Track Tested: 2010 Acura RDX


2010 Acura RDX

Edmunds.com tests hundreds of vehicles a year, but not every vehicle gets a full write-up. The numbers still tell a story, though, so we present "Track Tested." It's a quick rundown of all the data we collected at the track, along with comments direct from the test drivers. Enjoy.

Are you aware that the Acura RDX got a refresh for 2010? Maybe that front-end design was a tip off, or maybe you didn't notice anything at all. Don't feel bad, the changes are minimal both inside and out. Most of them are mere technology updates to keep the RDX in line with the rest of the lineup.

The only real mechanical change is the option of going with front-wheel drive only. Seems like a smart move as a substantial chunk of Acura owners probably don't really need all-wheel drive anyway. Plus, by ditching the extra hardware the RDX shaves nearly 200 pounds which improves mileage and reduces the base price by a couple grand.

So is the reduced weight worth the loss of traction? With its 240-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder, the RDX has always been fast out of the hole. Our test drivers took it to the track to see how it fared with its front wheels doing all the work.

Vehicle:
Odometer: 2,685
Date: 1/28/2010
Driver: Chris Walton
Price: $36,430

Specifications:
Drive Type: Front wheel drive
Transmission Type: 5-speed automatic
Engine Type: inline-4
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 2,300/140
Redline (rpm): 6,800
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 240 @ 6,000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 260 @ 4,500
Brake Type (front): Ventilated discs
Brake Type (rear): Solid discs
Steering System: Power assisted rack and pinion
Suspension Type (front): MacPherson struts and stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Multilink
Tire Size (front): P235/55R18 99V
Tire Size (rear): P235/55R18 99V
Tire Brand: Michelin
Tire Model: Pilot HXMXM4
Tire Type: All-season
Wheel Size: 18 x 7.5
Wheel Material (front/rear): Aluminum
As Tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,723

Test Results:
0 - 30 (sec): 2.8
0 - 45 (sec): 4.5
0 - 60 (sec): 6.9
0 - 75 (sec): 10.0
1/4 Mile (sec @ mph): 15.1 @ 92.7
0 - 60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 6.6
30 - 0 (ft): 32
60 - 0 (ft): 125
Braking Rating: Average
Slalom (mph): 64.6
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): .82
Handling Rating: Good
Db @ Idle: 38
Db @ Full Throttle: 69.6
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 62.4

Acceleration Comments: The traction control system works very well to quell the RDX's runaway wheelspin with VDC off. It took several attempts to beat the system, so it would be easier to leave it on. Some torque-induced wobble at wide-open throttle. Power wanes only slight near the redline. Upshifts could be smooth, but there's no denying the RDX is quick.

Braking Comments: Gravelly sounding tires seemed to hunt for traction and stops were not always straight - some veered right, some wiggled, and some stumbled (nearly locked up) from 25-0 mph. Still, inconsistent as it was, stopping distances and fade were acceptable.

Handling Comments: Skid pad: Will easily lift and spin inside tire with VSC off and that's the limited factor. With VSC on, the throttle closes before this happens. Steering feel is rather good with appropriate info and effort. Slalom: Pretty entertaining with its stiff springs and quick transitions. Steering is light and precise, but like the skid pad, the limit is determined by the spinning, unweighted front tire. Good rotation without threatening to spin and the VDC doesn't intrude that much as the speeds were close regardless of whether it was on or off.

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