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it would look like '05 Acura Rl. Finally saw it the other day being driven by an 80 year old looking guy who drove as though he's spent the last 10 in a coma since I wound up crawling behind him on a 1-lane road doing 10MPH below the speed limit :roll: . The car is suprisingly compact and not at all flashy. What was all that sporty this and that buzz about anyway ? Later same day I was in Brighton and figured I'd swing by Acura of Boston to check it upclose.
The sticker is a few hundred shy of $50K. That's a whopping $15K premium over TL. For which you get same 3.5L V6 with 30 more ponies, a tad more torque, funky AWD, better assembly/reliability and a few extras the TL's lacking. Is it worth it ?
The interior is very cool with a center console resembling one of those better bedroom stereos with silver bezels and knobs. The NAV screen is buried deep in the upper center section of the dash. Guess to reduce the wash-out effect from sunlight, or something. I wasn't wild about the way they shaped that top area though. Seats aren't very aggressive, but do have cool headrests. Nissan should send some interns over to Acura to learn how to pen a handsome interior. How well it'll hold up is another matter, of course. All in all, plenty nice.
I didn't care much how the exterior looked, coupled with fact that housing for the front quad lights protrudes way too much outside. If you looked at it from a side, it'd seem like an industrial design project. I never quite grasped this whole " revolutionary " AWD theme. So unlike competition it can channel power side-2-side. Is that it ? Because unless one end is going sideways it still is a FWD-biased system.
 

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First, the TL doesn't use a 3.5 liter V6, it uses a 3.2 liter. For the $15k difference you get improved NAV w/ full voice control and Real Time Traffic updates (a more advanced version of the voice activation software than the TL uses), more powerful 5.1 Surround Sound Stereo, Keyless Access, better leather, better plastics, REAL wood trim (and lots of it), 30 more HP, AWD, adaptive front headlights, better standard brakes (check out the front calipers), manumatic shifters on the steering wheel, power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, etc. As far as the AWD system goes, it's true the RL is built on the Global Midsize FWD platform, but the AWD system is not really what I would call FWD biased. It is able to send 70% of the torque to the rear wheel(s) and all of that power can be sent to just one of the rear wheels. For instance, in a tight turn it is better to send the power to the outside wheel as it has the most traction and will make the car turn "sharper". You may not be a believer, but every magazine/reviewer thus far has praised the system.

In closing, the RL may not be your cup of tea, but it's certainly very competitive in terms of price/features/overall performance. Have you seen the price on the new STS, 530i, A6, etc.? They are all $5-7k more than an RL when comperably equipped.
 
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