2013 Acura RDX SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2013 Acura RDX SUV

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Acura RDX Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 273 hp @ 6200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2013 Acura RDX

  • More power, better fuel economy and a fresh look make the 2013 Acura RDX a solid choice for a premium small crossover.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Strong yet fuel-efficient V6 engine, roomy cabin, generous standard features list.

  • Cons

    Some rivals are sportier or have a few more available features.

  • What's New for 2013

    For 2013, the Acura RDX is fully redesigned, getting a new look, a new engine, a roomier interior, improved fuel economy and a revised all-wheel-drive system.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (5 total reviews)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

First maintenance visit

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Vehicle: 2013 Acura RDX 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

The RDX with a US News Car Rating of 8.5 was chosen over other vehicles with better US News Car Ratings, e.g., Subaru Outback 8.9, Lexus RX350 8.6, etc. Other vehicles had better Maintenance plans (60000 free maintenance on Outback) and better interest rates (0% vs. 1.9%) First maintenance visit -- had to come back to dealer for replacement of damaged sensor wire -- physical inspection of part shows either misassemble or installation error by tool marks on part + I purchased road hazard insurance and was still charged $185. Car pulls slightly to right after maintenance visit - tires rotated without trueing, rebalance or road check which any reputable tire dealer would hve done

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

Love it!

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Vehicle: 2013 Acura RDX 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

Have had my RDX one month, averaging 25.5 MPG in mixed driving. Very comfortable, nice interior. Good for taller folks - we are both over 5'10'. Great value - cost 6K less than than a comparatively equipped Volvo S60 - which is the other car I looked at - and the gas mileage is much better. I got over 30MPG on the highway. And you never know when the active cylinder management system is in use - it's smooth and seamless.

69 of 173 people found this review helpful

Honest 2013 acura rdx fwd

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Vehicle: 2013 Acura RDX 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

Great overall vehicle. Was a little nervous that they moved to electric power steering and took away the SH-AWD, but this car is SUBSTANTIALLY better than the outgoing 2012 model. The handling is precise and the ride is fantastic....a great balance. Fuel Economy on premium has been 23-25 MPG's on mixed city/highway use,FWD model. Pretty stellar for such a powerful 3.5 V-6. Overall, a fantastic vehicle. Even though some key features are missing (will explain later), you CANNOT get any car in this price class with this amount of standard equipment. Test drove BMW X3, Mercedes GLK and Audi Q5, and neither has the ride quality/handling balance that this car has, AND for thousands less

12 of 35 people found this review helpful

Basque red base

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Vehicle: 2013 Acura RDX 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

Very pleased to find this much power with good gas mileage. Quality is excellent and the car looks great - I especially like the basque red. The cylinder deactivation system is flawless - you can only tell when it is in use by watching the digital bar graph for mileage jump from 20 to 30+. Initial impressions on gas mileage are 19-20 in pure city and 27-28 for all highway. May get a bit better with more miles on it. Car is too new to evaluate reliability - I gave it a 5 since my 98 acura integra has 212k miles on it and has been reliable.

13 of 78 people found this review helpful

2013 rdx

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Vehicle: 2013 Acura RDX 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

Jumping to RDX from 2000 Sienna was a change. I was looking forward to new technology.

Gas Mileage


  • 20
  • cty
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2013 Acura RDX Review

What's New for 2013

For 2013, the Acura RDX is fully redesigned, getting a new look, a new engine, a roomier interior, improved fuel economy and a revised all-wheel-drive system.


The 2013 Acura RDX gets a complete overhaul in an effort to provide wider appeal and better efficiency. A naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 engine replaces the former turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder, and it provides more power along with improved fuel economy. Although the old turbo-4 was a spirited performer -- it made 240 horsepower -- it didn't provide the fuel economy and refinement one might expect.

By contrast, the new V6 version makes 273 hp, yet earns EPA estimates of 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined (front-wheel-drive version), compared to the 19/24/21 ratings of last year's RDX with the smaller engine. The roomier, more powerful and better-performing RDX accomplishes this impressive feat via various fuel-saving measures such as cylinder deactivation while cruising and a new six-speed automatic that replaces the old five-gear unit.

The all-wheel-drive version of the new RDX uses the system from Honda's CR-V, retuned by Acura for better performance. Acura says the new AWD system is lighter and costs less than the outgoing SH-AWD system offered in the previous RDX. It's probably a smart move on Acura's part, although the enhanced handling capabilities provided by SH-AWD that helped the RDX stand out in this segment might be missed by more serious driving enthusiasts.

That switch to a simpler AWD system is another indication of the different tack the 2013 Acura RDX takes. Though the newer RDX loses some sporty flavor in terms of ultimate cornering prowess, it gains significantly more in the way of ride refinement, cabin ambience and luxury features. The new styling strikes us as an improvement over its more generic predecessor, with a cleaner grille and a more sculpted body that's highlighted by a slightly tapered greenhouse. Our previous gripe that the RDX lacked a few key luxury features has been largely addressed, as keyless ignition/entry and a power liftgate, for example, are now available.

Thanks to this shift in focus that brought so many key improvements along with a pleasant driving demeanor, the 2013 Acura RDX finds itself in good standing in a very competitive segment. There's a lot of traditional Acura value here, too, with the RDX providing more cargo space along with some standard luxury features -- such as a power sunroof, heated front seats and keyless ignition/entry -- that cost extra on more expensive rivals. But if the RDX's suite of talents doesn't quite match your desires, we also highly recommend the stylish Audi Q5, the sporty BMW X3, the feature-packed Cadillac SRX and the family-friendly Volvo XC60.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Acura RDX small luxury crossover SUV is available in two trim levels; base and base with Technology package. Each is available with front- or all-wheel drive.

Standard features include 18-inch wheels, heated mirrors, rear privacy glass, automatic headlights, a rearview camera, a sunroof, keyless ignition/entry, 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 CD player, satellite radio, Pandora radio interface, an iPod/USB audio interface and an auxiliary audio jack.

The Technology package adds xenon headlights, foglights, a power liftgate, a navigation system (with real-time traffic and weather), GPS-linked and solar-sensing automatic climate control, and a 10-speaker Acura/ELS surround-sound audio system with 15GB of music storage.

Powertrains and Performance

Powering the 2013 Acura RDX is a 3.5-liter V6 with 273 hp and 251 pound-feet of torque. Power comes through a six-speed automatic transmission, and there is a choice between standard front-wheel drive and optional all-wheel drive.

In Edmunds testing, an all-wheel-drive RDX accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, which is quick for cars in this class. In terms of fuel economy, the RDX is quite good for its class, with the EPA rating the front-drive RDX at 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined. The AWD version drops slightly to 19/27/22.


The 2013 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 standard as well. In Edmunds brake testing, an all-wheel-drive RDX came to a stop from 60 mph in 128 feet, a few feet longer than average for this class.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the RDX the highest possible score of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side and roof strength crash tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The interior of the latest RDX is a notable improvement over the previous generation. A dual-cockpit dash design along with the use of higher-quality materials and two-tone dash/upholstery color schemes spices things up considerably. The RDX's various high-tech convenience features, including the navigation system, are user-friendly, while the powerful uplevel sound system should please most audiophiles with its clarity and separation.

Seat comfort front and rear is very good, with firm, supportive cushions and plenty of head- and legroom. At 38.3 inches, rear legroom is impressive and more like what you'd find in a larger crossover. In terms of cargo capacity, the RDX provides 26 cubic feet of storage behind the rear seats. Folding them down affords 61 cubic feet. Both capacities are about average for this class.

Driving Impressions

Along with its stronger performance (about a half-second quicker to 60 mph) and higher fuel economy, the V6 in the 2013 Acura RDX also provides smoother, more linear response than the old turbo-4 setup. Fuel-saving cylinder-deactivation technology, which can shut down two or even three cylinders while cruising under light load conditions, is seamless in action -- we never heard or felt it during our time with the RDX.

Though it's not quite as sharp on a twisty road as its sometimes rough-riding forebear, the latest RDX still changes direction in fine fashion with minimal body roll and a precise, if light, feel to the steering. Indeed, despite the loss of SH-AWD and the freakish agility it conferred, the new RDX still handles with ample alertness and composure. On the open highway, the increased refinement is obvious in the lower levels of road and wind noise and its relaxed demeanor.

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