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2008 Acura RL

Overview
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2008 Acura RL Review

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In the constantly-changing world of design, what's new today can quickly become old news. This axiom can be applied to the Acura RL's styling, which has gone from cutting edge to fairly common in just a few years. Despite its relatively tame exterior, the RL has enough high-tech gadgetry and premium luxury features to satisfy most customers, not to mention an excellent repair history and attractive window sticker. The RL's lack of a powerful V8 limits its ability to compete with newer models from Audi, Infiniti and Lexus, but Acura's road-hugging Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) drivetrain is nothing to sneer at, giving the RL an impressive ability to get around corners and instill driver confidence.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're a technology junkie, the 2008 Acura RL showcases the latest automotive high-tech gadgetry in an attractive package that is both user-friendly and semi-intuitive. Drivers who prefer razor-sharp handling to straight-line performance will love the RL's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD).

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're expecting neck-snapping starts from a standstill, the 2008 Acura RL's 256 pound-feet of torque will not impress. And for those with a full-on performance bent, the RL does not offer a manual transmission.

What's New for 2008

No major changes for 2008.

Driving the RL

Driving Impressions On the racetrack, the 2008 Acura RL's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system had an obvious effect on handling, ensuring crisp steering response and precise control and direction through the...

corners. The car felt taut enough even if the steering was light and a little vague. Its 3.5-liter VTEC V6 produces 290 horsepower and 256 pound-feet of torque, impressive figures for a normally-aspirated six-cylinder engine, but with those peak figures waiting at the high-end of the rev range the RL can take a few seconds to gain momentum. Given room to run and a firm right foot, however, the RL gets stronger and stronger.

Real-Time Traffic Data
While service availability is still limited, the ability to access current traffic information en route and avoid unexpected traffic delays can easily save a commuter several hours of driving.

Voice-Activated Navigation
Paging through menus and typing in city and street names can delay your departure. With voice-recognition capability, the RL lets you dictate your destination on the way to the highway.

2008 Acura RL Details
2008 Acura RL photo Interior

Inside the 2008 Acura RL, wood trim combines with perforated leather to create an interior befitting the car's sport-luxury disposition. The "industrial" door handles at first seem out of place, but soon make sense for the car's design and functionality. While this RL is three noticeable inches shorter than the previous RL, the surprisingly roomy back seat offers more passenger volume. A towering center console topped by an eight-inch LCD serves as the nerve center for the RL's long list of high-tech goodies.

Exterior

From the front and side, the RL is unmistakably Acura. A steep hood and angled beltline accent a now-familiar wedge shape, accompanied by angular headlamps and Acura's signature five-sided grille. Seventeen-inch alloy wheels fill the wheel wells and enhance the RL's aggressive image. In back, the RL distinguishes itself with a mildly-pronounced trunk line and some slightly softer contours.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2008 Acura RL's standard-equipment list is packed with sophisticated technology. This includes Bluetooth hands-free phone interface, an Acura/BOSE Surround Sound system with six-disc DVD-Audio/MP3 and DTS changer, cabin-quieting Active Noise Cancellation, keyless entry and start and a power rear-window shade.

Optional Equipment

The 2008 Acura RL offers only two options. The first is the Technology Package that includes Voice-Activated Navigation, Active Front Lighting, AcuraLink satellite communication system with real-time traffic information, rear-view camera, upgraded wood interior and GPS-linked, solar-sensing, dual-zone, dual-mode automatic climate control. The second is the Technology Package plus the Collision Mitigation Braking System, Adaptive Cruise Control and Michelin PAX Run-Flat tires.

Under the Hood

The 2008 Acura RL's V6 looks impressive on paper, but the strongest part of the torque curve is high in the rpm band. Because of this, some will find passing maneuvers are best performed using the manual-shift mode.

3.5-liter V6
290 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
256 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/24

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2008 Acura RL Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.0
Out of 10

Based on 134 Ratings for the 2005 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    9.3/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    9.3/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Best car I'd EVER owned thus far--& I've owned 16

By on Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
Not Rated

Pros: "Fun to drive, reliable to maintain."

Cons: "Can't get enough driving time in it! No used ones"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Powerful V-6, smooth, quiet, comfortable, the swift AWD gets you anywhere, wet/dry pavement! You marvel at its reliability & comfort for a Honda-built car. A sweet machine! Sorry, but nothing like it comes close to being built in the US, and I LOVE the USA !!!"

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Best automobile ever owned & I've owned 20 so far!

By on Thursday, August 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 59,975

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Reliability, very comfortable, very quick, fun"

Cons: "n/a"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Dependable, comfortable, peppy & sporty for a sedan. The all-wheel drive gives this car remarkable control on slippery/wet pavement, although this feature does take away from its overall mileage (avg: 18.5 city, 29-30.5 hiway)."

Best car I have ever owned

By on Thursday, June 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 112,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Cannot be beat for the money"

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned many cars over the decades and this is absolutely the best. It has the SH-AWD system which provided fantastic traction and response. Will get you "there" in any weather - rain, snow, etc. Comfort is amazing. My wife prefers it over her Mercedes for any road trips. Have owned 3+ years and no problems, weaknesses, etc to report. Well-designed, engineered and built. Probably the best-dept secret on the road. Will look seriously at Acura for any future car purchases."

10 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Very, very nice sedan!

By on Friday, May 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,800

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "AWD Strong V6 great handling great ride & looks"

Cons: "Rear view camera optics could be better"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Purchased fully-loaded Acura Certified 2011 RL with Technology & Advanced packages. The RL had only 10K miles on it at just under 3 years - and got an amazing deal on what is a very nice AWD luxury sedan. Owned Acuras previously and know they are exceptionaly well-built. Had it 3 months now and have a combination of city and highway driving. I am very pleased with my purchase."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Great Car

By on Friday, February 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 69,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "fun to drive, great ammenities standard"

Cons: "gas mileage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I have had my RL for almost 3 years and it has been a fantastic car. I bought it used with 30K miles on it and added an extended warranty. I had to replace the A/C system but other than that it has been very reliable. I wish gas mileage was a little better (I average around 20mpg), but I love the way it handles. The AWD is awesome and the car really sticks to the road in all weather conditions (we don't really get snow in San Antonio). I plan to keep this car and pass it on to my daughter in a couple years when she starts to drive...."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

great combination of style and performance

By on Sunday, November 10, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 94,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "sleek look, fun to drive, feel very safe driving"

Cons: "brakes/tires pricey-expect w/high performance"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Very comparable performance to BMW 5 Series which I owned previously at lower price point. Comfortable leather interior with wood grain provides high end look. 3.5 liter engine has great power when you need it most for passing or entering ramp on expressway."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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