Chrome data has recently added the 2009 Acura RL and 2009 Honda Pilot models to their database that includes vehicle pricing and technical specifications.
The 2009 Acura RL was introduced at this year’s Chicago Auto Show to a collective “so what?” Originally introduced in 1987 as the Acura Legend, the folks at Acura waited ten years until the name had been established before changing it to “RL” for the 1996 model year (for the U.S. and Canada only – everywhere else in the world it is known as the Honda Legend, go figure).
Unlike most Honda vehicles that are redesigned every 4 years, the first generation RL waited 8 years for its first redesign and the second generation appears headed in the same direction. Originally launched in 2004 as a 2005 model, the RL receives a facelift and more horsepower. While the additional 10 hp (300 up from 290) should help matters, the styling changes – especially to the front fascia – are another matter. Obviously meant to give the RL a more “corporate” look, the wide grille slats that make the MDX look aggressive are, for the most part, out of place on the more refined RL. To quote Joe, a friend of mine, who has been selling Acuras since 1986, “What were they thinking?”
The completely redesigned 2009 Pilot is longer (by 2.9 inches), wider (by 1 inch) and taller (also by an inch) than its predecessor. An increase in wheelbase matches exactly the increase in length. All these changes amount to more room inside, as well as a smoother ride. Although it looks just as boxy as the 2008 version, Honda claims a 2% increase in aerodynamic efficiency.
Although engine displacement remains 3.5 liters, horsepower is up 6 to 250, while torque has also been increased from 240 lb.-ft. to 253 lb.-ft. The 2009 version also carries over Honda’s Variable Cylinder Management system, allowing the engine to operate in 6, 4 or 3 cylinder mode, depending on operating conditions. Despite its larger dimensions, the 2009 Pilot is only 45 lbs heavier (2WD LX) than the comparable 2008 model, due in large part to extensive use of high strength steel. The 2009 also features an aluminum hood that is fully 19.2 pounds lighter than the steel hood featured on the 2008 model.