2010 Acura RDX Review

Pros & Cons

  • Sporty handling, stylish interior, nicely equipped, excellent crash test scores.
  • Lackluster fuel economy, firm ride.
List Price Range
$8,963 - $13,998

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Edmunds' Expert Review

A Japanese answer to BMW's athletic X3, the 2010 Acura RDX offers plenty of sport and style along with an adequate dose of utility.

Vehicle overview

With so many new small luxury crossovers on the road these days, it's easy to lose sight of the Acura RDX, now entering its fourth year of production. It would be a mistake for crossover shoppers to do so, however, because the 2010 RDX is one of the most entertaining compact luxury crossovers on the market. Dimensionally similar to the Honda CR-V, the RDX features available all-wheel drive, a long list of standard amenities, trendy interior styling and a unique feature in this segment -- a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. This is one CUV that doesn't deserve to get lost in the shuffle.

That turbo-4 is an interesting story. Acura's engineers considered using the naturally aspirated 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine from the TSX sedan, but they decided (wisely, we'd say) that the RDX's extra mass called for more torque. Acura's stable of V6s provided additional candidates, but curb weight played a decisive role here, too -- a V6 would add pounds relative to a four, and that's the last thing the RDX needed. So the RDX ended up with a turbocharged 2.3-liter version of the TSX's four. With 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, this engine isn't the brawniest on the block, but its turbocharged nature could be an additional draw for people living at higher elevations as it helps compensate for horsepower loss.

For 2010, the RDX also features a host of changes designed to keep it fresh. For better or worse, the RDX has been treated to styling updates that include Acura's bionic beak of a corporate grille. A front-wheel-drive version is newly available, just in time to compete with front-drive rivals like the Cadillac SRX and Volvo XC60 3.2. There are new standard features, among them ambient interior lighting and a back-up camera. And as ever, the RDX offers competitive passenger and cargo space along with the availability of "Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive" (SH-AWD), a sport-biased system aimed at those who want an extra dose of driving entertainment.

As noted, the competition in this segment just keeps getting better. Notable rivals include the Audi Q5, Infiniti EX35, Mercedes-Benz GLK350 and the abovementioned XC60; indeed, the similarly conceived BMW X3 isn't a class leader anymore, a casualty of inflated pricing and an aging design. We wouldn't count the engaging 2010 Acura RDX out, though. It's more than just another face in this capable crowd.

2010 Acura RDX models

The 2010 Acura RDX is a small five-passenger luxury crossover SUV available in one well-equipped trim level. Standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, a sunroof, ambient interior lighting, full power accessories, heated front seats, a tilt-telescoping steering column, a power driver seat with memory, a power passenger seat, a back-up camera, Bluetooth phone and streaming audio connectivity, leather upholstery and dual-zone automatic climate control. A seven-speaker audio system with a six-disc CD/MP3 changer, satellite radio, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and a USB connection is also standard.

The RDX's available Technology package adds a navigation system with real-time traffic, solar-sensing and GPS-linking features for the climate control and a 10-speaker Panasonic/ELS premium surround-sound audio system.

2010 Highlights

The 2010 Acura RDX receives a base front-wheel-drive version as well as revised exterior styling, automatic headlights, a tweaked braking system, a back-up camera, Bluetooth streaming audio compatibility, a USB jack and ambient footwell lighting.

Performance & mpg

The RDX is available with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Both RDX versions are powered by a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic with manual shift control is the only available transmission. Notably, the SH-AWD system distributes power not only between the front and rear axles, but also between the left and right wheels, ensuring optimal traction in all conditions.

In performance testing, we clocked an all-wheel-drive RDX at 6.8 seconds from zero to 60 mph, one of the quickest times among compact luxury crossovers. Fuel economy is below average, however, with EPA estimates of 19 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined for front-wheel-drive models, and 17/22/19 for the SH-AWD.

Safety

Every 2010 Acura RDX comes standard with antilock brakes (with brake assist), stability control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints.

In government crash testing, the RDX earned a perfect five-star rating for both frontal and side-impact crashes. Similarly, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the RDX a perfect score of "Good" in its frontal-offset and side-impact crash testing.

Driving

The 2010 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. The transmission's gearing is also well matched to the engine's power delivery. On the move, the RDX has a firm ride quality -- overly so on rough city streets. The payoff comes on curvy roads, where the RDX is as eager to play as any model in its class. Its firm suspension keeps body roll in check, and the signature SH-AWD system maximizes traction and cornering capability.

Interior

With standard leather seating, imitation metal accents, blue gauge illumination and a sleek dash design, the RDX's interior is undeniably a premium environment. Acura claims modern urban lofts were an inspiration. We're not sure about that, but we do think RDX buyers will be satisfied with their new cabins. Materials quality is adequate, though there's a little too much hard plastic. A deep center storage compartment between the front seats can hold a briefcase or laptop bag.

There are 28 cubic feet of storage behind the rear seats, and folding down the 60/40-split rear seatback affords 61 cubic feet -- mid-pack numbers for a small luxury crossover. The GLK and Q5 are tighter, the SRX about the same, and the X3 and XC60 notably roomier. Rear legroom is good, but the rear seats don't recline or slide fore and aft (unlike those in the RDX's plebeian cousin, the Honda CR-V).


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2010 Acura RDX.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

The Best small upscale SUV, hands down
klrsmile,01/16/2012
Having test driven a variety of its competitors, including some SUVs up-market as well as down (GLK, X3, Q5, Highlander) as well as being a former MDX owner, my wife and I were equally impressed with the RDX, albeit for very different reasons. He: Love the performance, 0-60 in about 6 seconds - very impressive, and surprisingly nimble, a very fun car to drive. The stereo is equally impressive, sounds great and free 12 months subscription to satellite insures something for everyone to listen to. She: The cargo space handles weekend shopping and family upkeep with ease. Crash test ratings help keep the kids safe
One happy buyer here
May 2010 Buyer,10/08/2010
Having used these reviews in my decision, I'm repaying my debt to the forum. Great car, would buy it again. I would recommend to anybody looking for something fully loaded for base price, V6 power in a V4, and luxury without the price. Five months and 8,000 miles later, I can appreciate the quality and workmanship even more.
Love it
Pleased,11/25/2009
I love Honda Motor Company. Had an MDX before...which loved. Opted for 2wd b/c I don't need SH-AWD in TX. Better mpg...but just barely. Only complaint on RDX is that any 4 cyl. should get 20 MPG at least. I'm no lead-foot, but I only average 17 MPG in city. The tech package is great. Very similar to my MDX's, but also controls my ipod and weather forecast. Love hands-free talk features and the feel of steering. I don't use paddle-shifters. Ride is sportier and quicker than MDX, but just slightly bumpier. Road noise is great...not an issue. Plenty of room for us, but we don't regularly haul anything other than groceries. I don't tow anything and don't plan to.
Navi
Bean,09/14/2010
The RDX is exeptional in every way...I'd recommend it to anyone. The quality is second to none. But I want to stress the superiority of the NAV package. After a recent road trip in a friend's Lexus, I am embarrassed for Toyota. The Honda Navi is far superior...the joy stick, zoom in/out, changing addresses on the go, categories of attractions, etc. The Acura Navi is intuitive, easy to use, fun and informative. I only have Lexus' to compare it to, but that Toyota's is a total waste of money.

Features & Specs

MPG
17 city / 22 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
240 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
17 city / 22 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
240 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
19 city / 24 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
240 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
19 city / 24 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
240 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 2010 Acura RDX features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2010 Acura RDX
More About This Model

At some point post-childhood, you realize there's not really an Easter Bunny, and the Santa Claus you see posing for photos at the mall is just some old guy who couldn't find a better-paying gig. Similarly, once you've driven a few crossovers, you realize that they don't all offer the nimble, carlike ride promised in their slick advertising campaigns. The 2010 Acura RDX, however, lives up to the hype. Muscular and athletic, this crossover blurs the lines between SUV and sport sedan.

For 2010, the RDX gets some changes -- some welcome, and some less so. On the plus side, you can now get this SUV with front-wheel drive (FWD); previously, only all-wheel-drive models were available. Front-wheel drive brings with it better fuel economy and a slightly lower price. Best of all, this new drivetrain is just as sporty as that seen in all-wheel-drive models -- our FWD test vehicle earns a solid thumbs-up on the fun-to-drive front.

Less thrilling is the SUV's updated sheet metal. The RDX's overt front fascia wasn't exactly a hit with most of our editors. Still, that sort of thing is subjective, and you'd be best served by checking out this Acura in person to see if its aesthetic appeals to you.

A few years ago, there was no such thing as a compact luxury crossover. Today, the segment is bustling, and there are many choices that deserve a look. The Mercedes-Benz GLK350 offers more premium materials quality than the 2010 Acura RDX and the bragging rights that come with the Mercedes badge, but it's less sporty and more expensive. Audi's Q5 features athletic handling and a deluxe interior, but it, too, is pricier than the Acura. Other worthy candidates include the BMW X3 and the Infiniti EX35.

The FWD RDX may not offer the high-end cabin decor seen in some of these choices, but it has them all beat when it comes to price. Unlike Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, this crossover is the real deal. It's the affordable solution for the luxury SUV buyer in search of a truly engaging driving experience.

Used 2010 Acura RDX Overview

The Used 2010 Acura RDX is offered in the following submodels: RDX SUV. Available styles include SH-AWD 4dr SUV AWD w/Technology Package (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 5A), SH-AWD 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 5A), Technology Package 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 5A), and 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 5A).

What's a good price on a Used 2010 Acura RDX?

Price comparisons for Used 2010 Acura RDX trim styles:

  • The Used 2010 Acura RDX SH-AWD is priced between $9,358 and$13,488 with odometer readings between 75327 and132930 miles.
  • The Used 2010 Acura RDX Technology Package is priced between $8,963 and$13,998 with odometer readings between 52819 and133495 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2010 Acura RDXES are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2010 Acura RDX for sale near. There are currently 9 used and CPO 2010 RDXES listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $8,963 and mileage as low as 52819 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2010 Acura RDX.

Can't find a used 2010 Acura RDXs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Acura RDX for sale - 8 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $8,491.

Find a used Acura for sale - 5 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $18,984.

Find a used certified pre-owned Acura RDX for sale - 10 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $20,576.

Find a used certified pre-owned Acura for sale - 10 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $18,680.

Should I lease or buy a 2010 Acura RDX?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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