2008 Acura RL Sedan Review | Edmunds.com
 

2008 Acura RL Sedan

 
 

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Acura RL Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 290 hp @ 6200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/24 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes
 

Review of the 2008 Acura RL

  • The 2008 Acura RL is neither fast nor flashy, but this luxurious and technology-packed sedan is a smart choice for value-conscious luxury sedan shoppers interested in maximum all-weather handling and safety.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Outstanding all-weather handling, long list of standard features, attractive interior, superb stereo, seamless integration of multiple complex technologies, high crash test scores.

  • Cons

    Modest V6 power in a class that often offers V8 grunt, anonymous styling, somewhat numb steering.

  • What's New for 2008

    There are no significant changes for the 2008 Acura RL.

 
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (19 total reviews)


Love this car

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Acura RL 4dr Sedan AWD w/Technology Package (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

I bought this car as Certified Pre-Owned, with 70k miles, and it's been great in all regards. The stock tires were not good in snow, so I bought snow tires and put them on dedicated rims, and wow! The car is amazing in the snow. It's also a heavy car, so it holds tight to the road, like it's on rails. Is quiet and responsive but not demanding. A few minor issues: Chrome on the grill is peeling, which I see on all RLs of that year in our area. Acura had the brass to tell me the "solution" is to wipe down the chrome with a towel after every rain and snow! How about taking some responsibility, Acura!? Also, keyless entry door handle needed replacement, which is a common problem.




Artfully subtle luxury and performance

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Acura RL 4dr Sedan AWD w/Technology Package (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

Does everything well instead of compromising one performance area to excel in another. For example, corners as if on rails but preserves quiet, comfortable ride. The engine is smooth and quiet around town but makes operatic noises at the top of the rev range. This is the perfect luxury car for with enough confidence to eschew driving a visible status symbol. I drove Audis before they went upscale to compete directly with Mercedes and BMW. This Acura now fills that niche of artful, understated luxury that makes one look smart, not status conscious.




Former collector-had ferrari, lotus, jag

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Acura RL 4dr Sedan AWD w/Technology Package (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

Great handling, feels like the vehicle is glued to the road due to the SH-AWD. Requires high test although gas mileage is reasonable. Excellent acceleration for a 4000 pound vehicle. Roomy, high tech voice command system, fabulous 5.1 surround sound and backup camera which I wanted. Also has manual shift via paddles on the steering wheel, and Acura reliability. Everything works as intended. Drive one, you'll buy it.



 
 
 
Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 16
  • cty
/
  • 24
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Full 2008 Acura RL Review

What's New for 2008

There are no significant changes for the 2008 Acura RL.

Introduction

Ever since the Acura RL replaced its Legend forbear, it has been saddled with the sort of anonymous image shared with pan flute artists and Delaware. It's a pity, because this second-generation 2008 RL is a great luxury sedan with athletic handling, premium build quality and high levels of user-friendly technology.

With horsepower ratings in its category soaring higher and higher, though, the RL's 290-horsepower V6 is underwhelming considering smaller sport sedans offer V6s that produce 300 horses or more. Furthermore, although six-cylinders are perfectly adequate in this segment, other cars like the Infiniti M and Lexus GS also offer V8s. The RL's five-speed automatic also stands in contrast to the six-speed units of its competitors. Still, the flagship Acura sets itself apart with its standard Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive system that not only aids wet-weather traction, but provides tenacious grip in corners by sending more power to the outside rear wheel to push the car through a turn.

The 2008 Acura RL also offers a tremendous number of high-tech features. Items like Bluetooth and keyless entry/ignition are standard, along with a 10-speaker surround sound system so superb that you'd swear Gladys Knight was riding shotgun with the Pips crammed in back. The Technology package adds adaptive headlights that illuminate where the car is going instead of where it's pointing, and a GPS-linked climate control system that observes where the sun is shining into the car and adjusts the temperature in those areas. That package also includes Acura's excellent navigation system with real-time traffic, which can be programmed easily using voice commands. Another package adds adaptive cruise control and accident-sensing emergency braking technology.

If you can survive with rather anonymous styling and average acceleration, the 2008 Acura RL is a very smart buy considering its relatively low price. Similarly equipped competitors from Audi, BMW, Lexus and Mercedes can cost upwards of $10,000 more than the Acura. The Infiniti M series offers the same type of value, but with more visual excitement and a V8 engine in the M45. Shoppers in this class should make sure to check out both of these excellent Japanese luxury sedans before signing on the dotted line.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Acura RL is a large luxury sedan available in three trim levels: RL, RL with Technology package and the eloquently named RL with Technology package plus CMBS and PAX run-flat tires. The base RL comes very well stocked with 17-inch alloy wheels, power and heated front seats, leather upholstery, real wood trim, a sunroof, keyless ignition, Bluetooth connectivity, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and a 10-speaker Bose surround sound system with six-disc CD/DVD-audio changer, satellite radio and auxiliary audio jack. The Technology package adds adaptive headlights, a rearview camera, a GPS-linked and solar-sensing climate control system, and a navigation system with real-time traffic and voice command functionality. The CMBS and PAX run-flat tires adds adaptive cruise control, Acura's Collision Mitigation Braking System technology and (obviously) run-flat tires.

Powertrains and Performance

The sole engine available in the RL is a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 290 hp and 256 pound-feet of torque. This allows a 0-60 time in the high 6-second range, just above par for six-cylinder large luxury sedans. A five-speed automatic transmission with automanual shift paddles sends power to the Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system. SH-AWD can send varying degrees of torque to each individual wheel to improve handling and wet-weather traction.

Safety

Standard safety features include antilock disc brakes, front seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and a stability control system. The optional CMBS can help prevent or minimize a frontal accident by providing warnings to the driver or actually applying emergency braking. All RLs gets a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for frontal impact and side impact safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the RL a "Good" rating (the highest possible) in both its offset frontal collision and side-impact tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The RL's interior is beautifully crafted and attractive to behold. A swath of real wood trim flows into a neat waterfall center stack that integrates the car's sizable number of electronic functions. With the optional Technology package, major functions like audio, climate and navigation systems can be controlled by voice commands, buttons on the steering wheel and dash, or through a multipurpose control knob and LCD screen. These redundant controls may seem confusing in description, but give the driver choices in how to access commonly used functions. Some may find the power front seats to be a little flat, and although heated, they lack the cooling feature of many competing models.

Driving Impressions

The SH-AWD system in the 2008 Acura RL works transparently but very effectively to maintain traction under the worst of circumstances. Driving enthusiasts will likely find that the RL's steering is a bit numb and slow, however, and the cushy ride gets downright mushy as the RL approaches its handling limits. Acura's flagship sedan isn't exciting, but it's absolutely competent and makes an excellent everyday luxury sedan.

Talk About The 2008 RL

2008 Acura RL Discussions See all Started By

turner433
turner433
08-28-2007
Has anybody else out there noticed that the 2008 Honda Accord sedan has the same chassis as the Acura RL? It looks like Honda created the 2008 Accord sedan by taking an RL, slightly changing the exte...


michael0137
michael0137
04-13-2011
RLs are being discontinued according to my dealer - -and why not? You can get a TL with SH-AWD now. Acura going for a higher end flagship to compete with Lexus. Grab one now - they are sweet cars a...


rv65
rv65
06-17-2008
2010: 2011 NSX sucessor but could be MY2010, 2011 RL FMC...