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|Traveling in a Family Way: 2009 Acura RL CMBS|
|Written by Brandy Schaffels|
|Friday, 27 February 2009 10:51|
The ideal recipe for Moms who want luxury and safety.
When most of our days are spent cleaning up after messy kids, who can blame a Mom for desiring some pampering in her alone time? Consider the 2009 Acura RL sedan as the ideal indulgence.
This sedate-looking sedan is packed full of fantastic features promising performance and luxurious comfort, as well as an alphabet soup list of high-tech features to help keep your family safe in the car.
At the top of the safety list is Acura's Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), which uses a radar unit mounted inside the vehicle's front grille to monitor vehicles ahead and detect potential rear-end collisions. The system will alert the driver when the likelihood of a collision increases with an audible chime and a flashing alert on the dashboard, and should a collision prove to be imminent, will help reduce the impact on front occupants by cinching up the front seatbelts and even applying the brakes. The system would only be considered intrusive to habitual tailgaters, but they're the ones who have the potential to benefit from it the most.
The CMBS system works alongside an Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), which uses that same radar unit to set a defined distance between the RL and the vehicle in front of it. The ACC system continually adjusts the vehicle's speed by automatically applying gas or brakes to maintain a safe and consistent following distance.
Acura's acclaimed Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system is also present in the RL: It's a lot of letters (and has a very technical explanation), but basically the system works to ensure that power goes to the wheels which have the most traction, and helps keep them from spinning so the car has more secure handling when roads are slippery. Vehicle Stability Assist with traction control, Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), large four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, active head restraints, and front, side, and side-curtain airbags season the safety soup to perfection.
Under the hood, Acura's 3.7-liter V-6 engine provides 300 horsepower, which can be shifted manually using F1-style paddles on the steering wheel, or left in full-auto mode. Road testers have reported 0-60 mph times of about seven seconds, which means that Moms should have no fear of getting quickly up to speed onto the freeway. Fuel economy is reported to be 16 in the city and 22 on the highway, and our week-long test proved to be in line with these figures.
However, it's when we move past the technical specs and retreat into the appetizing interior that Mom will feel truly pampered. Perforated leather seats offer six levels of heating and cooling, and a satellite-linked navigation system with voice activation offers hands-free real-time traffic and weather information. An Active Front Lighting System pivots headlights by as much as 20 degrees while cornering for superior nighttime visibility; when reversing, a rearview camera displays what's behind the car on an in-dash navigation display screen. Its sumptuously quiet ride is thanks to a high-tech acoustic glass windshield and an Active Sound Control noise canceling system. Additional insulation combines with a spectacular 10-speaker Acura/Bose surround sound system with DVD audio that provides concert-quality sound that is so incredible, even Radio Disney becomes an aural treat. Lovely wood trim, dramatic LED lighting, and chrome accents create a delicious driving experience.
A smart keyless entry and start system stores seat, mirror, audio, and A/C settings with each keyfob so the car recognizes each person upon entry and automatically welcomes Dad or Mom to his or her preferred driving environment.
The backseat has room for three, with LATCH anchors in the two outboard spots. (Because they are embedded deep into the luscious leather seats, the anchors are a tad bit difficult to hook into; this may prove frustrating if you frequently move your car seats in and out of the vehicle.) Legroom is spacious for adults, but woe to the poor middle passenger who must deal with the backseat's center hump. A central HVAC vent as well as manual side window shades and a power rear sunshade provide additional comfort to backseat passengers.
Priced at $54,460, Acura's top-of-the-line RL CMBS sedan boasts all the luxury, technology, and safety the manufacturer offers, and is targeted to compete with the Audi A6 3.2, BMW 528i, Lexus GS350, and Mercedes-Benz E350. Meanwhile, a frugal 100,000-mile tuneup interval keeps maintenance simple. All in all, the 2009 Acura RL CMBS offers a lavish vehicular menu promising posh performance, indulgent features, and exceptional safety.
Specs: 2009 Acura RL CMBS
NHTSA Crash-Test Ratings
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