San Francisco: The
RL is Acuraís flagship and represents the pinnacle of the 20-year-old
brandís virtues. These include high quality materials and assembly,
environmental awareness, a serious approach to safety, and long-term
reliability. With the RL you get potent performance as well.
The RL gives you 290
horsepower from a 3.5-liter V6, the most powerful engine ever offered in
an Acura. Certified as an ultra low emission vehicle (ULEV), itís rated
at 18 mpg City, 26 Highway. I averaged 15.5 mpg, so I must have been
dipping deeply into the RLís prodigious power.
Acura has always
offered clean, somewhat conservative styling, and still does, even as
the German competition has gotten a little flashier. If anything, the
styling may be too subtle.
The RL features top
quality materials, exquisite fit-and-finish, and many technological
wonders to entertain and protect occupants. Leather seats and real wood
evoke an upscale feeling. The dash and console spread like a pair of
glorious wooden wings, rounded and expressive like fine furniture. The
metallic center console resembles some top-level home stereo equipment.
My Opulent Blue Pearl
tester came with a Keyless Access System. Keep the key fob in your
pocket and when you get about two-and-a-half feet away from the vehicle,
you can open the door by pressing a button on the outside and start the
car with the twist of a switch.
The RL comes pretty
loaded, with the expected luxuries of dual-zone automatic climate
control, electronic tilt and telescoping steering wheel with audio
controls, and the full spectrum of audio entertainment to go with them.
The RL comes with the
Super Handling All-Wheel Drive System (SH-AWD). This advanced system not
only switches torque from the front axle to the rear, it also regulates
it from left to right. During straight line cruising and moderate
cornering, up to 70 percent of torque is sent to the front wheels, but
during full throttle acceleration or more vigorous driving, up to 70
percent of torque is sent to the rear wheels.
You can buy or lease an
RL in three levels this year. The ďstandardĒ car is anything but, with a
long list of features, but if you want more, you can add the Technology
Package. It upgrades the car with a satellite navigation system,
AcuraLink with Real Time Traffic, Active Front Lighting, and upgraded
wood interior. The third level above that adds two important features to
this package, Collision Mitigation Braking System and Michelin PAX
The navigation system
features voice recognition, with 560 commands available. The system has
more than 7 million points of interest stored, and recognizes more than
1.7 million cities and street names in the United States
AcuraLink with Real
Time Traffic provides traffic and accident information on the navigation
systemís screen for 44 major metropolitan areas. The carís hands-free
wireless interface lets you talk directly to Acura in case you
experience mechanical or other problems. HandsFreeLink supplies a
Bluetooth hands-free interface if your phone is enabled.
With Acuraís Active
Front Lighting System, the low beams swivel up to 20 degrees in either
direction as you turn, in response to vehicle speed and steering wheel
input. This illuminates a larger patch of the road, helping to avoid
Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) uses radar to measure the distance and
closing rate between you and the vehicle ahead and assesses if a crash
is likely. The system goes through three stages, starting with warnings,
then, if the risk of a crash is more severe, with actually braking the
car. The third stage assumes that a crash is inevitable, so it pulls the
seatbelts tight and pushes on the brakes with full force.
The PAX Run-flat tires
allow you to drive up to 125 miles at 50 mph until you find a place to
fix or replace the tire.
The RLís premium
10-speaker Acura/BOSE DVD-Audio system employs Bose Cabin Surround to
give all seating positions the feeling of a live venue. Acura says the
sound resolution is 500 times better than a CD. Autopilot noise
compensation technology monitors cabin noise and adjusts the sound
balance of the system automatically.
Acuraís Adaptive Cruise
Control system compensates for varying traffic flow. The system
automatically adjusts the speed by applying the throttle and brakes so
you always maintain the same distance between you and the car in front.
The RL gets the top
five-star rating in all three categories in the U.S.Governmentís crash
tests, front, side and rollover, and is only the fourth vehicle in the
history of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrationís tests to
The RL starts at
$45,780, and with the Technology Package rises to $49,400. My top-level
tester, with the Technology Package plus Collision Mitigation Braking
System and Michelin PAX Run-flat tires, came to $53,870, including a
$670 destination charge. You get a six-year, 70,000-mile powertrain
warranty, 24-hour emergency service, and much more, including a free
year of the OnStar system and XM Satellite Radio.
The RL offers
everything you could ask for in a midsize luxury car. It feels extremely
competent and comfortable in all conditions. If only it were just a
little more exciting. By Steve Schaefer © AutoWire.Net - San
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Column Name: The RL is Acuraís flagship
Topic: The 2007 Acura RL
Word Count: 921
Photo Caption: The 2007 Acura RL
Photo Credits: Acura RL Internet Media
2007 - 37
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