2006 RL New Car Test Drive
The Acura RL is sporty and fun to drive. The Acura RL combines a free-revving, 290-horsepower V6 engine with all-wheel drive for improved grip and superior stability. The RL delivers the responsive handling of a sports sedan yet rides smoothly. It offers the latest in technology, including a system that can help you avoid rear-ending someone in stop-and-go traffic.
Redesigned for the 2005 model year, this latest-generation RL is fully capable of competing with the benchmark German sedans. And it's certainly more fun to drive than a Mercedes E-Class.
Acura's innovative all-wheel-drive system makes the 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, smoothes over minor driver errors and makes the driver look and feel skillful. And it works exceptionally well in adverse weather. The 290-horsepower VTEC V6 provides plenty of power yet the RL is rated 26 mpg on the highway.
For 2006, a new Collision Mitigation Braking System is available that works with a new Adaptive Cruise Control system. Using radar, the system will alert the driver, pretension the seatbelts, and slam on the brakes when it senses an imminent impact. We tested this system in a controlled exercise and were very impressed with its ability to warn the driver and help avoid an accident or, in the worst case, reduce the severity of the impact.
The Acura RL ($49,300) comes loaded with every luxury and convenience feature imaginable, including leather upholstery and Acura's navigation system.
Options include the Technology Package which includes the Collision Mitigation Braking System, Adaptive Cruise Control and Michelin PAX run-flat tires ($53,100).
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.