1996 Acura RL 3.5 Premium from North America


Fast, Sleek, Sweet and dependable


Not Much, Really.

Amazingly Reliable.

Timing Belt, etc., were replaced around 90,000.

Brakes replaced twice, but hey, it's a 12 year old car.

Sun roof rusted and was replaced while still under warranty.

Only real problem ever was with the rear window regulators ~ Replaced twice under warranty and once since the warranty expired.

One dealer told me that since '96 was the introductory year for the RL that they had a few problems with the window regulators.

General Comments:

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this vehicle.

My first sedan (other than a BMW325 in 1986) ~ Mostly I've driven all sports cars Mitsubishi 3000GT, Nissan 300Z etc.) so when my job dictated the need for travel and more space, I was very reluctant to purchase a sedan, hence the reason for a used one at that time.

Some people say this ride is sluggish and big ~ NO WAY. Granted, I can't do what I would do in a 300Z, but this car's handling has been phenomenal. I am (unfortunately) a born speeder, this is a fast, smooth and sweet ride with easy, easy handling and lots of room.

Finally, now that it's 12 years old, I'm starting to have a few maintenance issues, paint on the roof is fading and the seat foam is disintegrating so these once comfortable seats aren't as great.

I imagine if I had ever garaged it, the paint and the seat foam would be in much better shape.

I did have an accident and the car sustained a tremendous amount of front end damage. I was fine. It looked like the car had been driven off a cliff. The bodyshop owner said that these RL's hold up better than any vehicle he's ever seen ~ Designed to take the impact so the driver and passengers don't have to.

The only reason I've kept it so long is because I like this Acura "look" (like the old Vigor or Legend) better than the new "rounder" RL. Keep hoping they'll bring it back, but so far, no luck.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 30th November, 2007

9th Jun 2008, 22:18

Window regulators are a common problem on the Acura RL. Two of them were replaced on my car.

1996 Acura RL 3.5 from North America


Good value for the money


ABS light came on, this needs to be checked.

Rear brake light needs to be replaced.

General Comments:

This car is a very big car and it drives like a big car, unlike other Honda products.

This is not a sporty car, the smooth drive and ride with comfort are what this car is all about.

Overall this car is very good value.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th August, 2004

1996 Acura RL Premium 3.5 V6 from North America


Nice, comfortable, big car. Could be faster


Check engine light is on - the computer says it is the EGR valve.

Rear windows do not open, they have to be helped manually.

A coolant hose got rubbed by one of the belts causing a leak - replaced the hose for $4.00...

General Comments:

This is a BIG car. It feels and drives like one. At first I really loved the pickup from the stop lights, but now I have kind of gotten used to it, and it seems just OK. It doesn't have the greatest power for its size - the car is just too heavy.

RL drives nicely and covers road imperfections very well. However, the body rolls terribly when turning. I used to have an Infiniti J30t and I could take the same turns with twice the speed and I would be held nicely in my seat. In the RL, I have to hold onto the steering wheel to avoid being thrown out of the car.

Overall, very nice big car. I love the memory seats on it and can't wait to use the heated seats in the winter! Also, the BOSE sound system is just fantastic. It sounds like a professional sound studio! Acura is a good make.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th July, 2002

6th Jul 2004, 13:39

I also owned a 96 Acura RL for about 1 month. I purchased the vehicle at an auction (buyer beware) with high mileage (170K). I drove the car from the auction and enjoyed the power and comfort of the Acura flagship. The car was moderate in styling, but remained attractive. The rear right power window did not work in my unit and the radio had some code problems which were never resolved. After a few minutes on the road, the engine started to make some noises and I discovered the AC unit was not working properly. To make a long story short, I sold the vehicle shortly after purchasing it for less than what I had bought it for. I never got all the diagnostic work completed, but felt that I had bought a problem car. I am still an Acura fan and am always looking for another. I think that one negative experience should not reflect the overall quality of the Acura RL.

12th Aug 2005, 14:53

Great car, but not for tall drivers (96-04). Take it for a road test before you buy it, and if you are over 6'tall, make sure you can find an optimal sitting position. I am 6,3',and I can't.

26th Mar 2007, 13:11


You've had your dealer at it again, but I thought I might suggest that the power steering assist may have an issue (computer, etc) that would cause it to steer incorrectly?

Just a thought :)


8th Jul 2007, 23:52

Come on... a "big" car at only 195" long? You want to see a "big car" you should check out my '69 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham (228.5") and '76 Cadillac Fleetwood 75 Limo (252.2").

27th Jun 2008, 10:59

I bought a 1996 Accura RL Premium with 180,000 miles on it and to this point I love the car. It performs well enough for me since I am not a GEAR SNOB. My only issue is it uses a lot of gas. But with 180,000 miles it needs some tender loving care. Maintenance is the key to any car and this was maintained very well. I have the records to prove it and everything on the car works properly. GREAT CAR!!