2009 Acura RL

2009-acura-rl The Acura RL gets an update for the 2009 model year, thought unless you’re a hardcore Acura fan, you might be hard-pressed to tell the difference.  Ever since I can remember, the RL has been a bit of a dud in showrooms because it fails on paper.  Compared to it’s rivals who sport RWD and V8 power, the RL’s AWD and V6 can’t compete.  If you believe Acura, however, the “SH-AWD” is better than RWD anyhow, but buyers haven’t been convinced.

2009-acura-rl-back Anyway, enough about that.  What’s new for the 2009 RL?  A slightly larger engine for one – 3.7 liters producing an even 300 HP vs the 3.5 liter mill putting out 290 HP last year.  After that, well, not very much.  The grille is revised, though I’m still not sure if it’s for better or worse.  It’s not particularly exciting, if that means anything.  18″ wheels are also standard this year ( they should have been all along – I get 18″ wheels standard on a Nissan Maxima ).  Pricing should remain in the $46-$54k range, give or take.

2009-acura-rl-interior Acura needed to do more – much more.  Buyers at the $50k level want more – they want RWD ( or RWD-based AWD ) and they most certainly want a V8 under the hood.  Adding 10 HP, fixing a wheel problem, and updating a grille does not make the 2009 Acura RL a player.  Folks who do want to drive an Acura are more likely to get the much more affordable TL.  Sure, they’ll sacrifice the excellent SH-AWD and a few HP, but that’s not enough to justify the huge price gap.  Acura – if you want to play in this price range, you need to build a new car from the ground up.  Repeat after me – RWD and V8.  You can do it.

2009 Acura RL Specs

  • 300 HP 3.7 liter SOHC V6
  • 271 lb-ft of torque at a lofty 5,000 RPM
  • SH-AWD – Super Handling All-Wheel Drive
  • 5 speed automatic with F1 paddle shifters
  • Estimated fuel economy: 16 mpg city / 22 MPG highway / 19 MPG combined
  • Curb weight: 4083 lbs

Published on February 6, 2008 in Acura

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