Among luxury sport sedans, the 2012 Acura RL lands in an interesting middle ground.
It doesn't quite fit in 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.
But it's definitely sportier than the Lexus ES 350, without adding any significant harshness.
The all-new Saab 9-5 is one of the more direct rivals; although Saab is still ailing at the time of posting, the new 9-5 is an excellent sport sedan with more character and charm than the RL.
The Volvo S80 is roomier and brighter inside, with Scandinavian styling and lighter handling.
The all-new Audi A6 is also way more stylish and charismatic, sharing its interior and powertrain with the uber-stylish A7 fastback.
The Lincoln MKX EcoBoost seems stuck in a similar middle ground, offering reasonably good performance but a somewhat stodgy feel.
For a lot less money, you could have a V-6 Hyundai Genesis, which isn't as loaded with tech features but is up to comparable levels of refinement.
It's definitely worth keeping in mind that for the same money 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—and for most versions, more driving thrills.
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|2012 Acura RLBrowse Used Listings||2012 Audi A6Browse Used Listings||2012 Hyundai GenesisBrowse Used Listings||2012 Lincoln MKSBrowse Used Listings||2012 Volvo S80Browse Used Listings|
|17 MPG City / 24 MPG Hwy||19 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy||16 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy||16 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy||18 MPG City / 29 MPG Hwy|
|Gas V6||Turbocharged Gas I4||Turbocharged Gas I4||Gas V6||Gas I6|
|Mid-Size||Midsize Cars||Subcompact||Large Cars||Midsize|
|4-Door Sedan||4-Door Sedan FrontTrak 2.0T Premium||2-Door I4 2.0T Manual||4-Door Sedan 3.7L FWD||4-Door Sedan 3.2L PZEV|
|All Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|4 Door Sedan||Sedan||2 Door Coupe||4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan|
|Automatic||Continuously Variable Ratio||Manual||Automatic||Automatic,|
|Detailed Spec Comparison|
|2012 Acura RL vs. 2012 Audi A6||2012 Acura RL vs. 2012 Hyundai Genesis||2012 Acura RL vs. 2012 Lincoln MKS||2012 Acura RL vs. 2012 Volvo S80|