2004 Acura 3.5 RL -- Interior - Part 2

The RL is equipped with an automatic, speed-sensitive intermittent wiper system that slows down the wipers when the RL is stopped or moving slowly and increases their speed when vehicle velocity increases. The wipers were also designed to be as quiet as possible while in operation.

In the RL, a sensor at the front of the instrument panel senses outside illumination levels; when darkness occurs during automatic mode, the headlights, taillights, and instrument panel lighting turn on automatically for nighttime convenience. When the vehicle is parked at night, the lights remain lit after the ignition switch is turned off, but extinguish automatically when the driver's door is opened.

In the RL, special, solar-energy-rejecting, green-tinted glass is used, minimizing the effects of the hot sun on the interior and its occupants. This reduces the load on the Climate Control System for better cooling efficiency, delays the temperature rise in the interior when the vehicle is parked, and further protects the interior leather and other materials from the effects of heat.

Acura automobiles have always been known for their high level of ergonomic design and control harmony; however, the RL aspires to a whole new level of human engineering. The cockpit, for example, is based on a "trinocular" design. A large central speedometer and associated gauges monitor driving functions. A left-side, slightly smaller circle of gauges includes the tachometer while a symmetrical right-side circle includes the fuel gauge and less-used, yet important indicators. The large display and illuminated instruments provide easy recognition. Significant time and effort have been expended to design displays that require only quick monitoring glances, making each switch and control nearly as easy to use the first time as it will be after years of familiarity.

The steering wheel has been redesigned for 2004 for a sportier, yet more sophisticated look.

The RL is equipped with a state-of-the-art Automatic Climate Control System. While powerful in terms of cooling capacity and efficiency, it is also extremely quiet, regardless of how hard it has to work to cool the car. Rear-seat passengers have personal control over the direction of heating or cooling air coming their way. Every effort has been taken to ensure cooling uniformity from front to rear, and an innovative subcondenser improves the efficiency of the unit substantially. In controlled testing, the A/C system cooled the interior from 100 degrees to 70 degrees Fahrenheit in a remarkable 15 minutes.

A state-of-the-art air-filtration system removes pollen and other contaminants from the interior environment. The filter element is fine enough to trap all particles of three microns or larger, including almost all pollen and dust, and inhibit the passage of bacteria as small as 0.5 microns as well as some components of cigarette smoke and particulates in diesel exhaust. The filter has two layers. Both are composed of felt-like, non-woven fabric fibers, and one layer is electrostatically charged to help attract and trap dust and other airborne particles.

The RL comes with a premium Acura/Bose" Music System, which, for 2004, has been retuned and enhanced to complement the addition of XM Satellite Radio. The 250-watt system is driven by custom-equalized amplifiers, which have been retuned for 2004. From the easily accessible, dash-mounted control unit, audio output is sent to the auxiliary power amplifier unit located in the trunk. Separate amplifiers are provided inside the unit for each of the precisely positioned Bose speakers.

For 2004, two additional 1.5-inch tweeters mounted near the door handles in each front door panel, expand the total number of speakers to 10. The speakers now include two 6.5-inch woofers with 2-inch mid-range speakers positioned in the lower front door panels; two 5.25-inch, wide-range speakers mounted in the rear-door panels, two 7-channel amplifier with custom equalization and signal processing located in the rear door well, and two 6 x 9-inch low-frequency drivers located in the rear package shelf also positioned high in the front doors in addition to the new tweeters in each front door. Each tweeter is powered by a 12.5-watt amplifier. Each of the four mid- and wide-range speakers has its own 25-watt amplifier, and the two rear speakers, which act in concert as subwoofers, share a 100-watt amplifier.

For convenience, the trunk-mounted CD changer has been replaced with a standard 6-disc in-dash CD changer for 2004.

The antennae for the AM/FM radio and the radio-based keyless entry system have been built into the rear window, while the antenna for the XM radio system is packaged together with the OnStar satellite receiver and located at the rear of the roof.

The OnStar in-vehicle communications and assistance service is standard in the 3.5 RL. Providing an extra level of security and convenience, OnStar can offer 24-hour emergency assistance, accident notification, air bag deployment notification, stolen vehicle tracking, door unlock command and vehicle tracking.

The OnStar activation button is located on the rearview mirror. Pressing the button provides quick access to a live OnStar advisor, any time day or night. Using input from orbiting GPS satellites, the OnStar advisor can easily pinpoint the location of the owner's vehicle to help provide assistance.

In the event of theft, subscribers need only contact the OnStar Center (after filing a police report) and provide a personal identification number. An OnStar advisor can then pinpoint the car and direct authorities to its exact location.

The RL comes with a free one-year subscription to the Safe and Sound Plan. In addition, RL owners can choose to upgrade to either the Directions and Connections Plan or the Luxury and Leisure Plan. The Directions and Connections Plan adds route support, convenience services and ride assist. The Luxury and Leisure Plan adds personal concierge services and other benefits. The optional Personal-Calling Package, which includes wireless phone and "Virtual Advisor" Internet services, is available as part of both plans for an additional charge. The Luxury and Leisure Plan adds personal concierge services and other benefits.

A remote keyless entry system is standard on the RL. The keyless entry system is radio-controlled - this gives much better range than a conventional infrared system - allowing the driver to unlock the RL or activate the "panic button" antitheft function while still a considerable distance from the car. A special electronically coded key prevents the car from being started, even if a mechanical duplicate of the proper key shape is used. A transponder, built into the key, signals the immobilizer control unit that the key is genuine. If the car is hot-wired, or an unauthorized key is used, the car simply will not start. This system is a substantial deterrent to theft.

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