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.
Incredible all-wheel drive traction. Great handling in the snow.
Chrome paint on grill peels/flakes off over just a couple of years.
Keyless entry has reliability problems, due to bad seals and water leaking in.
A-pillar (bars on each side of the windshield running from hood to roof) creates a pretty bad blind spot for traffic coming from right. My wife hates driving the car for this reason, though I love the car despite it and find it relatively easy to adjust to.
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.
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.
Backup camera, voice command system, rotating headlamps and the audio 5.1 surround sound system.
More horsepower, better gas mileage and regular gasoline. From an engineering perspective, these suggestions are mutually exclusive, so take your pick.
A co-worker of mine gave me a ride to work one morning. She picked me up in her Acura RL. By the time we reached work I believe I repeated the phrase - "this is a great car" - about 5 times. Well I own one now, just completed one year of ownership. Let me tell you folks there is no better value for money in the luxury category. I compared the RL to the BMW 5 and the Audi A6 and I saved about $15k easily. The best car that I have owned bar none. You are surrounded in luxury and comfort. The AWD, steering and handling are superb. I wonder how I ever survived the LA labyrinth without my Acura nav system - it is amazing. The only negative is the rear middle seat, it is uncomfortable.
Navigation, AWD, steering, handling, Bose stereo system. The exterior design of the 2008 is better than the 2009 in my view. It is conservative and will stand the test of time easily. Love my optional wooden steering wheel - the right size and very easy to control.
Improve rear middle seat, make it a comfortable 5 passenger vehicle, right now it is more a 4 passenger than a 5. Improve choice of colors - exterior and interior. Market it better.
I got my RL (top of the line) by the end of Nov. 2007. So far it's fine. It drives well with very good highway mileage considering AWD. The average mileage rate was over 30 mi/gal in long distance driving. Before I purchased it, I searched the market well. For about $50K Mercedes/BMW/Audi were some offering their stripped versions. If you own the top of the line luxury car, your dealer treats you like a king for maintenance calls (your loaner there if need be). One thing was bad about these sports cars, they are so low. Even cement divider on parking lots touches your fender if you are not careful. Tires are so expensive (PAX system). If you damage it, prepare to pay $500 per tire change.
Well handling. I am happy with the agility. When I touch the gas pedal, it moves. It is a good feeling after driving heavy American cars. It has every possible amenities and electronic gadgets. Good mileage is very important in these days as well. I liked auto adjusting headlights when cornering.
Voice recognition stinks. You cannot enter a phone number by telling it while moving. I gave up on that. The only method is to put all possible numbers into phone book (after trying many times). It must be designed for Japanese accent. Using the electronic features is not intuitive for same reason.