New RDX offers superb drive dynamics
After “the most extensive redesign in more than a decade”, the third generation RDX puts some distance between Acura and its Honda parent.
The 2019 RDX introduces a new design language that will appear on other Acura products, and rides on a new platform exclusive to Acura.
The split is not complete though. The RDX ditches the 3.5-litre V6 in favour of a more powerful turbocharged fourcylinder, both from Honda’s extensive engine collection. Lots of other bits and pieces beneath the surface also come from Honda.
The compact luxury utility vehicle segment is hot. The RDX is not only Acura’s entry in this growing field; it is the brand’s top seller. Replacing an alreadypopular vehicle is a tough challenge. But the development team pulled it off.
The new platform allowed a longer and wider vehicle with more room inside. Although marketed as a compact, it is larger than most wearing this designation.
The redesign is complete inside and out, from road to a plunging roofline. The result is a distinctive vehicle that stands apart from the pack without resorting to controversial looks.
The interior is similarly distinctive, from the heads- up display to the transmission controls. A massive sunroof and exceptional seats are standard on all trim levels, as is a unique touch pad controller for the Android- based infotainment system. The Elite test vehicle also boasted hand- wrapped stitched leather surfaces on the instrument panel, doors and centre console, as befits a luxury vehicle.
The RDX has the usual screen for the infotainment system, perched high above the instrument panel. But, thankfully, it also has actual buttons to control major functions and/ or voice- activation so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road as long scrolling through screens to adjust the temperature or volume.
The transmission is controlled by a somewhat fussy arrangement of buttons and a toggle for reverse. These controls are placed high on the centre stack freeing room beneath where the traditional shifter would lie, for a giant storage bin. There is a A smooth, well-controlled ride and excellent sound insulation make the 2019 Acura RDX a pleasant long-distance runner.
similarly useful one beneath the floor of the spacious cargo compartment.
A smooth, well-controlled ride
and excellent sound insulation make the RDX a pleasant longdistance runner. For the enthusiast, this is a utility vehicle that does not eliminate the joy of driving.
Sport is the default drive mode, an indication of the development team’s intent.
The turbocharged four-cylinder engine produces 28 lb.- ft. more torque than the 3.5- litre V6, 40 per cent more down low in the rev range where it is most useful. Maximum output occurs at only 1,600 rpm.
The result is instant and linear response. Pay careful attention to the speedometer because power delivery is so smooth and sound suppression so complete, you can easily and quickly exceed posted limits.
The new 10- speed automatic plays an important role in this performance, with buttery smooth shifts and a gear
The 2019 Acura RDX Elite is powered by a 2.0-litre, turbo, four-cylinder engine.
The 2019 Acura RDX was designed and engineered in the U.S.