Who knew? 2012 Acura RL

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I must say I had no idea Acura was still selling the RL in the US.
It even looks like they made a few changes to the front grille and wheels.

I am sure the RL is a fine car, but I just wonder how few they have been selling in the past years.
I never see them around and almost had forgot about them.

Conversation 19 comments

  1. You had no idea??? Really? You live Los Angeles not a corn field. Plus, if you didn't know this car still exist then your worse auto blogger than I thought. As far as the grill changed was done in late 2010.

  2. Okay.

    Anonymous #1, don't be an ass about it. Plus, according to this picture, the grill has changed yet again for 2012. The shield is smaller and no longer runs up into the hood.

    Don't throw stones – glass houses and such…

    As for the car, Acura really needs to stop. I wonder if well this sells well overseas as the Honda Legend. That's the only reason I can see them bothering to sell this car in the US. I see these (or notice) cars once every couple months.

  3. I hate to say it but I see some old Hyundai Azera in that front end… not a good thing. Acura ruined the appearance of this car.

  4. They still sell them in Canada too, but not too often. The RL just lost to Mercedes E for car of the year (CCOTY). Chrysler 300 placed 2nd–well ahead of anything Honda.

  5. Sadly, the RL is the most glaring example that Honda has completely lost its way in the US market, particularly with the Acura brand.. these don't sell because their specifications are nearly identical to the cheaper, more powerful TL, and they are within millimeters of each other in length and wheelbase. Had Honda moved to distinguish the RL with fresh styling and a class-competitive V8 or Hybrid powertrain, it could have become competitive with the Lexus GS/LS and Infiniti M, but they have stubbornly refused to do so. Guess it will soldier on until they figure out exactly what the Acura brand is supposed to be.

  6. As a few others have commented this doesn't sell well. In fact, it's almost invisible. Except to the Honda faithful, the Acura RL is a colossal failure.

    The Acura brand-if you are want to call it that-represents mediocre branding of higher end Hondas. The Acura brand was supposedly all about Honda demonstrating that they could build a premium lux line.

    Acura A Premium brand? Where for example are their rear wheel drive models?

    Honda didn't just lose their way, they've lost their nerve!

  7. A friend's parents own one of these and have to say that they were great looking cars but way overpriced. Then 2009-10 rolled around and they took a beautiful (if somewhat bland) design and tried to make it hip by adding a beak and altezza lights. Acura really lost its way with the whole beak debacle and ruined the design of all of their cars in the process. Looks like they are gradually phasing it out though.

  8. @Anon 3:00, the whole point of commenting anonymously is to dish out nasty snark or other heavy-handed banter.

    On to the car: This isn't strange of Honda (see NSX and Element). Honda should have gone into rear-drive sedans a long time ago. I remember Vince saying a while that it seemed Honda was treating the Element like Ford did the Crown Vic: little alterations to what's been the same car forever instead of sweeping redesigns. This seems to be the case with the RL. This car should have been replaced by a much bigger true F-segment car a long time ago. We've since seen the Hyundai Equus go international, as well as new S-class, LS, and 7-series. Even Cadillac will re-enter soon. Infiniti and Lincoln may beat Acura to a new big car at this point.

  9. I had no idea Acura was still running this model either until I saw an old man driving a new one a couple months ago. I realized it was new because of the Pep Boys style clear tail lights.

  10. The car is built incredibly well. In terms of feature content, it's a phenomenal bargain.

    Unfortunately, it's a shame that the front end of a $50,000 car is uglier than a $19,000 Hyundai Sonata.

    If I were in the market for, say, a Buick Park Avenue in 2001, I would probably love this thing. Therein lies our problem.

    I am seriously interested in the first version of this generation RL as a pre-owned luxury car — the depreciation on this, compared to other depreciation disasters (ahem, Volkswagen Phaeton, Cadillac STS) compared to the mechanical quality, is merely a function of the "play-it-safe" exterior design.

  11. I bought an original Legend in 1986 because it was 20% cheaper than a comparably equipped German car. And so did a lot of other people. It was a very popular car in the late 80s, early 90s. I bought another in '91. But when I ready to replace that one, Acura had lost most of its price advantage.

  12. It must still do beter than in EUrope, where Honda has stopped selling the Legend a while ago.

    And yes, compared to Lexus and Infiniti, it seems way less attractive. SO I guess no one can really wonder…

  13. What a shame. The legend was an amazing car, this car needs allot of help. I believe the only thing better in this car then the legend, is awd. Bring back the look of the legend coupe and sedan. Amazing cars

  14. I think Vince was hinting at the annonymity of the Acura. And he's right.

    It's a glaring example of Acura not having a clue. There isn't a single car there that is any good to look at. The only reason they sell is due to Honda's known reliability and build quality.

    If Honda actually designed a car (again) that was good looking – they'd be unstoppable.

  15. The only difference between this and the Crown Victoria is that the CV had municipal sales. This car serves no customers and has no purpose. Who at Acura is running the show?

  16. Acura's problem is the design team and direction. Customers use their eyes first when they buy something. For those that have owned more than one cars in their lifetime, they also know that cars turn into appliances after a couple of months of ownership. That is why the majority prefer Toyotas and Hondas. Who wants to buy s $55k appliance?

  17. honda/acura curse may prove to be its greatest benefit – they dont have a tranny that can handle tremendous torque nor the 8 cylinder powerplant that can be mass produced… may prove invaluable in the CAFE cruch the automakers are in (no need to invest in turbo 4's)…

  18. Acura's problem isn't a lack of RWD. Or a V8. Its problem is the lack of definition or mission.

    Gimmicky luxury inside. Not very sporty. Not that advanced. No cohesion across the line-except the beak. Nothing but similar sized sedans and SUV's

    They used to have an identity, but when they dropped all sporting pretense they lost their mission. Acuras arent bad cars. But their management has failed at branding and creating an image…and a lineup to match it. Sadly, they refuse to cut the things that are dragging them down, like the ZDX or bad designers/managers. What's true for Honda is true for Acura.

  19. Specific to Canada – the Acura RL sold 4 cars in September. Earning it a spot on the worst selling cars list. Net to the likes of Saab, the insight and Borrego.

    Folks debating the sales – citing that they can't believe that Vince is citing he wasn't aware is was in production should check out stats before spearing the poor guy.

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