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1997 Acura RL

  • 1997 Acura RL Base Sedan

    Base Sedan

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      3.5L V6
    • MSRP
  • 1997 Acura RL Premium Sedan

    Premium Sedan

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      3.5L V6
    • MSRP
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  • Review

1997 Acura RL Review

A near-luxury sedan with a good balance of luxury, performance, and value.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 1997 Acura RL is a near-luxury sedan that is, in many respects, the upgraded version of the TL. Drivers looking at a fully-loaded TL might want to consider changing over the RL. While the model designations are somewhat confusing, the base model RL has more in common with a loaded out TL Premium than the TL base model. The RL Premium is a step above the base RL and TL Premium, as well. Despite the large amount of competition, the RL does hold its own quite well in the competitive near-luxury sedan market. It also doesn’t offer the wide range of models that the TL offers, meaning there is no midrange options. However, drivers who are interested in the TL, but looking for more luxury and power are going to be pleased with the RL, even factoring in the higher price tag.

The Range

Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 3.5-liter six-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Acura RL 3.5, Acura RL 3.5 Premium

What's New

The 1997 Acura RL has no major changes to the design.


The 1997 Acura RL is an attractive car. The styling is classy but conservative with crisp angles rather than smooth curves. Measuring at 195.5 inches long, the RL is a relatively large sedan. The wheelbase is 114.6 inches long. The larger body size is typical of many near-luxury vehicles, since it allows a similar increase in the size of the cabin. However, within the near-luxury market, it is a fairly average sized vehicle. While not unusual for a vehicle in this segment of the market, it might not appeal to all drivers interested in this style.


Similar to most near-luxury sedans, the 1997 Acura RL has many luxury features available as standard equipment, even in the base model. Standard features on base models include power seats, power heated mirrors, power windows, power locks, keyless entry, power leather seats, power moonroof, leather trim, air-conditioning, automatic climate control, a cassette player, a CD player, and an AM/FM. The Premium model also adds heated seats and Bose audio.

Performance & Handling

The 1997 Acura RL provides excellent performance and handling. The 3.5-liter, six-cylinder engine provides very good acceleration and a respectable top speed. Steering and handling are excellent, allowing the RL to nimbly move along the road under most driving conditions.


While the list of standard safety features is short, the 1997 Acura RL performs relatively well in crash tests. Dual-front airbags and four-wheel anti-lock brakes are standard features. Traction control is a standard feature on the 3.5 Premium.

EPA Fuel Economy

Acura RL: 17/23 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Luxurious interior
  • Good performance
  • Reliable design

You Won't Like

  • High price tag

Sum Up

A near-luxury sedan with a good balance of luxury, performance, and value.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Audi A6
  • Audi A8
  • Infiniti I30
  • Lexus ES300

See the New 2012 RL.

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