Acura introduced a slightly revised version of its RL flagship sedan for the 2011 model year but there’s no denying that the car is seriously starting to show its age, having been on the market since 2005.
A successor is planned and is due out later this year so 2012 marks the end of the current generation.
Unless you have to have buy a sedan today, we recommend holding out or shopping elsewhere but even if you do end up buying a 2012 RL there’s a lot to be pleased with.
The car offers all-wheel drive surefootedness across the range, and combines this with a significant list of comfort, tech, and infotainment features. The styling on the RL is much more reserved in comparison to some of its Acura siblings, making it the ideal choice if you’re the type of buyer that wants a touch of luxury but without the snobbish connotations some brands can bring.
Power comes from a 3.7-liter V-6, which is rated at 300 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque and sees the RL return about 17/24 mpg city/highway. A six-speed automatic with paddle-shifters sends power to all four wheels via an intelligent all-wheel drive system that works wonders on rough roads. One downside is the innocuous steering, which feels numb and nowhere near as sharp as some of Germany’s premium sedans.
Another downside is that the Acura TL offers similar performance and interior space but at a more affordable price. Overall, we're not completely sure how Honda is distinguishing the RL from the TL, which also feels sportier, though this issue is likely to be addressed with the RL’s successor, which is expected to grow in size compared to the current model.
The good news is that there are plenty of tech and comfort features to keep you happy. These include xenon headlamps with Active Front Lighting, adaptive cruise control, heated and ventilated seats, Bluetooth and USB connectivity all coming as standard. A navigation system is also available, coming with real-time traffic and weather updates.
In terms of safety you get six airbags as standard, along with active front headrests, electronic stability control, and anti-lock brakes. Radar-based cruise control and automatic curve-following headlights are an option, as is a Collision Mitigation Braking System that works with the adaptive cruise control.
For an in-depth review of the 2012 Acura RL, including a close look at the car’s styling, performance, quality and safety, head over to our sister site The Car Connection.