A friend of mine is moving to Chicago and needs a new car. She is 25 years old, of medium height, and conservative in her tastes. She wants a four-seat sedan with back seats large enough to carry passengers but very seldom will she have anyone in the back seat. Cost is not an issue but she doesn’t want something that screams “I am a rich bastard”. We test-drove the Acura RL sedan yesterday afternoon. It seemed like it did just about everything that you’d want a car to do. The RL is big but not huge. It has great acceleration and reasonable mileage (18 city, 26 highway–not quite as good as the latest minivans!). All four wheels are driven for better handling, especially in slippery conditions. The seats are perfectly comfortable and heated (but sadly not air-conditioned; right now with global warming we really need liquid coolant flowing through the seats themselves). A good navigation system is standard, complete with real-time traffic data for various cities, delivered via the XM radio. Onstar is also standard. Operating all of the electronics via the big control stalk/wheel/button/thingy seemed challenging but not impossible to learn. The RL won Car and Driver’s “Best Luxury Sedan” award (I think they limit this to cars costing less than $70,000). The car lists for $49,000 but right now they are try to get rid of the 2005s at “employee” prices (on the radio in Alaska this proved to be around $43,000 but somehow the dealer in Boston wants $44,000+).
Are there any other cars she should consider? I liked the Chrysler 300 that I rented in Yellowknife but I think they are selling for list price due to high demand, which would make an all-wheel-drive version almost as expensive as the RL.Full post, including comments