2011 Acura RL vs. Its Competition

2011 Acura RL 4-door Sedan Advance Pkg Angular Front Exterior View
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

The 2011 Acura RL doesn't quite compete with the top tier of flagship sedans from BMW and Mercedes-Benz—mainly because it's neither as bold and stylish nor as dynamically satisfying.

It certainly is sportier than the Lexus ES 350, but in terms of driving enjoyment you might be better off in a Saab 9-5.

The Volvo S80 is roomier and brighter inside, with Scandinavian styling and lighter handling.

The Audi A6 will soon be redesigned and is expected to emerge even sportier and more sophisticated inside.

Meanwhile, you get more features for the money with the Lincoln MKS EcoBoost, and the there's a serious price chasm (of $10k or more) between the RL and a comparably equipped Hyundai Genesis or Volvo S80 T6.

Or for the same price, it's definitely worth keeping in mind that you could have slightly less well-equipped versions of the BMW 5-Series, Jaguar XF, or Mercedes-Benz E-Class—all of which either have more style and luxury cachet, more driving thrills, or both.

2011 Acura RL 4-door Sedan Advance Pkg Angular Front Exterior View2011 Acura RL
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2011 Audi A6 4-door Sedan 3.2L FrontTrak Premium Plus Angular Front Exterior View2011 Audi A6
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2011 Hyundai Genesis 4-door Sedan V8 Angular Front Exterior View2011 Hyundai Genesis
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2011 Lincoln MKS2011 Lincoln MKS
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2011 Saab 9-52011 Saab 9-5
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2010 Volvo S80 4-door Sedan I6 FWD Angular Front Exterior View2011 Volvo S80
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Quick Specs
The 2011 Acura RL lives up to its flagship status in the Acura lineup with top-notch tech features and long-haul comfort, but charm comes up missing.
The 2011 Audi A6 is elegant and agile, although its cabin design is looking somewhat dated.
If you can do without a luxury logo, the 2011 Hyundai Genesis provides performance, features, and comfort—including impressive detailing—to match premium-brand sedans costing much more.
The 2011 Lincoln MKS won’t win over the Town Car or the M5 crowd, but it’s blessed with smart performance, subdued good looks, and a roomy interior.
The 2011 9-5 could be Saab's saving grace; it's a classy, comfortable, and well-designed flagship, with a lot more character than most luxury sport sedans.
The 2011 Volvo S80 is safe and secure, fashion-forward, and just right for affluent families.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
17 MPG City / 24 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy
Gas V6Gas V6Gas V6Gas V6Turbocharged Gas I4Gas I6
EPA Class     
Mid-SizeMidsizeLarge carLarge CarsMid-SizeMidsize
Style Name     
4-Door Sedan4-Door Sedan FrontTrak 3.2L Premium4-Door Sedan V64-Door Sedan 3.7L FWD4-Door Sedan Turbo4 *Ltd Avail*4-Door Sedan 3.2L FWD w/Moonroof
All Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan
Automatic w/ODContinuously Variable RatioAutomatic w/ODAutomaticManualAutomatic,
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2011 Acura RL vs. 2011 Audi A62011 Acura RL vs. 2011 Hyundai Genesis2011 Acura RL vs. 2011 Lincoln MKS2011 Acura RL vs. 2011 Saab 9-52011 Acura RL vs. 2011 Volvo S80