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2012 Acura RL

Overview
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2012 Acura RL Review

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The 2012 Acura RL's strong points are a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system, a comfortable and quiet interior and a strong V6 engine. Yet, the RL is often lost amid stiff competition from the likes of the BMW 5 and 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and even its own not-so-little brother, the Acura TL, which has many of the same features as the RL and costs less. This marks the final year for the long-running RL before its successor, the Acura RLX, arrives in 2013 with even more advanced and innovative technology.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want a largish, premium sedan that has a quiet cabin, sophisticated all-wheel drive, Japanese reliability and understated competence, the RL is worth considering. In addition, being an RL owner also means driving a car that's somewhat out of the ordinary.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If exhilarating V8 performance, stand-out looks or badge recognition are your automotive requirements, look to German and Japanese competitors, or even the Cadillac CTS.

What's New for 2012

With a revised fascia and new, 6-speed transmission introduced in the 2011 model year, the final-year model of the Acura RL carries over mostly unchanged. An upgraded navigation system now features updated traffic maps covering 130 areas within the United States and Canada.

Driving the RL

Driving Impressions Quiet and competent describe the 2012 RL. The quiet is accomplished with noise reduction technology that literally extends to the wheels, which are specially designed for less resonation. The competence...

is from a 3.7-liter V6 engine that makes 300 horsepower and moves the comfortable sedan with responsive performance, and from its Super Handling All-Wheel Drive. With all four wheels driving the vehicle through a torque vectoring technology that keeps delivering the power to the wheels that can best use it, the Acura feels supremely planted even on wet, slippery roads. The Acura RL is a very comfortable car to drive, and strongly favors that attribute over the sportier sort of characteristics found with, say, the BMW 5 Series or the Cadillac CTS. When more quickness is desired a sport mode delivers faster acceleration. The RL is very good at soaking up unwanted noise, awkward bumps and road irregularities, and always feels at ease.
Favorite Features

SUPER-HANDLING ALL-WHEEL DRIVE
Dubbed "SH-AWD," this system drives all four wheels, gives the 2012 RL superior traction and is particularly beneficial on slippery surfaces.

FIT AND FINISH
Ease into its posh cabin and the 2012 Acura RL feels even more expensive than its price might suggest. Super-soft leather and available maple wood trim add to the luxury.

2012 Acura RL Details
Interior

The Acura RL's interior is showing its age. Its vertically-spread dash buttons, a thick steering wheel and flat colors might have worked a few years ago, but not so much today. That said, the RL's creature comforts are up to par with other luxury vehicles and include ventilated front seats, backup sensors and a Bose 10-speaker audio system that can play USB drives, iPods, DVD audio discs and CDs. The front seats are very comfortable and rear legroom is generous. At just over 13 cubic feet, the RL's trunk capacity is on the small side among this class.

Exterior
2012 Acura RL photo

The 2012 Acura RL's understated nature includes its somewhat innocuous appearance. In fact, you'd be forgiven if, at first glance, you mistook it for a Honda Accord. It's not that the RL is not good-looking; it just doesn't particularly stand out from the crowd. The RL's front and rear ends do have some character, but are much more conservative than the recent looks of the Acura TL. Large 18-inch alloy wheels and twin tailpipes convey a hint of performance.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2012 Acura RL has a 3.7-liter V6, all-wheel-drive, a 6-speed automatic transmission, power moonroof, power rear sunshade and manual rear-door sunshades, a 260-watt 10-speaker audio system with voice recognition and six airbags. As with other Acura vehicles, the RL comes with Total Luxury Care, which offers roadside assistance, concierge service and emergency travel assistance.

Optional Equipment

Major options for the Acura RL are bundled into packages. The Technology Package adds satellite navigation with real-time traffic and GPS-linked climate control, rear-view camera, backup sensors and ventilated front seats. The top-of-the-line Advance Package includes a collision-mitigation system, adaptive cruise control and power-folding side mirrors.

Under the Hood

The 2012 Acura RL is powered by a 3.7-liter V6 that makes 300 horsepower and 271 lb-ft of torque, more than enough power to move this comfortable all-wheel drive sedan with easy response. Premium unleaded fuel is recommended. The transmission is a smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic that can be manually shifted via steering wheel-mounted paddles; the transmission contributes to the RL's EPA highway fuel-economy rating of 24 mpg.

3.7-liter V6
300 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
271 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 mpg

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2012 Acura RL Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.0
Out of 10

Based on 130 Ratings for the 2005 - 2012 models.

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

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...."

2 people out of 2 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."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Best car ever!!!

By on Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 185,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fun to drive, great ride, nice looking, reliable"

Cons: "None"

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

"Love this car, I get great mileage, a great ride with no major repairs just routine maintenance. This car is extremely reliable and fun to drive. If it was up to me, I would never trade this car and drive it until it dies but my accountant insists that I need to get a new car for tax purposes."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

An amazing automobile

By on Thursday, October 03, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Handling, reliability, comfort"

Cons: "NONE"

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

"The Acura RL is one of the most amazing cars I have ever owned, and I have owned many. Comfort and reliability are top-notch, but as importantly is that when you take this car on a twisty road you think you're driving a sports car. The handling is superb. What a car!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Incredible car with so many tech features

By on Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 44,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "tech and performance & Value"

Cons: "too nice to take the kids for ice cream."

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

"I've owned this car for almost 2 years. It has so many great features that I use everyday. like Tire Pressure Monitor, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Handsfree Voice Control. I love the handling and the performance. Especially considering the size. the Trunk is HUGE and the cabin space is even bigger. I enjoy the handling and the overall performance. The only thing this car is missing is a 6 speed automatic and about 40 more horsepower. But for the money this car is incredible. All I've done is change the oil and the tires. If you can find one Buy It Now. you won't be sorry."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Magnificent Auto

By on Tuesday, April 09, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 137,000

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
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Loce the 6 CD player"

Cons: "exterior paint job should have been better"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Purchased new in 2006-ours is white-exterior paint job is my only complaint- not a quality job as an Audi or Benz- the interior is lush and roomy- ours has 137,000 miles on it all road as we travel for a living. Purchased with the wood interior-on geer shift-sides and front-very classy. Not one moments worth of problem!! We service it like all our autos at the dealership- put great tires on it and it is a complete joy for all our long distance travels. Only complaint is Acura itself- only coming out with a new RL this fall after 3 years or so. What are they thinking so changing from it=not the cars fault the manufacturers!"

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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