2008 RDX New Car Test Drive
The Acura RDX is all about sporty driving, which is why it uses a turbocharged four-cylinder engine to make its hearty 240 horsepower. This is the first turbocharged engine that Acura has produced. It's 2.3 liters, and comes out of the Acura TSX, with many changes making a completely different powerband.
Proving its commitment to sport, the RDX uses a sequential five-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, a firm independent suspension made for cornering, and Acura's patented SH-AWD (Super Handling All Wheel Drive) system, which delivers a higher proportion of power to the outside rear wheel under hard cornering, thus keeping the car in line.
Proving its commitment to luxury, the RDX comes trimmed in leather, no cloth interior is available, and it comes standard with other luxury touches, such as a power moonroof and dual-zone climate control.
In short, the RDX is designed for drivers who do not want to compromise cornering for a comfortable ride (hence, the firm suspension), but want upscale accommodations. It also needs to be someone who doesn't care about dramatic or distinctive styling, because the RDX closely resembles the Honda CR-V. Women, who normally go for the Acura approach of combining a silky-smooth ride with performance, will want to think twice about the RDX, given its firm suspension.
The RDX was launched as a 2007 model, and changes for 2008 consist of upgrades. The Bluetooth hands-free phone interface comes standard on 2008 models. Also standard are a two-way position driver's seat memory and an auto-dimming day/night rearview mirror. A new exterior color, Polished Metal Metallic, is available. If you are in Hawaii, lucky you, and now your RDX will have access to the navigation system's 1.7 million city and street names along with access to AcuraLink Satellite Communication System with Real Time Traffic. The Real Time Traffic system now covers 76 major metropolitan areas with the addition of 32 more for 2008.
Acura RDX ($33,195) comes with leather upholstery, heated front seats, power moonroof, Bluetooth hands-free phone interface, XM satellite radio, 18-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires, xenon HID headlights with foglamps, the 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a five-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters on the steering wheel, the patented SH-AWD (SH for Super Handling) system, four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution.
The RDX Tech model ($36,695) features the Technology Package: a 10-speaker, 410-watt sound system designed by legendary recording engineer Elliot Scheiner, navigation system with voice command, rearview camera, and the AcuraLink Satellite Communication System with Real Time Traffic.
Safety features include dual-stage frontal airbags, side airbags in front, side curtain airbags with rollover sensor, electronic stability control (VSA), active front head restraints to help protect against whiplash, side-impact door beams, and a tire pressure monitor. The RDX received a 2007 'Top Safety Pick' from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which performs crash tests for the insurance industry generally regarded as more severe than those conducted by the federal government through its National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.