2011 Acura RL Advance

The RL is a largely forgotten model that's vastly outsold by the Audi A6, the Lexus GS, and the Cadillac STS, not to mention volume leaders like the Mercedes-Benz E-class and the BMW 5-series. As Donny pointed out, the best comparison for the RL might be the Lincoln MKS: both are sub-$50K flagships for luxury brands that have lost their way, and both cars are perfectly fine unless you take a test-drive in one of their more exciting, more up-to-date, and more feature-filled rivals.

Long-in-the-tooth is right: the navigation system has terrible graphics, and switchgear is relatively ancient (check out the lock/unlock flippers on the front doors). Still, this RL drove better (read: more sportily) than RLs previous versions I've sampled. The thin, grippy steering wheel even promotes brisk driving, and the refined Honda V-6 is more than up to the task of hustling this 4100-pound sedan down the road. The new six-speed automatic also helps the RL's cause, but it's too little to transform this iteration of the RL into a top-tier competitor.

Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor

New Car Research

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