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1999 Acura RL

  • 1999 Acura RL Base Sedan
    • MAX MPG
      24
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      210/224
    • ENGINE
      3.5L V6
    • MSRP
      $41,900
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  • Review

1999 Acura RL Review

A competitive flagship for BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 1999 Acura RL is a luxury sedan manufactured by Acura and a rebadged version of the Honda Legend as well as the flagship model for the Acura brand. The car was introduced in 1996 as a replacement for the Acura Legend. The reason for dropping the Legend nameplate and adopting ‘RL’ was that customers knew Acura models by names, such as Integra and Legend, but did not associate these names with Acura itself.

The Range

Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 3.5-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Acura RL 3.5

What's New

The 1999 Acura RL gets more than 400 modifications, which were only minor and could only be noticed with a discerning eye. The biggest changes for this model year of the RL include substantially revised V-6 engine and automatic transmission. The 1999 Acura RL also gets side airbags as a standard feature, along with brighter high-intensity discharge headlights.

The 1999 Acura RL's suspension was also revised for providing a sportier handling, and the brakes have been increased in size for better performance. The RL also gets a spatter of minor cosmetic changes on the inside and out.

Exterior

The 1999 Acura RL's exterior received a facelift in its front and rear. The front received xenon high-intensity discharge headlights, revised bumper and hood, and integrated fog lights. The rear bumper has also been revised, and the suspension and chassis have been stiffened. The car will also be available with new alloy wheels.

The 1999 Acura RL has a wheelbase of 114.6 inches and a length of 195.1 inches. The car also gets a width of 71.3 inches and a height of 54.5 inches. Its dimensions place the RL among the larger luxury sedans in the market.

Interior

The 1999 Acura RL has large dimensions, which translate to a spacious interior. The front seats are supportive and comfortable and get a generous amount of legroom and headroom. The driver’s seat is comfortable and well placed for the best all-round view. The controls up front are large and well placed in a systematic manner. All the controls can be understood and accessed easily by the driver without having to take his or her eyes away from the road.

While the 1999 Acura RL remains very similar to the Legend, it offers a relatively greater amount of space at the rear. Legroom and knee room are much greater in the RL than in the Legend. Headroom is good, but six-foot occupants may find their head lightly brushing the roof. The RL offers plenty of interior storage options for keeping odd items, and its rear cargo space is quite good too thanks to its flat floor and well-shaped trunk. The optional onboard navigation system for the 1999 Acura RL is very easy to use and rather accurate. However, some light conditions can make the display unreadable, and the screen is a fingerprint magnet.

Performance & Handling

The 1999 Acura RL is only available with a 3.5-liter overhead-cam V-6 engine that delivers 210 horsepower and 213 lb-ft of torque. Moreover, only a four-speed automatic transmission is available without a manual transmission option. The RL does not really feel as nimble or snappy as the lighter Legend, but it is definitely more luxurious. Interestingly, the Acura RL delivers more power at low speeds than the Legend does, but the overall acceleration offered by the V-6 engine is just average for a luxury sedan.

The 1999 Acura RL's V-6 engine that powers this sedan is quite smooth and quite, especially at cruising speeds, but it emits a refined snarl when pushed hard. Tire and wind noise remain modest. Suspension is very smooth, and ride quality is firm but comfortable. The RL is actually quite nimble for a sedan and steers very precisely.

Safety

The 1999 Acura RL gets four out of five stars for driver and passenger safety during frontal impact tests conducted by the NHTSA.

EPA Fuel Economy

Acura RL: 19/25 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Great build quality
  • Powerful acceleration
  • Good handling and ride
  • Quite performance

You Won't Like

  • Lack of steering feel
  • Navigation system control problems

Sum Up

A competitive flagship for BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • BMW 5-Series
  • Cadillac DeVille
  • Lincoln Town Car

See the New 2012 RL.

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