Test Drive: 2009 Acura RL Elite car test drives acura
2009 Acura RL. Click image to enlarge

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2009 Acura RL

Surrey, British Columbia – The ’09 edition of Acura’s flagship, the RL, has been given a fairly extensive mid-cycle makeover that includes a new engine and transmission; its styling has been revised and there are some interior changes too. Acura also made some modifications to improve steering and handling and added a bevy of new technology and entertainment features.

Luxury sedan competition in the 60-grand price range is certainly varied and interesting, but glancing over at Lexus (its fiercest competitor) there is, surprisingly, no direct opponent to the RL.
The GS is smaller (and less expensive), the LS is bigger (and more expensive) and the ISF — well, is the ISF (and a different breed).

Under the RL’s hood, a new 3.7-litre V6 replaces the 3.5-litre in the previous RL and it comes with variable-valve timing for both the intake and exhaust valves. It gives the latest RL an extra 10 horsepower increasing it to an even 300; and maximum torque has been pumped-up from 256 to 271 ft.-lb.

A strengthened version of its five-speed automatic transmission, to handle the increased power, is also on board and it comes with new “smart” F1-style steering wheel mounted paddle shifters plus a new straight-gate console mounted gear selector.

Fuel consumption for this new powertrain combo is 13.1 L/100 km (22 mpg) city and 9.0 L/100 km (31 mpg) on the highway. That’s up a little over last year and it likes premium fuel, but it does have an ultra-low emissions rating.