Acura RL

In 1996 Acura replaced the Legend with the Acura RL, a top-notch sedan. Consumers can be confident in the manufacturing quality of the Acura RL, as a result of the manufacturing plant's location in Saitama, Japan. The Japanese have a long history of producing high quality vehicles of which the RL is one. On January 4th, 1996 the first Acura RL rolled off the assembly line to the excitement of the company. Behind closed company doors the RL was known as 'KA9'; meanwhile, stories have circulated as to what RL may be an acronym for. Some stipulate that RL stood for 'Road Luxury', while others argue it stood for 'Replaces Legend'. Regardless of the origin, the vehicle unfortunately was not highly reviewed by the automotive world. It seems that many were anticipating something that could compete with the Lexus LS; however, the RL failed to meet expectations. It wasn't until 2005 that the model underwent a redesign, which came after years of falling sales. On the brighter side, the RL was a surprisingly smooth and quiet ride with a 4-speed transmission that operated quite effortlessly. Additionally, the layout of the interior space, the car's reliability and its fit-and-finish received very few complaints. The newly designed 2005 model resembled the Mercedes-Benz E-Class leaving Acura very proud of the vehicle's so-called "Super Handling All Wheel Drive" which inevitably earned the car "Tech Car of the Year" from cnet.com in 2005. Nevertheless, sales continue to be lackluster which has prompted Acura to release a new, and lower priced, model in the United States in 2007. The base model will not include a navigational system, real wood dashboard or active headlights. Whether or not this will increase sales and draw new customers is yet to be seen. On a more positive note though, in 2006 Forbes Autos.com awarded the RL the number one position on their "Top 10 Safest Vehicles" list.