The RL has established itself as a flagship for Acura's cabin and drivetrain technology. It was the pioneer for features such as traffic-enabled navigation, and Acura's Super-Handling All Wheel Drive system. The tech-laden sedan gets a update for the 2009 model year, including new exterior body styling. It also gets several advanced cabin features including: real-time weather information, and a navigation system that actively reroutes around traffic.
The RL retains is understated styling, but gets a new front grille and hood design.
Behind the scenes, the RL gets a number of chassis technology upgrades, as well as a revised steering system, upgraded coil springs, better performing shock absorbers, larger rear stabilizer bar, and new wheel designs.
Under the creased sheet metal of the new hood, the 2009 RL gets a more powerful motor in the shape of a 3.7-liter V-6 generating 300 horsepower. The engine is mated to an updated version of the current RL's 5-speed automatic transmission, which can be shifted using steering-wheel mounted paddles.
Also new for the 2009 RL is active traffic rerouting for the car's GPS navigation system. Rather than just overlaying color-coded traffic details on the in-dash GPS system, the feature can be set to actively reroute if it detects traffic on the existing route.
The 2009 Acura RL is the first car to offer XM Navweather, which Acura rebrands as Acuralink Weather. The subscription service provides drivers with a real-time, personalized weather tracking information directly through the in-dash navigation system. The service includes alerts for weather threats, and multi-day forecasts.
Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive comes standard on all trim levels of the 2009 RL. The system distributes torque between front and rear wheels, as well as between the left and right rear wheels, depending on driver input and traction conditions.
The RL retains all of its current cabin tech offerings, including a 10-speaker Bose audio system, Bluetooth hands-free calling, and voice-activated navigation system. Other available technology features include adaptive cruise control, and Acura's Collision Mitigation Braking System The breaking system alerts the driver, and automatically applies the brakes if it senses that an impact is imminent.