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2012 Acura RL Review

Critics said the 2012 Acura RL fails to match the sporty performance of its rivals and it doesn't offer a lot of back-seat or trunk space.

Pros & Cons

  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Small back seat
  • Limited trunk space
  • Low fuel economy for the class




Critics' Rating: 7.3
Performance: 8.2
Interior: 7.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.0
Safety: 9.2
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 Acura RL Overview

Test drivers wrote that the 2012 Acura RL’s V6 engine provides plenty of power, but many agreed that it doesn't feel as fast as its rivals. The RL comes with a six-speed automatic transmission and is one of the few cars in the class to come standard with all-wheel drive. The 2012 Acura RL gets an EPA-estimated 17/24 mpg city/highway, which is a bit low compared with six-cylinder, all-wheel drive rivals’ estimates. Automotive journalists wrote that the RL has poised handling, but doesn't feel as sporty as rivals like the Infiniti M37. Still, they appreciated the RL’s strong brakes, comfortable ride and the tenacious grip provided by its standard all-wheel drive system.

Reviewers wrote that the 2012 Acura RL has a pleasing interior design and top-notch materials. They said the front seats offer adequate head- and legroom. However, some complained that the rear seat is cramped, and its 13.1-cubic-foot trunk is small for the class. They also noted that there are a lot of buttons to control the audio, climate and navigation systems, and it can be difficult to tell them apart. Standard features in the 2012 Acura RL include a moonroof, leather upholstery, heated and power-adjustable front seats, a power rear sunshade, a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system, satellite radio, a USB port, proximity key and Bluetooth. Available features include navigation, a rearview camera and adaptive cruise control.

Other Cars to Consider

Test drivers said the V6-powered 2012 Hyundai Genesis feels more powerful than most six-cylinder rivals. The Genesis has more trunk space than the RL, and though it doesn't have all-wheel drive, the V6 model gets better fuel economy than the RL.

Reviewers said the 2012 Volvo S80 has lively acceleration with its available turbocharged six-cylinder engine, and the all-wheel drive model gets slightly better fuel economy than the RL. Test drivers praised its front seats for being comfortable for long periods of time.

Compare the RL, Genesis and S80 »

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