Acura RL Reviews & Ratings

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Acura RL (33 Reviews)
I am a proud owner of my 1999 Acura 3.5RL (White) with Navigation. I acquired the vehicle when i was in College as my previous Acura (Integra) was totaled in 2006. The 3.5RL had about 128,000 from one owner and now i have little over 492,000 and still running strong. I work as a consultant so i choose to drive every where with my RL. In my family we have owned other vehicles like Audi A6 4.2 but i still preferred driving the RL. Have not had any major issue, these are the things I perform as Maintenance: Oil change every 4K (that is about every month for me), ATF change with filter, power steering flush, brake fluid flush and front gear oil (that is every 3rd oil change), Coolant every year and timing belt every 75K. I do all these my self that is why i am doing some way before recommended time. I use all Acura/Honda genuine parts/fluid but i save on labor. The car can still go another few 100k miles. I have to get the rear main seal replaced that i cannot do as i don't have a lift but other than that absolutely nothing else was required. In think this particular generation of 3.5RL were made bullet proof. Message me if you have any questions or need help with repair.
Bought a 9.5+ condition '03 RL w 47,000 miles on it last fall. Looks just like the one in the picture above. These cars are made in Japan and bulletproof.
Plenty of room in the cabin and the trunk, very comfortable and easy to drive. Great ergonomics! The CD stereo in my '03 totally rocks, AC is freezing.
Not hot rods, per se, but totally reliable luxo-cruisers. If you can find a clean one with low miles, grab it!
I had a white pearl '96 that I drove to 189,000 miles(!) with zero issues, don't know now why I got rid of it....
I bought a 2000 Acura RL with 90.000 mi 4 years ago. Now it has reached 100.000 mi. I went one time on a longer trip (6.000 km in 2 weeks, the car was driven up to its maximum through Germany and elsewhere), for the rest the car is used very seldom (my main car is Volvo 940). Shame to say I did not do absolutely any maintenance on the car, except changing 2 tyres. Not even the motor oil or any filter, as I em reluctant to give it to any local workshop, and always postpone to do it myself. The car still has its original timing belt, which can cost it its life as a repair would be impossible to undertake if the timing belt breaks or slips (I live in Holland, but I guess anywhere else if the timing belt fails it would be the end of the engine).

It is kept in a garage so it keeps its nice look. There is no rust anywhere, and the paint finish is excellent. I find the interior made in a very quality manner and extremely user friendly. The sound of the factory installed hi-fi unit (Bose) is superb, and its controls are greatly designed. The car does not have too many and unnecessary gadgets or steering wheel switches, what it has is just enough for highly ergonomic use. Bad remark can be made to the fact that (at least on my car, and that is very strange to me) there is no light on the A/C control unit switches, so in the night it is not easy to choose the settings.

I am planning to overhaul the brakes (rotors are causing vibrations at higher speed sharper braking, which considering the mileage I find normal and part of regular maintenance) and replace oil, ATF, cooling liquid etc and all filters. Also to somehow inspect the alternator for brushes wear, and replace all the belts, and timing belt and tensioners.

Car behaves excellent on the road and is very easy to drive. I gave it all maximum ratings as I never experienced any problem, and it is obviously not perfectly maintained at all. Another minus point would be the design of the upper edge of the inside door panel (upholstery). This can probably understand only drivers of Volvo 700/900 series, as the design on the Volvo is unmatched by any car I drove earlier (possibly older Mercedeses can be compared to Volvo). The Acura inside door panel is at the "wrong" height (too high) and it is rounded (while the Volvo design is rectangular and wide enough so that the complete lower arm can be rested on it (with the window closed). There is an armrest on the Acura RL door panel, but it is too low and not suitable for me.

I've had and driven many cars, and my belief is that Acura RL can be a very long lasting car if maintained used correctly.
I had a leased Acura RX and loved it Then I bought a used 2006 Acura TL around 4 years ago.
These are the things I had or have to fix:
1. air conditioning - fixed 2 times - last time around 10 months ago after been over a year with broken a/c
2. motor mounts - need to fix - bad for a very long time - incredible for an expensive car
3. battery problems - have the problem right now
4. trunk - paint is peeling. Looks terrible
5. glove compartment - the front cover looks melted and bubbly, Looks ugly.
6. had to fix the front lights
I thought an expensive car will last longer... mainly because is an Acura.
This is the best car ive ever owned. I love it.
my 1997 acura tcs and abs lights are on I would like to know why my car stalls to accelerate when the tcs system is engaged but when its off it runs fine
I first have only one concern, the SRS light is on and I understand there was a recall to fix the sensor I believe. I will take it to the Acura dealership and need to make a point to take the time to do it.

Now, for the review... you're going to be jealous when I tell you this car was purchased brand new (13 miles) in December of 2002 and it has only 21,500 miles on it now! The car was purchased by Mom and with her living downtown, doesn't need to drive much. It has been totally flawless mechanically, visually, and comfort. I wish that it got a few more miles per gallon. There are no complaints so far and from what I hear about people putting 80,000 miles without major problems, this car should last another 15 years easily. So it has been easy on the pocketbook.

I have a 2004 BMW 325i Sport pkge that I purchased new in 04. I have only 34,000 miles on it (low as well) and have been very happy with it. I know that in the next couple of years, we're going to sell one of the two, but I don't know which one yet. Tough choice between BMW and Acura top of the line. I fear that the beemer may command a higher repair cost when repairs are needed, but I love that car too, sporty and my style. But the RL is luxurious and comfortable and great should I take a long trip some day....

Your opinion is greatly appreciated regarding which one I should keep, when the time comes..... would love your comments. (
Kingsley Bayoh

I have a 2000 3.5 RL, bought used in 2003 with 50000 miles.
I now have 360,000 miles. A great car. I kept all maintenance. A lot of money was spent to keep it top notch. A very reliable car.
The following were problems encountered since I bought the car 10 years ago.
1. emission control
2. Electrical Problems, such as alarm sounding off un-necessarily, that causes the fuse to blow off. Trunk does not open from inside. Steering adjustment control does not work.
3. Brakes does not apply immediately, even with new rotors including new brake pads.
4.Numerious gasket replacement problems, which is very costly.
5. Door regulator problems
6. Shock assober or strut problems.
7. Interior leader seats cracks, driver door shoulder rest, venial and seat bottom covers are not good.
Overall the car worth keeping to the end.

Yesterday I went to open my console and the lid came off whats the deal and how do you fix it?
AC unit went at 75K.

AFS and VSA lights are on now (135K), but no codes to shut off as I had car checked by electrical repair guy. My AFS isn't working (lights don't go side to side or up down). VSA I can't tell.

Now I *have* to bring to dealer (and pay the exorbitant diagnostic fees).

I've also replaced door lock actuators on car - one at 110K and one at 130K

2000 RL went 212K when I traded it in for this one, very few minor issues. In my world I am 1-for-2 in the world of RLs. With the Hyundai Genesis looking like a nice car, I'm seriously thinking of that as a next vehicle.
I have owned several cars in the past...Geo Metro, Dodge Neon, Nissan Sentra, Toyota Camry and Infniti QX4. All were considerally lower priced than the RL and I have NEVER had as many issuses with interior or body as I have had with the RL.I went off of the Acura reputation and wouldn't have expected that this so-called luxury car would not compare to the durability of my lower priced vehicles. The console and armrest have bubbled and torn. Found some reasonably priced replacement covers, but it is virtually impossible to have it done without taking the entire center console out instead of just taking the lids off due to no visible screws. Also the chrome trim and front grill are disentegrating before my eyes. I used to love seeing the Acura body styles drive pass, but now that I own one my admiration has been greatly tainted.
front light panel not working
Ok, My 1998 RL only has 72,000 miles and I'm the only owner. Really no problems except minor ones but I do have a question for other owners. Every time I go to the dealer for oil change they keep telling me I need to have the timing belt changed. Have all of you with many miles on their RLs changed the belt? Last year I had a problem when the car would not start and had it towed but it was a switch that starts the ignition which is under the dash and was told the older RLs have a problem with this. Today I also had a problem as I started the car and it stopped. Tried to start it but no good. As I was told if it's the timing belt don't keep trying as you would destroy the engine so of course I had it towed again. They jumped it and charged the battery . Still confused because the battery is only about 18mo.old. Anyway would like a reply regarding the timing belt.
My car shift's really hard sometimes doe's anyone know what I need to do to fix it? I like my Car a lot
I was fortunate enough to find an '02 RL with 58k, in May of '11.
The car was actually owned by a little old "man" form Pasadena, then a year prior to me purchasing the car, bought by a high end sports car dealer for his elderly mother. The car basically sat for one year, then the guy sold it, due to non-use.
My only complaint about the body (3 stars) is the cover coat is starting to fail. The car does sit out at night, but during the week, at work, it is in underground pkg. I keep a good coat of polish on it and I'm crossing my fingers.
I just had to replace the continental tires with new Michelins. Wow, what a difference! I really notice it during slow MPH steering. Much less resistance in the steering wheel. If anyone familiar with the Pasadena FWy in So Cal, this car handles very well in the curves, now. I went w/the V rated tire and am glad I paid the little extra.
I change my own oil and when I did at 7,500 miles, the Penzoil synthetic looked new. Did not use a drop of oil. Can't say the same for my Chev Sub, which uses 3 qts between changes. This is our 4th acura and they are great cars. My Legend just would not die and I hated to see it go.
I,am a 57 year old male who loves cars and owned 20 or more. I have worked in a auto parts store for 34 years. If we had to depend on acura rl's to stay open we would be closed years ago. This 1998 that I own is the best car by far I have ever owned. It now has 180,000 miles on it and other then recomended maintenace I have done nothing. SUPER!!!!
I bought my car with 68k miles and it now has 163k miles. Very solid and dependable car, but not completely without it's issues. This year I have replaced an O2 sensor, brake master cylinder and a brake caliper. I have a strut that has gone bad, a crack in radiator and the ABS has quit working, but the car is 13 years old. Only really bad thing was a relay that went bad and wouldn't let me start the car. That is one time it let me down. Has an electrical Gremlin, if you lock doors they keep trying to lock over and over and the interior lights sometimes flicker. Overall, I still like the car and it was a good purchase that I would do over again.
Bought New 2006 RL - Excellent, Reliable, No issues till date. Did oil change based on MID (Display Panel). Replaced Tires 45K, Brakes 76K, Nothing else.
I have owned 2 other Acuras (Legend & TL). I bought this care in Aug 2006. No major problems until a couple of months ago. Car started leaking oil - rear main engine seal replaced ($900) & then head gaskets blown (arg). Put a rebuilt engine in it. It will be my last Acura:(
Overall has been an excellent car. Did have to have the drive axle replaced at 44K due to a know issue with center dif bearing. About to get brakes taken care of...expensive job so be prepared. I would complain that the rotors warped early and I am not replacing with OEM. Interior is first rate, materials are excellent; almost as good as my Audi A6.
Great car. Beautiful inside & out - very minor repairs and im up to 205,000
1998 rl , we purchased 5 years ago. Thee worst car I have had Terrible to work on . Parts bare hard to find unless you go to the dealer and then watch out, you are going to pay!!!! 170,000 miles onthis car and many problems .The final one was a blown head gasket or cracked cylinder head. Mechanics I spock to do not like to work on this car, say its a pain. Pain , thats what this car has given me plenty of!!!!!!!!
60 ,000 miles - numerous electrical issues - master window controls have required numerouse "resets" - steering wheel lock ut issues - charging sysytem has reset x2 losing alll presets - preset driver settings not always recognized - just reoplaced both rear calipers -there is also a 02 RL in the family with 180K that has been flawless...should have stayed away from 1st new model year
Bulletproof reliability and performance - 96,000 miles, no issues- cruises all day at 80mph,
no oil consumed or leaked, best brakes in the world, excellent sound system, corners like my MGB.
I would urge potential buyers to stay away from the 2005 RL. Despite my vehicle being accident free I have had numerous issues with the steering column. It is still making noise even after being replaced. I have had the floor board replaced, the center console has been replaced and the plug adaptor replaced twice and it still does not function like it did new. Approaching 50,000 miles and my vehicle is having the transmission replaced three weeks after having the oxygen sensor replaced. I also had two light bulbs go out that were also replaced under warranty. I had to have two rear rotors replaced (not under warranty).
98 rl with 205,000 on it. I love the car but this is the third starter im putting in it. i heard theres supposed to be a bypass or something. if anyone knows tell me
I have a 1998 3.5 RL with 294,000 miles on it. Original everything and have replaced one oxygen sensor. What a car but showing it's age now.
We have driven our 96 RL 142,000 mi. And Love the car but we have had to repair the transmission 3 times. Because of something shearing in the differential area which I understand was a recall issue in the past. Shame that it can't be more dependable ! Can't decide to replace the tranny with a used one and try again ?
Original owner of 2002 RL - and am totally pleased with this car during 8 years of ownership. It has been virtually trouble-free, requiring only minimal repairs along with regular maintenence. 2002 Aura RL has classic styling, beautiful and comfortable interior, fantasit Bose stereo, handles great for a large sedan, and engine / transmission are strong and very reliable. I would highly recommend this car to anyone considering purchase. I plan on keeping this car for another 8 years and have every reason to beleive the next 80K miles will be trouble-free also.