Pros keyless entry memorizes customized driving environment, spectacular sound system, ease of use for technology
Cons back seat and trunk a tad smaller than competitors
Summary I spent a huge amount of time comparing the competitors in this category (Audi A6, BMW5, Mercedes E350, Lexus GS) and the Acura RL wins hands down. The value (it comes without options fully loaded) is excellent and the technology integrates seamlessly into your "drive-flow". The interface is easy to use and it is rare that there isn't a dash button for what you need. You rarely have to joy-stick down into deep menu levels (only to customize settings). The ability to customize seat settings, mirrors, sound system and climate preferences and then have them implemented when you enter the car keylessly is delightful, especially if your tastes differ from those of your wife. The navigation system is right-on and the ability to "see" the traffic situation for your entire trip to work before you pull out of your garage is extraordinarily helpful. The 10 speaker Bose sound system with 5.1 channel DVD audio is impressive. The salesman described the car as a perfect sound chamber that drives and he wasn't far off the mark. I haven't gotten my blue tooth phone yet, so I can't comment first hand, but the capabilities for phone integration are impressive. Couple all this with an amazing performance vehicle (see Road and Driver for these details) and legendary Acura/Honda reliability and this car is the clear winner in the category of luxury performance sedan.
"A Tech Work Of Art"on by DCRider
Pros Everything but the price.
Cons The price, the price, and, uh, the price!
Summary Since day one (middle of last October), this car has been a winner. Not one problem. Not one disappointment. A technological masterpiece and a crowd gatherer, this is the vehicle that has a new BMW owner who parks near me crying over his lease.
Wouldn't trade it for 2 Lexus' and an Infiniti. Acura's best vehicle yet.
Pros The SH-AWD really provides impressive cornering ability. The NavTraffic system is very useful in the DC area. Bluetooth-based Handfree Link works as advertised.
Cons I would like a slightly bigger trunk. Turning radius is a little large. Seats that cool as well as heat would be nice.
Summary It has been a pleasure owning this car for the past month. I haven't had an ounce of trouble from it. I'm still impressed with the level of standard features for the price. Of course, the SH-AWD system makes the car somewhat heavy and it increases fuel consumption, so people should be warned about that when considering this car.
When it comes to the technological goodies in the car, the user interface is not perfect, but it is much more user-friendly than on some other cars. The iDrive-type Interface Dial is more of an option than a necessity. Voice commands work well, as do the "old-fashioned" buttons for turning on the climate control, radio, etc. Anyone who has driven a recent Honda or Acura should have an easy transition to this car.
As far as the drive is concerned, the RL is somewhere between the quiet-as-death Lexus GS and the aggressively sporty Infiniti M. Don't expect this RL to feel cushiony soft and smooth like its predecessor.
The NavTraffic system works well if you are fortunate enough to live in one of the 20 supported metro areas. The adage, "a picture is worth a thousand words" applies to this system, if you are a visual person. It's convenient to be able to look at the screen for about 1 second and get an instant overview of the traffic.
The audio system in this car is phenomenal, especially considering that this is the standard system. There are systems in other cars out there that might be more capable, but this is an excellent standard-equipment system and it is well integrated into the other systems of the car such as the Handsfree Link.
Overall, the Acura RL is like a systems integration project on wheels, and those systems are integrated quite well. A true geekmobile, a gadget lover's delight.
Pros great for thoose who love gadgets. Steep learning curve, however.
Cons Road noise excessive. OEM tires have low noise ratings and Acura refuses to replace them with tires which have a better noise rating.
Summary Car is as advertised except for the noisy interior. Drives and handles well. Would like a shorter turn radius. Sound system is awesome. XM radio is great. No commercials. Never thought I'd love GPS so much. Will never buy another car without it.Voice commands are probably not worth the effort.
Pros Very good GPS and audio system. Comfortable, handles well in snow. Reasonably quick.
Cons Could use slightly more room in rear. Turning circle too large. Low city MPG (so far)
Summary I've owned an RL for six months and am very pleased with its features and performance. The car could use an inch or two extra in the rear seat, but I never sit there. Since I live in the Northeast the AWD was an important factor in my purchase, and it works well. I didn't find the GPS all that difficult to learn, but then, I'm into gadgets. One thing I don't like is that the turning circle is large and due to this the RL is difficult to parallel park, almost impossible if the space is tight. Although a rear view camera is not available, a back-up warning system is a dealer option. A three-year warrantee extension is also a reasonable (in my case) dealer option.