2012 Acura RDX SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2012 Acura RDX SUV

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Acura RDX Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.3 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 240 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/22 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2012 Acura RDX

  • The 2012 Acura RDX provides sharp handling at an attractive price, but other small luxury crossovers will likely prove more desirable overall.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Sporty handling; compelling performance; well-equipped; relatively low price.

  • Cons

    Firm ride; lacks a certain premium look and feel; missing some top-end luxury features.

  • What's New for 2012

    The 2012 Acura RDX is unchanged.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

New 2011 rdx owner

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Vehicle: 2011 Acura RDX

My comments are coming from a guy who has had a 2004 Saturn Vue (V6) for the last ten years. Very reliable vehicle so far, but not one bringing home awards and has squeaks and rattles all over. Bought a 2011 Certified RDX Tech Package less than two weeks ago. Not many sold, so I consider them the few, the unknown vehicle. Very comfortable seats. Toys galore that I have to concentrate on the road when driving. Just a much different driving experience than what I am used to. Yes, the suspension is much firmer, but taking a corner is fun. I don't slam on the turbo, as I do see how it eats gas. If you don't slam turbo, I just averaged 25.5 mpg according to computer.

Acura rdx

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Vehicle: 2011 Acura RDX

Overall I am happy with my RDX. I would at least recommend taking a look at this vehicle if you like Lexus and Acura vehicles. The handling was surprisingly better than expected. The staff and ammentites at the dealership were on par or better than many of the more expensive options. My dealer Phuong Davidson took her time and thoroughly explained my vehicles features and options even after I bought it and was professional and patient. The rest of the staff and management were also polite and easy going. I would recommend a visit to Pohanka Acura.

Not great for a petite

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Vehicle: 2011 Acura RDX

When I test drove the car, it seemed perfect for my height--5'. It is not. Since buying the car and driving it, I'm having difficulty parking it. I can see over the hood, but something about the front end--length?-- causes me parking problems. Seat height limited--needs another 1-2". Seat belt doesn't lower where attached and cuts me across the throat. Passenger seat does not go up and down; husband needs a high seat to enter the car due to back problems and now has a difficult time getting in. Would not have bought the car had I been aware. No push button to lower rear door--have to stand on tip-toe to grasp the handle. Looks more like a station wagon, not SUV. Want my RAV 4 back!

10 of 17 people found this review helpful

Rdx with tech package

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Vehicle: 2011 Acura RDX

I wanted a small SUV for more utility, ability to go through flooded streets and for a change of lifestyle. Was in a Camry for many years but hated not having no power and feeling like a old man. Printed a bunch of pictures of SUVs and showed it to my girlfriend. She Pick the Acura and I went down and got it. I think it was good decision as it is upscale and I needed to treat myself to something more than another Toyota. Reliable, safe, fun to drive, and that Turbo 4 is nice change of pace. Fuel economy is about what I expected around 18-19 range city. It uses premium fuel. When new the fuel economy was down to 16-17.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Huge bang for the buck

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Vehicle: 2011 Acura RDX

With BMW, Audi, and Mercedes getting all the attention in the luxury crossover market, the RDX is too often overlooked. I have owned my 2011 RDX base (front wheel drive) for 8 months and love it. You get a lot for your $30,000. Stellar acceleration and handling, all the creature comforts, and a premium feel (though not quite as "premium" as the German competitors). If you want to save a few thousand dollars and still get an excellent vehicle- give the RDX a long, hard look before jumping into that BMW. If you do not live in Alaska or extreme north east, consider front wheel drive for even a better value. I live in NJ and am getting through the winter just fine with my front wheel drive RDX.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

Mostly up

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Acura RDX

Mostly a good experience, but small cargo capacity, small place for driver's stuff. Backup camera not good in bright sunlight. Nice drive with turbo and shifting, but poor mileage + uses high price gas. With Honda/Acura reliability, it should be very good. Would make changes in seating. Hard ride for all. Guess the MDX might have been a better choice. Should get better mileage.

Gas Mileage


  • 17
  • cty
  • 22
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2012 Acura RDX Review

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Acura RDX is unchanged.


When it debuted a few years back, the Acura RDX was a pioneer in its segment, coming out well before other luxury-brand automakers developed small crossovers of their own. Now, five years later, the 2012 Acura RDX still has a lot going for it, though in certain cases it's starting to show its age.

For one, the RDX has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine; six cylinders is the norm for this segment. But although it's down on power compared to other compact luxury SUVs, the RDX still accelerates with surprising authority. The Acura RDX also displays uncommon athleticism in the curves, cornering with precision and confidence thanks to its sophisticated all-wheel-drive system.

Inside the cabin, the RDX features a good collection of standard features and intuitive controls for the entertainment and navigation systems. The optional Acura/ELS audio system is one of the best in its class. To top it all off, the Acura RDX's price undercuts its similarly equipped rivals by thousands of dollars.

But when it comes down to it, the RDX isn't the most appealing model out there. In terms of high-end luxury or safety features, competitors like the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLK and Volvo XC60 outclass the RDX. These models also have nicer (and sometimes roomier) interiors and, subjectively, more evocative styling. The RDX is still worth a look, particularly given its lower price, but overall the pioneer has been overtaken by newer rivals.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Acura RDX is a five-passenger compact luxury crossover available in a single trim level.

Standard features include 18-inch wheels, heated mirrors, rear privacy glass, automatic xenon headlamps, foglamps, a sunroof, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, power front seats (eight-way driver, four-way passenger), heated front seats, leather upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth and a seven-speaker sound system with a six-CD changer, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.

The Technology package adds GPS-linked and solar-sensing automatic climate control, a rearview camera, a navigation system, real-time traffic and weather, voice controls, a larger infotainment display screen and a 10-speaker Acura/ELS surround-sound audio system.

Powertrains and Performance

Powering the 2012 Acura RDX is a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder that produces 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission with shift paddles is standard, but there is a choice between standard front-wheel drive and optional all-wheel drive. Dubbed SH-AWD, it distributes power not only between the front and rear axles as is typical, but also between the left and right wheels, ensuring optimal traction in all conditions.

In Edmunds testing, a front-wheel-drive RDX accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, which is quick for cars in this class. An all-wheel-drive RDX is expected to be just a bit slower, but would still be among the quickest in its class. In terms of fuel economy, the front-drive RDX is rated at an EPA-estimated 19 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined, while the SH-AWD version rates 17/22/19. Both are about average for the class.


The 2012 Acura RDX comes standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. A rearview camera is optional. In Edmunds brake testing, a front-drive RDX came to a stop from 60 mph in a reasonable distance of 125 feet.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the RDX a perfect score of "Good" in its frontal-offset and side-impact crash testing but a second-worst rating of "Marginal" in roof strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

Compared to the latest crop of luxury crossovers, the 2012 Acura RDX's interior will likely feel a bit dated. Besides an aging cabin design, there are also more hard plastic surfaces. Outside of this, the other materials are high quality and we're also fond of the center storage compartment that is deep enough to hold a briefcase or laptop bag. We like the audio quality of the optional ELS sound system, but in certain cases the RDX is behind the times in terms of optional features, lacking items such as Bluetooth audio streaming, keyless ignition/entry and a power liftgate.

In terms of cargo capacity, the RDX provides a class-average 28 cubic feet of storage behind the rear seats. Folding down the 60/40-split rear seatback affords 61 cubic feet. Rear legroom is good, but the rear seats don't recline or slide fore and aft.

Driving Impressions

The 2012 Acura RDX's audible turbo whooshing sound is a pleasant departure from the standard six-cylinder soundtracks in this segment. Turbo lag is minimal and power plentiful enough to make you question its relatively paltry horsepower number.

On the move, the RDX has a firm ride quality -- overly so on rough city streets. However, the payoff comes around corners, where the RDX is as eager to play as any model in its class. It feels smaller than many others in the segment and has steering that is on the light side, but reassuringly precise nonetheless. With Acura's signature SH-AWD, the RDX's handling is improved further, yanking this little ute around corners with poise and tenacious grip.

Talk About The 2012 RDX

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