Acura refreshed the RL in minor ways for 2011, but has let the car's technology stagnate. Along with the competition, even Acura's other models surpass the RL.

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The RL gets the signature Acura grille treatment. There is also a forward-facing radar that enables the car's adaptive cruise control and automatic braking system.

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Beyond the grille styling, the RL hasn't changed much visually over the last decade. Its sedan styling is fairly bland, especially compared with the bolder look of Acura's TL model.

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The 3.7-liter V-6 powering the RL is a solid engine, using variable valve timing to get some efficiency. But other companies are using direct injection to get better fuel economy and power from similar displacement.

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Compared with other companies' top sedans, the RL is modestly sized. That does not keep it from being very comfortable, with a reasonable amount of rear-seat passenger room.

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Acura's suspension is conventional and tuned to allow a lot of travel in the dampers, making it stretch in cornering. But the all-wheel-drive system is very advanced, using torque vectoring to help the car turn.

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Although the car does not look overly large, there is a lot of trunk space.

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A CNET editor easily fits in the trunk.

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The interior of the RL features wood trim and leather, but also plenty of plastic.

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Acura uses an electric power-steering unit, freeing the engine from keeping a hydraulic system pressurized.

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Acura sets its gauges in deep wells, helping to avoid glare.

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The six-speed automatic has sport and manual shift modes. The driver can choose gears with the shifter or with paddles mounted on the steering wheel.

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The center stack of the RL is an indication of how button-happy Acura can get. The main controller knob is somewhat ugly, but it works well.

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This eyebrow display is unnecessary when the car comes equipped with the navigation system, as it duplicates information on the main LCD.

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The RL's maps are easily readable, but only offer 2D display. The system does include traffic information, but Acura has a more advanced navigation system in its other models.

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The destination entry menu uses this elliptical theme, a style repeated throughout the various menus. It is easy to use but needs a graphics update.

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The integrated Zagat restaurant guide is a great way to find restaurants in other cities, as it gives quality information.

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Satellite radio joins iPod integration and Bluetooth audio streaming as the more advanced digital audio sources in the RL.

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The phone system offers this search screen for finding contacts, useful for people with large contact lists.

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