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2005 Acura RL Sedan

4dr Sdn AT (Natl)

Starting at | Starting at 18 MPG City - 26 MPG Highway

2005 Acura RL for Sale

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  • Average Retail is not available
  • $49,100 original MSRP
Printable Version

2005 Acura RL Sedan

Printable Version

2005 Acura RL Sedan


2005 Acura RL

Source: New Car Test Drive


The Acura RL is all new for 2005, and it's sleeker, sportier and more fun to drive than last year's model. The RL still uses a V6 engine, but it's much more powerful than before. And while previous RL models were front-wheel drive, the 2005 RL uses all-wheel drive for improved grip and superior stability and to handle the higher horsepower. The new RL offers the responsive handling of a sports sedan yet it rides smoothly.

While the previous-generation RL had become big, bloated and boring, slinking around in the shadows of the Lexus LS430 and Infiniti Q45, the new RL compares quite favorably to BMW, Mercedes and Audi as well as Lexus and Infiniti. It's more fun to drive than a Mercedes E320. And while it may not offer the sporty rear-wheel-drive dynamics of the new BMW 530i, it's right with it on a race track.

Acura's innovative all-wheel-drive system makes the new RL easy to drive and helps keep its driver out of trouble. Called Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive, the system overdrives the outside rear wheel when motoring around corners, improving the handling balance and enhancing stability. It feels solid in corners. It forgives minor driver errors and makes the driver look skilled. And of course it works exceptionally well in adverse weather. Honda's 300-horsepower VTEC V6 provides plenty of power yet the RL is rated 26 mpg on the highway.

The RL is Acura's flagship luxury car. It's more luxurious and slightly larger than the sporty TL. The new 2005 RL is smaller outside but larger inside than last year's previous-generation model.

Model Lineup

The 2005 Acura RL ($48,900) is available as one loaded model. No options are available. The navigation system comes standard along with just about every luxury and convenience feature we can think of.

Active safety features include SH-AWD, Vehicle Stability Assist with traction control, anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist.

Passive safety features include a driver's and front-passenger's dual-stage, dual threshold airbags, side curtain airbags designed to provide head protection for passengers in all outboard seating positions, and side-impact airbags designed to provide torso protection for driver and front passenger with an occupant position detection system for the front passenger. OnStar operators will direct emergency services to your car if the airbags deploy and you don't respond. A tire pressure monitoring system is also standard.


The all-new 2005 Acura RL is actually smaller than the previous-generation model. The new RL is shorter overall and rides on a shorter wheelbase. The track is wider, though. The engine is more compact. That, and other space-efficiency measures, have resulted in a cabin that's roomier than the previous model's. It's a sure sign of improved space efficiency when the outside of the car is smaller but the inside is larger.

The new RL looks sleeker and sportier than the previous model. It's attractive if not interesting. The front end is smooth with nicely integrated bumpers and headlamps. Xenon high-intensity discharge headlamps employ Acura's new Active Front Lighting System, which swivels the headlight beams into corners for better visibility.

From the rear, the RL looks vaguely similar to the newest designs from BMW, which are controversial. Viewed from the side, the trailing edge of the RL is somewhat reminiscent of the 7 Series where the rear deck seems separated from the rear fenders. It's far less pronounced on the Acura, however, and won't rise to the level of a controversy.

Interior Features

The interior of the RL is luxurious and functional. The seats are comfortable for cruising and supportive for hard driving. The wide armrests have a nice soft feel. This is a roomy car, though the back seats don't offer as much room as some of the competition's.

The cabin is finished in handsome leather with attractive stitching. Real wood is used sparingly, tastefully around the cabin and it's not too shiny. Acura says it used the finest materials and exacting attention to detail in the interior design. It shows. The RL's cabin is attractive, comfortable and functional. The biggest nitpick we noted is inconsequential: The cigar lighter cover was reluctant to open on the car we drove, and that was a pre-production model, a car built before the assembly line started.

The display is not a touch screen. Instead, an interface dial is used to control all functions. Positioned on the center stack, in front of the shifter, the dial is rotated like a knob and rocked like a joystick to select among function menus displayed on the navigation screen. Pushing down on the knob selects the highlighted function. Functions controlled by the interface dial include the climate control system, audio, navigation, and the AcuraLink satellite communications system. This interface dial is similar in concept to that of BMW's controversial iDrive, but Acura added redundant buttons on the instrument panel and steering wheel for most of the commonly used functions, making this system easier to use than BMW's. For its part, the interface dial has great feel.

As mentioned, everything described here comes as standard equipment, including the navigation system with voice recognition, which features a large 8-inch screen. The all-new AcuraLink satellite communications system delivers in-car traffic information in real time for major cities. LA has the most mature infrastructure to support this, and it's an impressive feature that could make commuting easier by helping drivers avoid heavily congested areas. Traffic flow is shown by color coding the highways in three levels (flying, normal and forget about it). Unlike radio reports, which just hit the highlights and don't provide detailed instructions for getting around tangles, this system uses data from the highway departments and technology developed by XM Satellite Radio to give the RL driver the level of detail needed to change routes on the fly. The RL is on the leading edge of this technology, and it may prove to be well worth taking the time to fully master this navigation aid.

Even without this newest twist, Acura's navigation systems are perennially among the best available. In the past, we've praised them for their ease of operation, clear instructions, speedy route calculations, and absence of errors. As with all of these systems, there is a learning curve. You'll need to study the owners manual and exercise patience before you can fully master the system and use it to its maximum advantage. Even then, trying to program navigation or other functions while driving is very dangerous; you should pull over, program your destination, get organized, then set out.

OnStar also comes standard. Having OnStar and a navigation system should ensure you are always guided to your destination. Pressing the OnStar button calls up an operator ready to assist you in any way possible, whether you need directions to the nearest gas station or ATM or the best sushi bar in town. OnStar operators can quickly pinpoint your exact location and the direction you're headed and won't hesitate to tell you to turn around. They can unlock the doors should you lock the keys inside. They can direct the police to your car should it be stolen. They will direct emergency crews to you should the airbags go off and you not respond to their calls. We've found most of them cheerful, friendly and engaging, patient, often with a sense of humor, though that isn't alway

Driving Impressions

The all-new 2005 Acura RL is much more of a driver's car than last year's model. It handles better. It's tauter, more poised. It grips better in corners, has tauter transient response and stops in shorter distances. The ride is comfortable, firm enough to feel expansion joints but not so firm as to be harsh, and it cruises easily. The cabin is quiet, benefiting from a noise cancellation system that reduces road noise and tire noise but especially boom from the engine exhaust.

Acura's Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive improves the handling of the RL considerably. SH-AWD distributes power not only between the front and rear wheels but also between the left and right rear wheels. This distribution of power can be controlled, and it uses this capability to enhance the handling. Essentially, the system overdrives the outside rear wheel in corners to reduce the understeer that is inherent with all-wheel-drive layouts. (Technonerds: It employs the same principles as the old Honda Prelude SH, only at the rear wheels instead of the front, overdriving them by up to 5 percent.) In short, the RL doesn't plow in corners. It simply motors around them.

We found the system particularly helpful in tight corners where it keeps the nose of the car tucked in. The RL seems to respond well to throttle in the corners. The effects of overdriving one of the rear wheels is most noticeable at competition-level speeds, but the system improves handling feel even at a moderate pace. It feels precise, and the RL goes exactly where you want to go. You get improved handling stability on dry or wet roads. All-wheel drive also brings improved traction and stability on snow and ice. The system is biased to the front. When cruising along, 70 percent of the engine's power goes to the front wheels, and 30 percent goes to the rear wheels. Stand on it, however, and up to 70 percent of the power goes to the rear wheels. That means little or no wheel spin when accelerating.

To compare the handling of the RL, we drove it back to back with some other cars on a winding racing circuit, the new Shenandoah 1.2-mile road course at Summit Point in West Virginia. Of particular note was how the RL compared with a Mercedes E320 4Matic (all-wheel drive). The E320 felt heavy and lethargic, like an old Mercedes. Compared with the Acura, the Mercedes lacked grip and suffered from understeer and slow steering; plus it was hard to modulate brakes and hard to modulate the throttle. A previous-generation RL and a previous-generation Audi A6 were also on hand, and both were hopelessly outclassed by the Acura and BMW, serving as stark examples of the superiority of the latest models over five-year-old designs. (There's an all-new A6 for 2005, but there wasn't one available for this test.)

By far, the stars of this exercise were the Acura RL and BMW 530i. The RL was the easiest of the group to drive, making it the quickest. The 530i felt livelier and more fun with its rear-wheel drive and sports suspension. Whether the BMW would ultimately be quicker in timed lap sessions wasn't clear. What was clear was that the RL was the easiest to push to the limit in unfamiliar corners. The new Acura would be an excellent choice if told to drive as fast as possible over an unfamiliar mountain road, and that would be even more true if the conditions were slippery or unpredictable.

Fortunately, there's plenty of power to go with the RL's excellent handling. Its V6 is the most powerful engine ever in an Acura. The 3.5-liter engine generates 300 horsepower at 6200 rpm and 260 pound-feet of torque at 5000 rpm. That's impressive power from a V6. You'll get more power and more low-end response from a V8, but the RL offers decent performance. It can accelerate from 0-60 mph in less than 7 seconds. It's smooth, responsive and enjoyable. It's quicker than a Mercedes E320 and comparable to a BMW 530i. Better breathing helps the 24-valve, sing


The all-new Acura RL sheds the stodginess of the previous-generation model and embraces the agile handling and quick acceleration performance of a sports sedan. The RL is easy to drive and helps keep its drivers out of harm's way, with the latest in all-wheel drive technology. Yet it rides nicely, coddles its occupants and exudes a sporty, luxurious ambience.

New Car Test Drive editor Mitch McCullough filed this report from Washington, D.C.

Model Line Overview
Base Price (MSRP)
Model lineup:
Acura RL ($48,900)
300-hp 3.5-liter sohc 24-valve VTEC V6
5-speed automatic w Sequential SportShift
Safety equipment (Standard):
dual-stage, dual threshold frontal airbags; side curtain airbags for front and rear occupants; side-impact airbags for driver and front passenger; 3-point seatbelts at all five seating positions; LATCH; ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Assist w traction control, all-wheel drive
Safety equipment (Optional):
Basic warranty:
4 years/50,000 miles
Assembled in:
Sayama, Japan
Specifications As Tested
Model tested (MSRP):
Acura RL ($48,900)
Standard equipment:
dual-zone automatic climate control, perforated leather-trimmed seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, 8-way power driver seat with adjustable lumbar support and driver recognition, 4-way power front passenger seat with power adjustable lumbar, heated front seats, remote retractable rear headrests, illuminated center console storage, rear center folding armrest with locking trunk pass-through, curly maple trim, AcuraLink satellite communication system with real time traffic, Bluetooth wireless telephone interface, navigation system with voice recognition, Acura/Bose 10-speaker AM/FM/XM Satellite Radio surround sound w 6CD, DVD audio and DTS changer, Active Noise Cancellation, OnStar telematics, power moonroof, tilt/telescoping steering column, steering wheel-mounted controls, multi-information display, speed-sensing wipers, power windows w auto-down/up, auto-reverse and key-off operation, front and rear map lights, HomeLink, programmable feature customization, 12-volt power outlets (2), dual trip meters
Options as tested:
Destination charge:
Gas Guzzler Tax:
Price as tested (MSRP)
all-wheel drive
3.5-liter sohc 24-valve VTEC V6
Horsepower (hp @ rpm):
300 @ 6200
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm):
260 @ 5000
5-speed automatic w Sequential SportShift
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy:
18/26 mpg.
110.2 in.
193.6/72.7/57.1 in.
Track, f/r:
62.0/62.4 in.
Turning circle:
39.7 ft.
Seating capacity:
Head/hip/leg room, f:
38.5/55.1/42.4 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m:
Head/hip/leg room, r:
37.2/54.0/36.3 in.
Cargo volume:
13.1 cu. ft.
Towing capacity:
Suspension F:
independent, double-wishbone w coil springs and stabilizer bar
Suspension R:
independent, multi-link w coil springs and stabilizer bar
Ground clearance:
5.7 in.
Curb weight:
3984 lbs.
P245/50VR17 Michelin high-performance all-season
Brakes, f/r:
disc/disc w ABS, EBD, Brake Assist in.
Fuel capacity:
19.4 gal.

Printable Version

2005 Acura RL Sedan

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade

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Passenger Crash Grade

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Rollover Resistance

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Side Impact Crash Test - Front

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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear

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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
4-Wheel Disc Brakes Std
Traction/Stability Control Std
Tire Pressure Monitoring System Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Std
Side Head Air Bag Std
Rear Head side Air Bag Std
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

HID Headlights Std
Daytime Running Lights Std
Fog Lamps Std
Electrochromic Rearview Mirror Std
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std

Accident Prevention

Handsfree Wireless Std


Anti-theft System Std
Telematics Std
Printable Version

2005 Acura RL Sedan

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 4 Years/50,000 Miles
Corrosion 5 Years/Unlimited Miles
Roadside Assistance 4 Years/50,000 Miles

Acura Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

12 months/12,000 miles limited warranty from purchased date or expiration of new car warranty date. Additional 7 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty from in-service date.
Age/Mileage Eligibility Model Years 2010-2015 and Less Than 80,000 miles
Lease Term Certified Yes
Point Inspection 182
Return/Exchange Program 3 day exchange
Roadside Assistance Yes
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible No

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2005 Acura RL Sedan

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