2018 RDX New Car Test Drive
The Acura RDX is agile and quick, with strong V6 power, yet it rides smoothly and is practical, a good combination for a premium compact crossover SUV.
Redesigned for the 2013 model year, the RDX gained a V6 engine to replace the original turbo four. Freshening for 2016 brought new features and styling touch-ups. Nothing has changed for the 2017 model year, apart from several new body colors.
Overall, styling is sleek, with an attractive profile and pronounced fender arches. Headlights consist of a row of five LEDs. The front end is still a bit odd, but not quite as beak-like as previous versions.
The 3.5-liter V6 engine delivers 279 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque.
Sharing its basic structure with the Honda CR-V, the RDX is considered compact by the EPA's definition. Adults sitting in the second row are likely to agree on its compact status.
In terms of safety, the RDX has been among the best-performing models in its class, offering laudable occupant protection. A rearview camera is standard.
Although the basic RDX is equipped reasonably well, many prominent technical features are missing. The AcuraWatch Plus package adds active-safety features, including collision mitigation, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control, as well as a color multi-information display.
Crash-test ratings by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have included top Good scores in all categories, with a Top Safety Pick+ award. The IIHS rated Acura's forward-collision warning system Superior in frontal crash prevention. That system is particularly sensitive to potential dangers, tending to issue annoying warnings.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave RDX five stars overall, and the same number for frontal- and side-impact protection. The four-star rollover rating is common for many SUVs.
The 2017 Acura RDX ($35,370) comes with dual-zone automatic climate control, a seven-speaker sound system; Bluetooth hands-free calling, heated power front seats, and a power liftgate. RDX with Acura Watch Plus ($36,670) includes a trio of active-safety features.
RDX with Technology Package ($39,070) adds blind-spot monitoring, HD Radio, 10-speaker audio, perforated leather-trimmed upholstery, a multi-rearview camera, and a dual-screen infotainment display with real buttons. Navigation with real-time traffic information is included in the Technology and Advance packages. RDX with Advance Package ($42,020) includes special 18-inch alloy wheels, remote start, front/rear parking sensors, and ventilated front seats.
All-wheel drive adds $1,500. Front-wheel drive is standard. (All prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.).