For 2007, the RL has two trim lines: the RL and RL Elite, which includes Collision Mitigation Braking System, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Active Front Lighting.

This advanced braking system uses a radar unit mounted behind the grille to monitor the distance and closing rate between the RL and the vehicle directly in front of it; it then uses that information to continuously calculate the likelihood of a frontal collision. If the distance and closing rate exceed its threshold, the system will sound audio and visual alerts; if these are ignored, it will tug at the driver’s seat belt and apply light braking. If the system senses that a collision is inevitable, it will retract the belts tightly and apply strong braking, lowering the speed of impact. The sensors are also used for the Adaptive Cruise Control, which adjusts the vehicle’s speed to maintain a consistent following interval between the RL and the vehicle directly in front.

Both models use a 3.5-litre V6 with five-speed automatic transmission and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD), which distributes torque between the front and rear wheels, and also between the left and right rear wheels.

Features on the RL include 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic high intensity discharge headlamps with washers, fog lights, heated mirrors with memory and reverse tilt-down, power sunroof, navigation system with bilingual voice recognition, auto-dimming rearview mirror, solar-sensing dual-zone climate control, garage door opener, Bluetooth hands-free telephone interface, keyless access system, power rear sunshade, manual rear window sunshades, speed-sensing variable intermittent wipers, six-CD/DVD/MP3 Bose stereo with ten speakers, eight-way driver and four-way passenger power adjustment, perforated leather-trimmed seats and simulated woodgrain interior.

The RL Elite adds active front lighting, Collision Mitigation Braking System, Active Cruise Control, genuine curly maple wood trim, and ventilated front seats with heating and cooling.

The RL is beautifully styled with a luxurious interior, but compromised by a tight rear seat. Its sophisticated all-wheel drive system can send rear torque to just one wheel for better cornering, and it handles well and accelerates with confidence. The Elite package adds considerably to the price but also brings the RL to a new standard of safety and technology.

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