2010 Acura RL Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2010 Acura RL Sedan

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Acura RL Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.7 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 300 hp @ 6300 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/22 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation Yes
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2010 Acura RL

  • Though lacking in prestige and personality, the 2010 Acura RL is still luxurious and packed with technology. It's a smart choice for value-conscious luxury sedan shoppers.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Excellent all-weather handling, wealth of standard features, high-class interior, excellent build quality, superb stereo, smart technology interface, top-notch crash scores.

  • Cons

    Same size as the less expensive TL, so-so acceleration and fuel economy, subpar braking distances, no V8 engine offered.

  • What's New for 2010

    The Acura RL gains a standard USB/iPod interface for 2010. Models with the Technology package also receive a new solar-sensing temperature control feature.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (15 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

Excellent ride, needs better brakes

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Acura RL

Up to date, it has been a very enjoyable ride. Classy enough for my trade, as engineering consultant, and sporty enough for my younger heart. It has been, however, sifnificantly fuel thirsty, almost as my wive's MDX! However, dealership service has been excellent and the vehicle has operated flawlessly, unlike my previous Avalon! Overall, I'm happy with my purchase, except for braking performance.

I love this car

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Acura RL

I traded in my 2.5 year old Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland loaded with everything for this vehicle. The interior trim is excellent; the Nav system is far better then the Jeeps and as good as my husbands Audi A-8 system. The ride in this car is excellent, the vehicle is extremely quite and the sound system is exceptional. I am so pleased I purchased this car; I looked at the Cadillac and the Lincoln...the quality was no match. I believe I will be an Acura client for my next purchase too!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

It just doesn't get any

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Acura RL

As a business executive and also a mother, I wanted a vehicle that exuded class without snob appeal that needed little maintenance and had the room for my clients as well as my family of four. I found the exterior to be stylish, the interior incredibly plush and the surround sound audio system unbeatable.

2 of 8 people found this review helpful

Look elsewhere

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Acura RL

For someone who has never owned a decent car, I imagine that they would think the RL is great. But I have had so many reliability problems with it, I will NEVER buy an Acura again. The handling is pretty good, the car is fun to drive, even though it is slow. Overall, I would rate it a 7 out of 10.

Nice car...but.

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Acura RL

This is our second Acura. Over all this is a nice comfortable car. Long trips don't beat you up like some can. The AWD is rock solid on icy roads. My only gripe is that I have had problems with the heater on days that are below freezing. Even with the temp control set at 62 the passenger compartment gets very hot. Then it will turn on the ac and blow cold air into your face. Three different dealers couldn't find anything wrong. The car, compared with other 09 Acura's, when tested above freezing temps, are identical.


by on
Vehicle: 2009 Acura RL

This is my first Acura. I have driven about 4 different cars over the last year one of them in the same price range. I am impressed about the handling, the feel of quality material used, the quiet engine (the others had V8s). I enjoy just to go out and drive it, especially on curving roads. It feels like the car is glued onto the asphalt. The bumps in the road of course can be felt, the don't make you feel uncomfortable. The interior feels quite roomy. The interior design looks awesome. The price is on the low side of its class. I put reliability in with 8 points because I have owned the car for only one week. I have had not problems so far.

Full 2010 Acura RL Review

What's New for 2010

The Acura RL gains a standard USB/iPod interface for 2010. Models with the Technology package also receive a new solar-sensing temperature control feature.


The 2010 Acura RL just doesn't get much respect. It's luxuriously appointed and generously equipped, but many midsize luxury sedan shoppers overlook it. It boasts surprisingly capable handling and all-weather traction, yet it's forgotten as a contender among sport sedans. The RL's also the flagship of Acura's model lineup, but it's overshadowed by the similarly sized and cheaper TL. If Rodney Dangerfield were still with us, he'd probably drive one.

The lack of consumer interest toward the current RL stems from years of previous RL mediocrity, though Acura has been trying as of late to reverse the trend. Last year, it gave the RL a significant refresh that included new styling, a more powerful engine, revised suspension tuning, additional high-tech features and an update for its all-wheel-drive system. For 2010, the RL pretty much stands pat, though a standard iPod interface and optional solar-sensing climate control system have been added to the features roster.

What hasn't changed is that the latest RL is still a very sensible choice for a midsize luxury sedan. Notably, its lengthy list of available luxury and electronic features comes at a price that's thousands less than a similarly equipped European luxury sedan. The RL's all-wheel-drive system also lives up to its "Super-Handling" moniker, serving up additional traction in inclement weather and improving the car's cornering abilities. Top-notch safety scores and build quality further the RL's case.

All told, we think the 2010 Acura RL is a fine choice for a midsize luxury sedan, and only the Hyundai Genesis and Infiniti M35 can match or better the Acura's value proposition. But whether it's for prestige, image or ultimate V8 performance, many people are still going to be happier with cars like the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. And if the RL's attributes truly do appeal to you, the cheaper Acura TL SH-AWD offers virtually everything its big brother does save for wood trim and a couple extra features.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2010 Acura RL is a midsize luxury sedan technically available in three trim levels, although the two upper trims really consist of a pair of technology packages. Standard equipment on the RL includes 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic xenon headlights, a sunroof, keyless ignition/entry, heated eight-way power front seats with driver memory functions, a power tilt-telescoping steering wheel, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear seat climate controls, an auto-dimming mirror, a power rear sunshade and manual rear side sunshades.

Also standard are Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, voice commands for the audio and climate systems and a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system with six-CD changer, satellite radio, auxiliary audio jack and a USB/iPod audio interface.

The RL with Technology package adds adaptive headlights, a back-up camera, heated and ventilated front seats, wood-grain steering wheel and shift knob, upgraded Bluetooth phone connectivity, GPS-linked solar-sensing climate control, and a navigation system with real-time traffic, real-time weather and Zagat restaurant ratings. The RL with Technology and CMBS packages adds radar-guided adaptive cruise control and the Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS).

Powertrains and Performance

Every 2010 Acura RL comes with Acura's "Super-Handling" all-wheel-drive system that automatically proportions power to the optimum wheels for the best handling and wet-weather traction. The only engine available is a 3.7-liter V6 that produces 300 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift paddles is standard. In performance testing, the RL went from zero to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined.


Standard safety features include antilock disc brakes with brake assist, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, active front head restraints 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 if a collision seems unavoidable.

All RLs get a top five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for front-impact and side-impact safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the RL a "Good" rating (the highest possible) in its frontal-offset and side-collision tests. In our own brake testing, the RL delivered a lackluster 131-foot stop from 60 mph. Most competitors are at least 10 feet shorter.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2010 Acura RL's interior is beautifully crafted and attractively designed. A swath of convincing or real (depending on trim level) wood trim flows into a neat waterfall center stack that integrates the car's sizable number of electronic functions. The standard 10-speaker Bose surround-sound system is so superb that you'd swear Gladys Knight was riding shotgun, with the Pips crammed in back. Unfortunately, they'd find just as much space in the less expensive Acura TL which has a pretty good stereo, too.

Even without the optional Technology package, major functions like audio and climate systems can be controlled by voice commands, buttons on the steering wheel and dash or a multipurpose control knob and LCD screen. These redundant controls may seem confusing in description, but they let the driver choose how to access commonly used functions. The trunk measures 13.1 cubic feet in capacity, a somewhat smallish figure for this class.

Driving Impressions

The SH-AWD system in the 2010 Acura RL works transparently but very effectively to maintain traction under the worst of circumstances. Along with the newly firmed-up suspension, it also provides cornering abilities that are more "sports car" than "luxury sedan." Overall, Acura's flagship offers a nice balance between a cushy ride and competent handling and is indeed a lot more fun to drive than its staid exterior would indicate.

Talk About The 2010 RL

Gas Mileage


  • 16
  • cty
  • 22
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs