The car for the trip? Tricky question, that.
One afternoon a few weeks before the race, I sat tapping my pencil against my coffee mug, as if an answer would suddenly appear in the ripples. Plenty of vehicles had come to mind.
|For at least its two most recent iterations, the RL has been a machine that showcases the best of both Honda's car-building expertise and Acura’s advanced technologies. (Photo: Justin Pritchard/Auto123.com)|
The voyage required something comfortable, roomy, navigation-equipped, fuel-friendly and relevant enough for your correspondents weekly new-car review. Quiet and understated would be plusses, too. After all-- this was a weekend where the destinations would definitely be more important than the ride to them.
The world’s quietest flagship?
Then, it hit me: the Acura RL. For at least its two most recent iterations, the RL has been a machine that showcases the best of both Honda's car-building expertise and Acura’s advanced technologies-- but without making a big deal about it. It might just be the most humble flagship sedan on the road.
Parked outside Hotel Auberge Manoir Ville Marie on Montreal's historic Rue Ste-Catherine, the RL blended anonymously into the scenery-- providing a stark sheet-metal similarity to the modest but comfortable hotel. Both the RL and the former post-office are executed without the extroverted bling and attention-begging status of some of their pricier rivals, but both proved modestly magnificent in their own unassuming ways.
A fantastic tour guide
With the hotel set up as home base, it was time to start exploring the city in the RL-- where it traversed traffic, parking lots and gas stations with scarcely a second look.
Montreal streets proved a touch overwhelming for your northern-Ontario based writer, a relative virgin to heavy pedestrian traffic and aggressive, horn-happy drivers. Thankfully, several of the RL's features helped take the edge off of getting around the unfamiliar city-- including the Bluetooth, navigation and voice-command interfaces that work together to easily locate, navigate to, or even call a business or friend. By voice-commanding all infotainment functions, drivers can move about with no undue distractions caused my map-reading or second-guessing.
|End of the day, RL has everything it needs, and a little more, without going completely overboard. (Photo: Justin Pritchard/Auto123.com)|