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June 15, 2010 > Auto Review: RDX by Acura

Auto Review: RDX by Acura

By Dick Ryan

My wife and I both enjoyed the Acura RDX. For us, it was just the right size-neither too big nor too small. It was easy to get into and out of. The ride was smooth, yet firm, and sporty enough that you can feel the suspension working. It did not roll in the turns, so the driver always felt in control.

The Acura RDX was a brand new vehicle for 2007, a compact, luxury, all-wheel drive SUV smaller than its big brother, MDX. RDX, a "crossover" SUV, features Acura's first turbocharged production engine. Crossovers combine the functions of larger SUVs with the reasonable size and economy of family sedans. A 5-passenger vehicle, RDX shares a basic platform with its sister company's (Honda) CR-V.

With 240 turbocharged horses under the hood, the RDX was plenty fast. Outward visibility was good, and the standard back-up camera was a very nice finishing touch.

On the downside, humm... were there any downs? I guess the torque steer under hard acceleration is a negative, but not horribly so. It is no worse than other vehicles and much better than many other cars and SUVs. That is the only negative impression I have of the RDX.

The RDX is now available in four models by adding a 2-wheel drive option. The front wheel drive base model has an MSRP of $32,520. Adding the Tech package increases the cost by $3,100.This package includes voice-activated navigation, rear view camera, real time traffic and weather information, 10-speaker surround sound system, and GPS linked climate control system.

The second set of models use Acura's very good all-wheel drive (AWD) system. The base AWD RDX starts at $34,520 and the Tech package is the same cost, an additional $3,100. Actually the Tech package is the only factory option available on the RDX. But there are a number of dealer installed small accessories available.

RDX's power comes from a 2.3-liter, dual overhead cam, turbocharged (to 13.5 psi) and inter-cooled 4-cylinder engine that develops 240 HP and 260 foot pounds of torque. It also uses continuously variable valve timing technology and premium unleaded fuel. It does have a small (but noticeable) amount of turbo lag. A 5-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters sends the energy to the number of drive wheels that you have chosen. Its EPA testing produces 19 mpg city and 24 on the highway test for the front wheel drive models; AWD gets 17/22 mpg.

Acura always does a very good job of cramming a lot of safety measures into its vehicles and the RDX continues that trend. Starting with the chassis, Acura engineers have designed deformable structures into the RDX body shell to absorb as much energy as possible in crash situations. Air bag systems installed all over the interior of the RDX .are also state of the art. Active front seat headrests minimize whiplash injuries. Electronic stability control, 4-wheel ABS disk brakes, high intensity headlights, and a tire pressure monitoring system are also standard equipment.

The basic warranty is 4 years or 50,000 miles, with a power train warranty of six years or 70,000 miles, which ever comes first.

In summary, the RDX is a good size for a two to four person family. If you had two adults and three or four kids, it would probably be too small. Four adults are fine; five would be a bit of a squeeze.

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