-25 hwy; the only way I got even close to 28 on the highway is going downhill w/the foot off the gas. Of course, I'm trading "get there sooner" for the decrease in efficiency.

You would swear, with a V6 and high compression (alright, I didn't look it up, but don't almost all Acuras have higher compression ratios?), we could get a bit more MPG.
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Old 06-04-2010, 08:19 PM
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Nice, the mileage sounds more than reasonable for a car of this size.

I don't know about where y'all are, but around here, (Charlotte Metro) you NEVER see 05-10 RLs. Everyone seems to get TLs and TSXs. This seems to be a highly overlooked car, but thats one reason why I'm drawn to it. I like driving something you dont see everyday.
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by 1HOT NSX View Post
Very little torque at low rpm to the point of being annoying at times.

Boy you got THAT right! God, I hate that. And I thought it was just me.

But once its over that, she screams. Both of my Acuras (the other being a CL) scream once they are up to speed, and at ANY speed. The higher the better!(Vtec)
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:24 PM
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Is it possible to add the A-spec kit to an 09+ model to give it a lower stance
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Old 06-09-2010, 09:20 PM
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They did not offer it as such. You would have to look at all the interfaces to see if they are the same part #s as the 05-08's. That is how I figured out that I could put the A-Spec on my '06 ACC/CMBS/PAX car even though the dealer and Acura literature said no way...N/A for this model.

I went to a knowledgeable parts manager in the dealership and we looked up all the interfaces and part numbers on the ACC/CMBS/PAX cars vs the non ACC/CMBS/PAX cars and found all the part numbers were the same, except for the rear dampers, and even then all the interfaces to the rear dampers were the same. In subsequent years, we learned that the rear dampers were valved differently (softer) for the heavy PAX tires.

You could follow the same investigative path with the '09's.
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Old 06-10-2010, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by adam84 View Post
Thanks for the input. I know the RL isn't a rocket sled, nor am I expecting It to be. I just want something that is reasonably quick and will get out of its own way. As long as its not anything like my uncle's 1999 GS300.

Something I also forgot to ask is about observed gas mileage. The EPA ratings arent that great, but what are y'all acually seeing im mixed driving. My 9-3 gets about 18-21mpg, and around 28mpg highway. (With a heavy foot)
I wouldn't say I have a heavy foot but there's a ton of stop and go traffic and the car is very heavy.

I average about 17mpg city and 28 hwy.
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