Full load of equipment, optional DVD navigation system, reputation for quality and reliability.
Front-drive with a V6 in a sea of V8 RWD competitors, bland exterior styling.
The 3.5-liter RL now makes a generous 225 horsepower (up 15 from last year), and 231 pound-feet of torque, but a V8 engine still isn't available. The luxury sedan's double-wishbone suspension has been tuned for sportier handling characteristics this year, and wider, low-profile Michelins shoe the redesigned 16-inch alloy wheels. Noise and vibration should be quelled better by additional insulation material under the hood and dashboard, and the OnStar communications system makes its debut. Outside, the 2002 RL is freshened by new body-colored lower side sills, splash guards and roof strips.
The wallflower in the luxury sedan class.
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2002 Acura RL 3.5 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 4A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $4.06 per gallon for premium unleaded in Virginia.
The 3.5 RL, Acura's flagship, is athletic, extremely quiet, luxurious and priced right: All of which makes it a serious contender in the luxury sedan market despite its V6, front-drive layout.
We're most impressed by the efforts taken by Acura engineers to make the RL as quiet, smooth and solid as possible. Mission accomplished. The RL rides like a cloud on greased rails. This welcome feat was accomplished by adding 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. For 2002, Acura intends to isolate noise and vibration further by stuffing more insulation material under the hood, in the engine compartment and under the dashboard.
The company's efforts, however, would be for naught if the interior designers had slipped even a little. No fear. Switchgear and controls possess the same Acura quality we've counted on for years, the seats are a utopian dream of comfort and the multi-zone climate-control system allows all passengers, including those in the rear, control over their environment.
And don't worry about the sticker being run up when you select a few options -- the RL is available in one trim level only and includes everything you'd expect in a luxury sedan, including safety equipment such as high-intensity headlights, side airbags and a highly advanced handling control system called Vehicle Stability Assist. For 2002, Acura has even made the OnStar communications system standard on the RL.
The only option is the navigation system. We still think it's one of the best systems out there. It covers the entire continental United States on a single DVD and supplies verbal instructions that allow drivers to keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel.
For 2002, the RL gets a new sport suspension featuring firmer spring and damping rates, larger stabilizer bars and wider, low-profile all-season performance tires. Engine output is now up to 225 horsepower and 231 foot-pounds of torque, and braking ability has been enhanced to provide more stopping power with less pedal effort.
Last year, we wondered why a V8 engine wasn't included with all the 3.5RL's other advancements, especially considering most of its competitors do offer eight cylinders. We will continue to ask until we are satisfied. It's important to note, though, that we're not complaining about the RL's 225-horsepower V6 -- it's an athletic and spirited drive, but we figure a V8, coupled to proper rear-wheel drive, would put the RL over the top.
Read what other owners think about the Used 2002 Acura RL.
I purchased my 02 RL used with 36,000 miles and now have over 140,000. No issues except for regular maintenance. Have seen others with over 200,000 miles with no problems. I drive a mix of city and highway and this car is very predictable and secure. Very low cost of ownership. It has a logic layout to the controls. Although not as "sporty" has others in this class, it has one of the … best rides out there; smooth and quiet.
4 out of 5 stars
My third one...
3.5 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 4A)
I owned a Legend, then a 97 RL, and now the 02 RL which I bought in 06 with about 38000 miles on it. It now has 122,000 miles and has been trouble free except for the alarm actuator. It has been maintained according to the manual, mostly by the dealer, whose prices are competitive but whose service is better. He is not competitive on major expenses like timing belt changes. The car is … comfortable to ride in, is quiet, and feels safe. It handles most of Ohio's snow and ice as long as the tires are newer. The navigation system is helpful. I use mid-range gas with no problem. (It's what the dealer uses.) I prefer this body style over the 05 and would have replaced this car but for the style.
5 out of 5 stars
Best car I've ever owned
3.5 4dr Sedan w/Navigation (3.5L 6cyl 4A)
5 out of 5 stars
Real World Car
3.5 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 4A)
Sure, reviewers like a V8. But real people prefer reliability, value, comfort in traffic, low cost of ownership, dignified style, and performance that lasts for years past warranty. My RL has it all and gets compliments, too!
The Used 2002 Acura RL is offered in the following submodels: RL Sedan. Available styles include 3.5 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 4A), and 3.5 4dr Sedan w/Navigation (3.5L 6cyl 4A).
The Used 2002 Acura RL comes with front wheel drive.
Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic.
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