All offer plenty of room and luxury for the money. Money Magazine scored them, point by point, to see which came out on top.
Acura RL
Design - The exterior's a bit too plain, but the cockpit is a nice place to be.

Luxury - From traffic-avoiding navigation to pre-emptive braking, the most complete package available.

Performance - A terrific engine, with an excellent AWD system, but it's no match for the Chrysler 300.

Quality - Like most Hondas and Acuras, the RL leaves little to fault here, but the center console does seem a bit too plastic.


Each car was judged in four categories with a maximum score of 25 points for each. To account for cost differences, we awarded bonus points in reverse order of price (the least expensive car received four bonus points, while the most expensive received none)
3rd place
Acura RL
Price: $53,200 as tested

Power: 3.5-liter 290-horsepower V6

Fuel economy: 18/26 mpg

If it weren't for price, the Acura would have tied for second. It's a compelling package, mixing a superb all-wheel-drive system with a 290-hp V-6 that rivals some V-8s for both horsepower and smoothness.

Another reason to like the Acura: its pricing and options structure. When you buy an RL, you can choose to have navigation or not. Other than picking the exterior and interior colors, that's it: There are no other options to speak of. A leather interior, sunroof, a six-disk, in-dash CD system (even a pre-emptive braking system that will slow the car down when it senses an imminent collision) are all included as standard.

In an industry that loves to nickel- and-dime customers over options ("Oh, you'd like the self-dimming mirror? That's part of the $3,200 'technology package'"), Acura's approach is a refreshing change.

So why didn't it win? Size, for one thing. The RL is the biggest sedan Acura makes, but it's not that big overall (as we noted in a comparison last year, the Acura TL is nearly as big but costs less). Rear-seat space is at a premium, and the trunk is considerably smaller than the competition.

There's also the styling. Like the Buick, it is completely inoffensive but also a bit anonymous (you can walk past this car in a parking lot and completely miss it).

Finally, there's the price: At $53,500, the Acura is 10 grand to 15 grand more than the next two cars on our list. That kind of money could be better used for other things. If prices were equal, it'd be a tough call, but since they aren't, it's tough to recommend the RL when others do an excellent job and cost far less.


5th place

4th place

3rd place

2nd place

1st place
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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.