Acura's top-notch luxo-sedan has grace, style, and knock-out looks.
Why isn't there a V-8 engine under the hood?
Acura has decided to take the road more traveled. After suffering at the hands of Lexus for the last several years, the new Acura flagship is introduced. Sporting an extremely solid feel, the 3.5RL has dropped the sport-sedan pose of its predecessor in favor of a very restrained luxury orientation. Acura feels that those who want a sporting sedan can step into their TL-Series of cars. The RL is here to be the big kahuna, on the order of the Infiniti Q45, Lexus LS 400 and BMW 750iL.
Which leaves us wondering why the 3.5RL doesn't offer a V8 engine. Every entrant in the luxo-barge segment has V8 power except for the 3.5RL. In typical Honda Motor Corporation fashion, the RL is equipped with a small engine that is supposed to feel big. This works fine on cars like the Integra or TL where the lightness of a smaller engine can be a benefit to handling, but we think that people who are plunking down between $40,000 and $50,000 will want the comfort and feel of a larger engine.
Acura engineers have worked overtime figuring out how to make this car quiet and vibration-free. Innovations like low-friction ball joints in the suspension, Teflon seals on the valves, a liquid-filled rear-trailing arm, foam-filled B- and C-pillars, honeycomb floor panels and vibration absorbing seats are just a few of the things the 3.5RL serves up to make you forget that you are in a car. Indeed, the entire purpose of the 3.5RL is to deliver passengers from Point A to Point B with minimal fuss and intrusion from the outside world.
Of course, to accomplish that goal Acura had to make things nice on the inside. The instrumentation and controls are first rate, nothing new for Acura. The very effective climate control system even offers rear passengers control over their environment. Seats are not just comfortable, they're like a feather bed. The driver's seat has an eight-way power adjustment that makes finding an exact fit easy. Supple leather and firm but comfortable support makes long trips a breeze. Rear-seat passengers won't suffer either. The RL has more foot and knee room than the Legend and the undersides of the front seats are carpeted to prevent scuffing the shoes of rear seat passengers. Of course the new Acura has all of the goodies standard on most luxury sedans, but it would be nice to see the CD-changer added to the standard equipment roster of the base model.
If all of this doesn't have you reaching for your checkbook, consider Acura's Navigation System. This system offers drivers a virtual map that they can use as a real-time guide to finding their way around town. Unlike similar designs, the Acura Navigation System offers verbal commands that will allow drivers to keep their eyes on the road. Wow, we may never get lost again.
While we are a little disappointed by the lack of a V8 engine, we are overjoyed with the car's price. Standard 3.5RLs have an MSRP of just over $41,000; premium models just under $45,000. Of rivals from Cadillac, Lexus and BMW, only the Cadillac has a lower base price, and that's without any options. The Acura 3.5RL comes fully equipped in a very tasteful package at a price that should make those missing two cylinders seem like a moot point. In fact, we've already forgotten about them.
Slight suspension enhancements provide sportier handling without sacrificing ride.
Read what other owners think about the Used 1998 Acura RL.
Continues to provide an excellent ride & reliability even after 10 years.
3 out of 5 stars
Where is the Legend
3.5 Special Edition 4dr Sedan
I owned both the 1988 and 1991 Acura
Legend. I have been nothing but
dissapointed with the 98 RL. This
year both rear electric window
mechanisms broke. The plastic pulley
wheel in the door (a $1 part) broke
(on both doors within two months of
each other). The cost for each $244.
You can only replace the entire motor
The power is lacking in the motor.
The noise inside is noticeably louder
than both of my previous legends.
On the bright side, it is as reliable
as the sun rising. One turn of the
key and it is ready to get me to work.
4.63 out of 5 stars
3.5 Premium 4dr Sedan
This has got to be my favorite car of all time. It has been a rock for me! As a single girl I need a reliable car that would not break down on me. This car was more than worth the total cost I paid. I have a 98 3.5RL and it has never broken down on me and I drive a ton of miles. I am currently at 325,000 miles and it is still going strong. I have taken good care of it and have had oil changes consistently. I highly recommend one of these cars!
5 out of 5 stars
Rock solid ,silky smooth!
3.5 Premium 4dr Sedan
This car has been a rock on wheels for the past 6 years I have purchased it with over 200,000 miles now it has 368,000 and still purring! Stick with premium gas and scheduled oil changes and this car will take you to the moon and back on silky concrete! Outstanding hwy vehicle.
The Used 1998 Acura RL is offered in the following submodels: RL Sedan. Available styles include 3.5 Special Edition 4dr Sedan, 3.5 4dr Sedan, and 3.5 Premium 4dr Sedan.
Pre-owned Acura RL models are available with a 3.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 210 hp, depending on engine type.
The Used 1998 Acura RL comes with front wheel drive.
Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic.
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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.