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Photos: 2007 Acura RL

Our former tech king has lost its shine. In the two years since the Acura RL won our Tech Car of the Year award, some of its tech has become dated, while its performance leaves a lot to be desired.

CNET Reviews staff

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Acura's top model comes loaded with innovative technology, but it doesn't perform or feel like a luxury car. The RL should fit with people who are uncomfortable with more ostentatious cars.
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There are strong similarities between the design of the front of the RL and some Mercedes-Benz models, most notably the way the hood dips down and the tightly-framed trapezoidal grille.
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The 290 horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 is transversely mounted, in keeping with a front-wheel-drive configuration. We found the fuel economy of this engine mediocre, barely averaging 16mpg in our tests.
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The side view of the RL is very bland. This car doesn't look like it costs over $50,000.
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The dual exhausts make the car look more sporty than it is.
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Although it uses nice materials and feels well-built, we didn't find the cabin of the RL particularly luxurious.
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Acura has cleaned up the RL's steering wheel for the 2007 model year, with better button placement.
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A set of buttons on the dashboard turn off various acronyms on the RL that relate to safety and traction control.
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We were very unimpressed with the five speed automatic, which doesn't lend itself to sport driving.
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The RL's voice command system is one of the best we've seen. It is fairly intuitive, controls many of the car's systems, and does a good job of understanding spoken commands.
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The RL was one of the first cars to incorporate live traffic reporting in its navigation system.
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We found the RL's interface quick and easy to use, making it stand out over similar interfaces from Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz.
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The RL has a comprehensive points-of-interest database, with full listings for retail stores.
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The guidance graphic helps keep you informed about upcoming turns.
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We very quickly grasped how to select XM radio presets, or tune in non-preset channels.
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This folder display for an MP3 CD is very easy to use.
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An auxiliary audio jack is mounted in the center console, making it a good place to stow an MP3 player.
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Cell phone integration doesn't display on the car's main LCD, a serious drawback. Instead, it offers some information on the instrument cluster display.

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