2011 Acura RL: Flash Drive
This 2011 review is representative of model years 2009 to 2012.
By Staff of MSN Autos
The new Acura RL is a mixed bag. The styling is good and the interior is spacious, but I'm convinced that Acura can do better for nearly $50K. Even when equipped with Acura's all-wheel-drive system, the RL's handling is betrayed by understeer at relatively low speeds. And the steering wheel is ugly. On a positive note, the 300-horsepower VTEC V6 engine is silky smooth. However, I was only able to manage 16 mpg in combined city and highway driving; the RL is rated to deliver 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway. –Paul Hagger
Think of the RL as a bigger, more luxurious, high-tech Honda Accord that does everything in an extremely efficient manner; it won't offend anyone, but it also won't excite anyone either. Inside, it feels like a comfortable lounge chair. Unfortunately, it also drives like one, too. Acura has seriously isolated the driver from the driving experience. Some might like the experience, but I find it disconcerting. However, I do like the updated styling, and inside, the RL is luxurious, but understated, as expected. –Mike Meredith
The RL is a very nice premium sedan. It has comfortable leather seats, plenty of high-end features, a quiet ride - everything that's expected in a luxury car. The problem with the RL is that it just isn't very exciting. It wears the signature Acura grille, but overall the style doesn't stand out from the crowd. The V6 puts out good power, and the Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive works well to improve handling, but I wouldn't refer to the RL as having a performance ride. Ultimately, the RL is the epitome of the generic luxury sedan: it does everything well, and there's nothing wrong with it, but there's no compelling reason to choose it over the competition. –Perry Stern