2011 Acura RL Styling

6.0
Styling

For some seasoned luxury car buyers, the anonymity might be appreciated, but as Acura's left it for 2011 this sedan looks derivative and lost from the outside. Stepping around the RL, it just feels flat-out dull for a supposedly glitzy luxury car. Acura calls the RL's exterior styling aggressive, but after hemming and hawing from various angles, we can't see it; it's a very conservative sedan. The snout had been its main talking point, but what replaces it this year is a revised, oddly conservative (and cheap-looking) grille treatment that looks less fluid and integrated than the original (of this generation) 2005 RL.

Inside, it's better, with the familiar Acura instrument panel layout closer to the TL, which has held up well, even if it's a bit restrained. While the overall look is good, including a horizontal line that wraps across the dash and doors, and functionally simple with center stack controls that are nicely arranged, the setup doesn't include a touchscreen for many functions, which places it behind some competitors. It's refreshingly simple, but also a little cluttered and dated.

While the interior of the aging 2011 Acura RL is still reasonably stylish and well designed, the exterior feels too careful and conservative to be noticed in the crowd.

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