It's about time the new Acura RDX showed up since the old one was, well, old. But Acura has spent the time well since the third-generation small luxury crossover looks and feels nothing like the two that came before it. Not only is it far better appointed, its looks even come close to outdoing its pricier, fancier, and bigger MDX 7-passenger brother.
Upgrade to the slick A-Spec model and you get more in terms of amenities, tech, and looks. It comes with 20-inch wheels and more aggressive exterior styling. Under the hood, the 272 horsepower turbo four is down seven horses compared with last year's RDX, but torque is higher to the tune of 28 lb-ft more at 280.
Add the spectacular SH-AWD traction to all four wheels, along with performance-enhancing torque vectoring, and the RDX gets more athletic. It takes on the turns with skill, and the steering is excellent. The SH-AWD system can send up to 70 percent of the engine’s torque to the rear, and the torque-vectoring differential can send 100 percent of that torque to either wheel. How's that for technology and driving fun?
The interior is better than ever thanks to a big 10.2-inch display that replaces the previous RDX’s somewhat confusing dual infotainment screens. The new RDX also gets a True Touchpad Interface, as well, for more infotainment input options. There's also more to love thanks to a standard panoramic sunroof, adaptive cruise control, and automated emergency braking. A-Spec seats keep you in place and supremely comfortable thanks to great support and cushioning. With contrast piping and stitching, it also looks superb.
Here's how we'd spec out the new RDX if it was our own money:
- Acura RDX with Super Handling All-Wheel Drive: $39,300 (base MSRP)
- 272 horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder with 10-speed automatic transmission (standard)
- A-Spec Package ($3,000): 20-in Shark Gray Split Five Spoke Wheels, A-Spec Front and Rear Bumpers, LED Fog Lights, Black Diamond Pentagon Grille and Exterior Trim, A-Spec Dual Exhaust Outlets, Gloss Black Rear Spoiler, Dark Internal Headlight and Taillight, A-Spec Badging on Front Fenders and Tailgate, Heated and Ventilated Sport A-Spec Front Seats, Premium Ultrasuede-Trimmed Interior with Contrast Stitching and Piping, Leather-Wrapped A-Spec Steering Wheel, Ebony Headliner, Dark Brushed Aluminum Trim, Red Instrument Panel Illumination, Red Ambient Cabin Accent Lighting A-Spec Insignia Step Garnish, Sport Pedals, Acura/ELS Studio 32 3D Premium Audio System with 16 Speakers
- Lunar Silver Metallic Exterior Paint, Ebony Interior ($0)
- Technology Package ($3,200): GPS-Linked Climate Control, Rear Doors Smart Key Entry, Acura Navigation System with 3D View, 2 Rear USB Charge Ports, HD Radio Song By Voice, Traffic Rerouting 57, AcuraLink, Blind Spot Information (BSI) System, Rear Cross Traffic Monitor, Front and Rear Parking Sensors
- Selected Options: Black Chrome SH-AWD Emblem ($55), Remote Engine Start System ($399), Black Roof Rails ($560), Splash Guard Set ($145), Black Wheel Locks ($82), Black Wheel Lugs ($180)
- Total as Configured $47,916 (incl. $995 destination)