Used 2013 Acura RDX SUV Review & Ratings | Edmunds

Used 2013 Acura RDX SUV Review

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Edmunds Expert Review of the 2013 Acura RDX SUV

  • 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.

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.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating (See all 65 reviews) | Write a Review

Do not buy this car

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

I don't know where to start. Interior cheap. GPS is the worst-does not even recognize state roads. Also the entry of data into this system takes impossibly long time. I have reverted to using Google maps. Voice activation- throw it out the window- does not understand a single command from someone with no accent at all. Loud interior on the road- you hear all road noise. Cant even hear people on the bluetooth on the highway because car is so loud. Bought this car brand new and wish I never drove it off the lot. My husband has 2008 TL and his GPS is more knowledgeable than mine. And, with only 30K miles on it, it already has a knock with all regular maintenance performed as scheduled.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

My 2013 rdx tech

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

I've had my 2013 RDX since January, purchased used with 30K, got a great deal and it looked brand new. Prior to my Acura I had a Honda Accord V6, amazing car, then purchased a 2008 Lexus IS250 and what a nightmare! Car was beautiful, eye catching, but at 30K engine oil rings and pistons needed to be replaced, car was burning oil, fortunately all covered by Lexus! Once the car hit 100K and after several repairs it was time to unload and get back into a reliable Honda/Acura! My next car will be an Acura again! As I read reviews people complain about this attractive SUV, what most people don't see if the reliability of Acura's and overall value!

Ho hum

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

This is my 6 or 7th Acura and it will be my last. The buying experience, with a dealer that I have used for 15 years was not great, switched leasing companies on me and I did not even realize it. Cost me 15,000 extra miles. That said, my wife is the primary driver on this but I drive it on weekends. The car it twitchy, touch the wheel and you are all over the place. Tranny? Upshift, downshift, really annoying. The build quality is Acura but honestly, the interior is cheap, the bluetooth is a step below my 2010 TL and there are so many choices in the small cross over/small SUV market that I would never get another one of these. I was this close to getting a Murano and wound up with the Acura.

3 of 8 people found this review helpful

Complete waste of money - this is not a luxury car

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

I bought a 2013 RDX wanting it to be a great choice for a luxury CUV. I walked away in April 2014, traded it for a BMW X3. Performance: numb steering, terrible suspension (failed, under warranty), failed engine mounts producing excessive vibration, unstable at high speed. Tech package: mediocre with Atari graphics. Sunroof: constantly malfunctioning. Build quality: Terrible cheap plastic all over, exposed sound attenuating foam where the windshield meets the dash, no rear passenger vents, the poorest quality leather i've ever seen in a car, and NO dash cover under steering column (where you can feel wiring and more sound attenuating foam), Playskool key FOB, hollow doors. Avoid this car!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Extremely comfortable, storage could improve

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

I have owned my 2013 RDX for a year and a half and have 14,000 miles on it. This is the most comfortable car I have ever driven. On long trips I can be in the car for 4-5 hours and not be stiff. The gas millage is very good for the size of the vehicle. The VCE goes from 6 to 3 on the freeway allowing for good millage on longer hauls. If I went 60-65, I could pull 29 MPG on standard hauls (no major mountains). City/Highway combo I get 22-24.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

If i had known then what i know now

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

I have had my RDX for 1 year and 19,000 miles. After the first few months of owning it i noticed a vibration between 2nd and 3rd gear and 4th and 5th gear. I brought the car to the dealer and had a technician ride with me so I could point it out. The vibration, the dealer stated, is due to the deactivation of cylinders and that it is minor with no fix. This is not minor when you spend many hours driving. A vehicle that is considered a "luxury" suv should not be vibrating. The gas mileage is not as stated. I average around 19mpg. I drive about 50/50 highway/town. The dealer replaced my bluetooth mic but that did not improve. I can hear fine, people have a hard time understanding me.

Talk About The 2013 RDX

2013 Acura RDX Discussions See all Started By

I purchased the car in June 2013 and drove it for 2000 miles without a problem. Then around the 2000 mile mark I noticed a rumble and vibration from the undercarriage and engine compartment. I called?...

What are your thoughts on the 2013 Acura RDX? I have serious considered the RDX in the past but could not get past the design. I am really liking the new look....

The RDX is starting to show up at various Acura dealers. Share your purchase experience here....

Read more about the 2013 Acura RDX

Gas Mileage


  • 20
  • cty
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2013 Acura RDX Suv in VA is:

$152.83 per month*

Identifix Reliability Ratings

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