Good things come in little packages. This is especially true if your big brother is the Acura MDX and you have Honda engineers backing you. The all-new RDX brings the priceline of the SUV lineup for Acura back down to an affordable 40 thousand range. The MDX has moved more upmarket, in size, features and price.
The RDX is a fine balance of performance, bad weather capabilities and environmental friendliness. While it’s not a hybrid (not yet at least), it is very frugal on gas.
The RDX is made in Ohio, the same plant where Acuras’ TL comes from. Quality is up to par with other Acura models and that is a great thing to have, Acura’s quality is very good.
I put in three passengers plus myself in vehicle. We put in some hockey bags, some other gym equipment and headed on our way to the rink. We were comfortable the whole time and didn’t have to get to cozy.
Interior noise is quite low, as is enine noise. Hit the gas though and you’ll hear a turbine wind up – this model has a turbo charger plumbed on to its 2.3 L i_VTEC 4-banger. Output is 240 horses and 260 lb-ft of torque. You can row your own with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters or let the 5-speed autobox do its own thing. I was able to touch 100km from a standing start in just under 8 seconds.
Once power hits the road, you have confidence with the full-time SH-AWD (Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive) system. The brains behind it will send power to each wheel as and when needed. If a wheel loses traction, it will transfer the power to another wheel. During a recent snowfall, it worked really well. The RDX felt secure and safe on the icy roads. There is a benefit in dry or wet weather as well as grip comes on strong during cornering.
The RDX shares the market with the slightly more costly BMW X3. The Bimmer has a few less features and has been around for about three years now, but can still hold its own.
Interior appointments are a plenty. The 360-watt AM/FM/6-disc CD changer with seven speakers and auxiliary input jack, rocks you, the driver and passenger automatic climate control keeps the ideal temp and the large power moonroof lets the sun shine in. The center console has a huge vertical storage area, enough to swallow a laptop and/or your portable video game system.
The dash consists of three round displays, back lit with a nice blue hue. The rest of the instrument cluster is laid out nicely as well.
If you’re a techie like me, spend about five extra G’s and you’ll get DVD Navigation system with voice recognition, Bluetooth connectivity, a rear camera to assist in parking and a DVD-Audio capable 410 watt ELS Surround Premium 10-speaker sound system
If you keep listening to the tunes and forget to watch the road, the dual front airbags, front side airbags, dual curtain airbags, active front head restraints and should help you in case of an accident.
The RDX will be a hit for Acura. It’s not perfect, but it does have a nice mix of performance and features for the price. The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) thought so as well, they voted it the Best New CUV Between $35,000–$60,000.
Base price: CAD$41,000
Options: CAD$4,000 (Technology Package: navigation system, ELS 10_speaker premium stereo, back_up camera, Bluetooth connectivity)
Fuel Economy: City 12.5L/100 km (23 mpg) / Hwy 9.3L/100km (30 mpg)