2016 Acura RDX Review
Pros & Cons
- Strong acceleration and fuel economy from standard V6 engine
- high-mounted rear seat provides generous legroom and a commanding view
- more standard features than most competitors
- generous cargo capacity for the segment.
- Technology interface can be distracting to use, especially the optional dual-screen system
- high-tech safety features and adaptive cruise control don't work as well as some rival systems
- cabin lacks overtly luxurious look and feel.
List Price Range
$20,451 - $26,800
Used RDX for SaleSee all for sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
Most helpful consumer reviews
AcuraWatch Plus Package 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
Owned the 2016 RDX for 2 months. Bought the FWD with technology package. The RDX has the best overall engine for small SUV. Same engine as the MDX, but much smaller car means better performance. Great HP for its class. Very good gas fuel economy and uses regular unleaded gas. Other SUV's that had similar HP were turbo charged engines that required premium gas (i.e. more expensive to operate). Transmission is 6 speed automatic that is very smooth and shift points are perfect. Ride quality is a little stiff, but that helps with handling. The car is very quite when windows are rolled up. Seats are very comfortable. Very nice dual displays (one of which is touch screen). Premium stereo with XM and HD FM. I like the HD FM sound quality. It has a 15GB hard disc so you can save CD's or transfer songs from USB stick. There are 2 key fobs that you can customize most of the car features for each. Seating position, radio settings, navigation settings, are just a few of the items. Car recognize which key is closer and those settings are active for that driver. Very nice. Only a few negatives: Lots of wind noise when back windows are down more than about 1 inch. The electronics take about 1 minute to boot up when you start the car. Does not sound like much, but much slower than my Lexus that is 8 years older. Navigation system works good, but a little funky to set. Sound quality is good compared to standard quality systems, but less than other premium systems. ** 2.5 years and 29K miles update. Still very happy with the car. No mechanical issues. The stereo had some memory problem, but was under warranty so the dealer replaced it and solved the problem. Really the only complaint is the slow electronics system. Entering address in navigation system is cumbersome. Usually just use Waze and skip the car nav system. Other than that, the rest of the car runs perfectly. Gas mileage still very good at 25MPG+ in mixes hwy/street driving. Engine and transmission are strong. No squeaks or rattles in the body. The key fob memory is a really nice feature. I like how seats adjust and my music stations are personalized for me when I am driving.
Advance Package 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
My wife never had a SUV and wanted one to be our next one. She has been driving an 08 awd Acura RL and loved it. We put snow tires on it for the winter and it was a tank in the snow with the SH awd. So for us to trade it in was a big deal. I started doing some research on Edmund's and started to list the suv's we should consider. I test drove over 12 myself and reduced it down to 5 we should consider. We decided to stay in the mid size or smaller range since it is just the two of us. We picked one day to test drive all 5 for comparison. The Lexus NX and RX were the first she drove. Next she drove the Acura RDX then the Hyundai Tucson and Santa Fe. The RDX beat them all with the 6 cylinder engine, it was by far the most peppy of them all and drove more sporty than the RX. It seems like everyone has an RX these days so they are kinda of boring to us. The RDX is full of technology which has been greatly been improved upon since we had it in our RL. The biggest is the blind spot, auto braking, cross traffic and adaptive criuse control. I have using them and they help greatly with driving. We are happy with our decision and have found acura's hold their resale value as well as being reliable. By the way, the Hyundai Tucson was our second choice, which we may buy as a second car in the future. It is about $10000 less than the RDX and has alot of the same features.
Technology Package 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
This vehicle is fantastic! I test drove a Ford Explorer, Nissan Murano, Hyundai Santa Fe and I bought the RDX with the tech package. The reliability reviews over the others was one of the main points but after owning it I really have come to appreciate its high points. The ride is smooth, powerful and really quiet. The sound canceling system (like Bose headphones) does a great job. Being a musician, I was impressed with the stereo and during my test drive we adjusted the base and subwoofer to full potential and I was blown away. The sound quality with the ten speakers in neural mode (surround sound) is amazing. Some reviewers complained about having two screens. I prefer it and it’s much more pleasing to be able to still see your audio screen while navigation is showing on a different screen. Brilliant! They recommend 91 octane which basically doesn’t exist anywhere so I need to use 93. I’m not thrilled about that but at least gas is cheap now. I drive both highway and city to get to work so it seems I’m averaging around 19 mpg. No long trips yet to really see highway mileage. I live in South Florida and I can say that the air really cranks. Most of the time I only have the fan halfway even though the leather seats in summer can be hot. The advanced package has ventilated seats but will cost you at least $3500 more on your out the door price. I passed. The shortcuts menu, speed dial options, voice prompts and other technology is a big plus. I went from a stupid car (Honda Accord 2007) to this so it’s like walking onto the Enterprise! I can’t imagine anyone buying this car and not liking it. I paid $40,000 even out the door which seems to be a pretty decent price for a 2017 with the tech package. Updated11/3/2016. I can now confirm highway mileage on a long trip at 29 mpg which is as Acura estimated. I like this car even more now as I've been using more of the bells and whistles. I REALLY appreciate the back up cross traffic alert.
4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
I bought this car because the ride is quiet, the acceleration is excellent, the ride is comfortable, it has a very good safety rating and safety technology is state of the art. I also liked the Acura's reputation for reliability. I enjoy a good sound system and the RDX with the Advance package is among the best I have heard in a car. We drive a lot of miles each year on long vacation driving trips. Since the car is also used around town, the smaller size of this SUV is convenient as it rides well on a trip but also easy to park in a city. There have been a couple of surprises. While I knew the car had great safety features, I had not really experienced the changes introduced to my life by this car until taking it on a trip shortly after buying the car. The surprise is that it requires changing how to drive in many respects and requires a new driver for this car to adjust to the technology. Specifically, the ability of the car to adjust its speed with the traffic. Don't misinterpret: I like the changes but on a busy interstate, one needs to pay attention to adjust to the changes. Cars and trucks pull in front of a car unexpectedly. The first time this happened, the Acura RDX slowed dramatically and automatically. I did not have to apply the brakes. Several days into this driving trip, I had adjusted and found myself becoming almost lackadaisical about this feature as the car almost adjusts itself. Driving is more relaxing. On a busy highway, I disabled the system though as the distance between my car and the next vehicle was long, even with the lowest setting, and occasionally a large number of cars would continually pull in front and constantly slow down our pace of driving. I did not like the feature of adjusting the steering when changing lanes or moving in traffic. I turned this feature off quickly. No doubt, I will try it again but doubt it will be useful or one that I will use with any regularity. I prefer to drive the car and change lanes as necessary without objection from the computer in the car. My biggest complaint in an otherwise excellent vehicle is the navigation system. I don't like it or how in integrates with the other system technology. The navigation systems in previous cars are much better. The Acura system is not intuitive or designed with the driver or consumer in mind. It works with the voice control but the list of possible commands is long and ignores some of the most common features available on other vehicles. I still do not know if I can send instructions to the car to follow a route I have created on the computer. The Acura site indicates I can do this. The salesman who sold us the car said he had never heard of that feature. A system like this works well on a Mercedes that I own. The manual is silent on on how to do it. The website offers no advice. I do not mind making a call with Acuralink to enter the destination but would prefer to map it out myself to select my own routes. The ability to use the smartphone with the Acura's system is an excellent innovation. I also like being able to stream a podcast or Pandora through the stereo system. Sirius XM generally works well with the Acura although the traffic and weather features do not integrate with the RDX. We used those features extensively with a 2012 Murano and this lack of integration is a significant failing of a luxury SUV. There is weather and traffic information on the RDX, it is not up to Sirius. Unfortunately, the navigation system operates in its own universe. The voice system giving directions cannot be heard clearly while sound is coming through these other systems. Instead, the systems yammers away incessantly with turns and directions while leaving the stereo system as a higher volume. Moreover, attempts to turn down the navigation system with the voice controls apparently cannot be done. At least I have not found a way to do this or to find in the documentation how it can be done. In my older Murano, I was able to know when the next rest area was coming up as well as when the next exit was coming up. Not so in the Acura. Asking for rest areas results in a list of rest areas, some of which may be behind on the route being traveled or may be many miles ahead. The information is useless. One friend who bought an Acura said he gave up and bought a Garmin navigation system to use instead of the built in system. I now know how he felt and I am inclined to agree. The nav system in the RDX is a major disappointment. As a person who uses a system like this extensively on trips, I have already found using Google maps or Waze on my IPhone to be much more useful and easier to use. With an MSRP of $45,000 for this luxury SUV, I expected much better. Moreover, the Acura salesman was not well versed in how to use the system so learning how to use it has been largely trial and error and stopping occasionally to check the manual to see if we missed something that would make it more useful.