: Some comments on my CTS-V vs. my Acura RL after two months



neuronbob
06-02-09, 05:17 PM
I posted a long post on the Acura board on which I mod. I am a longtime Honda/Acura buyer and my comments are colored by my experience. The V and RL are totally different animals (RWD vs. SH-AWD for starters) but some aspects can be compared.

Cliffs:
I love this car and GM rocks for making it :worship:
Interior not quite up to RL standard but who cares, I've got 556 hp!, and it's still an excellent effort by GM
Like the navi, though I'm still becoming used to the interface so my opinion is incomplete
Manual mode is awesome
Did I say, I love this car? And that GM rocks for making it? :worship:

A few snippets:
Interior
The RL has far better interior materials. This is not a surprise, given that the CTS in base form is an entry-level luxury car that actually competes with the TL. Even so, the double-stitched dash components look and feel luxurious. The plastics seem reasonably good quality and have a great feel to the touch. The carbon fiber inserts in my car with ebony interior look and feel well-made. However, there are places where you can see corners cut. The large piece of center dash plastic creaks when pushed. It rarely squeaks in turns. The Ultraview moonroof sometimes pops when I’m on uneven pavement, usually at low speed. When you look at the components of the Ultraview, the plastic used for the guides looks and feels ultra-cheap. The high-gloss plastic "V" logos on the shifter and the steering wheel look like they were made in high school shop class.
In my RL, the plastics were considerably better in quality. However, even the RL had its flaws. The moonroof creaked when its shade was open. That improved with some silicone lubricant but never completely went away. The interior door handles were flimsy and felt as if they would come off at any time. Mine never did, but there are reports on AZ of this happening. Other than that, the interior materials are uniformly better in quality than in the CTS........

Electronics
Just like the RL, the CTS has big, round dials that are easy to read. The LED tracers for the tach and speedometer on the V are flashy, but helpful, as with the speedometer you have to constantly watch your speed. An even better feature of the dash is the multi-info display. On the CTS-V, you can set this to show your speed. THIS IS A BIG DEAL in this car. I love digital speed displays and in this car, it actually helps you to modulate your speed. This is because a minimal amount of pedal pressure accelerates the car so quickly that you are at risk for a ticket sooner than you’d like, so you have to be super-attentive at all times. The tire pressure display is a little awkward, though. On the RL, you see a picture of the car with pressures at each corner. In the V, you see Front L/R pressure, then you press a button to see Rear L/R. That’s a little more cumbersome and I hope that the software is changed......

Driving experience
Again, I won't get into the speed and handling as the V far outshines the RL, and it's not even a fair comparison. I will comment that one can turn off all nannies, where you can’t on the RL. The manual mode is the fastest shifting manumatic I’ve ever experienced, when you press the button the car shifts; on the RL it was "press button", then wait about three seconds, THEN shift. Aggravating. The CTS has an additional tranny feature. When you slip the shifter into manual mode, and don't manually shift, the car goes into a sport-shift automatic mode in which the shifts are more aggressive and the gears are helf a little longer. This is an AWESOME experience when you are accelerating onto the freeway. I have some video clips of this and will add them to this thread when I have time to upload them to Youtube.....

Conclusion
Where was THIS GM ten years ago? They crammed a lot of features into this car, then priced it BELOW its competition, which is really the M5 and E63. The interior quibbles I mentioned are really minor despite the time I spent describing them and I understand that when you're paying $20k-$30 less than the competition, you don't expect Tiffany baubles. Even so, the car seems to have much better quality than I expected. It's too soon to comment on reliability, but I've had no major issues yet with this car. This is how GM should have been winning customers.....great product....reasonable price.

The full thread is HERE--click (http://www.acurazine.com/forums/showthread.php?t=729097).

tblack
06-02-09, 05:26 PM
Great review

kencav
06-02-09, 06:16 PM
If you are impressed with the shifts now, get Jesse/WFM tune -or just floor the car in 2nd to 3rd gear in manual mode with tune- let the good times roll

1BlinkGone
06-02-09, 07:03 PM
anonfrank- did you get the tune job for your caddy yet? (trans & mileage tweaks) I'm all ears, and also for the Corsa upgrades. I will be purchasing one of these monsters in the VERY near future and am plotting my upgrade strategies accordingly. Any other input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Caddyscat
06-02-09, 07:22 PM
Looked at both TL and RL at SF auto show. Thought both were too expensive for the power they put out. I always wondered why Japanese luxury cars were priced at a premium. Even Lexus GS models (which still have CASSETTE players!!) aren't worth it, in my opinion.

neuronbob
06-02-09, 08:16 PM
Looked at both TL and RL at SF auto show. Thought both were too expensive for the power they put out. I always wondered why Japanese luxury cars were priced at a premium. Even Lexus GS models (which still have CASSETTE players!!) aren't worth it, in my opinion.

Actually, the TL is priced pretty competitively as it comes with everything. In fact, that's Acura's schtick for the last 20 years--that they are the luxury brand that undercuts others on price while providing everything you need in a lux car. The RL was incorrectly priced at $50k and sales suffered for that fantastic car. I bought mine for $42k in 2006 and many others purchased for similar. Eventually, so few cars sold that Acura had to cut production and now you can barely find an RL. Sound familiar (STS)? The Germans are the ones who have a huge premium on their cars for no good reason. As a result of the failure of the RL, Acura now has an identity crisis on its hands, as it is trying to reach Tier 1 luxury status. I was surprised when I started posting on the Caddy boards that Caddy owners echoed a similar concern....um, Caddy guys, Cadillac IS Tier 1 IMHO, or if not, is a hell of a lot closer than Acura. V8/RWD, panache, the rest of it....but that's another thread for another part of this forum.


anonfrank- did you get the tune job for your caddy yet? (trans & mileage tweaks) I'm all ears, and also for the Corsa upgrades. I will be purchasing one of these monsters in the VERY near future and am plotting my upgrade strategies accordingly. Any other input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Not yet. I've been talking about since I bought the car and I just haven't gotten around to doing it yet. I swear, I will!

Here's video comparing my Corsa exhaust to the stock. i posted it on Acurazine first as you guys all know what a Corsa exhaust sounds like already, but here's mine anyway, bad editing job and all. Note: If you're on a laptop with tinny speakers like me, or have bad speakers, use earphones, it's much better.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jY-Lp47ayiI

1BlinkGone
06-02-09, 10:27 PM
anonfrank- thanks for the response and getting that vid clip up for us. I gather some haven't been kind to the corsa sound, but from what I can tell on my premium sony earbuds w/ my MacBookPro- given your videocam, they sound pretty nice. I like it. I wouldn't exactly kick that out of the garage. :)

FWIW- There is a vid clip online somewhere of a black 'V' with the Hennessey (650hp) mod that sounded pretty incredible, and I have no idea what exhaust sys was on there. (edit- looks like Corsa exhaust!) But I digress.

I'm really interested in that tune/reprog for shift & mileage. Hmmm...

Thanks again, anonfrank.

Tony407
06-02-09, 11:10 PM
Thanks for the review, much appreciated!!

I seriously considered the RL many years ago but just couldn't get used to its lack of power. I still think it's a gorgeous car though.

I owned a 2008 TL Type-S for a couple of months. There was a rattle/clanking in the car's rear suspension that began the minute I got the car home from the dealer. Acura and the dealership said this was "normal" for the Type-S and after a while I got so sick of it and the fact that no one would do anything about it, I sold the car. I lost about $10,000 on the deal. I will never buy an Acura product again.

Oops...off my soap box!!

Tony

nynd
06-02-09, 11:19 PM
Funny - I had a TL Type- S as well and the creaking was more from the instrument panel. When I checked the forums... everyones major complaints were rattles and felt tape was their friend. I too sold but for different reasons. Do you find the TL was lower than the CTS (I guess in driving position)?

Tony407
06-02-09, 11:23 PM
Funny - I had a TL Type- S as well and the creaking was more from the instrument panel. When I checked the forums... everyones major complaints were rattles and felt tape was their friend. I too sold but for different reasons. Do you find the TL was lower than the CTS (I guess in driving position)?

I only owned it for a couple of months, and I quite honestly don't remember.

Tony

neuronbob
06-02-09, 11:58 PM
Interesting to find so many people here with Acura experience and interest.
I owned two TLs myself, a 2002 and a 2004, and had very few problems with either, but with the 3G TL in particular there were complaints about rattles and such, and indeed felt tape was everyone's best friend :) . Even though I had no real problems with my TLs, I chose the increased refinement and fluid looks of the RL--fit and finish was excellent other than the problems I already discussed in my post, and I personally think it's one of the most attractive (in a very understated way) cars on the road.

The lesson from the above posts is that no car is perfect.

The V, however, makes up for that with a supreme drivetrain.