[home][rumors and news][model release matrix][dealer network][desktop calendar][exhaust notes][tov forums][links][search][sponsors][garage][login]

Tire Rack Upgrade Garage
 Search for a Dealer:
 Canadian Flag US Flag
 Honda Acura
 ZIP  
Acura
There are currently no active Acura promotions
Honda
There are currently no active Honda promotions
American Honda reports strong sales numbers for September 2017
More.......................
Honda will be showing a Sports EV Concept at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show
More.......................
The 1.5T in the 2018 Accord has VTEC!
More.......................
Honda Urban EV Concept unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show
More.......................
American Honda Reports August 2017 Auto Sales
More.......................
Some Civic Type Rs are overheating on track
More.......................
Spied on the STREET! Next Gen RDX
More.......................
Acura Reveals Striking New Design for 2018 Acura RLX; Debut Set for Monterey Automotive Week
More.......................
General Talk --> Re: Kia Stinger - RWD
Join Discussion......
Type R --> Re: CTR 2nd Gear Issue?
Join Discussion......
Today's Reading Links --> Re: 5,000 deaths annually from dieselgate in Europe
Join Discussion......
General Talk --> Re: Acura falls to below average in CR quality survey
Join Discussion......
General Talk --> Re: Do you wrench on your own car?
Join Discussion......
Professional Motorsports --> Re: Honda PU
Join Discussion......
TLX --> Re: 10AT for TLX
Join Discussion......
Today's Reading Links --> Re: 2019 Audi A7
Join Discussion......
IMA/Hybrids --> Re: what current models can be electrified?
Join Discussion......
Fuel Cell Technology --> Re: Station offline due to compressor issues
Join Discussion......
Fuel Cell Technology --> Re: Steering wheel audio control went kaput this morning
Join Discussion......
Fuel Cell Technology --> Re: Free rental car... Huh? WTF?
Join Discussion......
Accord --> Re: C&D Test - Honda Accord 2.0T Touring 10AT
Join Discussion......
Today's Reading Links --> Re: You guys wanna hear a Joke?
Join Discussion......
General Talk --> Re: 2018 CR-V
Join Discussion......
Jump to:
On the Road Again
After luxuriating in the interior of the RL one could assume that it's just been overlooked in the market place. Cars like the Lexus ES330 or GS300 have nothing on the RL's living space, and the Mercedes Benz E-class could learn a thing or two from the RL about being a pleasant place to spend time (at least from the RL in parchment, the darker interiors are a bit somber). But what really makes a car for us is how it drives. No, we don't evaluate luxury cars by their lap times, but driving dynamics are still important and this is where the RL begins to show some more weaknesses.

Naturally, the ride is one of the first areas of attention on a luxury sedan, and the RL generally doesn't disappoint. The ride is smooth and composed while not being overly floaty over big crests and dips. It is not Lexus cloud soft, nor is it Mercedes Benz firm. It doesn't have the long-travel, heavily damped feel of a BMW either. Rather, it feels very much like what you'd expect a luxury focused Honda or Acura to feel like. Controlled, a bit soft on the compression side with suspension travel a bit on the short side.

The suspension not only does a good job of hiding the ugly bits of the road from you, but it doesn't do so at the expense of total isolation. You actually get a very faint message through the steering wheel about what's happening. "That's a tar strip" it whispers, but you'll have to be paying attention to hear it. Occasionally a sharp one wheel bump will cause it to writhe in an unseemly fashion, but that's about the extent of the bad behavior during normal driving. Overall, while there may be better luxury rides out there, the RL doesn't suffer vis-a-vis its direct competitors here.

Picking up the pace reveals some distinct shortcomings though. While a luxury sedan is not necessarily expected to be a crisp handler (witness the Lexus ES for an example of a soft chassis), it should at least behave in a controlled manner to the driver's inputs. Up to about 5/10ths, the RL seems to do this that. It pivots nicely into corners and powers out reasonably well with minimal understeer - but it all goes wrong after that. As you push further (and we aren't talking particularly high speeds yet), the RL becomes harder to place on the road. It seems to feel bigger as speeds climb and cornering forces build. But the steering doesn't build effort in any sort of predictable fashion and path accuracy begins to suffer. Driving it at higher speeds begins to feel like an exercise in pointing and hoping, as your inputs to the steering wheel are difficult to calibrate to what's happening on the road surface.

Push further still (not that I recommend it) and car simply understeers completely out of line. It's not a safe sort of understeer, where you lift off and tighten your line, the front end just goes all out of sorts and it takes a while to come back. You can mitigate this somewhat by trail braking into the corner entry, but how many luxury sedan drivers do that? And unless you trail brake very late and deep, you won't get much rotation to ease your way through the turn. All the while, the tires sqwak and squeal in a most unbecoming fashion. Clearly this is not a car that's likes being pushed - at all.



[Previous Page] [Next Page]

reader's comments
Click Here to Submit Your Comments

Viewing Threshold (What is this?)

[fancy] [flat] [simple]
Subject Thread Originator Replies Last Post
  rl
WEST CHESTER ACU 0
  Any chance of an in-car video of the RL?
KenB 2
  This is a great car to pick up USED.
RSX 9
  rwd
Morpheus 3
  Shawn a question about Economy?
brittho 4
  RL vs. 1st gen 3.2TL
TonyEX 4
  Loved it, about handling though..
B&O DK 1
  Excellent. A note on paint...
KenB 0
  Great article!
RAdams 0
Jump to:
TOV First Drive: 2018 Honda Accord
Read Article....................
2018 Honda Accord Specifications and Features (FINAL)
Read Article....................
2018 Honda Accord Hybrid PR Photo Gallery
Read Article....................
2018 Accord Touring 2.0T PR Photo Gallery
Read Article....................
2018 Accord Touring 1.5T PR Photo Gallery
Read Article....................
2018 Honda Accord Sport 2.0T PR Photo Gallery
Read Article....................
Contact TOV | Submit Your Article | Submit Your Link | Advertise | TOV Shop | Events | Our Sponsors | TOV Archives
Copyright © 2017 Velocitech Inc. All information contained herein remains the property of Velocitech Inc.
The Temple of VTEC is not affiliated with American Honda Motor Co., Inc. TOV Policies and Guidelines - Credits - Privacy Policy