2010 Acura RL Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2010 Acura RL Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
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.

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.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Better then most

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Acura RL 4dr Sedan AWD (3.7L 6cyl 5A)

Though the RL is my wife's car I have driven it many times. In the past 20 years I have had several Mercede Benz's & BMW's (eleven total). At present we have a 2010 corvette & 2010 RL. The RL beats all my other cars in build quality, comfort, reliability and great value. I feel I am in a much better position to make an evaluation on the best cars then most critics. For the money, the Acura RL is one of the best luxory cars on the market. Better then most cars and we finally found reliability the way it should be.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Acura rl luxury with technology

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Acura RL 4dr Sedan AWD w/Technology Package (3.7L 6cyl 5A)

I recently purchased the Acura 2010 RL with the Technology Package. I am extremely pleased with this decision. In my opinion, it is a true luxury car with great agility, plenty of power, fun to drive, and many extras that exceed expectations. The wood and leather steering wheel, blue highlighted instrument panel, cool and heated ventilated seats, voice commands to control almost every interior function with the option of easily making manual choices, a very high tech navigation system, and very comfortable seats with a lot of leg, shoulder, and head room. For the money, it is the best luxury car on the market.

Forgetten car

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Acura RL 4dr Sedan AWD w/Technology Package (3.7L 6cyl 5A)

First of all, this is a great car to drive and I am happy to own it. Good handling on the curve Lower price with many high end options

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Forgetten car

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Acura RL 4dr Sedan AWD w/Technology Package (3.7L 6cyl 5A)

compared to price it has most of features and nice ride.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Even better than my 06

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Acura RL 4dr Sedan AWD w/Technology Package (3.7L 6cyl 5A)

The 2010 has the new face, a tighter feel with handling and has more power and room. With an Ipod hook up, a great finish and a classier interior, I like my 2010 way better than my 2006 I just sold.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Better than my 2006

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Acura RL 4dr Sedan AWD w/Technology Package (3.7L 6cyl 5A)

The RL is way better than before! I sold my 2006 got a good amount for it too, but the 2010 is way better. The handling is incredibly tight, the interior is much richer and though it is not as quick as the TL, it is faster and smoother. It is not for everyone, but if you like a supremely quiet smooth ride and ultra tight handling, the new RL is for you. I really like the new grill and the I Pod hook up too.

Talk About The 2010 RL

2010 Acura RL Discussions See all Started By

2010 RDX will get a facelift. It will get that Power Plenum grille that Acura really likes. The Power plenum grille is the same grille as the 09 TL, RL, and TSX. Acura has decided to build a cheaper F...

Acura RL and TL were having same kidaaa working. TL is bit advanced. I drove both RL and TL, but I still stick with RL which Im using....

and expect a possible V8 engine from the 2010 RL if produced."...

Gas Mileage


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