2008 Acura RL New car review and photos by CarMagi

The 2008 Acura RL sedan is available in two trim levels with an MSRP range of $46,280 to $53,700. All are equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 producing 290 horsepower. Estimated fuel economy is 16 miles per gallon city and 24 highway. The four-door RL has room for five. All versions come with an impressive array of standard safety features including a full complement of airbags in the front and side position.

The Technology Package is apt to be a favorite with drivers who like their ride to have all the extra gizmos. Look for traction control, fog lamps, ABS, and an engine immobilizer standard. The combination audio unit includes a CD player, MP3 capability, and satellite radio with controls on the steering wheel. The leather seats are heated and powered (with eight levels of adjustment for the driver) on both front sides. All onboard communications are hands free with a navigation unit, trip computer, and auxiliary power outlets standard.

Elegant little touches like burled camphor wood trim, front and rear reading lamps, and a center arm rest to the rear firmly confirm that the RL is a luxury sedan. The vehicle competes more than favorably with the Jaguar S-Type, Audi A6, and Volvo S80. In addition to outstanding safety ratings, reviewers have found the RL to deliver a smooth, steady ride worthy of the sedan’s position as the maker’s flagship model.

Granted this is largely a carry over from 2007, but Acura didn’t let the dust settle on its finer touches. There’s little here to disappoint. While not as sporty in appearance as a high-performance coupe, the RL delivers the same level of power with the roominess of a sedan. A V8 engine choice would have been nice, but the V6 offers better than average reliability. Since no major re-design of the RL is expected until 2010 or later, there’s no point in waiting if you’re in the market for a well-conceived, top-level luxury sedan.

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