2nd gen if you can swing it. You won't regret getting the newer car.
This isn't an E39 v. E60 situation.
2004 RL (1st-gen)
2005 RL (2nd-gen)
So, in my searching for used 1st-gen Acura RLs, I have come across a few higher mileage 2nd-gen RLs also in my price range (approx. $10k). I would prefer to stay with an Acura based on prior experiences with the brand and should the need arise, the favorable reputation of our local Acura dealer. I've pretty much eliminated the TL from my search due to higher resale value and poor wear/condition of most used TLs I've seen. Either the owners are harder on these cars or they just don't hold up as well as their higher priced bother.
Wants/needs (in order of importance):
Relatively anonymous (this car will be parked on the street in my downtown neighborhood so I don't want anything too attention seeking or flashy)
The 2nd gen is obviously superior in many areas, but I do have concerns about reliability of a 1st model year new generation RL vs. the tried and true late model 1st gen RL. So, Car Lounge, what say you? Between these two choices which would you get, and why?
1st-gen 2004 RL
Mileage range of cars priced @ $10k usually varies between 75-95k
Specs: 225 hp & 231 lb-ft/FWD/4-speed automatic/0-60: 7.5-7.9 seconds
2nd-gen 2005 RL
Mileage range of cars priced @ $10k usually varies between 110-120k
Specs: 300 hp & 260 lb-ft/AWD/5-speed automatic/0-60: 6.5-7.0 seconds
Last edited by BLK9GEN; 10-06-2012 at 09:10 PM.
19-- Willys Jeep * 1989 Cadillac STS * 1991 Ford Escort GT * 1995 Dodge Neon Sport * 1997 Honda Civic EX * 1997 BMW 528i * 1998 Honda CR-V EX * 1999 Acura 3.2 TL * 2000 VW Golf GLS 1.8T * 2001 Land Rover Range Rover 4.6 SE * 2002 VW Passat GLS 1.8T * 2002 Honda Civic EX * 2006 Lexus GS430 * 2006 Honda Pilot EX-L * 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander XLS * 2009 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 * 2010 Kia Forte Koup SX * 2011 Hyundai Sonata SE * 2013 Honda Accord Sport
However, the left side of my brain is uncertain. I still remember the 8 unscheduled service visits C&D's 2005 RL had: http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...term-road-test
Last edited by BLK9GEN; 10-07-2012 at 10:30 AM.
The 2nd's have some electrical gremlins, the keyless go system isn't the most reliable and when it breaks it's expensive to fix and can leave you stranded (ask me how I know), and the xenon headlights (which turn left/right) would intermittently report errors with the turning feature. Not sure what brakes cost from 3rd party, but at the dealer they carried a premium over other Acuras. The SH-AWD system requires some additional maintenance compared with a FWD vehicle.
I averaged about 23mpg with mine, 60/40 highway/city.
Great driving car, not quite as quiet as a Lexus but much more fun to drive than the size of the car and demographic would lead you to believe. No fold down rear seat.
I bought mine in 2009 w/ 64k miles for $13,200. It was a steal and I had an opportunity to sell it for a profit about a year later (with 85k miles), so I did, but sometimes I wish I had just hung onto it.
1st gen looks much classier. Honestly, that alone would sell me on it. It's the difference of 1 year, so you really can't throw around age as a deciding factor... Just get the one you like better.
1998 VW Golf Mk.III 5dr/1960 Porsche 356B T5/1980 Honda CM400E
"I drive an '81 Jetta with a Scirocco engine, Rabbit front fenders and multi-colored doors. There's a spiderweb fracture in the driver's side windshield, and a dented bumper sticker that says 'praised are the lowered'"
Do the 3.5's suffer from the same oil burning issues that the 3.2's did?
EVERY Legend from the generation prior to the 3.5 RL is smoking. Every one. I don't know what the issue is (other than I'm sure they all have galactic mileage on them) but I'd be concerned about that if the engines share that problem.
In addition to our current cars, but possibly a replacement for my BF's car. He is working and going to school and can't afford a new car at the moment, and it would be nice to have a "spare" car for when his POS '95 Neon doesn't work and/or when my car is in for service. Not to mention, winter duty...it would be a plus to have a car I don't care about as much in terms of wear and tear from sand/salt on the roads.
Last edited by BLK9GEN; 10-07-2012 at 12:56 PM.
The 05 is a much better driver. better all weather capabilities, better technlology, quieter,smoother, and in general...more refined/polished. That said, the 03-04 RL is a larger car (actually, Acura's largest car built to date....not sure if the 2013 RL is larger though). It looks classier and feels softer inside....both the seats and the ride. They really are two completly different cars. I would suggest you drive both and see which you like better. The 04 will be cheaper to buy, cheaper to fix, and cheaper to miantain....just not as fun to drive and may or may not have a Nav system (all 05's hve Nav)....although...the Nav will be outdated either way.
If you spring for an 05 try and find a 1 owner car with service records...or go with an 06.....as a lot of the small issues were taken care of by the time the 2nd model year came to be. The SH-AWD in the RL is also a better system then in other SH-AWD equiped Acura's.
Acura did make an A-Spec suspension for the 05-08 RL if you wanted to upgrade the suspension to something even sportier.
Personally, i would purchase a final model year of any given car rather then a 1st model year.
Also, I'm curious to hear why the SH-AWD is superior on the RL vs. other Acura vehicles it is offered on. I was unaware they were different.
I thought Nav was still the only option the RL had up untill the new model in 2005..but thinking about it...i don't think i have ever seen an 04 with out Nav.
Here is wiki link on SH-AWD. Explains the diff. versions (RL's being most advanced). The SH Technology first appeared in 1997 on the Honda Prelude Type-SH which had the ATTS (Active Torque Transfer System) Diff. which would send 80% of powerto the outside front wheel when cornering. The RL'S SH-AWD accelerates the outside rear wheel when cornering in addition to being able to send 100% of power going to the rear to one side.
Last edited by a2a4raddo; 10-07-2012 at 09:53 PM.
In the North American market, Honda introduced the original SH-AWD system introduced in late 2004 with the second generation 2005 Acura RL. Two other SH-AWD variants were introduced in late 2006 in the then all new 2007 Acura RDX and the new second generation 2007 Acura MDX Sport Utility Vehicles SUV. In late 2008, an improved version of the Acura RL SH-AWD was introduced in the significantly revised Mid-Model Change (MMC) of the 2009 Acura RL. This improved version provided earlier SH-AWD intervention (first gear vs second) and more precise use of the rear differential electromagnetic clutch system to provide an improved limited-slip differential function.
Yet another version of SH-AWD was introduced in late 2008 with the fourth generation 2009 Acura TL. The Acura TL implementation of SH-AWD is actually mechanically more similar to the SH-AWD layout in the Acura MDX and RDX in that the rear differential is over driven at a constant 1.7% faster than the front wheels, unlike the Acura RL, which, since its introduction in 2004, added an acceleration device which can over drive the rear wheels up to 5.7% faster than the front wheels.
As of 2010 the Acura RL remains the only SH-AWD configuration with the variable speed rear differential acceleration device. The newly introduced 2010 Acura ZDX four-door sports coupe maintains a mechanically similar fixed 1.7% over driven rear differential configuration to the other Acura SH-AWD equipped vehicles