I'm not typically a fan of sitting in one place for too long, but in the 2005 Acura RL you can serve me breakfast, lunch and dinner, and I will still be asking for more. The seats are just THAT comfortable. The steering wheel adjusts beautifully, and for pregnant mommies out there, when I turn off the car, the steering wheel automatically lifts and retracts into its original "easy to exit the car" position.
The center console in the Acura RL includes two cupholders. On a more interesting note, the top of the console is capped off with a small "his" and "her" compartment or, as in the case of my husband and me, a "her" and "her" compartment, similar to our walk-in closet arrangement. Since I'm absolutely lost without sunglasses, I like to carry an extra pair and this space fits them perfectly.
Additionally, the clever driver/passenger door compartments actually pull out and expand for easier access. The backseat has two retractable cupholders, but be advised, with three kids in the rear, the armrest is in the stowed away position, which does not afford me any sippy-cup storage space ... oops. Maybe I can keep the kids entertained with the car's fancy voice recognition and navigation system.
The voice recognition system is a nifty idea. Correction: I love the idea. Shout out commands, and someone actually listens. WOW, what a concept. Acura's voice recognition also offers me the capability to operate my "Santa Wish List" Bluetooth-enabled cell phone in a hands-free manner.
As with anything in its infancy, there are some bugs left to be worked out. Apparently, having an accent creates somewhat of a handicap when using the system. My son is laughing hysterically, when his German grandma, "Oma," can't seem to get any of the commands right. "Find neeerest Gerrrman fud" comes back with "Rear defrost on." She will have to make us that much desired "apple strudel" herself after all. "Find nearest hotel" replies with "Full automatic climate control on" ... hmmm, looks like Oma is staying with us a little while longer.
The navigation system takes me a few tries to figure out, but definitely is a fun and helpful feature. When driving downtown, I have to take a different route home and it guides me precisely. Let's face it, downtown driving with two cranky kids in the back is NOT EASY, so anything that makes getting home FASTER is a very good thing.
Another interesting feature, although I do not have any practical use for it, are the paddle shifters on either side of the steering wheel. These enable me to switch from traditional automatic transmission driving to what I liken to "racecar" driving, as I shift up or down with the touch of a thumb on the steering wheel. No clutch needed. Both hands remain on the wheel.
The trunk of the Acura has enough cargo space to load my stroller, and other baby gear. The only issue I have is lifting something heavy up, over and then down into the trunk of the car. Ooh, I wonder how my lower back would feel, making this lovely exercise part of my daily routine. If you are anything like me, I bend over, squat down, scurry, pick up, lift, schlep, carry, crawl around, get back up, enough as it is during the day.
The Acura RL takes no time getting used to and within minutes, I feel as though I have owned the car for years. I truly enjoy driving this luxury sedan and feel very safe in it, especially with the standard curtain side airbags and the tire pressure monitoring system. I ponder how nice it would be to keep this one as a "daddy" car, perfect for those much-too-infrequent date nights. When shuttling children "to and fro," however, many of the Acura RL's luxuries are just that; luxuries that I can probably do without, substituted by some of the much simpler mommy wish list items.
*For more information on the Acura RL and its safety features visit Cars.com.
LET'S TALK NUMBERS LATCH Connectors: 2 Seating Capacity (includes driver): 5
IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Fair Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Fair
SENSE AND STYLE Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Fair Fun-Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove-On): Good Times