Considering the importance of the RDX, Acura left no body line untouched
The five-passenger RDX is slightly wider than before and has 2.6 more inches between the front and rear wheels, which means more interior room and cargo space. (Photo courtesy of Acura) If the display seems too far away to operate, it’s because it works with the touch-pad located below the shift-button panel. Speaking of that, what was wrong with having a normal shift lever? (Photo courtesy of Acura)
In its press kit for the RDX, Acura lists no less than 10 midsize luxury utility vehicles that compete for buyer attention. Honda’s primo division says the RDX has led segment for the past decade.
Acura says that not one piece of the new RDX is a carry-over, which some might consider risky business with a vehicle that’s already perched atop the popularity rankings.
The gamble should pay off handsomely, though. The goal was to add a strong dose of passion to dovetail with the car’s practical nature and stellar performance. The styling leans heavily on the Precision Concept show car that represents the latest styling direction for Acura.
The crisp lines, mildly overstuffed fenders and elegant nosepiece with Diamond Pentagon grille exude elegance from every angle. Even the liftgate, taillights and bumper — which seem often overlooked/ignored by designers — are as eye-catching as the rest of the body.
The interior is as rich as the outside, with a dashboard replete with swoops and swirls that deviate from the less organic shapes found in the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and others. The upright 10.2-inch screen that oversees the infotainment, phone and navigation system is touchpadcontrolled from the console, and not the screen. Traditional switches operate the climate controls, while a minuscule knob looks after audio volume.
The RDX also has more passenger and cargo room than the previous model due to a slightly wider body and a 2.6-inch stretch between the front and rear wheels. The nearly flat load floor (with the rear seat folded) hides an additional stowage bin for safekeeping your valuables.
For 2019, the RDX abandons the 3.5-liter V6 that’s rated at 279 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque. In its place is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 272 horsepower and 280 pound-feet. The output beats the RDX’s competitors hands down and makes quick work of stoplights and slower traffic.
The turbo engine’s lighter weight also improves the front/rear weight distribution.
A smooth-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission directs power to the front, or all four wheels.
Also gone for 2019 is what Acura called “Intelligent Control” all-wheeldrive that split the torque front to back but not side to side. Instead, the more sophisticated Super Handling All Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) that was available in the original RDX returns, but in a more advanced form. In normal driving conditions it sends 70 percent of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels, but can direct up to 100 percent to the outside rear wheel when turning. You can actually feel the rear-wheel torque bias when executing tight turns at higher speeds.
Acura has assembled the RDX around an entirely new chassis that’s lighter and less prone to bending and twisting. The sport-tuned suspension components are also new and contribute to the vehicle’s exceptional ride and precise handling qualities, especially over choppy roads.
At a base price of $ 38,300, the base RDX highlights include standard dual- zone climate control, panoramic moonroof, 12- way power- operated and heated front seats, power tailgate and 19- inch wheels.
The sporty A-Spec adds a navigation system, parking sensors, 20-inch wheels and unique interior and exterior styling. The Advance trim level comes with a head-up display (pertinent information is projected onto the windshield), 360-degree surround-view camera, active dampers that constantly adjust to varying road conditions, and a mind-blowing 16-speaker ELS Studio 3D sound system, with four of those speakers located in the ceiling.
Acura includes its latest activesafety technology suite in all RDX trims, which is the cherry on top of an exceptionally quick, comfortable and competent machine that also happens to look as good as it drives.