"It's good in that you don't see many of these out there. Even with its conservative styling, you get the "What kind of car is that?" vibe from bystanders simply because these are a bit of a hidden gem. It's conservative yes, but these types tend to age well and the RL meets that criteria to the T. It looks as fresh as a brand new car in my opinon minus that hideous Acura beak - subtle, understated but I wouldn't call it bland.
Driving-wise it sure is more engaging than the Lexus GS I traded in for which felt cumbersome, big and soul-less. The RL, on the other hand, holds is own. While any Audi with an S, or a BMW with an M in its name will outhandle and outrun the RL handily, the Acura is sure-footed, doesn't drive like the car of its footprint and provides an adequate acceleration when needed. Sometimes it doesn't feel like 300hp but I attribute that to the 5 speed transmission that doesn't seem to be geared for performance. And in typical Honda fashion, most of the power is higher up in the RPM's - fun, but sometimes the low-end grunt is missed.
If you're not an emblem-chaser, the RL is a more than competent luxury car. Acuras won't impress your date like a Mercedes or Audi would, but if you can look past that, it's definitely worth cross-shopping with the big guns.
My first Acura (not first Honda), won't be my last."
Pros: "Very attractive pricing, great riding luxury sedan"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"The Acura RL is a very nice, full-size luxury sedan, with great driving dynamics and acceleration, a wonderful interior and one of the most reliable & safest cars on the road. You cannot go wrong with an Acura RL."
"Bought this 05 4 years ago @ 90k for $10500 privately (admittedly a GREAT price). Have thoroughly enjoyed this RL, outstanding audio, pretty good handling (could be faster), super quiet, and I still love the looks (excellent quality silver paint). Did timing belt, couple engine mounts, then normal oil/filter, tires..
At 132k miles this car looks and drives great!"
Pros: "Standard features beat the competition hands down"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This car used was a bargain - because it is overlooked and underrrated. Many publications talk about its bland style and poor performance with the V6. Let me tell you - go the to local Lexus dealer and put an ES 350 and an Acura RL from 2005 bumper to bumper and you tell me which is the 10 year old design. Performance? With the SH AWD it corners as if on rails and when that VTEC kicks in you feel all 290-300 HP. Traction in winter is incomparable. It has every creature comfort imaginable and still today - comparison shop. Ours has leather, adaptive headlights, backup camera, navigation, multi disc CD changer, real wood inlay in the dash and doors, power rear window sunshade, side sunshades, heated seats, - go to an Audi, BMW or Mercedes dealer and see on what models those features are STANDARD as on our 2008 RL? $3000 of options on the Audi A6. Adaptive headlights alone on the BMW 5 series are $1900!"