Acura RDX A Solid Luxury Crossover With Great Ride
2013 Acura RDX Review:
The 2013 Acura RDX is more spacious, more luxurious feeling and a better all-round performer than its predecessor, which was no slouch.
The interior is roomy, comfortable and quiet. Its power hatch welcomed a big load of luggage. Everything looks and feels right for a small to mid-size crossover.
The 3.5-liter i-VTEC V6 delivers a healthy 273 horsepower, up from 240 with the previous turbocharged four-cylinder. But the turbo delivered it with more low-end oomph. This larger engine is silky smooth harnessed to Acura’s six-speed automatic that features SportShift, including paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. I doubt most drivers will use that feature often, but it’s a perk if you prefer more performance.
Despite weighing just 3,838 pounds, the RDX feels heavy, some might call it substantial. That adds to its luxury feel, but the steering effort is a tad heavier than some folks might expect in this size of a crossover.
The RDX handles well with fairly quick steering. It’s easy to control on the highway and on winding back roads. There is slight body lean in tight turns, but nothing unusual for this type of vehicle.
The ride was stellar. I had up to five adults in the RDX much of the weekend and most commented on its comfortable, quiet interior. The ride, which is well-controlled with a multi-link suspension in back and MacPhearson struts up front and a 105.7-inch wheelbase, tends more toward luxury than sport.
Also standard on this model is all-wheel-drive and four-wheel discs brakes with ABS. Traction control and stability control make it a good vehicle for sloppy weather.
Gas mileage was a disappointment. I got just 17.6 mpg while the EPA says to expect 19 mpg city and 27 highway, up from the previous turbo’s 24 mpg highway. Premium fuel is preferred but not required. My test was close to 80% city, much of it stop-and-go, and I did have either luggage or five people aboard 90% of the time.Inside, the dark gray metallic RDX was nearly recording-studio quiet. The 2013 model features a better-looking and easier to understand dash, and a load more soft touch surfaces, from the dash to the doors. Leather padding inserts in the doors felt and looked great, and the brown over tan interior leaned heavily toward sitting room comfort.
The RDX’s seats are broad and just mildly contoured with the tan leather being soft and smooth to the touch. Head and legroom front and rear are generous, so five adults rode in comfort. The second-row seats fold down to create a flat large cargo area.
I like Acura’s dash layout, with the two main gauges directly in front of the driver and behind the power tilt/telescope leather-wrapped steering wheel. Gauges are black with white numbers, nothing fancy, but easy to read.
The RDX also has push-button start, two memory settings for the power driver’s seat, two-speed heated front seats, a big glove box and storage bin between the seats, and overhead there are visors that slide, HomeLink, plus a sunroof with shade.
A big navigation screen is easy to see atop the center stack, and actually was easy to adjust via a large soft-touch knob mid-dash. There are six radio channel buttons, dual climate controls and eight large climate-control buttons to direct the air where you want it and at what velocity, if automatic isn’t handling it for you.
On the steering wheel’s hub are radio, cruise control, phone and trip computer buttons, again all easy to see and figure out.Other tech features include a multi-view rear camera, a 360-watt stereo with 10 speakers and the AcuraLink communications system with Real Time Traffic info, which is invaluable in larger cities. Also included in the package were the power hatch, fog lights, HD lights and auto climate control.
The RDX is competitively priced at $39,420. Add $895 delivery and you’re looking at $40,315. There were no options. An entry-level model with a six-speed automatic starts at $34,320 and moving up to an AWD model pushes that to $35,720.
Overall, the RDX is one of the nicest crossovers I’ve driven in a while, with excellent ride and interior comfort.