2002 Acura RL Premium 3.5 V6 from North America


Excellent workmanship - Affordable Quality!


General maintenance items:

Battery replaced due to sitting.

Second key required (not available at time of purchase). We were concerned about this due to the 'red key' issue. When these vehicles were being manufactured, Honda placed a 'red key' in the car to allow for future key replacements. According to our Acura dealership, without the 'red key' present, the ignition module would need to be changed prior to the key being cut. As we live in Canada, the total cost of this venture was nearly $500. Thankfully, we were able to get a second key cut for this vehicle in the United States at a cost of $53.00. Apparently, Acura dealerships there are able to remotely transfer the key fob information from the active key to the new key, without the 'red key' present. Problem solved!

Driver's window does not seal properly, when raised during highway speeds (result = excessive wind noise). The same issue was present in my 1997 Honda Accord.

Although it had a complete brake job prior to purchase, there is an incessant squealing noise coming from the front rotors. This will typically occur when we are reversing out of our driveway in the morning.

The squealing returns at low speed after the vehicle has been driven for several hours on the highway. I believe the calipers may need to be serviced (the vehicle sat prior to purchase). This will be done at next maintenance.

General Comments:

We absolutely love this car! Although it requires premium fuel, we knew this prior to purchase and dismissed it as the 'cost of doing business' with this type of vehicle.

Our previous vehicle was a 2002 Chevrolet Impala. Although it had relatively low mileage for its year (approximately 120,000 km at time of sale), the difference between these two vehicles is remarkable. From the well-appointed interior to the power-group options (heated seats, etc...), it has failed to disappoint! I realize that these two vehicles are in a class unto themselves; however, on the used car market our Acura was valued at slightly more than the Impala.

The Impala, unfortunately, had several flaws which I did not believe should be present in a vehicle with such low mileage (i.e.: warning lights, sensors replaced multiple times to correct problems diagnosed by the dealership, problems persisted, etc...). I have always been a stickler for maintenance. The Impala was serviced on time, every time... without exception (rad flush, transmission flush, oil changes, etc...). Although the Acura had 90,000 km more than the Impala at time of purchase, my faith in our new vehicle is immense. I would encourage any prospective buyer of this vehicle to 'Google' - 2002 Acura RL reviews and browse through them. The one website I visited (http://www.kbb.com/acura/rl/2002-acura-rl/) provided great insight into this vehicle. Of the 181 consumer reviews listed, the vehicle rated a 9.5 out of 10.

We recently returned from a trip to the Southern U.S. The Acura performed exceptionally well, no issues detected. I should mention that we owned the vehicle for less than 3 weeks prior to departure, and had full confidence in its performance.

The engine has remarkable power for its class. My wife is easily able to overtake slower vehicles on the highway, when the need arises (i.e.: dump trucks dropping gravel!). The car roars to life when needed.

We will be converting this vehicle to synthetic oil, at our next scheduled maintenance. We are confident this vehicle will last for many years to come (with proper maintenance of course)!

In short, we are very pleased with our purchase and would highly recommend this vehicle to our friends. As with any vehicle however, you should have an independent mechanic review it prior to purchase. Ours was a one-owner vehicle, which had been meticulously maintained. This played heavily in our decision-making process.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd August, 2013

2002 Acura RL from North America


Pure unadulterated love


No problems from the car. Had to replace the passenger side headlight due to previous owners damage.

General Comments:

I came to the RL by way of the Legend. I owned an 89 coupe and was very impressed with it. When I wanted to move up I couldn't find any G2 Legend with low enough mileage for me. I’m probably more of a TL type (34, love to drive), but the tranny issue was too much. My wife and I aren’t really luxury car people; we just wanted a Legend with low miles.

Then I came across the 2002 with 27500 kms (17k miles). It was in a city 700 miles away, but lucky for me my brother lived in the same city. He checked it out for me, and I sent him a deposit to secure the car.

At that point the wife and I had never checked out an RL in person. First time was when we arrived to pay, and pick her up. I did my research and knew all about the car (forums), so with confidence in our love of Legends we went for it.

So it's not a Legend (although I did replace the 3.5RL badge with a jdm Legend badge), not quite as aggressive in feel or looks. The RL is maybe a bit more refined and subtle in acceleration and handling. For around 4000 lbs she handles well, and inspires confidence for highway control in bad situations. The acceleration is smooth and a little misleading, feels slow off the line. Really it's just quiet and smooth (but she's not a powerhouse). She's looooves the highway, passing power is more than adequate. She cruises like a queen, and hill climbs with ample pull. She has piles of torque, but the tranny turns it into a smoother, creamier power. Myself I would like to access some of that torque steering power.

When we first got her, I liked the looks of the G2 more. Now the RL has grown on me, big time. Now I think she is from the best looking generation of Legends, no offense to the others. Now when I am walking up to her I can’t help but ogle her, front or back.

Gas mileage is right on spec, so not that good, but if you want pull ya gotta pay.

I bought it private, but I do take her to the dealer for servicing. I do not trust dealers, so I first checked out these guys with my 89. They did well by me, and I trust them now with the RL. Service is unbeatable, and prices are actually competitive (surprisingly). Example: if I go to a drive up oil changing place it’ll run me $110 for a synthetic oil change. The dealer charges $110 for Honda synthetic, and washes and vacuums the car. Plus free coffee and treats, PS2 for kids, or ride away and back.

She is a beautiful car, and I would only replace her with an 04 rl, with the black wood trim and navvy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th March, 2008

2002 Acura RL from North America


Rip Off


Two times I have had the transmission replaced. I never had this problem with my previous Integra - maybe because it had a manual transmission. The third one does not shift and the dealership where I bought the car is not helping. Even a Kia or Hyundai does not have problems this excessive.

General Comments:

Should have bought a Kia or Hyundai for 1/3rd the price, having a better warranty, greater dealership service and no history of transmission issues to the extent Acura has.

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

Review Date: 20th April, 2007

26th Apr 2007, 20:59

Um? Do you mean a TL? I hear the RL's are pretty solid... way to stain a great car because you don't know what kind of car you drive.

31st Oct 2007, 10:48

I have an 02 3.5RL with 59,000 miles on it. I've had it a little over a year, and I LOVE it:) I'm not sure what's wrong with yours... maybe you got a lemon.

I've had no problems with mine at all {knocks on wood}.