Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Acura Just Keeps Getting It Right: The 2009 RL

Acura just keeps getting it right. 
With its well-known quality, reliability and performance, it remains at the forefront of the luxury market. 


It's new version of the RL sedan shows why. 
The RL has a 3.7-liter V6 that produces 300 horsepower and 271 pounds-feet of torque.
 Fuel economy ratings are 16 city, 22 highway, not bad for a loaded two-ton cruiser.
Acura's styling has become more masculine and angular.
 For 2009, the RL receives new ends on its traditionally proportioned midsection. The jutting, pointed chin, thick chrome blade and eagle eyes give the car a more eager, alert look, although it couldn't be called pretty. At the tail, uplifted trunk and bumper lines create scalpel-sharp flush taillamps. 
The nicely crafted interior gets a thorough reworking. This includes changes like softer armrests and easier to use seatbelts and climate control system. The steering wheel, leather or leather with wood, imparts European style opulence, as does the cascading, thick looking genuine wood trim.
The newest technological goodie on the RL is the Collision Mitigation Braking System. This technology helps prevent crashes by warning you before one occurs so you can act.
Or the car will act for you. 
CMBS uses radar to detect if you're closing in on another car too quickly. It flashes a red warning on the instrument panel and if necessary applies the brakes while tightening up the seatbelts. 
 The system uses the CMBS radar to provide Adaptive Cruise Control. This system goes beyond the usual cruise method - it follows the car in front, and if that car slows down, the system brakes automatically to keep a safe distance. It can apply the throttle, too, so you hope that the driver ahead is paying attention. If it gets serious, the CMBS kicks in, presumably.
There is much more technology to get excited about. Super Handling All-Wheel Drive returns, but has been fine tuned to be even more responsive. It increases wheel spin on the outside rear wheel during aggressive cornering to improve handling and grip. That doesn't mean you can drive like a maniac, of course. 
The RL comes standard with the delightful 10-speaker AcuraBose system.
The big Acura comes in three trim packages. The RL starts at $47,440 with a very long list of standard features, including SH-AWD, the AcuraBose audio system and solar-sensing climate control. 
The RL with Technology Package adds the navigation system, traffic and weather features, cool ventilation to the front seats, and a nicer leather/wood steering wheel. You pay an extra $3,620 for these upgrades. The top model adds CMBS to the Technology Package. And, you get attractive, real wood trim on the dash and doors. This trim package will set you back $54,860.
The RL is fighting for customers in a very competitive area, and some shoppers have ideas about what luxury sport sedans should be and where they should come from. However, if you started with a little Civic, moved up to the family-size Accord and now want those qualities with all the extras, the RL is more than willing to accommodate you.

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