Comfortable Ride with Tech Pkg to Make Geeks Happy
written on 11-22-2015
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.
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.
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.
This is my 2nd RDX. My first was a 2014, which I was happy with, despite a few minor irritations. The 2016 took care of my irritations with added technology, specifically the blind spot and rear traffic warning sensors and changes in the technology package. The RDX has two good blind spots so the new tech is fantastic and solves the issues - and works beautifully. The 2016 feels heavier and drives smoother than the 2014. The steering feels better and more substantial, as well. It is also quieter with less wind noise and a smoother sunroof mechanism. I did purchase a wind deflector this time though. I love the 3D navigation viewing option and the 10-speaker sound system is wonderful. I've had Acuras since 2000 - three TLs (2000, 2003 and 2008), the 2014 RDX and now the 2016 RDX. My 2000 TL had transmission issues, which were taken care of by the dealer even though the warranty had expired. I've always been treated well by the Dealer (in South Orange County in California). I did not test drive competitors' vehicles, but did a lot of research on the Lexus RX, Lincoln MDX, Mercedes GL and GLK and some of the BMW and Audi SUVs, which would have fit into my budget. At the end of the day, I could not justify a higher cost for the competitors (when comparing the multitude of packages available with the competition), even though they may be more prestigious in name and perhaps more luxury interiors. The value, quality and solid luxury of the Acura won out when I decided not to tie up more of my money and still have all the bells and whistles you get with the RDX.
We expected the RDX to be a great car but it has exceeded all our expectations. The tech packages work fantastic. The only issue is it offers so much tech that we keep learning new ways to operate the vehicle. The car is very quiet, the ride is smooth and the mileage is very good for a new vehicle. I would recommend the RDX to anyone looking for a smaller vehicle but needs lots of room for riders (I'm 6"2" and my son is 6'5" and sits comfortably in the front seats.)