The RL is Acura's flagship model and there is not much to ask from Acura after you see all of the advanced options and safety features packed into this passenger vehicle. There is plenty of power for drivers who love that extra edge. The RL has a V-6 engine that is pushing 300 horsepower. This vehicle uses the torque vectoring super handling AWD system that Acura has nicknamed SH-AWD. This powerful handling system give the driver complete control over the RL in any driving condition imaginable.
In 2011 the RL has some new features for buyers including a much anticipated 6-speed automatic transition and boosted fuel economy. The exterior styling is very similar, but it has received a few minor body changes too. There are not really any other competitors in this cars class, unless you consider the Acura TL which offers a similar vehicle at a much lower price tag and what some consumers believe to be a more attractive vehicle. The TL's days may be limited as Acura talks about removing it from their line-up altogether to leave this vehicle to steal the show.
Engines: 3.7L V-6
Transmissions: 6-speed automatic
Models: RL, RL with Technology Package, RL with Technology Package Plus Collision Mitigation Braking System
RL receives a new front fascia and revised grille along with updated 18-inch wheels. The interior is freshened with new headrests, gauges, stitching and trim. The biggest news is the upgraded 6-speed transmission which improves acceleration and fuel economy - although RL still trails competitors with 7- and even 8-speed units. Other improved bits include nav electronics, subframe and transmission mounts.
With a bold chrome beak and little else towards the rear, the RL won't be the valet's first pick to put out front. For those who dig its quirky styling, it does make a statement.
Inside RL makes its strongest statement, with such features as with 10-way power-adjustable, heated and cooled front seats, and a host of high tech goodies. Real maple wood trim comes with top spec CMBS equipped versions.
Performance & Handling
RL has one engine on offer, a 3.7-liter V-6 engine that produces 300 horsepower, 271 pound-feet of torque, and a sonorous exhaust note. New for 2011 is the sorely-needed 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. SH-AWD vectors torque front-to-back and side-to-side when throttle is applied, providing a sporty feel and confident handling, particularly in bad weather. Revised subframe and transmission mounts improve smoothness.
Six airbags come standard as does stability control and a host of braking and traction control aides (ABS, EBD, and BA). Active headrests in the front seats enhance front passenger protection in the event of a rear end collision.
EPA Fuel Economy
RL: 16 mpg city / 22 mpg highway
RL with Technology Package: 16 mpg city / 22 mpg highway
RL with Technology Package Plus CMBS: 16 mpg city / 22 mpg highway
- High tech gadgetry
- Wealth of standard features
- Crisp handling
- Stylish interior
You Won't Like
- V-6 power, V-8 fuel economy
- Awkward, anonymous styling
- TL cheaper, better
Competent and comfortable, but no flagship
If You Like This Vehicle
- Audi A6
- BMW 535
- Cadillac CTS
- Infiniti M35
- Lexus GS 350