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Avg. Price Paid:$15,848 - $16,236
Original MSRP: $46,280 - $53,700
MPG: 16 City / 24 Hwy
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2008 Acura RL Interior

These scores and this review are from when the car was new.

Review Last Updated: 7/10/08

Of the RL's well-equipped interior, the New York Times continues "Every amenity one can imagine -- and some previously unimaginable -- is included."  In addition to the gadgetry, reviewers also enjoy the quality of interior materials. "The overall design is outstanding, the quality of the leather used is exemplary and there's room enough for four full-sized adults (five in a pinch)," says Edmunds. However, that room isn't enough for everybody -- some reviewers complain that the RL is too small compared to other cars in its class.

But despite space issues, the quality of the interior doesn't disappoint, translating into a first-class experience for most. The Detroit Free Press refers to the interior as "extremely attractive, trimmed with lovely dark wood and soft leather." The RL also impresses reviewers with its eerily quiet cabin, a factor no doubt due to Honda's Active Noise Cancellation, designed to neutralize low-frequency booming sounds. "People in the rear seat can hear those in the front seat even when they are whispering," the San Antonio Post-Express says.

Seating

The one complaint most reviewers have about the interior is the lack of space as compared to other luxury sedans. The Sacramento Bee comments, "The RL is not very big, a fact that veteran sedan buyers probably will consider distasteful in a nearly $50,000 car." Bumper to bumper, the car measures just short of 194 inches. The new model has the same dimensions as the 2005 version, which even then was 3 inches shorter and had a wheelbase 4.5 inches lower than its predecessor. Car and Driver notes, "Deep pockets in the seats and scallops in the headliner create barely enough room for six-footers to sit comfortably in all four of the outboard seat positions at once (the rear middle position is hopelessly cramped)...Take your other car if the whole family is flying in." Consumer Guide calls the seats "all-day comfortable and very supportive in spirited cornering," adding that "Most adults will find sufficient head and leg room."

Comfort-wise, reviewers have mixed opinions. Edmunds remarks that "the heated front seats are too flat," while Auto Mall USA finds "the back seats are comfortable." Consumer Guide feels all of the seats are "all-day comfortable" and "supportive in spirited cornering. Some shorter drivers may feel a bit 'buried,' but ample seat adjustments, tilt/telescope steering wheel help compensate." Of course, the RL's standard leather upholstery and heated and power-adjustable front seats help make up for any negatives.

Interior Features

Car and Driver refers to the RL's interior as "lavish, stylish and well equipped." Road and Track notes "this Acura is sold only one way: loaded, with no options other than dealer-installed 18-in. wheels. As such, it's brimming with neat new technologies." The longer-than-average list of notable standard equipment includes a Bluetooth hands-free phone interface, an Acura/Bose surround sound system with six-disc DVD-Audio/MP3 and DTS changer, cabin-quieting Active Noise Cancellation, keyless entry and start, an OnStar digital/analog tri-modal system and a power rear-window shade. Edmunds praises  the RL for its "seamless integration of multiple complex technologies."

Auto reviewers have mixed opinions on the RL's dash and display consoles, which are packed with its many electronic features. While the joystick-based control system at first looks like the BMW's iDrive system, most reviewers found it much easier to use. About.com notes, "Despite its many functions and capabilities, the dash displays are clean and clear, giving just the information you ask for when you need it, rather than dazzling with flashing lights and displays."

The RL's multi-function three-spoke steering wheel contains so many controls that it delighted some reviewers and bewildered others. The controls include sound system volume, radio station and mode changers (XM, AM, FM, CD), speaker for voice commands, information system readouts, and cruise control. U.S. News reviewer Rick Newman cautions, for some "The RL approaches the point of overkill." To that effect, MSN finds "it takes time and patience to sort out the numerous controls in the center of the dashboard, which has a large screen displaying information such as radio station selection."

Stereo and Entertainment

The RL's lavish standard 260-watt surround-sound Bose audio system includes 10 speakers and a six-disc in-dash changer. Plus, it's compatible with DVD-Audio/CD/MP3/WMA formats and includes a one-year complimentary subscription to XM Satellite Radio.  The Los Angeles Times reviewer highly compliments the audio system, musing "I think I've found the perfect car audio system. It's transportation for the soul."  Edmunds also gushes, "The Bose sound system is so vivid it sounds like Frank Sinatra is singing while riding shotgun and Nelson Riddle and his orchestra are playing from the backseat."

An optional feature sure to please audiophiles is the Acura Music Link, new in 2006. It's a dealer-installed intelligent iPod adapter that plays, powers, and controls iPods through the in-dash factory audio system.

Navigation

The RL's voice-activated navigation system comes as part of the Technology Package, which ups the base price a few thousand dollars and includes several other interior add-ons such as GPS-linked solar-sensing, a satellite communication system with real-time traffic information, and a rear-view camera. The package also adds on Acuralink, which allows the driver to communicate with Acura and dealers using text messages.

But despite all the frills, some reviewers found flaws in the technology. For instance, USA TODAY's reviewer feels the navigation system is complicated by its voice-activated capabilities: "It takes longer for the navi to start when you fire up the car and makes other features tougher to use by routing you through the navi screen to first find, then adjust, whatever control you seek." 

The optional real-time traffic system, on the other hand, is a novel feature that many reviewers feel is well worth the extra money. The first of its kind, the service gathers data from road sensors and manual monitoring of police and emergency scanners to calculate traffic flow. It continually updates the on-screen data to show colored ribbons that track traffic speed so commuters can try to find alternate routes. Most reviewers find the system highly useful, but Cars.com has one complaint: "Trying to spot traffic indications on the video map screen is somewhat difficult," the reviewer says. "The map also washes out in sunlight and is excessively reflective."

Cargo

If reviewers are somewhat disappointed with the RL's seating space, they are even more disheartened with trunk space. The Chicago Tribune notes, "The new RL is slightly smaller than the previous model...Cabin room wasn't sacrificed, but trunk space was. Perhaps Acura felt its owners don't transport their own luggage to the vacation retreat."

While rear legroom increased by almost an inch with the 2005 redesign, truck space decreased from 15 to 13 cubic feet -- a sore spot with reviewers. Car and Driver

confirms, "There's barely more people and trunk space than in its stablemate, the TL, or even in an Accord." While the rear center armrest folds down to allow long items to extend from the trunk, the rear seatback does not fold down to expand trunk room.

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