Used 2011 Acura RL Sedan
Acura RL Sedan
2011 Acura RL Pricing
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2011 Acura RL KBB Expert Review
As the successor - in both market position and nomenclature - to Acura's Legend, the RL has large (albeit not legendary) shoes to fill. And with this current design iteration (at least at its 2005 model year launch) the RL did just that, providing a uniquely Honda take in its mid-premium segment. Sticking with a V6 powertrain may seem conservative, but in the context of today's Mideast unrest and $100/barrel oil, it has proven to look strategic. And while there are a host of all-wheel drive options now on the market, in its luxury niche' Acura was among the first - and certainly among the first to popularize the benefits of all-season traction with the promise of improved handling. What we have for this model year is a continuously improved platform and updated sheetmetal in almost (but not quite) desperate need of a thorough redesign.
You'll Like This Car If...
If, because of region or driving patterns, all-wheel drive proves to be a benefit, Acura's RL is a credible luxury take on that particular drivetrain. Audi has quattro, and both BMW and Mercedes employ some variant of all-wheel drive in most of their respective lineups, but Acura offers a simple way to buy and - equally important - a comparatively hassle-free ownership experience once you've written the check.
You May Not Like This Car If...
Without the availability of a V8/rear-wheel drive platform, Acura may never fully scale the top of the luxury automotive heap. However, with the escalating cost of fuel the world may be coming to Acura. Regardless of fuel prices, if you prefer to take your luxury in expressive doses, today's RL may go about its business entirely too quietly.
What's New for 2011
Outside, the 2011 Acura RL enjoys a revised front grille, power folding side mirrors and available back-up sensors. Inside, interior tweaks include a new interior color, Dark Burlwood textured trim and more noise damping insulation. A more substantive mod is the addition of an all-new 6-speed automatic backing up the RL's 3.7-liter V6.
A look at the RL spec sheet suggests a vehicle well-equipped to compete in the mid-luxury, mid-sized segment, despite the lack of an available V8. Its Super Handling All-Wheel Drive offers a distinct advantage in inclement weather and aggressive driving, its 3.7-liter V6 - at 300 horsepower - doesn't lack for power or usable torque, and its all-independent suspension provides a viable balance between responsive and comfortable. Again, the emphasis here is on smooth sedan rather than sport sedan; those with fantasies of racing a Touring Car - rather than simply touring in a car - will be happier elsewhere.
Resonator Wheel Technology
A modification of the Acura wheel assembly - via a polypropylene Helmholtz resonator - significantly lowers middle frequency noise, allowing for a quieter cabin.
Within the AcuraLink umbrella are real-time traffic updates, weather forecasting and up-to-the-minute info on traffic congestion. It's but one of several amenities that underscore Acura's commitment to useful - rather than superfluous - technology.
Again, in the absence of a complete redesign no number of tweaks - and no amount of added technology - can disguise an interior now seven model years old. The tech, of course, is as new as tomorrow, with an Acura/Bose 10-speaker Surround Sound system, XM Radio, USB port connectivity, Active Sound noise cancellation and a GPS-linked, solar sensing automatic climate control system. Available packages - Technology and Advanced - add even more tech to the RL's almost nostalgic ambience.
Despite various updates over successive model years - including this one - there's no disguising one irrefutable fact: The basic architecture for this luxury sedan dates back to 2005. To its credit, the updates have been carefully integrated into what had gone before, but in model year 2011 an argument could be successfully made that - after 6+ years - it should all be gone. New 18-inch wheels help to keep the platform visually planted, and tweaks to the RL grille may temporarily quiet the blogs, but the overall impact is one of little impact. That is, of course, until you take note of the "blow-formed" aluminum hood, which we just did...
Notable Standard Equipment
Acura's marketing team is to be commended for its take on merchandising; they keep it simple. Unlike the Germans, where the MSRP can - in a heartbeat - be increased by some 20 percent, Acura prefers to build in a comprehensive list of standard equipment, supplemented by a thankfully short list of factory packages. Among the notable standard items are a Bose 10-speaker sound system, a comprehensive menu of airbags and - not incidentally - Super Handling All-Wheel Drive.
Notable Optional Equipment
As noted, the standard equipment menu is comprehensive. Above and beyond that is the Technology Package, which includes Acura Navigation, AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic and Real-Time Weather, rearview camera system, rear parking sensors and Active Front Lighting System (AFS). The Advance Package takes all of Technology and adds Collison Mitigation Braking, Adaptive Cruise, a genuine wood instrument panel and power-folding side mirrors.
Under the Hood
The bump in displacement - from 3.5 to 3.7 liters - resulted in a bump in both horsepower (300) and torque (271). New for 2011 is a 6-speed Sequential SportShift automatic with paddle shifters, making it easy to wring out every one of the RL's 300 horses. Not only is the RL more responsive, but also more efficient, with EPA ratings of 17 (City) and 24 (Highway), roughly five percent better (city) and 10 percent better (hwy) than in 2010. Beyond the improved functionality is an under-the-hood cover which minimizes the visual distraction of plumbing and wiring, while allowing the aesthetically pleasing V6 to effectively hold center stage. This is a nice contrast to the propensity of other manufacturers to simply cover the whole engine area with generic plastic.
300 horsepower @ 6300 rpm
271 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24
At price points between roughly $48,000 and - fully optioned - $56,000, the Acura continues to constitute a good buy when compared to its German ( Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 5-Series and Audi A6) and Japanese ( Lexus GS and Infiniti M) competition. Recently, however, Hyundai has entered the segment, with a V6 Genesis some $10K less expensive than Acura's RL, and a V8-powered top-of-the-line Genesis is almost identically priced. With that, Acura still enjoys the intangibles in the ownership process, and historically excellent resale values - fully competitive with the best in its segment. Be sure and check kbb.com's Fair Purchase Price for a reliable indicator of what consumers pay in your market area.
Acura RL Consumer Reviews
January 19, 2019
Disappointed in pleather. Center arm rest covering appear to be leather. Cheap pleather. Began to peel. Driver's door armrest, same....
December 15, 2018
The best car I have ever owned
I bought this car in June, 2009. I bought it then because it was more spacious than the Audi, BMW and definitely the Volvo S80. When I...
June 12, 2018
The best car I have ever owned.
It is time to give up my Acura RL after 9 wonderful years. I love this car and know I will never like a car this much again. When new,...
December 18, 2017
very nice car
I almost cringe reading expert reviews because rls are universally criticised for conservative styling and prestige. Part of that...
October 28, 2016
Black with tan and mahagony wood trim
one owner, never had one bit of trouble, all maintenance through dealership, all records kept, and drives like a baby. It has been my...
October 19, 2016
Best Driving Car Around!
Bought new in 2005. Traded in at 325,000 miles, few very small repairs later on. Very luxurious and high quality interior. Lots of neat...
July 30, 2016
Great Car_Ready for its Next Happy Owner
Bought this car new and have loved it and maintained it and have all records. Taking delivery on a European BMW late August and...
February 23, 2016
Severely underrated and almost forgotten-about car
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?"...
December 24, 2015
I bought this car with 132500 miles and I must say that this car is great. I changed a lot of parts that normally needs changing;...
December 07, 2015
Great Luxury Sedan
The Acura RL is a very nice, full-size luxury sedan, with great driving dynamics and acceleration, a wonderful interior and one of the...