I am a car guy. Have owned three beemers, four Mercedes, a couple of 3rd generation RX-7s, etc. I am now a dad with two youngsters and decided to go "practical" and buy a responsible used car. After much research settled on a very, very clean 2006 RL. While it does not have the marquee value of my last to Mercedes, it's a pretty darn nice car and one heck of a value. Paid about 20K for a car that listed for 50K new and still has very few signs of wear and tear. Interior features are just great. Voice recognition isn't perfect but everything else is spot on. You really feel coddled in the cockpit. Stereo is best I've experienced, materials are top notch.
I just bought a 2006 Acura RL. It has all the tech gizmo's except Collision Mitigation Braking System and Michelin Run Flat tires (which you don't want!). I haven't owned the car long enough to give credible Reliability ratings, but I am very impressed with the car's handling, brakes, "solid" feel, quiet interior, sound system and navigation system.
A warning I should pass on to potential buyers is to test drive the care and beware of a speed dependent whistling noise (sort of like blowing over a empty coke bottle). It starts about 32 MPH and quits about 38-40 MPH. Being a harmonic, I suspect it would also reappear and disappear at twice those speeds, too. The RL I bought exhibited this noise on the test drive and I insisted it be fixed in order for me to buy the car. It turned out to be a fairly expensive repair. The noise is caused by a bad center carrier bearing on the rear driveshaft. This normally wouldn't be an expensive repair, but Acura only sells this bearing as part of the entire rear driveshaft assembly and that assembly retails for $2,229! (If you are facing this repair, you can get one online for $1,500 or so.) Attention Acura engineers!!! If you read these reviews how about designing a driveshaft assembly that has mechanic-friendly easily replaced components? Your driveshaft is carbon fiber and ought to last for centuries, but bearings do go bad and ought to be easily replaceable. If I hadn't insisted on this fix before purchasing the car, and had to pay for this out of pocket, I would have been very upset.
I purchased this car wanting to buy Infiniti M but was annoyed by the dealership and harsh ride of the Infiniti. Overall, good car and good buy, however, not as comfortable and refined as I expected. Suspension is mediocre and outside looks, well.... not that great for many. The value of this car is in its sophisticated technology features, all wheel drive, engine and the interior. I think I could buy the RL again but Acura needs to improve its looks and image as compared to BMW, Audi or even Infiniti.
Bought the car July 2006, wife agrees with me that it is the nicest, most luxurious and fun car we ever owned. Just a total pleasure to drive. Power, comfort, sound system: everything is great BUT: we are on the third battery in 2 years, left us stranded twice. Dealer can find nothing wrong with the electrical system, very frustrating-- waiting for the next time we get stuck.
After looking at this and several others (for over a year), I finally broke down and got one of the last '06s. I had an '01 CL and never had a problem. This is a good reference site and after readimg all of the reviews I bought the base model for $40K. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts on the site.