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® Package with exclusive front and rear bumpers. Now you can look great coming and going. Build This: RDX with A-Spec® Package in Apex Blue Pearl data-type=video data-cta-text= data-cta-url= data-video-url=PPo7Ftkmz0Y data-social-icon=>
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®/sup> so you can feel more confident on that weekend ski trip. Build This: RDX SH-AWD®/sup> with Advance Package in Performance Red Pearl data-alt=RDX 2019 Shawd advance performance red pearl cruising through snow data-social-icon= data-acr-gallery-modal=>
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Photo Credit: Christian A. Schaffer (@christianschaffer) Build This: RDX with Advance Package and Parchment Interior data-alt=2019 Acura RDX Gallery LookUp Expansive Panoramic Moonroof data-social-icon=lookup-social data-acr-gallery-modal=>
™ reacts instinctively to the driver for supercar-inspired performance. data-alt=RDX 2019 Super Handling all wheel drive features video data-social-icon= data-acr-gallery-modal=>
®/sup> LED Headlights, and 19-inch wheels. So you can cruise through town in head-turning, exquisite comfort. Shown: RDX with Advance Package in Fathom Blue Pearl data-alt=RDX 2019 Aspec Apex blue pearl driving through buildings data-social-icon= data-acr-gallery-modal=>
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Photo Credit: Christian A. Schaffer (@christianschaffer) Shown: RDX with Advance Package in White Diamond Pearl and accessory 19-inch Glint Black alloy wheels data-alt=2019 Acura RDX Gallery LookUp Energetic precise and reliable data-social-icon=lookup-social data-acr-gallery-modal=>
-->51 is a smarter way to use your iPhone®/sup> in your RDX. You can get directions, make calls, send and receive messages. Shown: RDX with Advance Package and Ebony Interior data-alt=RDX 2019 Apple carplay in an advance package with ebony interior data-social-icon= data-acr-gallery-modal=>
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®32 premium audio system was developed by Panasonic® and tuned by Grammy-winning producer Elliot Scheiner. Photo Credit: Garrett King (@shortstache) Shown: RDX with Advance Package and Parchment Interior data-alt=2019 Acura RDX Gallery LookUp Envelope yourself in pristine sound data-social-icon=lookup-social data-acr-gallery-modal=>
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®/sup> exclusive red instrument panel illumination adds to the feel of the sports-inspired cockpit. Shown: RDX with A-Spec®/sup> Package and Ebony Interior data-alt=RDX 2019 Aspec ebony interior TFT monitor data-social-icon= data-acr-gallery-modal=>
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Photo Credit: Christian A. Schaffer (@christianschaffer) Build This: RDX with Advance Package in White Diamond Pearl data-alt=2019 Acura RDX Gallery LookUp See farther, drive safer data-social-icon=lookup-social data-acr-gallery-modal=>
Acura may be the underdog today in luxury sedans, yet it's giving shoppers exactly what they want with the 2017 Acura RDX and the larger MDX.
That includes strong powertrains, quiet cabins, and impressive safety—as well as just the right amount of versatility and practicality to make it one of the best-balanced picks in the segment, for those who are balancing the usual mix of sometimes-conflicting priorities.
The RDX was designed as a more pragmatic model for 2013, then refreshed just last year with a few new features and some styling nips and tucks, and we rate it a 7.2 overall. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Review continues below
Style and performance
Overall, the styling is sleek, with an attractive profile and pronounced fender arches. The headlights are now a string of five LEDs, lined up in a row like diamonds on a wedding ring. The front-end appearance has become a little less beak-like, and LED front and rear lighting help give this design the right finer touches. For 2017, a couple of new colors are the most significant change in the lineup.
Last year, the 3.5-liter V-6 engine in the RDX got a slight power boost—to 279 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque—and tuning for more immediate response at all engine speeds and better drivability around town. Most of the RDX's rivals now come with a turbocharged inline-4, and versus those models the RDX's V-6 is strong and responsive. It's great for cruising around town, and works well in stop-and-go traffic. Strong torque from the V-6 means it doesn't have to downshift to accelerate.
The RDX handles like a well-tuned sedan; its small size makes it maneuverable in tight quarters and easy to park. Handling on winding roads is balanced, and the RDX enjoyable to drive, though it isn't sporty in the German-'ute vein. The optional all-wheel-drive system, called AWD with Intelligent Control, can send more power to the rear wheels under acceleration for improved stability, and in some situations it can add to the balanced handling characteristics of this model.
Comfort, safety, and features
The cabin is comfortable, handsome, and controls and features are easy to find and operate. In terms of space, the RDX is best for a pair of adults and another pair of smaller passengers. The RDX shares its basic structure with the Honda CR-V, which means it’s a compact by the EPA definition. To big adults, it's really a compact—especially if they’re seated in the second row.
The cabin of the 2017 RDX is just the right mix of elegant and formal fused with sporty; and that pretty much describes the mixed priorities you'll find in this crossover. Seats are comfortable, and the cabin is generally very quiet—although a somewhat tight back seat and rear seats that don't quite fold flat add up to a vehicle that definitely makes some compromises for its compact footprint and arching roofline. And the low cargo floor allows easier loading of cargo into the RDX. Hidden, underfloor storage accepts an additional 15 cubic feet of cargo.
In safety, the 2017 Acura RDX continues to be one of the best-performing models in this class. Front, side-impact, and side-curtain airbags come standard, along with anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control and traction control, a rearview camera, and a rollover sensor to trigger the curtain airbags.
The IIHS called the 2017 RDX a Top Safety Pick+.
The 2017 Acura RDX comes in 10 different builds, yet few other options. Base, Technology, and Advance models set the stage for increasing levels of luxury and tech features, while a suite of AcuraWatch active-safety items are included at the Advance level but optional on other models. At the top Advance level, the RDX includes special 18-inch alloy wheels; remote start; front and rear parking sensors; and ventilated front seats.
Last Update September 1st, 2016
2017 Acura RDX
What changes make the 2017 Acura RDX different?
Colors: Two new paint hues — Lunar Silver Metallic and Modern Steel Metallic — and availability of a black interior with the popular White Diamond Pearl exterior. That’s it for the 2017 Acura RDX. Parent-company Honda probably didn’t want to rock the boat on this popular premium-compact-crossover for two reasons: 1) it get a significant refresh with updated styling and new features for 2016, and 2) a fully redesigned RDX is slated for debut during 2017 as a 2018 model.
Those ‘16 changes helped RDX overtake Acura’s more expensive MDX midsize crossover for brand sales leadership. And it’s also the most popular vehicle in a competitive set that includes the Audi Q5, BMW X3, and Mercedes-Benz GLC.
Because 2017 will likely be the last model year in which this vehicle comes with a V-6 engine. Fuel-economy and packaging considerations will almost certainly cause the next-generation RDX to come exclusively with a turbocharged four-cylinder. That’s rich, considering the first-generation 2007-2012 RDX used a turbo four. That engine was loud, thirsty, and unrefined for a premium-class vehicle. As part of its model-year 2013 redesign, Acura replaced it with today’s smoother, more powerful, and more fuel efficient V-6.
Getting a ’17 RDX will also likely leave you eligible for moderate to significant savings off the sticker price as dealers clear space for the redesigned ’18. The 2017 lineup consists of a single “base” trim level that can be optioned with different packages, ascending through AcuraWatch Plus, Technology, Technology and AcuraWatch Plus, and Advance. Each of these packages is priced as a distinct model.
If you don’t mind trading V-6 smoothness for four-cylinder economy. The new RDX’s overall dimensions aren’t likely to change much, so this should still be a roomy, comfortable, and practical premium-compact crossover. Prices are liable to go up, but don’t expect increases to be too drastic. Even if they were to rise more than $1,000, RDX would still be one of the most affordable entries in the segment.
No. It carries over the model-year ’16 updates. They included revamped fasciae front and rear and new wheel designs. Again standard on every RDX are Acura’s “Jewel Eye” LED headlights and 18-inch wheels. Prior to 2016, all models had standard leather upholstery; now it’s only in models equipped with the Technology or Advance package. A leatherette substitute is included with the base and AcuraWatch Plus Package versions. The front seats are heated on all models and ventilated on those equipped with the Advance Package.
Other interior changes continued from the ’16 revamp bring the instrumentation and control scheme in line with other current Acura models, including the larger MDX crossover. Base and AcuraWatch Plus versions have a fairly simple audio and climate control setup with a 5-inch screen mounted atop the center of the dashboard. Technology and Advance versions increase the size of that screen to 8 inches and replace the other models’ pushbutton control scheme with a touchscreen to govern most audio, climate, and navigation functions. We’re not crazy about this setup, as the screen is a fingerprint magnet, often slow to respond to input, and buries some key controls deep within sub-menus.
Interface issues aside, RDX is one of the more comfortable and spacious premium-compact crossovers. Passenger room is very good, and the seats are comfortable. It also boasts one of the segment’s largest cargo compartments, with 26.1 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and 61.3 with them folded.
All 2017 Acura RDX models have the same drivetrain as their 2016 counterparts. The sole engine is a 3.5-liter V-6 with 279 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque. It pairs with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The engine is a peach, with plenty of power for any driving situation. It’s also very smooth and sounds great. In a segment where most rivals offer 8- and 9-speed transmissions, the current RDX’s 6-speed feels out of date. Expect Honda to rectify this on the redesigned 2018 model.
Front-wheel drive is standard on every RDX. Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) is a $1,500 option across the board. It’s something we would recommend, as it benefits handling on both dry roads and in the snow.
The EPA revised its testing procedures for all model-year 2017 vehicles to better reflect how most people drive every day. As such, most ’17 vehicles will see their city, highway, and/or combined fuel-economy scores change by 1-2 mpg. So the numbers you see on the window sticker might be different, but in practice, your mileage should be consistent.
EPA-estimated fuel-economy ratings for the front-wheel-drive 2017 RDX are 20/28/23 mpg city/highway/combined. AWD lowers those scores to 19/27/22 mpg. These figures are decent for a V-6 engine, but they do trail those of turbo four-cylinder rivals.
Aside from the new paint colors, no. Even the base RDX without any option packages is pretty well equipped for the money. Power-adjustable heated front seats are standard, as are dual-zone automatic climate control; keyless entry with pushbutton ignition; active noise cancellation; 7-speaker audio system; integrated garage-door remote; power sunroof; LED headlights and taillights; rearview camera; and Bluetooth connectivity.
The AcuraWatch Plus Package adds radar-based adaptive cruise control; forward-collision warning; pre-collision emergency braking; and lane-departure warning with automatic steering correction to help keep you in your lane.
The Technology Package adds the aforementioned dual-screen control/display interface; a navigation system; Acura’s excellent ELS-brand audio system; blind-spot with rear cross-traffic alert; and the brand’s AcuraLink telematics.
The Advance Package includes everything in the AcuraWatch Plus and Technology groups, along with ventilated front seats; rain-sensing wipers; fog lights; remote engine start; and front- and rear-obstacle detection.
Acura is holding the line on 2017 RDX prices. Note that our figures listed here are for front-wheel-drive models and include a $940 destination fee. AWD adds $1,500 to any RDX.
The base version lists for $36,510, making it among the least costly premium-compact crossovers. Some rivals may have lower starting prices, but they don’t have the same level of standard equipment as the RDX.
As previously stated, Acura counts vehicles equipped with the different option packages as separate models. The RDX with AcuraWatch Plus will cost $37,810. The Technology Package bumps the sticker price to $40,210. It’s somewhat disappointing that the company doesn’t include the features of AcuraWatch Plus with the Technology Package. This bundle only comes as a separate trim level that costs $41,510. The range-topping Advance Package carries a $43,160 price tag. Aside from these option packages, the only other extra-cost items are dealer-supplied accessories.
Normally we don’t advocate for a vehicle’s flagship trim level as the best value, but we’re prepared to make an exception for the RDX. The Advance Package includes lots of desirable technology and safety gear for less than $45,000, even with all-wheel drive. To get similar features in an Audi Q5, BMW X3, or even the Lincoln MKC, you’re looking at spending $2,500-$10,000 more. You’ll also have the assurance of buying from a brand with an excellent reputation for reliability, resale value, and customer service.
The 2017 Acura RDX has been on sale since early March 2016.
BMW X3, which is not quite as roomy but more fun to drive, and it far more expensive when equipped to the same level as an RDX with Advance Package; Infiniti QX50, suffers engineering that hasn’t fundamentally changed in nearly a decade, and it shows with boorish road manners and a cramped cabin; Lincoln MKC, a polished effort from domestic automaker that falls well short of the RDX for passenger and cargo room.
Audi Q5, the class benchmark for style and overall refinement; Cadillac XT5, a thoroughly modern premium crossover that’s more powerful than the RDX with a more luxurious interior to boot; Porsche Macan, very pricey — some models can cost more than double a loaded RDX — but for pure driving enjoyment, there’s no better SUV of any stripe.
Slightly better road manners, a more well-behaved transmission, and a more luxurious interior would be tops on our list. Hopefully Acura will address these points with the RDX’s upcoming 2018 redesign.
Acura’s compact RDX goes from drab to fab with a makeover that modernizes its equipment and its driving character. Under the hood is a 272-hp turbo 2.0-liter four that is matched up to a 10-speed automatic and either front- or all-wheel drive. A panoramic sunroof, adaptive cruise control, and automated emergency braking are all standard. Sporty A-Spec models come with 20-inch wheels and more aggressive exterior styling; the Advance trim sports a giant head-up display and an adaptive suspension.
Major redesigns occur every five years or so; not much changes in between. Dividing them into generations provides more meaningful distinctions in the shopping process.
First Drive Review
May 2018 By Andrew Wendler Multiple Photographers View 94 PhotosView 94 Photos
For all the advances realized by the completely new 2019 Acura RDX, the automaker’s agenda to remake it from a popular but dynamically unremarkable vehicle into a genuinely sporting one can be distilled down to one ostensibly minor and optimistic detail: The default setting for the RDX’s Integrated Dynamics driving-mode system is Sport. (Those so inclined can dive deep into the submenus and change the default mode to Comfort.) Realized with a simple software tweak—or a relabeling of the switch, for the cynics among us—the decision to proactively bias the luxury compact crossover’s personality carries significant weight. Signaling not only a tangible attitude adjustment from that of the previous RDX, which defaulted to Comfort mode, this also plays into Acura’s attempted spiritual reawakening initiated with the return of the NSX.
The first RDX to be entirely designed and constructed in the United States, the third-generation 2019 model is larger than the outgoing car in nearly every respect. The wheelbase grows to 108.3 inches from 105.7, the overall length expands to 186.8 inches from 184.4, and height is up slightly to 65.7 inches from 65.0. The engine, on the other hand, shrinks in both displacement and cylinder count, with the previous RDX’s naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V-6 having been replaced with a smaller but torquier turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four. The turbo four’s 272 horsepower clocks in just seven ponies shy of the outgoing V-6’s 279, but the new engine tromps the old one in the torque department at 280 lb-ft to 252. Gear swaps are handled by a version of the corporate 10-speed automatic transmission that has been popping up across the Honda and Acura universe since it first appeared in the 2018 Odyssey, bringing with it the now familiar buttons for gear selection. The RDX is available in both front- and all-wheel-drive configurations; the latter employs Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) for a cool $2000 upcharge regardless of trim level.
The compact-luxury-crossover segment is no place for the faint of features, and the new RDX certainly panders to the compulsions of modern tech- and luxury-obsessed buyers. Standard highlights include a panoramic sunroof, an acoustically insulated windshield, heated mirrors, heated 12-way power-adjustable front seats, LED head- and taillights, push-button start, two USB charging ports in front, adaptive cruise control, a multiview backup camera, and the AcuraWatch package of safety and assistance features including forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, lane- and road-departure warning systems, and lane-keeping assist. It’s a rich set of features, excepting a few peculiarities: Curiously, no inductive device charging is available, and Apple CarPlay is standard, but Google is still working to make Android Auto compatible with the new Acura True Touchpad interface—more on that in a moment.
Additional features are generally bundled within the four available trim packages. The base RDX includes everything above and more. The Technology trim adds navigation, a 12-speaker audio system, two rear-seat USB ports, leather-trimmed sport seats, parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. The RDX A-Spec builds on that with specific 20-inch wheels, A-Spec badging, and different exterior styling. A-Spec trims also get model-specific heated and ventilated leather front sport seats, dark aluminum trim, a different steering wheel, and a premium 16-speaker audio system. The top-level Advance trim brings a 10.5-inch head-up display, adaptive dampers, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, a hands-free power liftgate, acoustically insulated side glass, genuine wood interior trim, leather upholstery, and 16-way power front seats with adjustability for lumbar, side bolsters, and thigh extensions. You’ll find more feature minutiae buried in the online configurator (click here for our story about RDX pricing).
Dubbed True Touchpad Interface, Acura’s answer to the perceived infotainment dilemma uses a high-mounted 10.2-inch screen controlled by a console-mounted touchpad positioned just ahead of the armrest. The idea is that while touchscreens are intuitive, their mounting position is compromised by the conflicting needs to be both accessible and easily viewed. While similar in concept to Lexus’s Remote Touch setup, Acura’s True Touchpad Interface has no cursor, instead relying on the user’s procedural memory to tap the area of the touchpad that directly relates to the same area on the display. If you want to select the Bluetooth app at the top right of the display, for instance, you simply tap the top-right area of the touchpad. No sliding or dragging of your finger or a joystick is required, and you don’t need to take your eyes off the road to finesse a cursor into place. When you hit your mark, the selection is highlighted on the display. A pair of hard buttons provide back and home functions, and a smaller “B-zone” located directly to the right provides touchpad operation of a secondary function such as music selection, which is displayed on the right side of the screen. After a short familiarization period, we were hitting our desired marks with something like an 85 percent success rate, and the system carried out our commands without lag or misdirection. Acura wisely went with hard buttons for the HVAC controls, however, as that display is not touch-capable, bucking the current trend of providing redundancy by combining a touchscreen with a control pad or hard buttons. Overall, this is a noble effort with intuitive functionality, although we didn’t find it to be the game-changing solution that the world’s automakers apparently seek.
Thankfully, the 2019 RDX is more than a rolling display case for the latest digital realizations. The Acura-specific chassis is new from the ground up, more than half of it built of high-strength steel and, in a first for Acura, using plenty of high-performance structural adhesives. Inner and outer hot-stamped front-door rings increase body rigidity, while the rear frame substructure was specifically designed to distribute suspension loads over a wider area. The downside? A cross beam about the size of a two-by-four runs directly across the floor of the cargo area. To mitigate the intrusion, Acura designed a nifty storage-bin insert with segmented cubbies, then hid the whole shebang under a flat floor panel. Acura says cargo capacity behind the rear seat has increased from 26 cubic feet in the old RDX to 30 in the new one. There’s no shortage of real estate for the driver and front passenger, and rear-seat passengers have plenty of elbow and knee room, although rear headroom is still tight—largely thanks to the panoramic sunroof (reminder: it’s standard).
Three additional driving modes supplement the personality-defining Sport: Snow, Comfort, and Sport+. Leaving it in the default Sport setting reveals a well-balanced ride with minimal body lean, but requests for urgent acceleration from typical secondary-road speeds linger unheeded for a heartbeat or three while the transmission performs its cog-skipping 10-6-4 downshift trick to put the engine in the meat of its 1600-to-4500-rpm max-torque band. Depress the round S button behind the transmission switchgear for more expedient shifts executed automatically or via the standard shift paddles. As you might expect, selecting Sport+ mode heightens nearly every parameter including steering and throttle response, as well as the digitally enhanced engine soundtrack and—if you spring for the top-line Advance trim—the adaptive dampers. The engine itself is a willing unit that combines proven VTEC technology with a low-inertia turbo to create a broad torque plateau unmatched by the outgoing naturally aspirated V-6.
While the variable-ratio electrically assisted power steering provides direct and linear response in all modes, the RDX carries an ace up its sleeve in the form of the latest version of Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive, which is probably why all the vehicles Acura made available for our first drive were so equipped. Capable of sending 70 percent of available torque to the rear wheels, SH-AWD’s real trick is its ability to route 100 percent of that torque to the left or right wheel to create a yaw moment, coaxing the RDX to turn more sharply than it would otherwise be capable. This in turn alleviates much of the plow often associated with vehicles that carry most of their mass on the front wheels. Despite its claimed 57/43 front/rear weight distribution, the RDX with SH-AWD maintains a tight line when pushed. A confidence-inspiring trait, it makes quick work out of erasing mildly banked 90 degree turns. The feel at the wheel is light and lively, and the RDX as a whole feels lighter on its feet than a comparably equipped BMW X3 but can’t match the Bavarian in terms of solidity and precision. The stoic Audi Q5, by comparison, feels almost reluctant when pressed to perform similar tight maneuvers, leading us to wonder just how much work its rear wheels are doing. Leaning heavily on the software to extract the RDX’s agility, however, leads to a slightly synthetic overall feel, and steering feedback is but a myth, although the effort does build progressively. The 255/45R-20 Goodyear Eagle RS-A tires on our A-Spec tester (other trims wear 235/55R-19 rubber) gave plenty of audible warning before the front end started to give up and push wide. This is one AWD vehicle that will actually step its tail out given the proper circumstances—say, a gravel parking lot with the traction control defeated—but you didn’t hear that from us.
Despite its reputation as an unexciting car, the previous RDX continued to post top sales numbers in the luxury-compact-crossover segment that it essentially invented. With the 2019 model, Acura has taken some calculated risks to recast the RDX with the excellent dynamic qualities of the first-gen model while trying to retain the sales success of the blander second generation. With a base price of just $38,295 for a front-wheel-drive base model and $48,395 for a top-trim Advance SH-AWD model, it offers well-equipped packages at prices where some of its European competitors begin. As a brand built on offering affordable indulgence, Acura knows that value can sometimes be the most appealing performance attribute of all.Photos Build and Price Shop Local Cars View All Features and Specs
VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, front- or all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback
BASE PRICES: Base, $38,295; Technology, $41,495; A-Spec, $44,495; Advance, $46,395
ENGINE TYPE: turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 122 cu in, 1996 cc Power: 272 hp @ 6500 rpm Torque: 280 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 10-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
DIMENSIONS: Wheelbase: 108.3 in Length: 186.8 in Width: 74.8 in Height: 65.7 in Passenger volume: 105 cu ft Cargo volume: 30 cu ft Curb weight (C/D est): 3800–4000 lb
PERFORMANCE (C/D EST): Zero to 60 mph: 5.6–5.7 sec Zero to 100 mph: 14.4–14.7 sec Standing ¼-mile: 14.3–14.5 sec Top speed: 125 mph
EPA FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST): Combined/city/highway: 23–24/21–22/26–28 mpg
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