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2002 Acura RL

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$963 — $7,299 USED
18
Photos
Sedan
5 Seats
21 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
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Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
A more powerful V-6 engine goes into the 2002 3.5 RL, Acura’s flagship luxury sedan. Other technical improvements include a firmer, more enthusiast-oriented suspension, and the front-drive sedan’s speed-sensitive power steering has been retuned for an improved feel. Insulation has been added to the engine compartment and under the dashboard to reduce noise and vibration. A new dual-diaphragm master cylinder aims to reduce brake-pedal effort while increasing braking force.

Subtle appearance enhancements for 2002 include new body-color lower side sills, splash guards and roof-molding pieces. Buyers also get GM’s OnStar communication system, courtesy of a recent agreement between Acura, Honda and General Motors.

A next-generation RL sedan is thought to be waiting in the wings, possibly with a V-8 engine and a rear-drive chassis, which would make it directly comparable to premium-sedan rivals from BMW,Lexus and Mercedes-Benz.

Produced in Japan and marketed in one trim level, the 2002 RL goes on sale in spring 2001. Its rivals include the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Infiniti Q45, and Lexus GS 300 and LS 430.

Exterior
Since its first appearance in 1996, the RL has not changed dramatically and was slightly modified for the 1999 model year. Xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights are standard. The new suspension has firmer spring and damping rates, larger stabilizer bars and firmer front suspension bushings. Wider wheels hold lower-prof...
Vehicle Overview
A more powerful V-6 engine goes into the 2002 3.5 RL, Acura’s flagship luxury sedan. Other technical improvements include a firmer, more enthusiast-oriented suspension, and the front-drive sedan’s speed-sensitive power steering has been retuned for an improved feel. Insulation has been added to the engine compartment and under the dashboard to reduce noise and vibration. A new dual-diaphragm master cylinder aims to reduce brake-pedal effort while increasing braking force.

Subtle appearance enhancements for 2002 include new body-color lower side sills, splash guards and roof-molding pieces. Buyers also get GM’s OnStar communication system, courtesy of a recent agreement between Acura, Honda and General Motors.

A next-generation RL sedan is thought to be waiting in the wings, possibly with a V-8 engine and a rear-drive chassis, which would make it directly comparable to premium-sedan rivals from BMW,Lexus and Mercedes-Benz.

Produced in Japan and marketed in one trim level, the 2002 RL goes on sale in spring 2001. Its rivals include the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Infiniti Q45, and Lexus GS 300 and LS 430.

Exterior
Since its first appearance in 1996, the RL has not changed dramatically and was slightly modified for the 1999 model year. Xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights are standard. The new suspension has firmer spring and damping rates, larger stabilizer bars and firmer front suspension bushings. Wider wheels hold lower-profile P225/55R16 tires. With an overall length of 196.6 inches and a 114.6-inch wheelbase, the 3.5 RL is about the same size as the rear-drive Lexus LS 430.

Interior
Offering space for five occupants, the RL features soft leather seating surfaces and burled camphor wood trim. Standard equipment includes heated front seats and outside mirrors, a power slide/tilt moonroof, an eight-speaker Acura/Bose music system with a trunk-mounted six-CD changer, automatic climate control and a HomeLink remote control system. A security/immobilizer system helps to protect against theft. An optional satellite-based navigation system uses a 7-inch LCD screen.

GM’s OnStar communication system is newly standard, which results from a recent agreement between Acura/Honda and General Motors. Acura’s optional satellite-based navigation system uses a 7-inch LCD screen.

Under the Hood
A 225-horsepower, 3.5-liter, 24-valve V-6 engine teams with a four-speed-automatic transmission. With a new variable silencer system this year, the V-6 makes 15 hp more than before. The transmission incorporates Acura/Honda’s Grade Logic Control, which reduces gear “hunting” when traveling uphill and helps engine braking while moving downhill. The EPA certifies the 3.5 RL as a Low Emissions Vehicle.

Safety
Seat-mounted side-impact airbags that have occupant height and position sensors in the front passenger seat are standard. Front seat belt pretensioners, antilock brakes and rear child-seat tether anchors also are standard. Vehicle Stability Assist, an electronic stability system, helps with both traction control and stability assistance.

 
Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com;
From the cars.com 2002 Buying Guide;
Posted on 4/15/02

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.7
14 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.3)
Performance
(4.4)
Interior Design
(4.7)
Comfort
(4.8)
Reliability
(4.7)
Value For The Money
(4.5)

Read reviews that mention:

(4.0)

Very nice car and great to and from work car.

by Mcaleew from Covington, ky on December 9, 2018

It?s the nicest car I have ever owned. It?s an older model but Acura truest lives up to its reputation. I would for sure by a newer version of this car when I am financially able to. Read full review

(5.0)

Happy Acura Owner

by John from Royal Palm Beach, Florida on September 8, 2017

Bought a 2002 RL outright, in near perfect condition, with 58,000 miles on it in 2010 for less than nineteen grand. Thereafter I put a little over 140,000 more miles on it before trading it in. In ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2002 Acura RL currently has 1 recall


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2002 Acura RL has not been tested.

Latest 2002 RL Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The RL received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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