Acura RDX refines ride and handling, features luxurious technologies
The significantly refreshed 2016 RDX once again ups the ante with an even more powerful and fuel-efficient 3.5-liter i-VTEC V-6 engine, additional ride and handling refinements, an expanded list of available AcuraWatch safety and driver-assistive technologies, restyled exterior and interior elements, and a further expanded compliment of luxury features and technologies, including Acura’s signature Jewel Eye LED projector headlamps and LED taillights.
Inside, the 2016 RDX gets a freshened look with high-contrast silver and black trim plus significant upgrades to standard luxury features, including heated front seats, second-row air conditioning vents, a power tailgate and Multi-View Rearview Camera. The 2016 RDX with Technology Package receives numerous additional upgrades, including an 8-way power-operated front passenger seat (previously 4-way power), Acura’s dual-screen On-Demand Multi-Information Display (ODMD), HD Radio Blind Spot Information (BSI), Rear Cross Traffic Monitor, and Multi-View rearview camera with dynamic guidelines.
In addition to the wellequipped base RDX and upgraded RDX with Technology Package, the 2016 RDX reaches higher into the premium end of the luxury SUV market with an all-new, line-topping Advance Package. The 2016 RDX with Advance Package features a grade-exclusive machined alloy wheel with grey painted inserts along with a host of added luxury features, including rain-sensing wipers, front fog lights, remote engine start, front and rear parking sensors, ventilated front seats, and an auto-dimming driver’s side mirror, along with standard AcuraWatch safety and driver-assistive technologies.
While offered as standard equipment on the new Advance Package, all 2016 RDX models can now be equipped with the AcuraWatch suite of technologies that includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Mitigation Braking System and Forward Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist and Lane Departure Warning. In addition to available AcuraWatch, the 2016 RDX offers enhanced crash safety design with numerous changes to its Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure that further improve frontal collision performance. The 2016 RDX received top-inclass safety ratings — a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), while targeting a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
All 2016 RDX models with AcuraWatch, which includes all Advance Package models, also get a new 4.2-inch, full-color TFT Multi-Information Display with expanded, customizable information readouts such as average vehicle speed, fuel economy, fuel range, tire pressure monitoring system (TMPS) and turn-by-turn navigation prompts (when equipped with navigation).
Engine and powertrain
The 2016 RDX gets a significant performance boost in performance, fuel efficiency and refinement courtesy of its new 3.5-liter SOHC i-VTEC V-6 engine with a new generation of Variable Cylinder Management (VCM). Peak output of 279 horsepower at 6,200 (versus 273hp at 6,200 rpm in the 2015 model) is up six horsepower, while peak torque of 252lb.-ft. at 4,900 rpm (versus 251lb.-ft. at 5,100 rpm in the 2015 model) is up one lb.-ft. More importantly, the engine boasts a broader torque curve for more immediate and powerful acceleration response across the engine’s full operating range.
A new Variable Cylinder Management cylinder deactivation system allows for deactivation of three of the engine’s six cylinders under light engine loads, helping the more powerful 2016 RDX receive increased EPA highway fu- el-economy ratings, rising one mpg on the highway rising to 19/28 mpg (city/ highway) for AWD models (19/27mpg on 2015 models) and 20/29mpg for FWD models (20/28 on 2015 models). As expected, the 2016 RDX complies with EPA TIER 2 – BIN 5 and CARB LEV II ULEV emissions standards.
Driving refinement in the 2016 RDX is further enhanced by new active front and rear engine mounts, updates to the steering control system and increased suspension mount stiffness. Additionally, the 2016 RDX’s available all-wheeldrive system — AWD with Intelligent Control — has been tuned for greater rear torque bias to further enhance dynamic stability and all-weather performance.
Body and chassis
Compared to the 2015 model, the 2016 RDX benefits from key elements of Acura design DNA, including the addition of Acura’s signature Jewel Eye LED headlights and LED taillights with light-pipe design on all models; a new three-dimensional grille treatment; and more sporting and aggressive lower front and rear bumper fasciae. All models also receive new alloy wheel designs.
The RDX utilizes high-strength steel for 56-percent of the body construction, which not only provides increased strength at a lower weight, but generates a stiffer body for improved performance and reduced NVH. For 2016, the front body structure stiffness has been increased to improve safety and dynamic performance, as well as NVH.
The RDX rides on 4-wheel independent suspension with a MacPherson strut design in front and a multilink design in back. Amplitude Reactive Dampers at all four corners and motion adaptive electronic power steering system further aid sporty handling and refined driving performance. Improvements for 2016 include stiffer upper suspension mounts and engine mounts, plus refinements in suspension tuning for better ride/handling balance.
All RDX models except the new Advance grade feature newly designed split 5-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels. The new RDX Advance gets a grade-exclusive machined 18-inch aluminum alloy wheel with painted grey inserts. All RDX models have 4-wheel disc brakes that include an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. Not only do the brakes provide better performance, but they also incorporate improvements to reduce brake drag — which reduces rolling resistance and improves fuel efficiency.
For 2013, the RDX received a completely new interior with more of what customers want: more legroom and shoulder room for both front and rear occupants, more cargo room and a significantly wider rear hatch opening. In addition, more insulation and a new Active Noise Control system contribute to a quieter cabin. The 2016 RDX adds further luxury refinement with its new high-contrast silver and black trim plus significant upgrades to both standard and available luxury features and technology, including standard heated front seats, new second-row air conditioning vents and a now standard power-operated tailgate with remote activation.
As before, the 2016 RDX comfortably accommodates five passengers. In front, its “dual personal” cockpit design caters to the driver and front passenger, creating a personal and accommodating space for each. Its available leather seating surfaces (leatherette in base models) and ergonomically designed seat contours provide ample support during spirited drives or long road trips. The power actuated driver seat is 10-way adjustable for a custom fit. For the driver, there is a leather-wrapped steering wheel, LED back-
lit gauges with progressive illumination and a Multi-Information Display (MID) that allows access to multiple electronic functions.
The new Advance package as well as all base and Technology Package models equipped with AcuraWatch feature a new 4.2-inch, full-color TFT Multi-Information Display with expanded, customizable information readouts such as average vehicle speed, fuel economy, fuel range, tire pressure monitoring system (TMPS) and turn-by-turn navigation prompts (when equipped with navigation, standard on Technology and Advance packages).
Among the advanced electronic technologies in the 2016 RDX is a 360-watt audio system with seven speakers, a CD player, AM/FM radio, XM® Radio with Note function, Bluetooth Audio, USB port and AUX jack connectivity, and Speed Volume Control.
The transformability of the RDX for passenger and cargo hauling has been thoughtfully addressed. Exemplary comfort, interior roominess and cargo carrying were high priorities for RDX designers. With “one touch” activation of the 60/40 split-folding rear seatbacks, the rear cargo area (with rear seatbacks folded down) offers 76.9 cubic feet of storage. Interior storage compartments include a large center console between the front seats and there are numerous other storage pockets and cubby spaces throughout the RDX. The 2016 RDX has a total EPA passenger volume of 103.5 cubic feet.
With the technology package, a host of driver relevant features are added, including AcuraLink Satellite Communication System, Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition and AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic with Traffic Rerouting. Additional new standard features for 2016 include a new 8-way adjustable power passenger’s front seat, Acura’s intuitive dual-screen On-Demand Multi-Information Display (ODMD), HD Radio, blind spot information (BSI), Rear Cross Traffic Monitor, and Multi-view Rear Camera with dynamic guidelines.
The navigation system also makes use of a new 8-inch W-VGA color screen (with four times better resolution than the previous screen) that is also used for a new rear view camera system.
The RDX with technology package also includes an upgraded audio system: Acura/ELS Surround 10-speaker, 410-watt premium audio system with CD, DTS, AM/FM radio, XM Radio and Bluetooth Audio. Also part of the technology package is a GPS-linked, solar-sensing, dual-zone automatic climate control system. In total, these technologies put the RDX at the cutting edge of the Entry Premium SUV segment.
A new line-topping advance package for the 2016 RDX delivers even higher levels of luxury comfort, convenience and technology, adding rain-sensing wipers, front fog lights, remote engine start, front and rear parking sensors, ventilated front seats, an auto-dimming driver’s side mirror and AcuraWatch as standard equipment.
The pursuit of outstanding safety performance is a critical element designed into every Acura built. This focus on safety performance not only extends to the driver and passengers of the RDX, but also to the safety of occupants of other vehicles as well as the injury mitigation to pedestrians.
For Acura, equally important is addressing both active and passive safety. Active safety features can help the driver avoid a col- lision or mitigate its severity, and the RDX includes numerous standard active safety features, including the enhanced visibility of the Multi-View Rear Camera and Expanded View driver’s mirror, along with standard Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with traction control and 4-wheel anti-lock disk brakes with Brake Assist that enhance vehicle control.
For 2016, the RDX adopts the AcuraWatch suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies that were first introduced on the 2015 Acura TLX. AcuraWatch is available as a standalone option on the base RDX and RDX with Technology Package and as standard equipment on the new RDX with Advance Package. AcuraWatch technologies are as follows:
• Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
• Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS)
• Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
• Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
• Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS)
The 2016 RDX with Technology or Advance packages adds blind spot information and Rear Cross Traffic Monitor, further enhancing the driver’s situational awareness.
In the event of a collision, the RDX’s advanced, energy-absorbing body structure, supplemental restraint systems (seatbelts and airbags) and strategically designed interior components are all designed to mitigate injury.
The RDX utilizes Acura’s acclaimed Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure — a network of connected structural elements to help distribute and direct crash energy in a range of fron- tal collision scenarios, including offset and oblique impacts. This enhanced frontal crash energy management helps to reduce the forces transferred to the passenger compartment and can help to more evenly disperse the forces transferred to other vehicles in a crash.
The 2016 RDX features additional engineering changes to the front body structure that further improve frontal collision performance, including improved performance in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) stringent 40-mph small overlap front collision test. To address the federal government’s FMVSS 216 standard for roof crush resistance, the RDX body also incorporates structural enhancements in the roof and side pillar areas. As a result, top governmental (NHTSA) and IIHS test rat- ings are expected.
While ACE is a structural foundation for the RDX’s safety performance, its array of industry-leading passive safety technologies is equally important. The list begins with six airbags including dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags (SRS), dual-chamber front seat side airbags, and side curtain airbags for the front and outboard rear seating positions.
Safety features continue with 3-point seatbelts for all seating positions, while the driver and front passenger have front seatbelts with an automatic tensioning system with load limiters. The RDX offers head restraints for all seating positions. The rear seat features Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH), which permits easy attachment of up to two child seats in the outboard seating positions.