Eric B. Magnolia, Del.

The RL is Acura’s flagship car and has available technology you won’t find on the TL. It’s also more expensive. Otherwise, they are similar as far as interior and exterior dimensions, with the RL edging out the TL in passenger volume, leg and headroom as well as overall length.  

RL-exclusive equipment includes an optional collision mitigation system that uses radar to warn of a possible collision and can automatically apply the brakes. Also unique to the RL is available adaptive front lighting, which swivels the headlights in the direction of where you’re turning.  

The RL starts at $46,830 with standard all-wheel drive. The 2010 TL starts at $35,105 for a front-wheel-drive version and $38,655 for the all-wheel drive SH-AWD model. The TL manages better fuel economy ratings than the RL when both are equipped with all-wheel drive — the TL is rated at 17/25 mpg city/highway and the RL is 16/22 mpg. senior editor Joe Wiesenfelder sums up the RL’s place in the market compared to the TL in his review of the RL:

“The Acura RL is simply an odd bird. Perhaps it would be as right as rain if there were no Acura TL — then Acura would just be a brand with no full-size car. Instead it's a brand with two cars of roughly the same size, one priced and equipped a bit higher. There's plenty to desire about the RL, not the least of which is the driving experience, but in these times of high fuel prices and an uncertain economy (to understate it), its higher price is tougher to justify over that of the comparably powered yet more efficient TL.”
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Answered by Joe Bruzek on November 2, 2009 in Acura , Acura TL , What Car Should I Buy? | Permalink

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