2020 RDX New Car Test Drive
The Acura RDX compact crossover has been renewed for the 2019 model year, with a fresh face, an improved cabin, and a new turbocharged engine.
In styling, performance, and prestige, the next-generation RDX has turned into a stronger competitor. The wheelbase of the new RDX has been lengthened by 2.6 inches. That move alone eradicates previous complaints of skimpy back-seat legroom.
Base, Technology, A-Spec, and Advance trim levels are offered, though the latter three are essentially option packages.
In a quest for stronger performance, Acura adopted a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine from the Honda Civic Type R. Cranking out 272 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, the 2.0-liter turbo-4 mates with a 10-speed automatic transmission that runs through the gears in virtual silence.
When appropriate, the transmission can drop down by as many as four speeds. Paddle shifters lend it videogame-like control, and the automatic transmission behaves well enough without manual gear changes.
Front-wheel drive is standard. All-wheel drive costs an additional $2,000 on any model. The energetic new engine delivers 40 percent more low-end torque than the RDX's previous V-6.
Each 2019 RDX is equipped with contemporary safety features, including automatic emergency braking. Also standard are forward-collision warnings, adaptive cruise control, and active lane control. All but the base RDX get blind-spot monitors, but only the Advance Package incorporates a surround-view camera system.
Federal crash-testing yielded a strong result, and the 2019 RDX scored well in independent testing. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave RDX “Good” ratings in each category, including the small-overlap test for both front passengers. The RDX was deemed “Superior” for frontal crash prevention.
Meanwhile, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2019 RDX five stars overall and for the side-impact crash, but only a four-star score for frontal-impact protection. Rollover prevention (a calculated figure) also rated four stars, which is typical for crossovers..
Prices do not include $995 destination charge.
The base RDX ($37,400 with front-drive, $39,400 with all-wheel drive) comes with a panoramic moonroof, synthetic leather upholstery, 12-way heated front seats, LED headlights, and 19-inch alloy wheels. Nine-speaker infotainment includes a 10.2-inch display and Apple CarPlay capability.
The RDX w/Technology Package ($40,600 with FWD, $42,600 with AWD) includes perforated leather upholstery, parking sensors, navigation, and 12-speaker audio.
The RDX w/A-Spec Package ($43,600 with FWD, $45,600 with AWD) adds sueded sport seats with black or red/black leather, cooled front seats, blacked-out exterior trim, 16-speaker audio, and 20-inch wheels.
The RDX w/Advance Package ($45,500 with FWD, $47,500 with AWD) comes with a head-up display, a surround-view camera system, 16-way power front seats, heated rear seats and steering wheel, and driver-adjustable shock absorbers..