Knowing that many SUV buyers would rather have sporty on-road dynamics than off-road prowess, Acura offers its RDX, a compact crossover that blends sporty handling with the typical SUV traits of all-wheel drive and enhanced cargo capacity. That said, the two generations of the RDX offer two distinct flavors. The first generation is more visceral and more involving to drive, while the second generation offers greater refinement and practicality.
Whichever way you lean, however, you'll get admirable Acura traits that either type of buyer can appreciate. One is s strong reputation for overall quality and reliability that should translate into years of trouble-free miles. Another is a generous standard features list.
Current Acura RDX
Redesigned for 2013, the Acura RDX is now a more sensible crossover than before. Although just an inch taller and an inch longer than before, there's a bit more room for passengers and a lot more room for cargo, the latter jumping up to 71 cubic feet.
Better performance and fuel efficiency are other key improvements. A 3.5-liter V6 provides 273 horsepower and is matched to a six-speed automatic. That powertrain provides swift acceleration along with respectable fuel economy.
A simpler, lighter all-wheel-drive setup replaces the previous "Super Handling All-Wheel Drive" system. Though SH-AWD undeniably aided athleticism, it will likely be missed only by a small percentage of hard-charging enthusiasts. Inside this RDX's stylish body is a cabin sporting more luxury features such as keyless ignition/entry and a power liftgate.
In reviews, we've been impressed by the RDX's quick acceleration, relaxed highway cruising demeanor, precise steering and composed (if not quite as sharp as its stiff-riding forebear's) handling on curvy blacktop. We think this shift in focus serves the Acura RDX -- and the large majority of its potential owners -- quite well.
Used Acura RDX Models
Produced from 2007-'12, the previous-generation Acura RDX was a compact luxury crossover SUV aimed squarely at driving enthusiasts looking for feisty performance and sharp handling. It came with a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine making a strong 240 hp and 260 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission (with paddle shifters) was standard, and the RDX was available with either front-wheel drive or Acura's advanced Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive system. The SH-AWD system instantly transferred torque among the wheels (front to rear as well as side to side) to optimize grip and handling in any driving situation.
Standard feature highlights included leather seating, heated seats, xenon headlights, a rearview camera and a 260-watt audio system with a six-CD changer and USB port. Options included a navigation system (with voice activation and real-time traffic reporting), a sun-sensing climate control system and an upgraded audio system.
In reviews, we found this RDX to be one of the most entertaining crossovers to drive, thanks to its peppy acceleration and agile handling. The drawback to this sporty personality was the sacrifice of some utility. Although passengers had plenty of space (the rear seats were nearly as roomy as those in the larger Acura MDX), the 61 cubic feet of maximum cargo capacity was on the small side compared to most rivals and the RDX lacked items like adjustable cargo tracks and a rear parcel shelf.
The RDX changed little during this run. A few minor improvements took place for 2008, including a new auto-dimming rearview mirror, memory settings for the driver seat, a larger navigation screen and standard Bluetooth connectivity. For 2010 a front-wheel-drive version became available, as did a few new features including a back-up camera, Bluetooth streaming audio and an iPod/USB jack.
Read the most recent 2014 Acura RDX review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Acura RDX page.