When it comes to the “wow” factor, the Acura RL has it.
The RL is luxurious, but not over the top. It provides exceptional performance on demand and is absolutely loaded with safety features that instills a sense of driver confidence in nearly every driving situation.
And while the all-wheel drive RL has always been a segment leader for high-tech features, the 2007 model raises the bar yet again with two optional technology packages.
The Technology Package adds Acura Satellite Navigation and AcuraLink with Real Time Traffic, active front lighting and upgraded wood interior trim.
Before you scoff, this is the best automotive navigation system in the industry today. The AcuraLink satellite communication system includes real time traffic information for 44 metro areas that allow the driver to see traffic tie-ups on major freeways and plot alternative routes through the voice activated system. For anyone who regularly has to drive through Dallas traffic (or any other major city), the system is worth its weight in gold.
At a glance you can detect the flow of traffic ahead, see where accidents or road construction has been reported, and plot an alternative route around the tie-up area.
It is amazing.
So is the Active Front Lighting system that allows the headlights to swivel with the turn of the steering wheel, allowing drivers to literally see around corners.
Buyers also have the option of the Technology Package plus which includes CMBS, which uses a millimeter-wave radar unit mounted inside the front grille to detect vehicles ahead and monitor potential rear-end collisions, sending an alert to the driver when there is a likelihood of collision and then helping reduce the impact on the front occupants by tightening the seatbelts and applying the brakes should a collision prove imminent.
True, I didn’t test the CMBS system during my one-week review period in the 2007 RL, but I felt pretty good knowing it was there.
The plus package also features Michelin PAX System run-flat tire technology that allows continued vehicle mobility for up to 125 miles after a tire puncture.
Another package feature is adaptive cruise control — which also uses a radar system to measure the distance between the car and the vehicle ahead. If the car in front slows down, you slow down to match their speed until it’s safe to pull out and pass — without having to cancel or adjust the cruise setting.
That’s it for the optional features — everything else is standard, and that list is far too long to include in this limited space.
The RL sedan is powered by a 290 horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 engine mated to a five-speed automatic transmission with sequential SportShift feature and paddle shifters.
With a base price starting below $46,000, the RL is without question one of the premier luxury sedans on the market today.
It’s also one of my all-time favorite cars. For those in the market, the RL is an absolute must test drive.
Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 15 years and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association and the Midwest Automotive Media Association. Comments may be sent to Neal at email@example.com.