Used 2012 Acura RL

2012 Acura RL
List Price Estimate
$10,418 - $16,237

Pros & Cons

  • All-wheel drive
  • wealth of standard features
  • high-class interior
  • excellent build quality
  • superb stereo
  • smart technology interface.
  • Same size as the less expensive TL
  • subpar braking distances
  • no V8 engine offered
  • aging design.

Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2012 Acura RL is a capable luxury sedan, but newer competitors are more appealing overall.

Vehicle overview

The luxury sedan arena is fiercely competitive, so much so that having a powerful engine, all the latest luxury gadgets and a handsome cabin chock full of high-end features may not be enough. Case in point: the 2012 Acura RL. While it has a 300-horsepower V6, standard all-wheel drive, a classy interior, top-notch build quality and plenty of features, the Acura flagship sadly remains off the radar of discerning shoppers.

The RL's invisibility in this segment probably has something to do with its rather dated styling. The RL's bland lines just don't catch eyes like its more fashionable, more recently styled rivals. Furthermore, while its engine's output is certainly adequate, most rivals offer the option of V8 power. In its favor, the RL is unexpectedly athletic thanks to its advanced Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system, which automatically and seamlessly apportions power to individual wheels to improve both traction and handling.

In the end, though, the 2012 Acura RL struggles to get noticed amid more tempting competitors. The Hyundai Genesis is fully competitive in terms of luxury, yet even the 4.6-liter V8 version significantly undercuts the RL on price. Meanwhile, more traditional (and newer) choices like the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, Infiniti M37 and Mercedes E-Class are either sportier, more prestigious or even both. Acura's own TL is much the same size as the RL, offers a similar drivetrain and yet is more than $8,000 cheaper. With so many other cars to choose from, it's really not too surprising that the RL gets lost in the mix.

Acura RL models

The 2012 Acura RL is a midsize luxury sedan that is available in three trim levels (though the two upper "trims" are really just a pair of packages).

Standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic xenon headlights, a sunroof, keyless ignition/entry, heated 10-way power front seats with driver memory functions, a power tilt-and-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 a six-CD changer, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB/iPod audio interface.

The RL with the Technology package adds adaptive headlights, a back-up camera, rear parking sensors, heated and ventilated front seats, a 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, Zagat restaurant ratings and voice activation.

The RL with the Advance package adds adaptive cruise control and the Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), along with power-folding side mirrors and real wood cabin accents.

2012 Highlights

For 2012, the Acura RL is unchanged.

Performance & mpg

Every 2012 Acura RL comes with Acura's "Super-Handling" all-wheel-drive system that automatically apportions power to the optimum wheels for the best traction and handling, reacting to road conditions to deliver a superior all-weather automobile.

Powering the RL is a 3.7-liter V6 that produces 300 hp and 271 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift paddles is standard. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined.

Safety

Standard safety features for the Acura RL include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. The available collision warning system can help prevent or minimize a frontal accident by providing warnings to the driver or actually applying emergency braking if a collision seems unavoidable.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the RL its highest rating of "Good" in its frontal-offset and side-collision tests. It scored the second-worst rating of "Marginal," however, in roof-strength tests. In Edmunds brake testing, the RL delivered a lackluster 131-foot stop from 60 mph. Most competitors record results that are 10 feet shorter.

Driving

The 2012 Acura RL's rather conservative appearance might lead some to assume that the ride quality and driving dynamics may be more akin to an overly softened luxury car, but they'd be wrong. The ride quality is balanced between luxurious compliance and sporty agility. Thanks to the SH-AWD system, the RL is one of the more entertaining choices in the segment. The RL's V6 engine revs smoothly and provides respectably quick acceleration.

Interior

The 2012 Acura RL features an attractive and well-built interior that is comparable to most other luxury sedans. The wood trim -- simulated or authentic depending on the model's trim level -- frames the waterfall-style center stack, adding warmth to the overall interior design.

There are quite a few buttons and knobs in the cockpit, but the voice-activated system and controls on the steering wheel deliver easier operation. We found the standard 10-speaker Bose audio system particularly notable for its clarity and power. On the downside, the navigation system's graphics seem outdated when compared to competing luxury sedans. The trunk space also leaves a bit to be desired, accommodating a slightly below-average 13.1 cubic feet.

Scorecard

Overallundefined / 5

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2012 Acura RL.

5 star reviews: 100%
4 star reviews: 0%
3 star reviews: 0%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 0%
Average user rating: 5.0 stars based on 2 total reviews

Trending topics in reviews

  • value
  • reliability & manufacturing quality
  • interior
  • dashboard
  • ride quality
  • sound system
  • acceleration
  • road noise
  • driving experience
  • handling & steering
  • appearance
  • oil
  • maintenance & parts

Most helpful consumer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars, Buy This Underrated Luxury Sedan
tjazz1,

This may be the best value in the industry for mid-sized luxury sedans. I am very grateful for the car mags and pundits dismissing this fine vehicle as boring...dated...average...not keeping up... because it means I was able to buy a new one for $46K (Tech version). This is my second RL (last was '06) and is a subtle step forward. Strong acceleration that gets better high in the range (thanks to the perfected V-Tec). Amazing super AWD that keeps the cap balanced at all times in hard conering (others still trying to catch up with this innovation). Very versatile driving positions, and logical control layout. This car does everything very well, with class. How boring!

5 out of 5 stars, best car for it's value.. ever
mung27,
4dr Sedan AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A)

It's Nov 2015. Which means this review is as about as update as it gets (so far). Car is a decade old (I bought the '05 version, not the '12 listed.) and its still amazing. Its like a great marriage. Reliable, dependable and know what to expect. I had Subaru's prior to this car. Living in the great NW, its a must to have AWD. To list its "perks" will take up so much space. Its pretty much clicking "option all".. Standard. Its a tank in the snow, literally. Brakes are amazing, but because of the weight, braking takes some getting used to. Stereo is amazing, couple with the quiet, smooth ride. This car went for roughly 47k 10yrs ago, I can see why. Only have the oil changed routinely. Other then that, no real "cost" to own and maintain. Not to mention the awd is amazing so this car only needs all seasons. As for"performance". Its sports "luxury", not a race car. The power is there when its needed, but this car is at its most fun in corners. The balance on this car is incredible. For those that may get a lemon, I'm sorry. For those that have found one that has been appreciated.. Finders keepers. Keep it !!

Write a review

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Features & Specs

4dr Sedan AWD features & specs
4dr Sedan AWD
3.7L 6cyl 6A
MPG 17 city / 24 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
300 hp @ 6300 rpm

Technology Package 4dr Sedan AWD features & specs
Technology Package 4dr Sedan AWD
3.7L 6cyl 6A
MPG 17 city / 24 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
300 hp @ 6300 rpm

Advance Package 4dr Sedan AWD features & specs
Advance Package 4dr Sedan AWD
3.7L 6cyl 6A
MPG 17 city / 24 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
300 hp @ 6300 rpm

Technology Package - in HI 4dr Sedan AWD features & specs
Technology Package - in HI 4dr Sedan AWD
3.7L 6cyl 6A
MPG 17 city / 24 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
300 hp @ 6300 rpm

See all Used 2012 Acura RL features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
DriverNot Rated
PassengerNot Rated
Side Crash RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
Side Barrier RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
DriverNot Rated
PassengerNot Rated
Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
Front SeatNot Rated
Back SeatNot Rated
RolloverRating
Rollover5 / 5
Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
Risk Of Rollover9.7%

IIHS Rating

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.

Side Impact Test
Good
Roof Strength Test
Marginal
Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
Good
IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
Moderate Overlap Front Test
Good

FAQ

Is the Acura RL a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2012 RL both on the road and at the track. You probably care about Acura RL fuel economy, so it's important to know that the RL gets an EPA-estimated 20 mpg. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the RL has 13.1 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Acura RL. Learn more

Is the Acura RL reliable?

To determine whether the Acura RL is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the RL. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the RL's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2012 Acura RL a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2012 Acura RL is a good car. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2012 RL is a good car for you. Check back soon for the official Edmunds Rating from our expert testing team Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2012 Acura RL?

The least-expensive 2012 Acura RL is the 2012 Acura RL 4dr Sedan AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $48,200.

Other versions include:

  • 4dr Sedan AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A) which starts at $48,200
  • Technology Package 4dr Sedan AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A) which starts at $52,350
  • Advance Package 4dr Sedan AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A) which starts at $56,150
  • Technology Package - in HI 4dr Sedan AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A) which starts at $52,350
Learn more

What are the different models of Acura RL?

If you're interested in the Acura RL, the next question is, which RL model is right for you? RL variants include 4dr Sedan AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A), Technology Package 4dr Sedan AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A), Advance Package 4dr Sedan AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A), and Technology Package - in HI 4dr Sedan AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A). For a full list of RL models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2012 Acura RL

Used 2012 Acura RL Overview

The Used 2012 Acura RL is offered in the following submodels: RL Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A), Technology Package 4dr Sedan AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A), Advance Package 4dr Sedan AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A), and Technology Package - in HI 4dr Sedan AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A).

What do people think of the 2012 Acura RL?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2012 Acura RL and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2012 RL 5.0 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2012 RL.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2012 Acura RL and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2012 RL featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2012 Acura RL?

Which 2012 Acura RLS are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2012 Acura RL for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2012 Acura RL.

Can't find a new 2012 Acura RLs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Acura RL for sale - 4 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $12,814.

Find a new Acura for sale - 12 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $10,235.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2012 Acura RL?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Acura lease specials