Notices

2nd Generation RDX Reviews

 
Old 04-02-2012, 12:12 PM
  #41  
Registered Member
Thread Starter
 
TSX69's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,286
Received 1,179 Likes on 558 Posts
Cool AutoBlog


Sometimes in life, you hit the nail right on the head, sink a hole-in-one or strike a perfect bullseye. It happens in all walks of life – from the original Star Wars trilogy to the Apple iPod. It even happens from time to time in the automotive realm. Take, for instance, the 1965 Ford Mustang or the original Acura Legend.

Other times, we're not so lucky. Like the ill-begotten Star Wars prequel trilogy, the automotive world has played host to a long line of underwhelming encores. The Mustang II comes to mind, and so does the Acura RL.

Of course, every so often, automakers release a car to market that's just isn't quite fully baked, like the ill-timed and poorly received Edsel from Ford. Though not nearly as obvious, the 1st-generation Acura RDX falls into this unfortunate camp.

Originally marketed to the upwardly mobile male Gen-X population – a guy Acura named Jason back in 2006 – it turns out that well-to-do, tech-savvy men aren't actually all that interested in an entry-level premium crossover from Honda's luxury division. And that's why, for 2013, the Acura RDX is being re-aimed at the heart of the market: namely, baby boomers and young couples – defined by Acura as DINKS – "Dual-Income, No Kids" – who prefer quiet, comfortable and composed to quick, nimble and raucous.



The transformation of the Acura RDX begins with its exterior. In place of the pug-nosed look of the original – made necessary in part by the inclusion of an intercooler and its assorted plumbing – is a more refined, upscale appearance. There's still no mistaking the RDX for anything but an Acura, due primarily to the large metallic fascia up front and the crisply angular styling down its flanks and hind quarters. A faux spoiler of sorts is formed by the shape of the D-pillar and the top of the liftback, lending an air of sportiness missing in much of this segment.

Growing an inch or so in every direction, the 2013 Acura RDX's cabin is endowed with more space for passengers and cargo. At 103.5 cubic feet of total volume, the RDX offers more room than any of its closest competitors, who are, as defined by Acura, the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Cadillac SRX and Mercedes-Benz GLK. We'd add the Lexus RX 350 to that list, and it also has less overall room inside.

1 notable change to the RDX formula is a redesigned cargo opening. At 48.8 inches, it's a full 6.5 inches wider than before, and without any odd contours or shapes, it's much easier to load large and bulky items into the rear cargo area where there's 26.1 cubic feet of storage with the 2nd row up, and 76.9 cubic feet with it stowed.



Acura has redesigned the interior of the new RDX to feel more open and spacious, utilizing deep cutouts in the dash in front of both the driver and passenger. The ploy works; after sitting in a previous-gen RDX for a few minutes, it is clear that the new model offers an overall impression of airiness that its predecessor lacked. Acura has also designed in a lot of cubby space in the new RDX, including spaces up front to store phones and electronics near their associated auxiliary and USB inputs ahead of the shifter and in the center console.

Acura has loaded a lot of technology into the 2013 RDX, too, including keyless entry and push-button start, Pandora internet radio (with pause and skip buttons) and Bluetooth connectivity that can display SMS text messages via the in-dash display. Also new is a so-called Multiview rear camera system that offers 3 distinct viewing modes – wide view, normal view and top view – each of which gives a useful look at what's lurking behind the car's rear bumper. Wide view in particular is a nice touch, offering a 180-degree field of view.

Opt for the Technology Package and you'll get a hooded 8-inch screen in the center of the dash with VGA resolution. A 60-gigabyte hard drive is used to store map data, leaving 15 gigs free for media storage. Buyers who opt for this package will also get an upgraded 410-watt ELS surround sound audio system and a power liftgate.



Just as notable, however, are the technologies that the RDX is missing. For instance, there's no blind-spot warning system, no adaptive cruise control, no parking assist, no lane-departure warning and no rain-sensing windshield wipers, though there is a provision to turn the headlights on when the wipers are activated. Some buyers won't care about high-tech features such as these, but in many cases, they come as standard equipment or are optional on comparable models from competitors.

It's also worth noting that there's only 1 engine available: a 3.5-liter V6 with 273 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque in lieu of the last RDX's turbocharged 4-cylinder. While enthusiasts (ourselves included) may initially bemoan the absence of Honda's high-output turbo mill, after piloting the RDX, we can safely say the V6 route was their best course of action. Not only is acceleration to 60 miles per hour kept the same (timed just under 7 seconds, according to Acura), but the 6 is smoother, quieter and more refined than the engine it replaces.

Gone, too, is the Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive system that received so much positive fanfare in the original RDX. All-wheel drive is still available, but it's a much more plebeian on-demand system that can send as much as 50% of the engine's torque to the rear wheels. Sure, it works as intended, but it's not very exciting, and it doesn't assert itself when driving like the SH-AWD technology did. We miss it, but Acura contends that its new system is lighter and less expensive, leading to increased fuel economy and a more attractive price point. Plus, it will still help the RDX through inclement weather in snowy climes.


Also helping save fuel is Acura's Variable Cylinder Management, which is capable of operating the 3.5-liter engine on 3, 4 or all 6 of its cylinders. Even when the driver is paying rapt attention, there's no discernible change in engine feel or sound from inside the cabin, but, with estimated ratings of 20 city, 28 highway and 23 combined (19/27/22 with all-wheel drive), this tech pays big dividends when it comes time to fill up. Those figures are 2 mpg higher in the city and five mpg higher on the highway than the last RDX with 2 less cylinders, and they put the RDX at the top of its class in fuel mileage. Unfortunately, despite the loss of forced induction, Acura still recommends premium fuel.

Driven back-to-back, the 2013 RDX is quieter and smoother in operation than the model it replaces, though there's definitely less torque when accelerating from a standstill. We checked the spec sheet to verify our feeling behind the wheel, and sure enough, the old engine offered up 260 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm – that's 9 more torques at 500 fewer rpm than the new V6. Once moving, however, there is abundant passing power. We don't think any of its target buyers are going to miss the rush of turbocharged torque provided by the old 240-hp 2.3-liter 4.

For 2013, Acura has finally fitted the RDX with a 6-speed automatic transmission, replacing the aging 5-speed of its predecessor. The 1st 5 ratios of the new transmission are lower than before, while the 6th gear is 16% higher than the top gear of the old unit. This keeps the engine spinning at a lower speed on the highway while keeping it in its higher-rpm powerband everywhere else.



RDX buyers will also appreciate the 2013 model's newfound smooth ride. While the suspension remains MacPherson struts up front with multi-link trailing arms at the rear, Acura has employed new Amplitude Reactive Dampers that offer a more compliant ride (the main damper spring is 15% softer) while lessening body roll in the corners. The trick shocks use twin valves and integrated rebound springs to keep up and down movement in check. Plus, they attach to a stiffer body structure using new mounts that improve ride and handling. 18-inch alloy wheels are fitted with 235/60 Michelin Primacy MXM4 tires, making for a track that's 1.3 inches wider up front and .8 inches wider at the rear.

We definitely noticed the improved ride of the 2013 RDX, but were unimpressed with the feel of its electronic power steering. Despite the fact that Acura has included a more rigid steering shaft to cut down on unwanted vibration, the variable-speed steering setup feels much less natural than the old model's hydraulic system. Acura's engineers lessened the force required to turn the wheel at low speeds, but all we noticed was that finding and locking in on straight ahead required much more thought, and we never quite came to grips with how much effort it took on the wheel to execute a change of direction. Add it all up and what you're left with is a smooth operator that doesn't beg to be hustled like the last RDX.


Considering the added refinement and the increase in size and additional standard equipment, Acura has managed to keep pricing mostly in check for 2013. Base price is $34,320 plus $885 in destination charges, and an RDX outfitted with the Technology Package begins at $38,020, while all-wheel drive adds $1,400. For the record, these prices are about $1,400 more than the 2012 RDX, but it's still several thousand dollars less than competitors such as the BMW X3 and Audi Q5.

Judging by the new demographic Acura is aiming at, the brand has managed to craft exactly the machine they decided their customers wanted. When you consider that the sales leader of the segment is the Lexus RX, it's easy to understand why Acura chose to soften the edge of its entry-level crossover. It's not going to light many fires in the hearts of driving enthusiasts, but it's not supposed to anymore. As a somewhat lower-cost alternative to its European rivals, the 2013 Acura RDX ought to make plenty of sense to the sizable segment at which it's directed.

Last edited by TSX69; 04-02-2012 at 12:23 PM.
TSX69 is offline  
Old 04-02-2012, 01:13 PM
  #42  
Registered Member
Thread Starter
 
TSX69's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,286
Received 1,179 Likes on 558 Posts
Post Auto123


PHP Code:
Summary Rating:     Complete Rating
      
Styling 
(80%)     
Accessories (82%)     
Space and Access (80%)     
Comfort (87%)     
    
Performance (82%)     
Driving Dynamics (77%)     
Safety (80%)     
General Appreciation (70%) 
SCOTTSDALE, Arizona - Straying off the beaten path can occasionally yield interesting if not fantastic results. The opposite can also be very true.

Quite likely the most evident example of success while trying something new is Chrysler's Magic Wagon. Today, minivans are dying a slow death, but Mr Iaccoca created something. On the other hand, the Pontiac Aztek was nothing if, well, nothing good.

Acura, in Honda's image, started off 25 years ago to the beat of their own drum. In no time flat, they had established themselves as the cool Japanese alternative to the German and American luxury brands. Success was at hand. Being original was paying off. Then, things went sour.


The blended breed
Acura resisted as long as they could to the SUV now CUV trend, but eventually caved in. The MDX knocked the socks off its competition and so, they returned with a compact version and dubbed it RDX. If the MDX was mainstream, the RDX wasn't.

Powered by a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with an emphasis on handling, the compact CUV's turbo lag and stiff ride did not win over as many buyers as it should have. Commercials like the 1 showing the Acura RDX cornering with the help of a grappling hook left shoppers perplex but not the media which quickly fell for the RDX's charm and attributes.

5 years ago, the concept may have been foreign to potential buyers; Acura was ahead of the curve. It's a strange thing that as the old RDX's competitors are closing in on it, the new 2013 Acura RDX is off in a different direction.

For 2013, fortunately or unfortunately, in an effort to get back into luxury CUV buyers' good books, the new RDX has gone mainstream.


Old is new
That reads wrong, but the point is that the new RDX looks more like a slightly shrunken MDX than its distinct predecessor. As I noted, the MDX recipe has been a smash hit with consumers, so hopefully this is a good move.

Acura, Japan's 1st luxury car brand (were you aware?) is predicting a near 50% increase in deliveries in North America in 2012. They must have done their homework with the 2013 Acura RDX (and the ILX - review coming April 20th) to present such an audacious forecast.

There's no doubt that Acura was searching to create a more mature RDX when I stand near it and study its body lines. The looks are clean and pretty much what the next-generation MDX could have been. Beyond that, there's no flash and no pizzazz and somehow it works. Admittedly, the subtle very-Acura styling is growing on me.


Familiar territory
The cabin is also familiar Acura territory. In other words, the sombre, serious environment is very tekkie, all business and extraordinarily crafted. I, for 1, like the dark monochromatic presentation while I know that others feel as though they are stepping into a funeral home.

As always, Acura offers up some excellent seats, fore and aft. Acura may be coming out of an exterior-design warzone but they've always been able to put together passenger quarters that were appealing, comfortable and luxurious. The 2013 Acura RDX has it all plus a sizable trunk.


No mo' turbo

While many manufacturers are moving towards turbocharged 4-pots, Acura has decided to move away from theirs. It's a strange move as BMW and Audi have clearly caught on to the trend. My gut feeling says that it was far too expensive to build the 2.3T for only 1 vehicle. The new V6, on the other hand, is everywhere.

The 3.5L V6 is not new (from the Accord to the Pilot and on to the TL) but it is good and well established. The horsepower rating is of 273 which is a significant bump up from the 240 generated by the 2.3L turbo-4. Torque is down by 9 to 251. The end result is a vehicle that is slightly quicker in most respects than the old.

Despite the power increase, the 2013 Acura RDX's fuel consumption drops slightly. The V6 benefits from the 2nd generation of Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) and from an MDX and TL-sourced 6-speed automatic transmission. Now rated at 10.7L/100km city and 7.3L/100km highway, the Acura-dubbed sexy CUV consumes 1L and 1.4L less fuel, respectively. Yup, the V6 guzzles less petrol than the 4-pot...

Fuel consumption improvements also come from low rolling-resistance tires, a revised braking system that reduces pad-disc drag, electric power steering and improved aerodynamics.

About the brakes, pedal feel and response is nothing short of amazing. The required effort is minimal as is pedal travel but without affecting the entire system's smooth operation. Steering is equally good precision-wise; however, the driver is completely isolated from the road.


Keyword: refinement
Without a doubt, the achieved result of all of Acura's efforts related to the new 2013 RDX is refinement.

The RDX's ride is improved to a more sedan-like quality. The RDX gets amplitude reactive dampers that not only "smoothen" out the road but do little to negatively affect handling. What the 15% softer damper springs have done is generate more roll on turn-in than with the previous RDX. Nothing to worry about.

The RDX's track is now wider and the wheelbase is longer. As well, portions of the chassis have gained in rigidity and layers of sound-deadening materials have been added everywhere. This thing is quiet, smooth are very comfortable.

I enquired about Acura's primary target in redesigning the RDX and the answer I got was the Audi Q5. I managed a quick tour in the Q5 and although it seems as though Acura is on right track, I found that they've actually put a bulls-eye on the Lexus RX.

To capture a more youthful market, or so says their proposed marketing efforts, I think they may have overshot the younger crowds and landed in the laps of the empty-nesters, the secondary target of the 2013 Acura RDX.


No more SH-AWD

Decidedly, Acura has chosen to put performance and handling off the front burner, as they have replaced their famed SH-AWD with a more conventional AWD with Intelligent Control.

The system is good, as my driving partner and I did wander off the beaten path on a few occasions and noticed first-hand that the new AWD demonstrates a fine balance between capability, traction and all-weather performance. Torque split can go as far as 50/50, which is more than sufficient for this type of urban family vehicle.


Smart solution
The 2013 Acura RDX has become "more" to or for a broader audience. It's got appreciable styling, decent fuel economy and, what Acura calls "high density packaging" or lots of stuff in a compact package.

The issue I maintain for the new RDX is that, despite Acura's desire to once again want to be an object of desire, as it once was, it stirs no emotions. It does nothing especially well, far from bad, is not striking aesthetically nor is it exhilarating to drive. The NSX, still roughly 3 years away, won't do any good for the brand in the short run...

I like the new RDX, but I can't say that I'd pick it over an Audi Q5 and BMW X3. I would consider it if I was in the market for a Lexus RX only because of Acura's perceived youthfulness that Toyota's luxury brand does not nor will ever have.

Prices are up for 2013 but content is up further. There is no "base" model for 2013; starting price is of $40,990 and the Tech package adds an extra $3,000. Acura expects that the Tech version should represent 60% of the total take. The 2013 Acura RDX will go on sale on April 2, 2012. It is built at East Liberty, Ohio and Acura Canada expects sales of 4,500 units in the next year.

Key Competitors
Audi
Q5

Infiniti
EX 35

Mercedes-Benz
GLK-Class
TSX69 is offline  
Old 04-02-2012, 08:02 PM
  #43  
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 43
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Now that I have seen and driven the new RDX I am not sure what to do. I do like the new format much better than the old, but it still has its weaknesses.

I am comparing it to the Audi Q5 and if the Acura dealers aren't discounting from sticker price, I am looking at $40k ++ (if I want the roof rails and a cover for the rear compartment, it would be about $41k+) for the new RDX.

I can get the Q5 for about $2k off of sticker, or about $42k, but for that, I think I would be getting quit a bit more. It has a much better AWD system, great looks, an 8 speed transmission, adjustable rear A/C, much nicer leather and wood trim, about the same mileage, an adjustable hight power rear tailgate, roof rails that are linked to the suspension and a bit more prestige......

I liked the value and reliablity of the RDX, but I don't know if it is worth it for only about $1k or less from the Q5. Originally I thought it would be about a $4k difference and I could overlook some of the shortcommings. What do you guys think?
SDCB is offline  
Old 04-02-2012, 08:07 PM
  #44  
New Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 8
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
SDCB...why don't you wait 4-5 months so that the RDX will be discounted 3-4k.
raj8 is offline  
Old 04-02-2012, 08:32 PM
  #45  
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 28
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
SDCB, I've ruled out the Q5 mainly on Audi's rep on reliability. Also, when I did my test drive, I wasn't overly impressed with how the cabin held up to all the test driving. I'm not sure how many miles the tester had but it seemed a bit worn to me. About a year ago I decided that the X3 was the vehicle I was going with but I decided to wait on their version of the turbo4. MPG ratings haven't come out yet, but I'm expecting something in the 22/29/24 range. I wouldn't be surprised if hwy reaches 30. But since I waited, this car is now available. Basically, after I option up the X3, the RDX is going to be much less expensive ($8-$10k less), probably more reliable, and certainly less to maintain after the warranty expires. Since I tend to keep my cars for a long time, the TCO is an important factor to me. Replacing tires alone will probably be about 2x on the X3 vs the RDX.

Anyway, I still like the X3 a lot as I've had in my mind for a while now that I would eventually be driving one. But I am taking this as a very serious competitor, however, if they aren't willing to deal that would be another strike against Acura. It's just the way I am, I just don't want to have a feeling I got ripped off that will linger with me for a long time and take way from the feeling of a new automobile. If they aren't willing to deal now, I may give them some time for the supply and demand equation to favor the consumer, but I know that X3 will be chirping in my ear and I won't be able to wait for long!
NAMA is offline  
Old 04-02-2012, 09:01 PM
  #46  
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 43
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Originally Posted by raj8 View Post
SDCB...why don't you wait 4-5 months so that the RDX will be discounted 3-4k.
I know that you are right on this, but I am ready to replace my Corvette with something more practicle. It is kind of hard to sit on this for another 4 or 5 months, since I have been waiting several months for the RDX to come out. I am hoping that the local dealer will realize that in a month or two, they will have pleanty of them on the lot and that they may reach a compromise with me on this.
SDCB is offline  
Old 04-02-2012, 09:22 PM
  #47  
New Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 8
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I hear ya, I don't want to wait either but I can't justify spending 40k on an RDX when I could get an MDX for 42. But yea hopefully the dealerships will negotiate soon. Mine told me it would be 6 months but I think it will be less.
raj8 is offline  
Old 04-02-2012, 10:19 PM
  #48  
Registered Member
 
ostrich's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Calgary, AB
Posts: 2,488
Received 348 Likes on 179 Posts
Did anyone see the Motor Trend review of the RDX AWD with Tech? They got 6.2 seconds for 0-60mph! Not bad at all! :-)
ostrich is offline  
Old 04-03-2012, 03:18 PM
  #49  
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 28
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
RDX Commercial with Avenger movie tie-in.


http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2...tion-hero.html
NAMA is offline  
Old 04-03-2012, 04:16 PM
  #50  
Registered Member
 
JCRDX11's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: NY
Posts: 635
Received 48 Likes on 42 Posts
What I want to know if the 2013 RDX brake caliper is bigger and would work on the earlier RDX models.
JCRDX11 is offline  
Old 04-03-2012, 04:46 PM
  #51  
Registered Member
 
Joe Las Vegas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Las Vegas
Age: 49
Posts: 580
Received 47 Likes on 37 Posts
Originally Posted by ostrich View Post
Did anyone see the Motor Trend review of the RDX AWD with Tech? They got 6.2 seconds for 0-60mph! Not bad at all! :-)
6.2 is real good, that's what my 5.7L RT use to do, I wonder if a sub 6 sec time will be possible with a tune.
Did you see the 117 ft braking distance, that's really good.
link HERE
Joe Las Vegas is offline  
Old 04-03-2012, 07:55 PM
  #52  
Registered Member
 
pickler's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1,361
Received 65 Likes on 52 Posts
Originally Posted by Joe Las Vegas View Post
6.2 is real good, that's what my 5.7L RT use to do, I wonder if a sub 6 sec time will be possible with a tune.
Did you see the 117 ft braking distance, that's really good.
link HERE
are we talking 2013 rdx? there is no tune for that if were talking v6. there is hondata reflash only for rdx 07-09 resulting 6s flat 0-60 or 6.4s stock.
pickler is offline  
Old 04-03-2012, 07:59 PM
  #53  
Registered Member
 
pickler's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1,361
Received 65 Likes on 52 Posts
Originally Posted by Joe Las Vegas View Post
6.2 is real good, that's what my 5.7L RT use to do, I wonder if a sub 6 sec time will be possible with a tune.
Did you see the 117 ft braking distance, that's really good.
link HERE
are we talking 2013 rdx? there is no tune for that if were talking v6. there is hondata reflash only for rdx 07-09 resulting 6s flat 0-60 or 6.4s stock. seems the v6 is faster to 1/4 mile stock compared to rdx. i did not know the new rdx has electric steering
pickler is offline  
Old 04-03-2012, 08:07 PM
  #54  
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Age: 39
Posts: 200
Likes: 0
Received 6 Likes on 4 Posts
Yeah, NA motors in general are not very tunable unless they're big displacement and have low specific output like the small block V8. Not much room for tuning a 273 hp 3.5L V6.
corduroygt is offline  
Old 04-03-2012, 09:51 PM
  #55  
Registered Member
 
Rocketsfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,547
Received 524 Likes on 292 Posts
Originally Posted by ostrich View Post
Did anyone see the Motor Trend review of the RDX AWD with Tech? They got 6.2 seconds for 0-60mph! Not bad at all! :-)
Color me shocked. When I test drove it, I must have been too scared to scare the sales guy. lol. It didn't feel like a 6.2 vehicle.
Rocketsfan is offline  
Old 04-04-2012, 12:54 AM
  #56  
Registered Member
 
Joe Las Vegas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Las Vegas
Age: 49
Posts: 580
Received 47 Likes on 37 Posts
I know there is no tune for the 2013, but like everything else, there probably will be one by year's end, perhaps Hondata will work on one asap.
Joe Las Vegas is offline  
Old 04-04-2012, 08:23 AM
  #57  
XIS
Lizard King
 
XIS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: The Desert
Age: 54
Posts: 585
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
the hondata re-flash affected the turbo, the boost, how early it spooled up, etc. Not much room to improve those things on a NA (non-turbo) engine.
XIS is offline  
Old 04-04-2012, 08:39 PM
  #58  
Registered Member
 
bh9712's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Age: 46
Posts: 111
Likes: 0
Received 20 Likes on 16 Posts
TFLCar.com has a video review with driving impressions -
bh9712 is offline  
Old 04-05-2012, 07:22 AM
  #59  
XIS
Lizard King
 
XIS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: The Desert
Age: 54
Posts: 585
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
7.4 second 0-60 ? ugh.
XIS is offline  
Old 04-05-2012, 07:28 AM
  #60  
Registered Member
Thread Starter
 
TSX69's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,286
Received 1,179 Likes on 558 Posts
Lightbulb TruckTrend


The 1st-generation RDX definitely had its fans with its entertaining turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. With 260 lb-ft of torque, once the turbo came up to boost, it made for 1 lively-driving crossover.


But the on-or-off boost response was a turn-off for many potential customers that valued refinement and smoothness over the juvenile thrill of the turbo coming on-boost. As Acura discovered, fun-to-drive isn't always the most valued attribute among entry-premium crossover shoppers. Owners of the previous RDX didn't care much for its sporty dynamics -- they just wanted a handsome, comfortable, fuel-efficient, and practical crossover for their daily commute. And that's essentially what Acura has delivered for 2013.


Gone is the turbo-4, replaced with a 3.5-liter V-6 that makes 273 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque. The 5-speed automatic is out too, exchanged for a more fuel-efficient 6-speed unit (the paddle shifters remain), and the advanced SH-AWD torque-shifting system is replaced with a standard AWD unit from the RDX's platform-mate, the Honda CR-V. Maximum rear torque bias decreases from 70% to 50%. Those changes, along with improved aerodynamics and new Michelin Primacy MXM4 tires, have improved fuel economy to 20/28 mpg 19/27 mpg city/highway for the FWD and AWD versions, respectively.


Other changes have made the RDX a little easier to live with. The suspension has been retuned with new amplitude reactive dampers that contain a 2-valve design, allowing for softer spring rates and a more relaxed ride. The RDX is the 1st to receive the new dampers, which will ultimately see duty across much of the Acura lineup, including the new compact ILX sedan. Structural rigidity is also improved with the increased use of high-strength steel, while the overall vehicle size has grown slightly to accommodate the 1.4-inch-longer wheelbase and wider track. This increase has also borne slight improvements in front and rear passenger shoulder and legroom, and Acura says rear cargo space is still among the largest in the CUV class, at 26.1 cu ft with the rear seats up and 61.3 cu ft with them folded down.


From an aesthetic perspective, the RDX has been smoothed some here and there -- the front end in particular appears much cleaner -- but its overall appearance is similar to the previous generation's. We've never found the RDX's styling to be particularly exciting, and that hasn't changed with the 2013 version. Inside, the RDX has gotten more mature-looking; gone is the sporty 3-dial instrument cluster, replaced with a single housing for all gauges. The center stack is rounder and a little more cluttered, and the display has been moved higher for improved visibility. Standard equipment includes heated leather seats, a moonroof, iPod compatibility, Bluetooth, and 18-inch alloy wheels.


On the road, although the new RDX is up 33 horsepower on the 2012 version, it's down 9 lb-ft of torque, which leaves the new car feeling about the same in terms of grunt, but lacking pesky turbo lag and gaining smoother, more linear acceleration. The engine is quieter than the old turbo unit (especially with the taller 6th gear), and road and wind noise have also been improved, making for a quiet, relaxed freeway cruiser. New electric power steering is efficient but light and dead-feeling, and the ride is much improved, as the new dampers keep good body control while smoothing out most of the road imperfections you would have felt in your kidneys with the previous RDX.


Much of what made the original RDX feel special -- the firm ride, turbo antics, and crisp handling -- are gone from this 2013 version, but don't despair. The new RDX is more mature for a more mature buyer, and ultimately that will pay dividends in both customer satisfaction and Acura's profit margins.

2013 Acura RDX AWD
POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS
DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Front engine, AWD
ENGINE TYPE 60-deg V-6, alum block/heads
VALVETRAIN SOHC, 4 valves/cyl
DISPLACEMENT 211.8 cu in/3471 cc
COMPRESSION RATIO 10.5:1
POWER (SAE NET) 273 hp @ 6200 rpm
TORQUE (SAE NET) 251 lb-ft @ 5000 rpm
REDLINE 6800 rpm
WEIGHT TO POWER 14.1 lb/hp
TRANSMISSION 6-speed automatic
AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO 4.25:1/2.36:1
SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multi-link, coil springs, anti-roll bar
STEERING RATIO 15.0:1
TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 2.8
BRAKES, F;R 12.3-in vented disc; 12.0-in disc, ABS
WHEELS 7.5 x 18-in, cast aluminum
TIRES P235/60R18 102V Michelin Primacy MXM4 M+S
DIMENSIONS
WHEELBASE 105.7 in
TRACK, F/R 63.1/63.4 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 183.5 x 73.7 x 66.1 in
GROUND CLEARANCE 8.1 in
APPRCH/DEPEART ANGLE 17.2/22.0 deg
TURNING CIRCLE 39.0 ft
CURB WEIGHT 3839 lb
WEIGHT DIST., F/R 59/41 %
TOWING CAPACITY 1500 lb
SEATING CAPACITY 5
HEADROOM, F/R 38.7/38.1 in
LEGROOM, F/R 42.0/38.3 in
SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 58.6/57.2 in
CARGO VOLUME 00.0 cu ft
TEST DATA
ACCELERATION TO MPH
0-30 2.4 sec
0-40 3.5
0-50 4.8
0-60 6.2
0-70 8.2
0-80 10.3
0-90 13.1
0-100 16.5
PASSING, 45-65 MPH 3.1
QUARTER MILE 14.8 sec @ 95.1 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 117 ft
TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 1700 rpm
CONSUMER INFO
BASE PRICE $36,605
PRICE AS TESTED $40,305
STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL Yes/Yes
AIRBAGS Dual front, front side, f/r curtain
BASIC WARRANTY 4 yrs/50,000 miles
POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 6 yrs/70,000 miles
ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 4 yrs/50,000 miles
FUEL CAPACITY 16.0 gal
EPA CITY/HWY ECON 19/27 mpg
ENERGY CONSUMPTION, CITY/HWY 177/125 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS 0.88 lb/mile
RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded premium

TSX69 is offline  
Old 04-05-2012, 12:30 PM
  #61  
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Age: 45
Posts: 37
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally Posted by XIS View Post
7.4 second 0-60 ? ugh.
well he was trying one handed while starting and stopping the timer on his mobile phone in the other hand. Hardly a truly accurate time. Other reviews have it at 6.2 seconds.
Onac is offline  
Old 04-12-2012, 07:11 AM
  #62  
Registered Member
Thread Starter
 
TSX69's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,286
Received 1,179 Likes on 558 Posts
Post InsideLine


Musicians will tell you that the sophomore album effort is always the most challenging to tackle. When faced with the task of creating the 2013 Acura RDX, the 2nd generation of the company's entry-level compact crossover, the company decided to tweak its genre from modern rock to something that takes a step toward smooth jazz.

The move makes sense, as the original RDX didn't quite resonate with the demographic for which it was intended. With the luxury of this hindsight, Acura is aiming the 2013 RDX at a more mature and mainstream buyer.


6 Cylinders Instead of 4
For starters, the powertrain has been completely overhauled. The outgoing RDX's 2.3-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder has been binned in favor of a normally aspirated 3.5-liter V6. Considering that many other automakers these days are going in the exact opposite direction with their powertrain strategy, this may sound like a curious move on Acura's part.

Fuel economy and drivability were the driving forces behind the decision. The turbo-4 lacked the direct-injection fuel system that would have enhanced its fuel-sipping potential, and its laggy-then-abrupt torque delivery conflicted with the 2013 RDX's mission of increased maturity. Though more frugal with fuel, the V6 still generates a healthy 251 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm and 273 horsepower at 6,200 rpm. For those keeping tabs, the new V6 gains 33 hp while giving up a slice of midrange torque to the turbo-4.

In our testing the 2013 Acura RDX ran to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds (6.2 seconds with 1 foot of rollout like on a drag strip) and completed the quarter-mile sprint in 14.7 seconds at 94.0 mph. This is robust thrust that places the RDX among the fleeter crossovers in its class. What's more, its speed is now accompanied by a crisp linearity at part-throttle that the previous turbo engine never exhibited. It's more natural-feeling, more... mature. There's that word again.


Improved Fuel Economy
The V6 packs some fuel-saving tricks that help earn the 2013 Acura RDX a provisional 20/28 mpg for FWD models and 19/27 for AWD variants, figures that are up from 19/24 and 17/22 respectively. One of those tricks is cylinder deactivation — the V6 will shut down 2 or 3 cylinders depending on driving conditions.

In practice the system is seamless, something you never hear or feel while driving, probably because the RDX's active engine mount and the cabin's active noise cancellation system are doing their jobs. We put a few tankfuls of fuel through our tester and netted 22 mpg in mixed driving, which is dead-smack on its combined EPA number.

Another fuel-saving move that also improves drivability is the additional cog in the automatic transmission, bringing the total to 6. The new 6-speed autobox allowed the powertrain engineers more flexibility in gear ratio selection and spread. Notably, the steering wheel has sprouted paddle shifters, which are useful devices even in everyday driving — like when you want to summon engine braking.

Further fuel economy improvement was gleaned by the switch from hydraulic power steering to electric power steering. A bit of heft has been lost in the transition, but that's probably the right move considering the RDX's shift in mission. Nevertheless, the 2013 RDX's tiller is still sharp, and it helps make the wagon drive more nimbly than its 3,821-pound curb weight suggests.


Simpler All-Wheel-Drive System
Gone is the outgoing RDX's handling-enhancing SH-AWD system, replaced with a simpler AWD system that's lighter and cheaper — AWD is now a $1,400 option rather than $2,000. The new system — largely carried over from the Honda CR-V — may be more pedestrian, but it, too, provides strides on the fuel economy front by decoupling drive to the rear wheels when it's not needed.

Despite the loss of SH-AWD and the freakish agility it conferred, the new RDX still handles with alertness and composure. In the slalom the 2013 Acura RDX turned out a tidy 64.6-mph result despite moderate 0.79g grip from its 235/60 all-season Michelin Primacy MXM4 tires. In our braking tests the RDX reached a halt from 60 mph in 128 feet.

The new RDX's ride quality is noticeably less busy than that of the outgoing trucklet, while still doing a fine job of controlling body roll. Acura credits new dual-piston dampers with integrated rebound springs that mechanically provide travel-dependent damper force — the idea here is to skew both ends of the age-old ride-handling trade-off, making both better. You know, to make it more capable. Bet you thought we were going to say "mature," right?


Quite Pleasant, Really
Strides in refinement are evident when you slide into the seat. From the low levels of road and wind noise to the glove-soft leather on the seats and steering wheel, the RDX is an eminently pleasant place in which to spend time. There's a greater sense of space in the cabin, too, though the actual dimensional gains are rather modest. Still, airiness is welcome whether it's illusory or not.

Its face adopts a corporate, mini-MDX look that's more cohesive than the, uh, amphibious first-gen RDX. The proportions are balanced and the styling clean, if on the anonymous side, which is no bad thing considering some of the truly odd styling flourishes we've seen come out of Acura's design studio in recent years.

Acura didn't quite hold the line on pricing, of course, as base prices rise slightly over the outgoing model. Front-wheel-drive versions of the 2013 model increase by $1,425 to $35,215 with destination, while AWD models start at $36,615, an increase of $825. Notable standard features include a back-up camera, heated seats and keyless entry.

At the pointy end of the pricing spectrum is our fully loaded all-wheel-drive tester equipped with the Technology package at $40,315. Crossing the $40K threshold with an entry-level compact SUV is a bold psychological move on Acura's part, but at least there's a comprehensive list of equipment in the deal — the Technology package grants access to nav, a power liftgate, HID headlights, premium sound and a few other items.


Targets Hit
The new RDX successfully achieves its objectives. From its improved fuel economy to the smoother ride quality, enhanced refinement and linear power delivery, the 2013 Acura RDX is far better equipped to take on its crossover rivals.

It may be fashionable to poo-poo any decision involving the de-sport-ification of a vehicle, but it is hard to find fault with the logic behind Acura's alterations to the RDX formula. Better still is that the end product, the 2013 RDX, is a wholly accomplished and enjoyable result.

Growing up isn't so hard after all. Keep the Kenny G to yourself, though.

Specs & Performance
Vehicle
Year Make Model 2013 Acura RDX 4dr SUV With Technology Package (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
Vehicle Type AWD 4dr 5-passenger 4dr SUV
Base MSRP $39,420
Options on test vehicle Technology Package ($0 -- includes Acura navigation system with voice recognition, AcuraLink real-time traffic with traffic rerouting, AcuraLink real-time weather, Acura/ELS Surround premium audio system with 410-watt digital sound-processor amplifier, 10 speakers, DVD-Audio, CD player, MP3, WMA and DTS player, Dolby ProLogic II, XM radio with note function music reminder, USB port and aux jack connectivity, and 15GB of hard disk drive (HDD) media storage, Pandora Internet radio interface, SMS text messaging feature, GPS-linked, solar-sensing, dual-zone automatic climate control system)
As-tested MSRP $40,315
Assembly location East Liberty, Ohio

Drivetrain
Configuration Transverse, front-engine, all-wheel drive
Engine type Naturally aspirated, port-injected V6, gasoline with cylinder deactivation
Displacement (cc/cu-in) 3,471/212
Block/head material Aluminum/aluminum
Valvetrain SOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, variable intake + exhaust-valve timing and lift
Compression ratio (x:1) 10.5
Redline, indicated (rpm) 6,800
Horsepower (hp @ rpm) 273 @ 6,200
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm) 251 @ 5,000
Fuel type Premium unleaded (recommended)
Transmission type Six-speed automatic with steering-wheel-mounted paddles
Transmission ratios (x:1) I = 3.36, II = 2.09, III = 1.48, IV = 1.07, V = 0.75, VI = 0.56, R = 2.27
Final-drive ratio (x:1) 4.25
Chassis
Suspension, front Independent MacPherson struts, coil springs, twin-tube dampers, stabilizer bar
Suspension, rear Independent multilink, coil springs, twin-tube dampers, stabilizer bar
Steering type Electric-assist, speed-proportional, rack-and-pinion steering
Steering ratio (x:1) 15.0
Turning circle (ft.) 39.0
Tire make and model Michelin Primacy MXM4
Tire type All-season front and rear
Tire size, front P235/60R18 102V
Tire size, rear P235/60R18 102V
Wheel size 18-by-7.5 inches front and rear
Wheel material Cast aluminum
Brakes, front 12.3-inch one-piece ventilated cast-iron discs with single-piston sliding cast-iron calipers
Brakes, rear 12-inch one-piece solid cast-iron discs with single-piston sliding cast-iron calipers

Track Test Results
Acceleration, 0-30 mph (sec.) 2.7
0-45 mph (sec.) 4.3
0-60 mph (sec.) 6.5
0-60 with 1 foot of rollout (sec.) 6.2
0-75 mph (sec.) 9.4
1/4-mile (sec. @ mph) 14.7 @ 94.0
0-30 mph, trac ON (sec.) 2.9
0-45 mph, trac ON (sec.) 4.7
0-60 mph, trac ON (sec.) 6.9
0-60, trac ON with 1 foot of rollout (sec.) 6.5
0-75 mph, trac ON (sec.) 7.8
1/4-mile, trac ON (sec. @ mph) 15.0 @ 93.9
Braking, 30-0 mph (ft.) 33
60-0 mph (ft.) 128
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph) 64.6
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph) ESC ON 62.1
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g) 0.79
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g) ESC ON 0.78
Sound level @ idle (dB) 42.6
@ Full throttle (dB) 73.5
@ 70 mph cruise (dB) 66.2
Engine speed @ 70 mph (rpm) 1,900

Test Driver Ratings & Comments

Acceleration comments: There's about a tenth or three to be gained with generous pedal overlap and the front tires even bark a little bit. Upshifts at WOT (in both D or S) are smooth and reasonably quick and exactly at redline, hence no need for Manual. I didn't sense (feel or hear) any telltale VTEC cam changeover - odd, no?
Braking comments: In "normal" driving, the brake jump-in is pretty abrupt with only a small amount of pedal travel. In "panic stops," the pedal feels softer with more travel. Tire and ABS both make an audible protest. Straight, fade-resistant brakes.
Handling comments: "Skid pad: Very little ESC intervention if any. Very communicative steering that isn't unnecessarily heavy or light. Very nice. Steady moderate understeer on the limit.

Testing Conditions
Test date 4/3/2012
Test location California Speedway
Elevation (ft.) 1,121
Temperature (°F) 78.1
Relative humidity (%) 14.1
Barometric pressure (in. Hg) 28.74
Wind (mph, direction) 1.4 headwind
Odometer (mi.) 2,113
Fuel used for test 91-octane gasoline
As-tested tire pressures, f/r (psi) 33/33
Fuel Consumption
EPA fuel economy (mpg) 19 city/27 highway/22 combined
Edmunds observed (mpg) 22
Fuel tank capacity (U.S. gal.) 16.0
Driving range (mi.) 448
Dimensions & Capacities
Curb weight, mfr. claim (lbs.) 3,732
Curb weight, as tested (lbs.) 3,821
Length (in.) 183.5
Width (in.) 73.7
Height (in.) 66.1
Wheelbase (in.) 105.7
Track, front (in.) 63.1
Track, rear (in.) 63.4
Legroom, front (in.) 42.1
Legroom, rear (in.) 38.3
Headroom, front (in.) 38.7
Headroom, rear (in.) 38.2
Shoulder room, front (in.) 58.7
Shoulder room, rear (in.) 57.2
Seating capacity 5
Tow capacity, mfr. claim (lbs.) 1,500
Ground clearance (in.) 8.1
Approach angle (degrees) 17.2
Departure angle (degrees) 22.0
Warranty
Bumper-to-bumper 4 years/50,000 miles
Powertrain 6 years/70,000 miles
Corrosion 5 years/Unlimited miles
Roadside assistance 4 years/50,000 miles

TSX69 is offline  
Old 04-14-2012, 06:42 AM
  #63  
Registered Member
Thread Starter
 
TSX69's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,286
Received 1,179 Likes on 558 Posts
Post King 5


There are 2 kinds of people reading this review of the 2013 Acura RDX. The 1st would be mainstream buyers thinking about a RX350, Q5, SRX, GLK, FX35, XC60, or any other luxury crossover with no vowels in the name. The others are car geeks that devour everything they can about the automotive world. You know who you are.

Car geeks loved the original RDX. It was light weight, had a powerful turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive that overspun the outside rear wheel to give it a handling advantage. Very cool stuff and mucho fun to drive. Mainstream buyers just didn’t get it though and headed off to buy more Lexus RX350s.

The new RDX is aimed directly at the mainstream. In some ways it follows the predictable path redesigned vehicles often take -- slightly larger inside and out, more fuel efficient too. But it isn’t trying to capture the edgy design and personality of the outgoing model. I have to believe the changes they’ve made to the personality will make it the most popular model Acura sells, even though it’s missing features the other brands have had for years.

Back to the Future

That outgoing turbo 4-cylinder is what many automakers consider to be the engine of the future because they’re powerful, lightweight and fuel efficient. So it’s a bit of a surprise that under the hood of the 2013 MDX you’ll find… a V6? I’m not complaining. The classic 3.5-liter unit has 273 horses on tap, up by 33 horsepower. It’s smoother than the turbo and it sounds good. Between the 2 motors, the V6 will be an instant crowd pleaser on test drives.

The automatic transmission adds an extra gear, for 6-speeds now. Shift manually if you want with paddle shifter on the steering wheel.

The good news is that fuel economy is up substantially. The AWD tester I’m driving is EPA rated at 19 mpg city, 27 highway. That’s a 5 mpg increase in highway fuel economy versus the previous RDX and Acura says it’s now best in class. On a long drive to Forks, WA to visit Evil Twin (where else would he live?) I saw 29 mpg. Front drive models are rated at 20/28. There’s variable cylinder management at work here. In other words RDX can run on as few as 3 pistons, depending on how much power is needed.

No Lack Of Power

0-60 spools up in just under 7 seconds. There’s a big improvement in the ride quality, sharp bumps are soaked up quite nicely but it doesn’t roll like an old Cadillac in hard cornering. Steering effort feels hefty and European. The composed RDX handles very well though it’s not as crisp, nimble and flingable as before. Car geeks (who probably never bought the 1st 1) may grouse about this but the harsh reality is that most buyers will prefer the substantial and comfortable dynamic of the 2013 model. It’s very balanced.

There is much less road noise now, very little wind noise gets though at high speeds, making it an excellent road trip vehicle. When it comes time to stop and take a photo of a scenic vista, RDX is very capable and secure.

Mudfest Winner

Not very many people are going to head off-road with this rig but at the 2012 Mudfest SUV competition, I and 24 other auto writers beat the snot out of it on a rough course at Dirt Fish Rally School. RDX has no problem handling rugged forest service roads and moderate pool of water. It’s doubtful owners will ever punish their cars to the degree we did. In the end it won the title of Best Family SUV and received high praise from every writer emerging from its mud caked doors.

I’m driving the very 1 used at Mudfest. It’s a testament to the RDX that after the punishment, there are no squeaks, groans or rattles. None

Car geeks will groan because RDX no longer uses Super Handling All-Wheel Drive. It now uses AWD with Intelligent Control, which is very similar to the system in Honda’s new CR-V. Mainstream buyers will probably never know or care, as long as they don’t get stuck in snow or mud. In normal steady driving, all power is sent to the front wheels. It automatically sends power to the tires with the most grip.

Go With The Flow

There’s a new approach to the interior. Hard angles are replaced with flowing and inviting lines. All the expected stuff is here- soft touch materials, phone and iPod integration, and contoured heated leather chairs. Hit reverse and the mirrors swing down to show wheel scraping curbs. The rear view camera is adjustable, it shoots straight down to help when hooking up a trailer hitch alone, or switched to a ultra wide mode to get the big picture.

The center stack has less of the swarm of buttons normally found on Honda products. There is dual-zone auto climate control and keyless ignition to make life easier. Lots of places to stash stuff too.

Using the tech means turning, nudging and pushing the familiar Honda interface. Personally, I prefer touch screens but the familiar knob works just fine. There are voice commands too but they system doesn’t seem to like my voice. The optional nav system offers up traffic information and weather forecasts. Hook up a smartphone and there’s Pandora streaming music. It can also read incoming text messages depending on your phone.

Acura ELS sound systems have always been among my favorites and this one is no different. It doesn’t color the sound, bass is tight and accurate. Play DVD audio disks and the surround sound stage is mesmerizing. The hard disk has 15 gigs dedicated to music storage, plus there’s Bluetooth audio streaming. XM satellite radio continues to sound grainy and thin.

Space In The Back

Moving to the rear, there’s plenty of leg and foot room for average sized adults. The floor is flat, the bench is wide enough for 3 adults, 2 if they’re large or using the folding armrests with cupholders. There’s 2 seat pockets and storage in the doors too. Too bad the seat doesn’t slide fore and aft to max out leg or cargo room.

And this is where my gripes begin. A premium brand like Acura should include surprise and delight features like heated seats in the back. Also, the rear seat backs should recline and have side impact airbags. There’s no power port or adjustable air vents either. It smacks of cost cutting.

Other misses? The interior windshield pillars are plastic, not wrapped in cloth. It’s fine that my tester does not have a panoramic roof, blind spot warning system, ventilated seats, or radar assisted cruise control, but in this class they should at least be offered. And they’re not.

Better Cargo Access

At least there’s a power hatch on the new MDX. The folks at Acura say the cargo hold is larger now and the trunk opening is significantly wider. Hefty handles on the side make it very easy to drop the seat backs. No power port or storage under the load floor. Good to see a spare tire, crossovers do end up on remote forest roads far away from roadside assistance. As far as cargo room goes, a Honda CR-V holds 12 bundles, the RDX with its sleeker silhouette takes on eight. And if you’ve watched the video and are wondering of there’s any way another can wedge in, it won’t. I’m a professional.

The 2013 model is an attractive rig with less severe lines. Acura has toned down the bionic beak across the board and it works well here, instantly announcing an Acura is heading your way without looking like an angry robot. It looks and feels like a smaller MDX, which is a good thing.

About the only major option left to buy on this Tech Package RDX are roof rails and cross bars (which will set you back $900).

And The Price Is…

RDX starts at $35,215 including destination for a front-drive model. This AWD Tech Package rig is $40,305. That’s a good deal. Comparably equipped, that’s thousands less than other luxury crossovers though remember, it doesn’t offer some of the super fancy tech the others get.

The 2013 RDX is a well done crossover that hits a broad sweet spot and it immediately impresses on a test drive. It’s only after a good hard look will shoppers find missing features, and that drops it from the luxury segment to the near-luxury category. While I firmly believe a lot of the doo-dads missing from the Acura’s option list are superfluous, many shoppers in this category will judge it by what’s not available. At the very least there should be an “advanced technology” package available for those who want it.

Mock overkill if you want but Acura needs more than “smart luxury”, it has to pack more wow into their cars if it wants to be seen as the equal to Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Infiniti and Cadillac. With RDX I’d settle for radar assisted cruise and panoramic roof. RDX is a very satisfying car at a good price point but without the next level of features it appears they aren’t trying as hard as the others. Modesty is an excellent quality in people, not luxury cars.
TSX69 is offline  
Old 04-14-2012, 08:27 AM
  #64  
Registered Member
 
bh9712's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Age: 46
Posts: 111
Likes: 0
Received 20 Likes on 16 Posts
2013 Acura RDX Full Test
Remixed for a Different Audience
By Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor | Published Apr 12, 2012
Poor
So-So
Pretty Good
Good
Excellent
81 Ratings
Comments (127)
Musicians will tell you that the sophomore album effort is always the most challenging to tackle. When faced with the task of creating the 2013 Acura RDX, the second generation of the company's entry-level compact crossover, the company decided to tweak its genre from modern rock to something that takes a step toward smooth jazz.

The move makes sense, as the original RDX didn't quite resonate with the demographic for which it was intended. With the luxury of this hindsight, Acura is aiming the 2013 RDX at a more mature and mainstream buyer.

Six Cylinders Instead of Four
For starters, the powertrain has been completely overhauled. The outgoing RDX's 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder has been binned in favor of a normally aspirated 3.5-liter V6. Considering that many other automakers these days are going in the exact opposite direction with their powertrain strategy, this may sound like a curious move on Acura's part.


Fuel economy and drivability were the driving forces behind the decision. The turbo-4 lacked the direct-injection fuel system that would have enhanced its fuel-sipping potential, and its laggy-then-abrupt torque delivery conflicted with the 2013 RDX's mission of increased maturity. Though more frugal with fuel, the V6 still generates a healthy 251 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm and 273 horsepower at 6,200 rpm. For those keeping tabs, the new V6 gains 33 hp while giving up a slice of midrange torque to the turbo-4.

In our testing the 2013 Acura RDX ran to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds (6.2 seconds with 1 foot of rollout like on a drag strip) and completed the quarter-mile sprint in 14.7 seconds at 94.0 mph. This is robust thrust that places the RDX among the fleeter crossovers in its class. What's more, its speed is now accompanied by a crisp linearity at part-throttle that the previous turbo engine never exhibited. It's more natural-feeling, more... mature. There's that word again.

Improved Fuel Economy
The V6 packs some fuel-saving tricks that help earn the 2013 Acura RDX a provisional 20/28 mpg for FWD models and 19/27 for AWD variants, figures that are up from 19/24 and 17/22 respectively. One of those tricks is cylinder deactivation — the V6 will shut down two or three cylinders depending on driving conditions.

The new RDX's ride quality is noticeably less busy than that of the outgoing trucklet.

In practice the system is seamless, something you never hear or feel while driving, probably because the RDX's active engine mount and the cabin's active noise cancellation system are doing their jobs. We put a few tankfuls of fuel through our tester and netted 22 mpg in mixed driving, which is dead-smack on its combined EPA number.

Another fuel-saving move that also improves drivability is the additional cog in the automatic transmission, bringing the total to six. The new six-speed autobox allowed the powertrain engineers more flexibility in gear ratio selection and spread. Notably, the steering wheel has sprouted paddle shifters, which are useful devices even in everyday driving — like when you want to summon engine braking.

Further fuel economy improvement was gleaned by the switch from hydraulic power steering to electric power steering. A bit of heft has been lost in the transition, but that's probably the right move considering the RDX's shift in mission. Nevertheless, the 2013 RDX's tiller is still sharp, and it helps make the wagon drive more nimbly than its 3,821-pound curb weight suggests.

Simpler All-Wheel-Drive System
Gone is the outgoing RDX's handling-enhancing SH-AWD system, replaced with a simpler AWD system that's lighter and cheaper — AWD is now a $1,400 option rather than $2,000. The new system — largely carried over from the Honda CR-V — may be more pedestrian, but it, too, provides strides on the fuel economy front by decoupling drive to the rear wheels when it's not needed.


Despite the loss of SH-AWD and the freakish agility it conferred, the new RDX still handles with alertness and composure. In the slalom the 2013 Acura RDX turned out a tidy 64.6-mph result despite moderate 0.79g grip from its 235/60 all-season Michelin Primacy MXM4 tires. In our braking tests the RDX reached a halt from 60 mph in 128 feet.

The new RDX's ride quality is noticeably less busy than that of the outgoing trucklet, while still doing a fine job of controlling body roll. Acura credits new dual-piston dampers with integrated rebound springs that mechanically provide travel-dependent damper force — the idea here is to skew both ends of the age-old ride-handling trade-off, making both better. You know, to make it more capable. Bet you thought we were going to say "mature," right?

Quite Pleasant, Really
Strides in refinement are evident when you slide into the seat. From the low levels of road and wind noise to the glove-soft leather on the seats and steering wheel, the RDX is an eminently pleasant place in which to spend time. There's a greater sense of space in the cabin, too, though the actual dimensional gains are rather modest. Still, airiness is welcome whether it's illusory or not.


Its face adopts a corporate, mini-MDX look that's more cohesive than the, uh, amphibious first-gen RDX. The proportions are balanced and the styling clean, if on the anonymous side, which is no bad thing considering some of the truly odd styling flourishes we've seen come out of Acura's design studio in recent years.

Acura didn't quite hold the line on pricing, of course, as base prices rise slightly over the outgoing model. Front-wheel-drive versions of the 2013 model increase by $1,425 to $35,215 with destination, while AWD models start at $36,615, an increase of $825. Notable standard features include a back-up camera, heated seats and keyless entry.

At the pointy end of the pricing spectrum is our fully loaded all-wheel-drive tester equipped with the Technology package at $40,315. Crossing the $40K threshold with an entry-level compact SUV is a bold psychological move on Acura's part, but at least there's a comprehensive list of equipment in the deal — the Technology package grants access to nav, a power liftgate, HID headlights, premium sound and a few other items.

Targets Hit
The new RDX successfully achieves its objectives. From its improved fuel economy to the smoother ride quality, enhanced refinement and linear power delivery, the 2013 Acura RDX is far better equipped to take on its crossover rivals.

It may be fashionable to poo-poo any decision involving the de-sport-ification of a vehicle, but it is hard to find fault with the logic behind Acura's alterations to the RDX formula. Better still is that the end product, the 2013 RDX, is a wholly accomplished and enjoyable result.

Growing up isn't so hard after all. Keep the Kenny G to yourself, though.

The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.
bh9712 is offline  
Old 04-19-2012, 07:21 AM
  #65  
Registered Member
Thread Starter
 
TSX69's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,286
Received 1,179 Likes on 558 Posts
Post CarConnection


For 2013 Acura has completely redesigned the RDX crossover to better compete with German luxury rivals. With a smoother, less bulbous design, a new engine, and better interior, the RDX is a more refined entry into this popular segment.

While the 2013 RDX uses the same platform as the 2012 model, it features all new sheet metal that looks more substantial. The hood now features a power dome, and the bulging fenders flow into the body lines. The rear tailgate has been smoothed out with some chrome trim accentuating the width of the rear. An integrated rear spoiler gives the rear end a clean, sporty look

Inside the RDX Acura has upgraded the materials with a soft touch dashboard and nice leather-like door trim. Metallic colored plastic trim and chrome help break up the cabin design and give it a bit of flair. The seats are comfortable with enough legroom in the rear for adults to sit comfortably. The cargo area is well packaged and features 2 handles to fold the rear seatbacks flat. This is definitely convenient when attempting to load larger items.

While many automakers are moving to smaller turbo 4-cylinder engines, Acura has given the 2013 RDX a 3.5-liter V-6, producing 273 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque. Power is handled by a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters for those who want to shift for themselves. In front-wheel drive trim, the RDX is now rated by the EPA at 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Adding all-wheel drive merely drops the fuel economy to 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.

Acura has finally made the RDX as fun to drive as the BMW X3, and has also increased its engine size while improving its fuel economy rating. At the end of the day the 2013 RDX is a sporty crossover with a refined ride and terrific features for a fair price.

For more information on the 2013 Acura RDX be sure to read our full review:


Overall Review: 7.4
All-new for 2013, the Acura RDX takes what was good about the previous model--its just-right size, nimble handling, and attractive design--and makes them better, while working on the rough spots. Those rough spots included a slightly too-rough ride, laggy power delivery paired with a balky transmission, and somewhat lackluster gas mileage. They're mostly smoothed over in the 2013 RDX.

It's not often that a car manufacturer gets so far out ahead of the curve that it's forced to retrace its steps, but in some ways, that's exactly what happened to the Acura RDX. Offered in turbo 4-cylinder form well before that was the happening thing in luxury vehicles, let alone crossovers, many eschewed the smaller Acura for the MDX or went to rival brands offering 6-cylinder models.

Fast forward a few years, and those rival brands are now bringing out their own turbocharged 4-cylinders and Acura has moved to a 273-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 engine. While that might seem like a step backward, it's actually more fuel efficient, slightly more powerful (at peak) and noticeably smoother in its power delivery. All of those things make the move away from turbocharged small-displacement engines back to V-6 territory a sensible one, despite the shifting sands of the rest of the market. Fuel economy of the new V-6 picks up as much as 5 mpg highway over the previous 2012 RDX.

Behind the wheel, the new RDX feels nearly as peppy as the previous model off the line, though the surge of the 2012 model's turbo added some excitement that's not present in the linear power delivery of the new V-6--though that's not really a criticism. Under full throttle, the RDX willingly merges with speedy freeway traffic, readily passes 50-mph 2-lane slow pokes, and generally zips around like you'd expect a luxury crossover to do. It also handles the road well, absorbing big bumps with ease while remaining composed in windy sections. It owes this behavior to its new 2-stage dampers, which include a secondary floating piston that activates in certain driving conditions to control body motion and improve handling without sacrificing ride comfort.

The transmission, on the other hand, lags slightly behind driver inputs, particularly when a 2- or 3-gear downshift is required (hard acceleration from moderate speeds, as in passing), balking for just a moment before grabbing the gear and accelerating as desired. The issue was noticed in both all-wheel drive and front-wheel drive models, indicating it's not a problem of the on-demand distribution of torque to the rear wheels.

Exterior design of the 2013 RDX is slightly changed from the 2012 model, though not markedly so; the prominent grille is made slightly less noticeable, the fender arches are slightly more pronounced, and the overall design is smoother and more mature. Inside, the interior is all-new, with characteristic Acura high-tech style, but thankfully less reliance on bright, hard plastic elements and more soft-touch, matte-finish items. A preponderance of bright-finish chrome in the center stack is eye-catching, but clashes slightly with the look and makes sunny days a chore of avoiding reflected glare, seemingly catching the sun from every angle.

The cabin itself is quiet--very, quiet, in fact, and comfortable. Front-seat space is ample for even those over 6 feet tall, yet an 8-way power adjustable seat and tilt/telescoping steering column offer adjustability for most heights and body types.

Technology abounds, as you expect with Acura, undercutting the competition on the equipment available for the price--though you won't find some of the higher-end features BMW and Mercedes-Benz offer on the list of available upgrades, such as adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, and parking assistance. What you will find, however, is standard dual-zone climate control, cruise control, keyless entry with push-button start, ambient lighting, a 7-speaker sound system with USB/MP3/Auxiliary support, Bluetooth handsfree calling, and more--all standard. An available Technology Package adds navigation with voice controls, real-time traffic and weather, a 10-speaker Acura/ELS audio system, GPS-linked climate control, SMS texting support, and Pandora app functionality.

Most of this technology comes off well, notably the excellent Acura/ELS audio system, which produces clear, enveloping sound even at very low volumes. The navigation system is relatively easy to use, and functions well, but the display--though high-resolution--looks a bit dated in comparison to the large, wide-aspect screens in BMWs and the sharp, color-coordinated displays from Audi.

As a crossover, it's not all about passenger comfort and tech goodies, however. There's also the matter of cargo space and utility--that's what sets it apart from an equivalently-priced sedan, after all. Here, the RDX is right in the zone for its compact crossover class, with 26.1 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, 61.3 cubic feet with the seats folded flat, and 76.9 cubic feet including under-floor storage. Even so, it's aimed at younger pre-children couples and slightly older couples with children off to college, not so much at families, kids, and the attendant gear.


Interior/Exterior: 7
The Bottom Line:
While its styling will never be called bold, it will appeal to many with its understated and clean lines.

All-new for 2013, the Acura RDX has reinvented itself, with a similar but fresh exterior, a new interior, and a new purpose. No longer seeking the young professional male with a taste for a touch of sport with his crossover, the 2013 RDX is going after pre- and post-children couples.

The design reflects that, with a stylish but not flashy look that tones down the somewhat controversial bright grille. Smooth curves and sleek proportions give the RDX the look of a smaller vehicle in some ways, especially the arch of the glass along the roof line. More powerful fenders and a standard crossover ride height give a sense of off-road capability, though the RDX is no true SUV.

Inside, the RDX trades some of its flashier bits from the previous generation for more mature matte-finished items, though there's still chrome and shiny plastic to be found. The overall look is sculpted and modern, and rather car-like, without the claustrophobic wrap-around feeling some other sporty crossovers get.


Performance: 8
The Bottom Line:
The new V-6 engine replaces laggy turbo torque with smooth and linear power that highlights a well-handling chassis.

Once ahead of the game--perhaps too far ahead--with a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine in the RDX, Acura has made an about-face, offering only a 3.5-liter V-6 engine in the 2013 model.

The new engine is actually more powerful and more efficient, despite being a larger, normally aspirated V-6. While it gives up some of the torquey low-end feel of the previous turbo engine, as well as the sudden surge as boost builds, it's a much smoother, quieter, and more luxury-oriented combination. The 6-speed automatic transmission offers slick and easy shifts, though it will hesitate on multiple-gear downshifts when sudden acceleration is requested. Steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters come standard.

In the corners, the 2013 RDX is less brittle and harsh than its predecessor, but it also exhibits more initial body roll. Once that first bit of roll has started, however, an ingenious new double-piston design engages, increasing damping force and making for a surprisingly capable crossover. Steering isn't perfect, being a bit over-light and vague at lower speeds, but it weights up nicely as speeds rise.

The all-wheel drive system for 2013 is no longer of the SH-AWD variety, but a simple automatic biasing system that delivers torque to the rear as front wheel slip is sensed, or as the angle of ascent changes.

Braking force is reduced with a new system that also shortens pedal stroke, and while it makes around-town driving easier, it takes away some of the feel and modulation in sportier driving.


Quality: 8
The Bottom Line:
Though it's compact in the second row, the 2013 RDX is comfy up front, with competitive cargo room and a quality interior.
Being up against the likes of the Audi Q5, BMW X3, and Lexus RX is a tough task for any vehicle--even those mentioned. All of them work to include the most technology, luxury, and quality in a compact crossover at a competitive price. Acura's RDX has its work cut out for it.

For 2013, the RDX makes some strides over the previous model in this regard, and some inroads against the competition as well, with a very competitive price. For a given dollar amount, chances are the RDX will be the best-equipped luxury crossover available. But there are some compromises.

The front seats are comfortable and relatively spacious, with enough adjustment to fit both taller and shorter passengers, though the length of the seat bottoms is a bit short for longer-legged drivers. The second row is more cramped, but still suitable for all but those in the 6-foot-plus club.

Materials are generally very good, equivalent to Lexus in most regards, and even BMW in many aspects, though plastic plays a more dominant role on the dash, and the fit and finish aren't quite as tight and tidy as the Audi Q5's. The cabin is well-laid-out, too, with cubbies and nooks for storage, ergonomically-placed controls (with the exception of the large central controller for the Acura navigation/infotainment unit on equipped models), and generally well-built, solid-feeling panels in all locations.

Ride quality has improved significantly over the previous RDX, and actually matches or exceeds even the BMW and Audi offerings, blending a smooth, comfortable ride over rougher roads with a capable and confident feeling in sportier moments. Noise, likewise, is very low--whether road, wind, or tire.


Safety: 7
The Bottom Line:
Official safety ratings haven't been released for the 2013 Acura RDX, but it offers a solid standard set of equipment.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hasn't yet tested the 2013 Acura RDX, nor has the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The IIHS did test the 2012 model, however, rating it top marks of "good" in front and side-impact tests, but only "marginal" in roof strength. It remains to be seen if the 2013 model can improve on these results.

Standard safety equipment includes front, side, and side-curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control, daytime running lights, a backup camera, and a rollover sensor to trigger appropriate airbags.


Features: 7
The Bottom Line:
Though it lacks some of the high-tech gadgets of the competition, the 2013 RDX delivers lots of bang for the buck.

For the 2013 Acura RDX, just 2 core variants are available: front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. Both share the same basic standard equipment, though an optional Technology Package can be had with either.

While the RDX misses out on some of the latest high-tech gear even with the Technology Package (things like radar adaptive cruise control, night vision, and pedestrian detection), it does offer a strong base spec and a media-centric upgrade path.

All 2013 RDX models come standard with perforated leather seats, a CD/USB/iPod/satellite radio audio system, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry, pushbutton ignition, Bluetooth handsfree connectivity, and a multi-view rearview camera.

Upgrades in the Technology Package include: navigation with real-time traffic and weather, a 410-watt Acura/ELS surround sound system (which our editors highly recommend), voice recognition, remote power-operated liftgate, GPS-linked climate control, and Xenon HID headlights.


Fuel Economy/MPG: 7
The Bottom Line:
More efficient than the previous model and on par with the best in its class, the 2013 RDX is a fair choice for an efficient luxury crossover.

The EPA hasn't yet rated the 2013 Acura RDX, but Acura estimates the front-wheel drive model to achieve 20 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined. The all-wheel drive model is estimated at 19 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, and 22 mpg combined. Those figures put it on par with or ahead of the best luxury crossovers in its class, though still somewhat shy of a typical midsize luxury sedan.
TSX69 is offline  
Old 04-21-2012, 12:55 PM
  #66  
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,049
Received 38 Likes on 30 Posts


There are two kinds of people reading this review of the 2013 Acura RDX. The first would be mainstream buyers thinking about a RX350, Q5, SRX, GLK, FX35, XC60, or any other luxury crossover with no vowels in the name. The others are car geeks that devour everything they can about the automotive world. You know who you are.
Car geeks loved the original RDX. It was light weight, had a powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive that overspun the outside rear wheel to give it a handling advantage. Very cool stuff and mucho fun to drive. Mainstream buyers just didn’t get it though and headed off to buy more Lexus RX350s.
The new RDX is aimed directly at the mainstream. In some ways it follows the predictable path redesigned vehicles often take- Slightly larger inside and out, more fuel efficient too. But it isn’t trying to capture the edgy design and personality of the outgoing model. I have to believe the changes they’ve made to the personality will make it the most popular model Acura sells, even though it’s missing features the other brands have had for years.
Back to the Future
That outgoing turbo four-cylinder is what many automakers consider to be the engine of the future because they’re powerful, lightweight and fuel efficient. So it’s a bit of a surprise that under the hood of the 2013 MDX you’ll find… a V6? I’m not complaining. The classic 3.5-liter unit has 273 horses on tap, up by 33 horsepower. It’s smoother than the turbo and it sounds good. Between the two motors, the V6 will be an instant crowd pleaser on test drives.
The automatic transmission adds an extra gear, for six-speeds now. Shift manually if you want with paddle shifter on the steering wheel.
The good news is that fuel economy is up substantially. The AWD tester I’m driving is EPA rated at 19 mpg city, 27 highway, That’s a 5 mpg increase in highway fuel economy versus the previous RDX and Acura says it’s now best in class.. On a long drive to Forks, WA to visit Evil Twin (where else would he live?) I saw 29 mpg. Front drive models are rated at 20/28. There’s variable cylinder management at work here. In other words RDX can run on as few as three pistons, depending on how much power is needed.
No Lack Of Power
0-60 spools up in just under seven seconds. There’s a big improvement in the ride quality, sharp bumps are soaked up quite nicely but it doesn’t roll like an old Cadillac in hard cornering. Steering effort feels hefty and European. The composed RDX handles very well though it’s not as crisp, nimble and flingable as before. Car geeks (who probably never bought the first one) may grouse about this but the harsh reality is that most buyers will prefer the substantial and comfortable dynamic of the 2013 model. It’s very balanced.
There is much less road noise now, very little wind noise gets though at high speeds, making it an excellent road trip vehicle. When it comes time to stop and take a photo of a scenic vista, RDX is very capable and secure.
Mudfest Winner
Not very many people are going to head off-road with this rig but at the 2012 Mudfest SUV competition, I and 24 other auto writers beat the snot out of it on a rough course at Dirt Fish Rally School. RDX has no problem handling rugged forest service roads and moderate pool of water. It’s doubtful owners will ever punish their cars to the degree we did. In the end it won the title of Best Family SUV and received high praise from every writer emerging from it’s mud caked doors.
I’m driving the very one used at Mudfest. It’s a testament to the RDX that after the punishment, there are no squeaks, groans or rattles. None
Car geeks will groan because RDX no longer uses Super Handling All-Wheel Drive. It now uses AWD with Intelligent Control, which is very similar to the system in Honda’s new CR-V. Mainstream buyers will probably never know or care, as long as they don’t get stuck in snow or mud. In normal steady driving, all power is sent to the front wheels. It automatically sends power to the tires with the most grip.
Go With The Flow
There’s a new approach to the interior. Hard angles are replaced with flowing and inviting lines. All the expected stuff is here- soft touch materials, phone and iPod integration, and contoured heated leather chairs. Hit reverse and the mirrors swing down to show wheel scraping curbs. The rear view camera is adjustable, it shoots straight down to help when hooking up a trailer hitch alone, or switched to a ultra wide mode to get the big picture.
The center stack has less of the swarm of buttons normally found on Honda products. There is dual-zone auto climate control and keyless ignition to make life easier. Lots of places to stash stuff too.
Using the tech means turning, nudging and pushing the familiar Honda interface. Personally, I prefer touch screens but the familiar knob works just fine. There are voice commands too but they system doesn’t seem to like my voice. The optional nav system offers up traffic information and weather forecasts. Hook up a smartphone and there’s Pandora streaming music. It can also read incoming text messages depending on your phone.
Acura ELS sound systems have always been among my favorites and this one is no different. It doesn’t color the sound, bass is tight and accurate. Play DVD audio disks and the surround sound stage is mesmerizing. The hard disk has 15 gigs dedicated to music storage, plus there’s Bluetooth audio streaming. XM satellite radio continues to sound grainy and thin.
Space In The Back
Moving to the rear, there’s plenty of leg and foot room for average sized adults. The floor is flat, the bench is wide enough for three adults, two if they’re large or using the folding armrests with cupholders. There’s two seat pockets and storage in the doors too. Too bad the seat doesn’t slide fore and aft to max out leg or cargo room.
And this is where my gripes begin. A premium brand like Acura should include surprise and delight features like heated seats in the back. Also, the rear seat backs should recline and have side impact airbags. There’s no power port or adjustable air vents either. It smacks of cost cutting.
Other misses? The interior windshield pillars are plastic, not wrapped in cloth. It’s fine that my tester does not have a panoramic roof, blind spot warning system, ventilated seats, or radar assisted cruise control, but in this class they should at least be offered. And they’re not.
Better Cargo Access
At least there’s a power hatch on the new MDX. The folks at Acura say the cargo hold is larger now and the trunk opening is significantly wider. Hefty handles on the side make it very easy to drop the seat backs. No power port or storage under the load floor. Good to see a spare tire, crossovers do end up on remote forest roads far away from roadside assistance. As far as cargo room goes, a Honda CR-V holds 12 bundles, the RDX with its sleeker silhouette takes on eight. And if you’ve watched the video and are wondering of there’s any way another can wedge in, it won’t. I’m a professional.
The 2013 model is an attractive rig with less severe lines. Acura has toned down the bionic beak across the board and it works well here, instantly announcing an Acura is heading your way without looking like an angry robot. It looks and feels like a smaller MDX, which is a good thing.
About the only major option left to buy on this Tech Package RDX are roof rails and cross bars (which will set you back $900).
And The Price Is…
RDX starts at $35,215 including destination for a front-drive model. This AWD Tech Package rig is $40,305. That’s a good deal. Comparably equipped, that’s thousands less than other luxury crossovers though remember, it simply doesn’t offer some of the super fancy tech the others get.
The 2013 RDX is a well done crossover that hits a broad sweet spot and it immediately impresses on a test drive. It’s only after a good hard look will shoppers find missing features, and that drops it from the luxury segment to the near-luxury category. While I firmly believe a lot of the doo-dads not on the option list are superfluous, many shoppers in this category will judge it by what’s not available. At the very least there should be an “advanced technology” package available for those who want it.
Mock overkill if you want but Acura needs more than “smart luxury”, it has to pack more wow into their cars if it wants to be seen as the equal to Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Infiniti and Cadillac. I’d love to see radar assisted cruise and panoramic roof on this rig. RDX is a very satisfying car at a good price point but without the next level of features it appears they aren’t trying as hard as the others. The car geek in me believes modesty is an excellent quality in people, not luxury cars.
007Acura is offline  
Old 04-26-2012, 01:46 AM
  #67  
Administrator
iTrader: (1)
 
Sly Raskal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Fontana, California
Age: 42
Posts: 30,994
Received 581 Likes on 345 Posts
Moved thread to the new 2nd gen RDX forum.
Sly Raskal is offline  
The following users liked this post:
TSX69 (04-28-2012)
Old 04-28-2012, 07:11 AM
  #68  
Registered Member
Thread Starter
 
TSX69's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,286
Received 1,179 Likes on 558 Posts
Thumbs up Scripps


This time around, Acura got it right.

Its sport-oriented crossover utility vehicle, the RDX, was added to Acura's lineup just 6 years ago, complementing the upscale, full-size crossover, the MDX.

But the RDX never quite caught on. Its best year was 2007, its 1st full year on the market, when 23,356 were sold. In 2011, sales totaled just 15,196.

The RDX's driving dynamics were spot-on, at least in the eyes of enthusiasts. But in an effort to distinguish the RDX from the larger V6-engine MDX, Acura installed a 240-horsepower, 2.3-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine.

It had plenty of punch but in practice delivered lousy fuel economy. Also, because of its handling-oriented suspension system, the RDX transmitted a molar-rattling ride on rough road surfaces.

So of all the vehicles in the Acura portfolio, the RDX was most in need of a replacement or, at a minimum, major surgery.

That's been accomplished with the all-new 2013 model, which is so unlike its predecessor that it could have come from another manufacturer.

There's a family resemblance in the design and styling But where the earlier RDX had a punishing ride, the new 1 is almost creamy, while still retaining decent handling from a more rigid body structure and more sophisticated steering and suspension system tuning.

Where the former model had power peaks and valleys, the new V6 engine pulls strongly throughout its range, and actually delivers way better fuel economy than the original.

Depending on the circumstances, it runs on 3, 4 or 6 cylinders. The toggling back and forth among the different modes happens automatically and is unobtrusive.

The RDX gets a fuel consumption rating for the all-wheel drive model of 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway, while the front-drive version does slightly better at 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.

The original RDX with all-wheel drive had a fuel consumption rating of 19 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. But that was using the EPA's earlier, more generous and unrealistic ratings, which were subsequently cut back by about 10% across the board.

Contributing to the new RDX's performance and fuel economy is a 6-speed automatic transmission. On the road, the tested RDX with the all-wheel drive had a solid, planted stance with tactile feedback through the steering wheel and good straight-line tracking. The power steering is electric, sensitive to vehicle speed and enhanced by a thicker and more rigid steering column. It also uses sensors to automatically correct the RDX's attitude in cornering.

Though not what an enthusiast would consider to be sports sedan handling, the RDX attacks twisting roads with precision. With new technologies that include a shorter pedal stroke, the brakes also deliver a confident, progressive feel.

Large and supportive front seats are particularly suited for long hours at the wheel. The back seats are similarly comfortable. Even the center-rear seating position is marginally acceptable, unlike many other vehicles.

Unaccountably, the rear seatbacks do not recline, a flaw from the original RDX.

The RDX also is remarkably quiet on the road, benefiting from a new tire tread design as well as strategically placed insulation and active noise canceling under the hood.

Acura considers the RDX's main competition to be the BMW X3 xDrive 28i and the Audi Q5 2.0T. Both are near-luxury crossovers of about the same size but with less interior room and, when comparably equipped, higher prices. They come with 8-speed automatic transmissions.

The base price of the tested all-wheel drive RDX was $36,605, which included full safety equipment plus automatic climate control, leather upholstery, power sunroof, a rear-view camera with 3 display modes, pushbutton starting with remote keyless locking, Bluetooth communications, Pandora Internet radio and 18-inch alloy wheels. Headlights turn on and off automatically with the windshield wipers.

The tested all-wheel drive RDX also had a technology package that included navigation with voice recognition, an ELS premium audio system, solar sensing climate control, satellite radio with real-time weather and traffic, and a power tailgate. It had a suggested sticker price of $40,305.

If you don't need the all-wheel drive, you can save $1,400 by ordering the otherwise identical front-drive version.
Specifications

Model: 2013 Acura RDX AWD 4-door crossover utility vehicle.

Engine: 3.5-liter V6, 273 horsepower.

Transmission: 6-speed automatic with all-wheel drive.

Overall length: 15 feet 4 inches.

EPA passenger/cargo volume: 104/26 cubic feet.

Weight: 3,852 pounds.

EPA city/highway fuel consumption: 19/27 miles to the gallon.

Base price, including destination charge: $36,605.

Price as tested: $40,305.
(Comments or suggestions? Contact Frank Aukofer at driveways6(at)gmail.com. Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service. For more columns, go to scrippsnews.com.)
TSX69 is offline  
Old 05-04-2012, 07:36 AM
  #69  
Registered Member
Thread Starter
 
TSX69's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,286
Received 1,179 Likes on 558 Posts
Post Portland Tribune


Call me old-fashioned, but I've never understood the appeal of 2-wheel-drive sport utility vehciles.

If you’re going to drive something that looks like it can go off road, why not equip it to do so? After all, even car-based crossovers get worse mileage than the cars they are based on. And they usually have about the same passenger room, too, although the cargo space is larger because of the hatchback design.

So I was a little apprehensive when a 2-wheel-drive version of the 2013 Acura RDX arrived for testing. I loved the previous version of Acura’s compact crossover that I tested. Equipped with a torquey turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and the company’s excellent Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive system, it drove like a sports car.

And I know the all-wheel-drive version of the new RDX is getting high marks. It won the Family SUV category in the recent 2012 Mudfest competition conducted by the Northwest Automotive Press Association.

I attended that event and was duly impressed by the RDX’s on-road ride and off-road capabilities — even though the new model is significantly different than its predecessor. For starters, it is larger, which offers more interior room but less precise handling. The turbo engine has been replaced by a 3.5-liter V6 that generates more power and better economy, but is not as exciting. And the SH-AWD system has been replaced by a version from the Honda CR-V, which shifts traction as needed from front to rear but not also from side to side.

But all the driving tests at Mudfest at short and designed to quickly reveal each vehicle’s strengths and weaknesses. My regular weeklong tests are a better guage of how a vehicle will perform in the real world, including daily commutes, errands, evening excursions and weekend trips.

From this perspective, the 2-wheel-drive version of the 2013 Acura RDX is basically a large station wagon. You remember large station wagon's don't you? They were based on full-size cars but carried the roof line over where the trunk would be, creating a large amount of storage room and, occasionally, a 3rd row of seats.

Most SUVs basically have that same configuration. The newer ones, like the RDX, disguise it somewhat by having swoopy or angular styling, but the principle is the same — additional storage room and occasionally a 3rd row of seats where the trunk would be.

Look at it from this perspective, the 2013 Acura RDX is a very good large station wagon. It is roomy, comfortable, quiet, plush and powerful. It also has more ride height than a car, giving the driver better visibility and the confidence to venture a little off road, even without AWD.

All things considered, I quickly found a lot to like about the 2-wheel-drive version of the new RDX, including the crisp styling, the flexibility of its new engine, the smoothness of its six-speed automatic transmission, the way the suspension soaked up road imperfection and the cozy driver’s seat. The TECH Package also offered a lot of nice features, incuding an easy-to-use navigation system, back-up camera and upgraded 10-speaker stereo system.

There are apparently many people out there who want 2-wheel-drive SUVs. They cost less and get slightly better mileage than AWD versions. If you never go too far off the road and don’t worry about not having the additional traction in wet weather, the 2013 Acrua RDX is an excellent choice. At least it looks more adventurous than an equivalent car.

Last edited by TSX69; 05-04-2012 at 07:40 AM.
TSX69 is offline  
Old 05-12-2012, 11:25 AM
  #70  
Registered Member
Thread Starter
 
TSX69's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,286
Received 1,179 Likes on 558 Posts
Cool Washington Post


A modest proposal for people in the home remodeling business: Consider Acura, the luxury division of Honda Motor Co. Therein is your best example of product quality, pride in execution and genius in the matter of customer satisfaction.

You’ll find no loose fits, unfinished edges or fudged errors masquerading as a final fix. Look at the paint job on this week’s subject vehicle, the 2013 Acura RDX crossover utility wagon. The color is what Acura’s designers call “Basque Red Pearl II.”


The name is no big deal. Execution is. It’s perfect. The hue is so deep, it seems three-dimensional. It’s as if you could sink or dive into it. It glistens as if it were some pristine lake covering a red bottom. Study it. There are no drips, drops or orange-peel surfaces. It even passes the Mary Anne Test.

You all know my wife, Mary Anne. Certainly some of you workmen who have been redoing our Northern Virginia home know her. She’s the little woman — because she is a little woman — who has been raising Cain every time a seam has been left open, a molding isn’t quite right, tile pieces have been matted with the wrong grout or a new appliance has been delivered with a defect.

She broke down and cried on a ride in the RDX. Her lament: “Why can’t the people who are working on our house work like this? Look how this is done. Everything is right!”

Why?

I think I have an answer. There is something special about Acura’s parent corporation, Honda, even in rough times, which it has endured lately partly because of certain product misjudgments (the Honda Element wagon and 2011 Honda Civic come to mind) and partly because of harm done to its operations in an earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011.

What’s special is that Honda and its Acura division are fanatical about getting it right, especially after they’ve gotten it wrong or have been tripped up by circumstances beyond their control. The 2013 Acura RDX is a case in point. It is a complete redesign of the 2009-12 models, which were modest remakes of the original RDX introduced in the United States in 2006.

Those 1st RDX models, some equipped with what Acura’s engineers dubbed “Super Handling-All-Wheel-Drive” (SH-AWD) and others with front-wheel-drive, were Acura’s entries into the hotly contested market for compact crossover utility wagons. The early RDX models were okay, which was a problem. The Honda-Acura reputation wasn’t built on “okay.” It was established on unquestioned excellence. People could buy “okay” from someone somewhere else, often at a lower price, which is what many of them did.

In response, Honda-Acura did not fudge, punt, quit (or take such a long break from the job that it seemed like quitting), or offer excuses. Instead, the company brought forth a 2013 RDX that truly lives up to the term “entry-level luxury.”

The reshaped exterior is more elegant than aggressive, more of a wagon than it is a pseudo sport-utility vehicle. The power plenum, shield-shaped front grille has been softened into something that is more inviting and less offensive than its predecessor. Interior styling is simple, ergonomically sensible in terms of instrument panel layout and made comfortable with supple, leather-trimmed seating surfaces. Standard equipment includes amenities such as a power-operated glass roof with tilt feature.

And it is all put together in a way that impresses, which is important in an industry where women either directly purchase or otherwise influence 85% of sales. Again, it’s the Mary Anne Factor. If you make her happy with what she can see, feel and touch, you might be able to get away with subtle, production-cost-saving changes in certain “black box” operations, such as all-wheel-drive.

That is what Honda-Acura did with the all-wheel-drive system in the 2013 RDX. The company jettisoned the SH-AWD system that won raves for handling and precision from automotive journalists — most of them young and male, many of them unmarried and childless, which means that few, if any of them, are in the market for a wagon such as the RDX anyway. In place of SH-AWD, Honda-Acura installed a lighter weight, more fuel-efficient, less expensive all-wheel-drive system that works quite well and is shared with the popular Honda CR-V wagon.

The move makes sense. Mary Anne, for example, had no complaints with the ride and handling of the RDX. She loved the vehicle’s performance, in fact. Like most of the RDX’s buyers, families, traditional or more broadly defined, Mary Anne is more interested in what appeals to or offends her tactile senses. If the wagon satisfies those senses and does a good, safe job of moving her, her people and stuff, she’s happy with that.

It’s really simple when you think about it. Even home remodelers should be able to figure it out. It comes down to this: Fix those seams. Trim those edges. Remove grout stains where they should not be. Complete all necessary caulking and appliance repairs. Please!!
TSX69 is offline  
Old 05-22-2012, 02:13 PM
  #71  
Registered Member
Thread Starter
 
TSX69's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,286
Received 1,179 Likes on 558 Posts
Lightbulb Popular Mechanics


On-Sale Date: Now

Price: $34,320 (FWD), $35,720 (AWD)

Competitors: Audi Q5, BMW X3, Cadillac SRX, Lexus RX350, Mercedes-Benz GLK, Volvo XC60

Powertrains: 3.5-liter V-6, 273 hp, 251 lb-ft; 6-speed automatic, FWD or AWD

EPA Fuel Economy (city/hwy): 19–20/27–28

What’s New: Introduced in 2006, the RDX was Acura’s 1st premium compact crossover, a snarky little turbo hot rod with gunfighter reflexes and sports car moves. It seemed like a good idea—but too few young urban professionals, the target customers, shared that view.

So here’s the sequel—different concept, different persona, different target market. Where the 1st-gen RDX was hard-edged, the 2nd generation is softer. The 1st gen delivered an exhilarating 4-cylinder turbo surge, but the 2nd gen delivers smooth V-6 power—and more of it. The 1st gen was a street fighter. The 2nd gen is an uptown sophisticate.


Tech Tidbit: The quest for fuel efficiency has led powertrain engineers to scrutinize mechanical elements they previously overlooked. Example: the RDX Overrunning Alternator Decoupler. Loosening the alternator belt is an old racing trick, but Acura’s system is more sophisticated. It automatically reduces belt tension by up to 30% to reduce system mechanical losses.

Driving Character: Acura’s new RDX is smooth, quiet, and nonintrusive. Contrary to industry trends toward turbocharged engines with fewer cylinders and less displacement, Acura has forsaken the original RDX’s 2.3-liter turbo 4-cylinder for a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V-6. It’s not quite as torquey as the turbo 4, but at 273 hp it adds 33 ponies to the package. That’s enough to knock a tenth of a second or 2 off 0-to-60 sprints—expect the RDX to post times in the low 6-second bracket. Expect more body roll, too. On balance, what emerges is a driving experience that is pleasant, comfortable, competent, and as memorable as a bowl of oatmeal.

Favorite Detail:
Cylinder deactivation under light-engine load isn’t a new fuel-saving feature, but smooth operation is rare when 2 cylinders quit firing, and even harder to achieve when half the holes are cold. The Acura’s system, however, is essentially seamless.

Driver’s Grievance: Electric power steering is becoming universal, thanks to the fuel-economy benefits, and some carmakers have built systems that provide road feel comparable to traditional hydraulic setups. Mazda’s new CX-5 is a good example of this. The RDX is not. The Acura requires more effort to steer as your speed increases, but tactile information is vague.


Bottom Line: The name’s the same, but that’s the only commonality between the new RDX and its predecessor. The second generation is a little bigger without gaining weight, thanks to extensive use of high-strength steel. Chassis rigidity and aerodynamic efficiency are improved, according to Acura, and the package is more refined—a little roomier and a lot quieter, more comfortable, and attractive, with a nice array of standard luxury features. Suspension tuning is distinctly softer, and the powertrain is more sophisticated.

The new 3.5-liter V-6 doesn’t feel quite as eager, but it’s stronger, smoother, and, with its cylinder deactivation system, more fuel-efficient. The RDX will make 20 mpg city, 28 highway, according to the EPA (19/27 with all-wheel drive). The retuned suspension doesn’t make for a particularly stimulating dynamic experience, but the RDX is reasonably powerful, competent, and predictable.

Pricing figures to be another plus. The basic front-drive RDX lists for $34,420. Add $1400 for all-wheel drive. If you want navigation, check the Tech package box ($3700), which also includes voice recognition, a 60-gig hard drive, upgrade audio, and xenon HID headlamps. Even loaded, the RDX enjoys a substantial price advantage versus most of its competitors.
TSX69 is offline  
Old 05-23-2012, 02:50 PM
  #72  
Registered Member
Thread Starter
 
TSX69's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,286
Received 1,179 Likes on 558 Posts
Post ConsumerReports


When Acura entered the small, upscale SUV market with the 1st-generation RDX, their target customer was a 30-something yuppie, with a sense of style and enough disposable income that something like a basic Honda CR-V just wouldn't be on their shopping list. But alas, according to Acura, they never found that buyer.

To meet that elusive customer's needs, the RDX arrived with a host of electronic and luxury features not found on the similarly sized CR-V, along with a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, a highly sophisticated all-wheel drive system, and an overly stiff suspension.

What Acura found out was that their target customer wasn't as taken by their stylish SUV as much as older folks were. Consequently, the bulk of sales were to grey hairs and empty nesters who wanted luxury in a small package but objected to the high-strung little turbo and harsh ride. So much for product planning.

This time around, the redesigned RDX grows up a bit, both in size and refinement. A smooth-and-polished V6 engine and a gentler-kinder suspension are aimed at pleasing folks who would be looking at the fashionable Audi Q5 and BMW X3. A simpler all-wheel-drive system may be less helpful on race tracks, but it saves weight. The rear seat is roomier, and the cabin is quieter with more electronic amenities.

Matched with a new 6-speed automatic transmission, Acura claims that the new V6 will deliver better fuel economy than the old 4-cylinder engine, along with quicker acceleration. A choice of front or all-wheel drive is available; we bought the AWD version for testing.

As the pre-test break-in miles have been rolling up, we've found the redesigned RDX to be a major improvement over the old 1 in just about every respect. As touted, it is roomier and quieter, and the new powertrain lives up to promises of increased performance and fuel economy, based on our observations. Inside and out, the new RDX is a more conservative and relaxed package than the 1 it replaces, and while the more restrained interior design is well finished and appointed, it doesn't convey the levels of premium ambiance found in some competing models.

We'll be back soon with the results of our full road test.

—Jim Travers
TSX69 is offline  
Old 05-24-2012, 10:20 AM
  #73  
Registered Member
Thread Starter
 
TSX69's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,286
Received 1,179 Likes on 558 Posts
ConsumerGuide


ACCELERATION
2WD Base w/Technology Pkg AWD Base w/Technology Pkg Class Average
6 6 6

Full-throttle acceleration is good from a stop and improves further once up to 25 mph. Unlike with the previous turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, progress is very linear and easy to control. The transmission shifts smoothly and kicks down quickly for more passing power. Acura estimates 0-60 mph at about 7.5 seconds. That feels about right, and though it's a bit slower than we timed a previous-generation turbo model, the V6 makes the vehicle easier to drive and more responsive.


FUEL ECONOMY
2WD Base w/Technology Pkg AWD Base w/Technology Pkg Class Average
5 5 5

No opportunity to measure, but EPA figures are up by 1-5 mpg over the previous turbocharged model, in which we averaged 14.3-21.4 mpg. Acura recommends premium-grade fuel for the V6.


RIDE QUALITY
2WD Base w/Technology Pkg AWD Base w/Technology Pkg Class Average
6 6 6

RDX rides comfortably -- though not plushly -- for a compact SUV. It's firm but never harsh, with well-controlled body motions. There is no discernible difference in ride quality between front- and all-wheel-drive models.


STEERING/HANDLING/BRAKING
2WD Base w/Technology Pkg AWD Base w/Technology Pkg Class Average
5 5 5

It's not quite sporty, but the RDX feels capable enough in fast corners and quick changes of direction. Steering feel is weighty enough without being too heavy at parking speeds. Brakes provide strong, secure pedal action.


QUIETNESS
2WD Base w/Technology Pkg AWD Base w/Technology Pkg Class Average
7 7 7

There's a modest amount of wind and tire noise at highway speeds, and only a solid thud over bumps. The engine produces a rich-sounding whine under acceleration, fading into the background under cruise conditions.


CONTROLS
2WD Base w/Technology Pkg AWD Base w/Technology Pkg Class Average
7 7 7

All models tested had the Technology Package, and thus a navigation system. Unlike in many vehicles, the navigation system doesn't absorb basic audio controls, making them much easier to use than most. Climate controls consist of rotary temperature knobs along with rather tedious repetitive-step push buttons for mode and fan speed. All controls are mounted high and within easy reach. Programming the navigation system is easy enough via the control knobs, but using the voice recognition makes for slower going than it should.


DETAILS
2WD Base w/Technology Pkg AWD Base w/Technology Pkg Class Average
8 8 8

Cabin decor is a nice mix of modern, rich-looking materials in a 2-tone color scheme. Most surfaces are padded, with a minimum of hard plastic. Leather upholstery is standard, which only aids the ambiance.


ROOM/COMFORT/DRIVER SEATING (FRONT)
2WD Base w/Technology Pkg AWD Base w/Technology Pkg Class Average
9 9 9

Plenty of headroom and legroom. Seats are very comfortable and come standard with heaters, and the driver's has standard 8-way power with memory. Visibility is quite good thanks to relatively thin roof pillars, and the standard backup camera is a gem, offering 3 views: normal, top-down (to see a trailer hitch), and 180-degree wide-angle, which allows you to see both ways down a parking-lot aisle. The only hiccup is that the door handle is difficult to reach from the driver seat if the door is wide open. Ingress and egress are easy.


ROOM/COMFORT (REAR)
2WD Base w/Technology Pkg AWD Base w/Technology Pkg Class Average
6 6 6

Good headroom and legroom even with the front seat far back, though toe room is tight if the seat in front is pushed far down.


CARGO ROOM
2WD Base w/Technology Pkg AWD Base w/Technology Pkg Class Average
8 8 8

A wide cargo opening reveals decent capacity. It can be easily expanded by folding the rear seat backs, which can be done either from the passenger compartment or the cargo area without removing the headrests. However, the seat backs don't lie flat, and they rest about 3 inches above the level of the cargo floor; a "ramp" helps in sliding cargo over the hump, but it's not as good as a flat floor. Interior storage is plentiful, consisting of a 2-tier glovebox, large console box, 2 open console cupholders, a forward console bin, and small map pockets with cupholders in the doors.


VALUE WITHIN CLASS
2WD Base w/Technology Pkg AWD Base w/Technology Pkg Class Average
9 9 9

Acura aimed the redesigned RDX at an older, more conservative audience, and did a fine job of execution. Not only is the powertrain much improved, but the ride/handling balance rates among the best in class and interior execution is impressive. Also impressive are base prices that start about where others in this class do but include far more equipment. The new RDX vaults from an also-ran to a must-see, particularly for those who place a higher priority on value-for-money than on a prestigious nameplate.


Total Score
2WD Base w/Technology Pkg AWD Base w/Technology Pkg Class Average
76 76 76

Total Score: 76

TSX69 is offline  
Old 06-05-2012, 01:21 PM
  #74  
Registered Member
Thread Starter
 
TSX69's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,286
Received 1,179 Likes on 558 Posts
Post cars.com


The redesigned 2013 Acura RDX is better armed to win over shoppers — it's larger, lighter and more efficient — while offering an attractive value proposition.

Acura didn't have much success with the RDX in its previous incarnation. It was reasonably priced with a slew of standard features shoppers would want in a luxury SUV, but its quirky turbocharged engine and cramped confines were deal breakers.

The 2013 has been redesigned in a number of significant ways. Not only is it larger inside and out, it's lighter, features a different optional all-wheel-drive system and, most important, there's a standard V-6 engine under the hood that's more efficient.


Performance

There is a battle raging among luxury and mainstream automakers to figure out what type of engines should replace V-6 and V-8s as fuel efficiency becomes paramount in our age of more stringent regulations. Most thinking foresees turbocharged 4-cylinders replacing V-6 engines and turbocharged, supercharged or hybrid V-6 power plants replacing V-8s.

Acura's last RDX was ahead of the game with its turbo 4-cylinder, but not only did it deliver a somewhat herky-jerky driving experience, its fuel economy was below what many V-6s returned. And it required premium gas.

The 3.5-liter V-6 in the new RDX features cylinder deactivation, is teamed to a new 6-speed automatic transmission and returns not only better power – 273 horsepower versus 240 hp — but also significantly better fuel economy: 20/28 mpg city/highway versus 19/24 mpg. Premium is recommended to achieve those figures but isn't required.

On the road, power builds at a somewhat slower pace than the turbo generation provided, but it's a more consistent experience. Leaving a stoplight isn't as energizing, but accelerating onto a highway on-ramp or passing cars at highway speeds are easier maneuvers with the new V-6.

Steering is lighter than before. There's more body roll in tight turns; the brakes are not as grabby and the ride is softer. For performance fans, the RDX is definitely a step back from the previous model, but for the average car shopper, it is a huge step forward because the experience is more comfortable.

This is a competitive class with the BMW X3 and Volvo XC60 aimed right at the RDX. Neither one is a dynamic performer with their base engines; the RDX has just one engine choice and competes on price with the lesser offerings from BMW and Volvo, so the RDX shines. It has more power and features than the XC60 at a similar price and costs significantly less than the BMW. Its mileage also bests the other two.

The optional all-wheel-drive system also has been changed. Instead of the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive from the 2012, a new, superlative-less system replaces it. Power can be shifted up to 50% to the rear wheels, but only when slippage is detected such as in bad weather. Otherwise, power is split 75/25% front/rear in normal acceleration, 90/10 when mild acceleration is needed to increase cruising speed and 100% to the front when cruising. This power split along with the system's reduced weight helps lift mileage numbers.

I've tested every player in this segment many times, including a new high-performance version of the XC60 the week prior to test-driving the RDX, and the Acura doesn't fall behind any of them as an overall performer.

Consumer Reports' overall reliability for the outgoing 2012 RDX received the publication's highest rating while the competition received average scores or below, with only the X3 getting an above-average grade.


Interior

The RDX has been redesigned from the engine and exterior styling to the interior confines. Most of the materials in the cabin resemble what was in the 2012, but the layout has been changed.

The dashboard is more distinctly separated from the center console that's between the driver and front passenger. There are also more contours to the dash, lush padding on the leather sections of the doors, and more curvaceous lines nearly everywhere. This adds a sense of luxury versus the hard-edged sports-themed cockpit of the previous generation.

The leather seats are exceptionally comfortable, with wide seat bottoms.

The rear seats have plenty of leg- and knee room for average-sized adults. Both front and rear legroom lead the class.

It was relatively easy for me to install child-safety seats for my 2 preschoolers, and they had an easy time getting in and out of the backseat.

I also liked the numerous cubbies and small cargo compartments in the RDX. For me, the most useful one was in the center console that sits in front of the cupholders. It holds the USB input and can fit a smartphone, wallet, sunglasses and keys easily while still allowing the cover to slide closed. This makes it a convenient storage place for trips to the beach or gym.


Cargo

How the RDX's cargo space measures up against the competition depends on whether the rear seats are folded or not. At 26.1 cubic feet behind the backseat, the RDX's cargo volume is below average in the class, falling behind the BMW X3, Volvo XC60 and Cadillac SRX at 27.6, 30.8 and 29.8 cubic feet, respectively. The RDX tops only the Mercedes-Benz GLK's 23.3 cubic feet.

I found it plenty large for my needs, which included a Costco run that filled the back with three 55-pound bags of potting soil and left enough room for food and other items. More important, the low load floor simplifies throwing in those large items.

Fold the rear seats down with levers by the liftgate and cargo room expands to 61.3 cubic feet, which is much more competitive. Only the X3 and XC60 top it at 63.3 and 67.4 cubic feet, respectively, and the rest fall short, even if just barely. The expanded cargo floor is also relatively flat, which is helpful when loading long items such as shelving.

While the numbers may not blow away the segment, Acura did improve the overall experience for hauling goods. The rear seats fold flat with one movement instead of having to flip the seat bottoms forward as in the previous model, and gone is the removable floor piece that doubled as a cargo cover yet was rarely used.


Features and Pricing

The RDX remains one of the more reasonably priced players in this segment with a starting price for the base front-wheel-drive model of $35,215 (including an $895 destination charge). That's up $1,435 from the outgoing model, however. You can compare the 2013 and 2012 models here.

Acura doesn't use traditional option packages or trim designations for most of its models, and the RDX is no different. If you choose to move up from the base model called simply "RDX," there are three choices: RDX AWD at $36,615, RDX with Technology Package at $38,915 or RDX AWD with Technology Package at $40,315.

Standard on all RDX models are keyless entry, push-button start, leather seats, heated front seats, a backup camera, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, 5-inch color display and 360-watt stereo with subwoofer.

The Technology Package adds a navigation system with 8-inch screen, voice-activated stereo and navigation controls, power liftgate, 410-watt 10-speaker premium sound system with 15 gigabytes of media storage, fog lights and xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights.


Safety

The 2013 Acura RDX is equipped with a standard suite of airbags and has earned Top Safety Pick status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. To earn IIHS' highest rating, a car must get the highest score of Good in front, side, rear and roof-strength crash tests.

The federal government has not yet crash tested the 2013 Acura RDX.


RDX in the Market

The RDX had an advantage by being an early player in the small luxury crossover segment. That head start didn't lead to big sales, but taught Acura some lessons they've applied to the 2013.

Now that it is better aimed at the right type of shopper, Acura has no excuses if the RDX fails.

TSX69 is offline  
Old 06-05-2012, 09:08 PM
  #75  
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,434
Received 64 Likes on 59 Posts
Originally Posted by ikkoku View Post
no HIDs without the Tech Package? that kinda blows... I wonder if there'll be a aftermarket version soon
To me, the tech package is worth the extra money. If you are buying a car like this, the extra is not excessive.
BLEXV6 is offline  
Old 06-12-2012, 07:20 AM
  #76  
Registered Member
Thread Starter
 
TSX69's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,286
Received 1,179 Likes on 558 Posts
Lightbulb KickingTires

The previous-generation Acura RDX was such a competent hauler that Cars.com Managing Editor David Thomas recommended 1 to his mother-in-law, and she ended up purchasing 1. With a more powerful, fuel-efficient engine and richer-feeling cabin materials, he’d recommend the redesigned 2013 RDX, too, Thomas said.
TSX69 is offline  
Old 06-13-2012, 06:43 AM
  #77  
Registered Member
Thread Starter
 
TSX69's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,286
Received 1,179 Likes on 558 Posts
Post Cnet


CNET Editors' Rating
3.5 stars Very good
Review Date: 6/12/12

The good: The ELS audio system in the 2013 Acura RDX produces excellent sound, with crisp highs and strong bass, and voice command lets the driver request music by name. The rear seat offers plenty of legroom.

The bad: The navigation system does not dynamically route around bad traffic, and the voice command system doesn't include dial-by-name functionality with a paired phone's contact list.

The bottom line: The 2013 Acura RDX is a comfortable and easy-driving small SUV with a premium feel, but the cabin tech shows some flaws that will prove frustrating over time.

MSRP: $34,320.00
The new generation of Acura's smallest SUV, the RDX, represents both a step forward and a step back. For 2013, Acura updated the exterior styling, and increased the size just a little, but dumbed down the underlying performance technology.

The 2013 Acura RDX looks dramatically different from the previous generation, with nicely smoothed-over styling making for a refined, premium SUV. The grille is more subtly inset at the front of the car, above an invisible bumper, the hard parts hidden by a bit of seamless molding. At the rear, the exhaust pipes are completely invisible unless you crawl underneath.

The RDX also gains an inch in length and height, and sheds about 200 pounds. Its roomy cabin has leather seats and soft plastics over the dashboard. The rear seats fold down easily to maximize the cargo space. Rear-seat passengers will find more than ample legroom.

However, the dashboard looks largely unchanged. In historic Acura fashion, buttons litter the center stack and steering wheel. There are both a monochrome radio display and a color LCD in the dashboard. This latter mess comes from the fact that, rather than replace the dashboard's tech interface elements, Acura adds to it when it equips cars with its infotainment system. There is little excuse for this approach, as the LCD shows navigation, phone, and audio information, making the monochrome radio display redundant.

That said, the car's main interface controller, a large joystick/dial/button hybrid surrounded by buttons for direct access to specific infotainment functions, works very well. The interface is very usable, with attractive screens that are easy to navigate. On the destination entry screens, for example, Acura puts only six menu items on each, so the driver isn't flooded with a lot of distracting choices.


The destination screens are easy to navigate using the big controller on the center of the dashboard.
(Credit: Josh Miller/CNET)

Voice command works well as an alternative way to use the car's infotainment features. It is pretty chatty, but the helpful voice prompts at each command can be cut short just by pressing the voice command button again. Along with entering destinations, the system allows voice selection of music from a connected iPod or the onboard hard drive. It would be nice if Acura extended the voice command to USB drives, which are the easiest way to keep a big music library stored in the car.

But in one way voice command in the RDX comes up surprisingly short. Most cars these days let drivers use voice command to access the contact list of a Bluetooth-paired phone, but the RDX does not, at least not directly. To dial by name, it requires the driver to 1st save a contact to the speed dial list, then record a voice tag for that entry. And there are only 20 speed dial slots. That lack of voice command for the phone system is a surprising gap in the RDX's technology.

The maps shown on the LCD look nice and clear. Acura includes only top-down-view maps, not perspective views, but zooming all the way in reveals building outlines, which can be useful when navigating through urban canyons. Along with the usual manual address entry and points-of-interest database, Acura includes Zagat listings for restaurants, complete with scores and comments. Another nice feature is a database of scenic drives, at least one for every state.

And while the route guidance uses big graphics to show upcoming turn maneuvers, it also has a major flaw. Acura integrates traffic data with its navigation system, and in fact was 1 of the 1st automakers to do so, but the routing algorithms do not make use of this data. The car will blithely program a route through the worst traffic jams in a region.


The RDX will show slow traffic on its navigation system, but will not dynamically route around it.
(Credit: Josh Miller/CNET)

Unlike its big brother, the MDX, the RDX has few driver assistance features available. It has a rearview camera that does show three different views behind the car, making parking easier. However, it doesn't have adaptive cruise control, blind-spot detection, or anything else of that sort.

The award for best tech in the RDX's cabin has to go to the stereo system. It draws on a robust set of sources, such as the aforementioned hard drive and iPod, along with Bluetooth streaming and Pandora integration. And the audio from these sources comes out over an excellent system, Acura's ELS surround stereo. This 10-speaker system created very crisp, detailed sound. With multilayered recordings such as "The K&D Sessions," it not only made quieter layers audible, it produced striking bass. Its only flaw was letting higher notes get a little too shrill.

The stereo was pretty easy to hear in the well-insulated cabin of the RDX. True to Acura's premium intentions, road and engine noise are kept largely at bay, even with the larger engine now sitting under the hood of the RDX. Acura made a big change with this new model year, ditching the previous turbocharged 2.3-liter 4-cylinder for the company's 3.5-liter V-6, also used in the MDX and ZDX.


The rearview camera shows multiple views, such as a top-down look, good for close parking.
(Credit: Josh Miller/CNET)

The engine swap shows that Acura recognized the failed experiment of its turbocharged 4-cylinder. With its lower displacement it should have achieved better fuel economy, but the RDX proved too big for that engine. In CNET reviews, previous generations of the RDX turned in terrible real-world fuel economy. The V-6, which uses variable valve timing but not direct injection, makes more power and better fuel economy than the previous power plant.

By the numbers, the V-6 produces 273 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque, enough to easily propel the 3,300-pound RDX. EPA fuel economy comes in at 19 mpg city and 27 mpg highway. In CNET's testing, the car delivered 21.5 mpg, close to its combined economy number of 22 mpg, and not bad for a five-passenger SUV.

Acura gives the cabin a few touches to emphasize the "sport" in SUV, such as the red engine-start button and the paddle shifters on the steering wheel. These paddles are really unnecessary, as the 6-speed automatic transmission that comes with the car doesn't have any sporting chops. There is a Sport mode, which keeps the revs just a little higher than normal, but each shift, whether manually selected or automatic, comes about with the usual lag of a torque converter-based transmission.


With the rear seats down, the cargo area is very spacious.
(Credit: Josh Miller/CNET)

Besides stepping back to its tried-and-true V-6, Acura also took its Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive (SH-AWD) system away from the RDX. That means the RDX's optional all-wheel-drive system is very basic, acting as a front-biased system and shunting power to the rear wheels when needed. SH-AWD does neat things like torque vectoring across the rear wheels, making big vehicles such as the MDX corner like sport cars.

Taking away SH-AWD did not ruin the handling of the RDX, though. The suspension is rigid enough that the car can be put through high-speed antics in corners. Taking turns at speed, the car's tires made tortured sounds indicating the loss of a tread layer, but the body remained flat, with no wallow and not much lean.

That sport suspension tuning does have its drawbacks, however, with the RDX being jostled a little too strongly by rough patches in the road. The ride feels fine over smooth pavement, but potholes and cracks get communicated right through the seats.

In sum
Although a perfectly comfortable small SUV, the 2013 Acura RDX suffers from some tech flaws that will ultimately prove frustrating. Its engine and transmission work well enough, but do not use some of the latest efficiency technologies. The rigidly tuned suspension could do with some softening, given the likely buyers of the RDX. But overall it is an easy, no-hassle car to drive.

The cabin tech offers some nice features, but the lack of dynamic routing to avoid traffic in the navigation system is bizarre, considering how that feature has become standard in just about every other car with integrated traffic data. Likewise, it is very cool that Acura implemented voice command over iPods and music from the internal hard drive, but strange that it does not extend to letting drivers dial contacts from a paired phone by name. The speed-dial voice dialing is a poor substitute. The only real high point of the cabin tech is the stereo, with its many audio sources and excellent-sounding ELS system.

PHP Code:
What You'll Pay

    MSRP: $34,320.00

See manufacturer website for availability.

    Set Price Alert

Tech specs
Model     2013 Acura RDX
Trim     All-wheel drive, Tech package
Power train     3.5-liter V-6, 6-speed automatic transmission
EPA fuel economy     19 mpg city/27 mpg highway
Observed fuel economy     21.5 mpg
Navigation     Standard hard-drive-based with traffic data
Bluetooth phone support     Standard with contact list integration
Disc player     MP3-compatible single-DVD
MP3 player support     iPod integration
Other digital audio     Onboard hard drive, Pandora, Bluetooth streaming, USB drive, satellite radio
Audio system     ELS 410-watt 10-speaker system
Driver aids     Rearview camera
Base price     $39,420
Price as tested     $40,315 
TSX69 is offline  
Old 06-13-2012, 02:39 PM
  #78  
Registered Member
 
Rocketsfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,547
Received 524 Likes on 292 Posts
Regarding the CNet review, I thought the system did have re-routing based upon traffic. Can anyone confirm?
Rocketsfan is offline  
Old 06-13-2012, 02:48 PM
  #79  
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 61
Received 12 Likes on 11 Posts
Originally Posted by Rocketsfan View Post
Regarding the CNet review, I thought the system did have re-routing based upon traffic. Can anyone confirm?
It does, but I believe you have to enable it in the Setup.
C0rrion is offline  
Old 06-24-2012, 10:05 PM
  #80  
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 113
Received 28 Likes on 16 Posts
Navi Manual, page 52, Traffic Rerouting [Setup/Other/Routing & Guidance/Traffic Rerouting]--"The following options are available:
ON: the system reroutes automatically based on traffic information.
OFF (factory default): the system disables the feature."

I guess the C-NET reviewer can be forgiven for assuming the automatic traffic-based rerouting feature is missing, since Acura has chosen to provide the car with that feature turned "off." I also would guess that reviewers can't be expected, and don't have time, to read the manual.
robuckj is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: 2nd Generation RDX Reviews


Contact Us - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.