RANT: The RDX AWD system is total junk - AcuraZine - Acura Enthusiast Community



RANT: The RDX AWD system is total junk

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Old 01-23-2016, 12:54 PM   #1
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Angry RANT: The RDX AWD system is total junk

Well I finally had the chance to "test" my RDX out in the snow. I say "test" because in reality I never made it out of my driveway. I'll preface this by saying my last vehicle was a Forester, so perhaps I am a bit spoiled, but none the less, I'm hugely underwhelmed with the AWD system's performance and the stock tires when the white stuff hits, which I suspect is why most people buy AWD in the first place.

Despite having my driveway plowed not long before, I just got stuck in what amounts to a few inches of snow before ever getting out of my driveway. Turning off the traction control (which never really turns "off" apparently, it just lessens the effect) and trying to blast through the (minimal) snow to get back to my garage only resulted in the ECM pulling engine power and setting an "AWD System Overheat" light after just a few seconds. So the normal protocall of letting the wheesl spin a little to dig down and power through is impossible. It seems like the computer just keeps pulling power and pulling power to protect the drivetrain. That tells me the AWD system must be pretty weak to begin with. So I just spent the last hour or so of my life on my hands and knees digging out the few inches of snow that had packed under my tires to I could get it back into the garage.

Moral of the story? The "AWD" system in the RDX is more like a FWD with some rear wheel assist. In practice, it's relatively useless in the real world and I'm feeling a bit ripped off right now for paying for it.

/rant
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Old 01-23-2016, 01:09 PM   #2
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Well I finally had the chance to "test" my RDX out in the snow. I say "test" because in reality I never made it out of my driveway. I'll preface this by saying my last vehicle was a Forester, so perhaps I am a bit spoiled, but none the less, I'm hugely underwhelmed with the AWD system's performance and the stock tires when the white stuff hits, which I suspect is why most people buy AWD in the first place.

Despite having my driveway plowed not long before, I just got stuck in what amounts to a few inches of snow before ever getting out of my driveway. Turning off the traction control (which never really turns "off" apparently, it just lessens the effect) and trying to blast through the (minimal) snow to get back to my garage only resulted in the ECM pulling engine power and setting an "AWD System Overheat" light after just a few seconds. So the normal protocall of letting the wheesl spin a little to dig down and power through is impossible. It seems like the computer just keeps pulling power and pulling power to protect the drivetrain. That tells me the AWD system must be pretty weak to begin with. So I just spent the last hour or so of my life on my hands and knees digging out the few inches of snow that had packed under my tires to I could get it back into the garage.

Moral of the story? The "AWD" system in the RDX is more like a FWD with some rear wheel assist. In practice, it's relatively useless in the real world and I'm feeling a bit ripped off right now for paying for it.

/rant
lol there is a huge thread arguing about this. I am on your side of the fence. Acura was very dumb for taking away sh-awd and giving people this crappy glorified version of the crv awd system. Though I will mention that I have seen videos of X5's getting stuck on wet grass! Yes wet grass!. So tires are a huge component to traction. I can't see where you live, and I don't know how old the tires are, or what type of tires they are, are they worn down or summer tires?

Even my RDX with the SH-AWD system is complete crap when the traction control is on. It just keeps cutting power over and over and literally no power transfers anywhere. I mitigated this by turning it off obviously. It works really well too, completely shuts off on mine and allows me to do icy parking lot hooligan shenanigans. I personally don't get why acura took away shawd. I understand it is for weight savings and cost savings (mostly cost), but it took away any ability to compete with other sporty crossovers like the q5, x3, glk/c, ex35/qx50..etc. For the next gen, they should either keep the v6 or go down to a powerful turbo 4, but also bring back a turbo trim. Then they should make a sporty trim with stiff ride and shawd and the turbo and a normal luxury version with soft ride and v6 and normal awd.
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Old 01-23-2016, 01:11 PM   #3
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Maybe it is the tires? Tires connect you to the road.
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Old 01-23-2016, 01:16 PM   #4
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Maybe it is the tires? Tires connect you to the road.
Gotta love the sarcasm with slight twist of wit for flavour
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Old 01-23-2016, 01:36 PM   #5
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2013 RDX AWD with Blizzak's mounted on alloy wheels. Nothing stops me in the snow.

"All Season" tires really don't cut it when it snows out.
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Old 01-23-2016, 01:44 PM   #6
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Maybe it is the tires? Tires connect you to the road.
Admittedly the tires are not the best for snow, but my point was the performance and behavior of the AWD system itself is total crap. Honestly, it seems like when traction is low, the AWD system does everything opposite what it should be doing.

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Old 01-23-2016, 01:45 PM   #7
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I can't see where you live, and I don't know how old the tires are, or what type of tires they are, are they worn down or summer tires?
Sorry, I'm in NJ, and I have a 2016 RDX with 12,xxx miles on the stock tires, so they are still in great shape.
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Old 01-23-2016, 02:11 PM   #8
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Maybe it is the tires? Tires connect you to the road.
I was almost expecting this. Lol.
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Old 01-23-2016, 02:22 PM   #9
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There must be a way to fully turn off the traction control.

For example, on my Miata, if I just push the button, apparently it will still kick in under more extreme manouvers (drifting ) however, after reading in to it, apparently I can turn the system right off, if I hold the button for 5 seconds straight, or some shit. It doesn't say that in the manual even.

So I wonder, and assume, that Acura would've maybe put something in like that too? As OP stated, there are times you NEED the system off.
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Old 01-23-2016, 03:30 PM   #10
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The bottom line is that you need snow tires to go along with the AWD. The all seasons simply don't cut it when the snow really flies. I have had 2 cars with SH-AWD (2010 TL and 2011 RDX) and I can honestly these AWD cars are the same in the snow and the 2004 and 2006 MDX I had with regular AWD, I did not have snow tires and the real snowy days were not real good for traction.
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Old 01-23-2016, 04:54 PM   #11
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There must be a way to fully turn off the traction control.

For example, on my Miata, if I just push the button, apparently it will still kick in under more extreme manouvers (drifting ) however, after reading in to it, apparently I can turn the system right off, if I hold the button for 5 seconds straight, or some shit. It doesn't say that in the manual even.

So I wonder, and assume, that Acura would've maybe put something in like that too? As OP stated, there are times you NEED the system off.
Did someone say miata?

Do you happen to be a hair dresser? I am just kidding. The miata is an absolute track monster and on any curvy road very little competes. My 07 rdx only needs me to press the button once and it is completely 100% off. Then again the 13+ rdx is a lot softer, so they set the limits higher.
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Old 01-23-2016, 05:01 PM   #12
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The bottom line is that you need snow tires to go along with the AWD. The all seasons simply don't cut it when the snow really flies. I have had 2 cars with SH-AWD (2010 TL and 2011 RDX) and I can honestly these AWD cars are the same in the snow and the 2004 and 2006 MDX I had with regular AWD, I did not have snow tires and the real snowy days were not real good for traction.
BINGO. My FWD GTI with snows ran rings around my sister's 2005 RL with the all seasons when it got snowy out.

4 driven wheels will slide as easily as 2 driven wheels if there is no traction. SH-AWD can't fix that.

The traction control kicks in if you have no traction to try to reduce engine speed to keep you from killing yourself. That's because you have the wrong tires.
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Old 01-23-2016, 05:14 PM   #13
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I wish the OP had pics of the snow that defeated his RDX.
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Old 01-23-2016, 05:15 PM   #14
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My fwd cars do great in snow.
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Old 01-23-2016, 05:19 PM   #15
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OP: Get a set of good snows. Then come back and talk to us.
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Old 01-23-2016, 05:23 PM   #16
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BINGO. My FWD GTI with snows ran rings around my sister's 2005 RL with the all seasons when it got snowy out.

4 driven wheels will slide as easily as 2 driven wheels if there is no traction. SH-AWD can't fix that.

The traction control kicks in if you have no traction to try to reduce engine speed to keep you from killing yourself. That's because you have the wrong tires.
Ceb,

I'm quit familiar with how tires work. I'm also quite familiar with how AWD systems work, or at least how they should (and how other MFR's do). Re-read my first post; I did already mention the tires were not ideal. My gripe is in how the AWD system functions, or more correctly, does not function. It gives up under the slightest demand.

I'm fully aware that better tires would help. I never doubted that. All I said is that the AWD system itself fucntions poorly. Consequently, when the AWD system functions poorly, it cannot make use of the traction available, no matter what tires are installed.
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Old 01-23-2016, 05:26 PM   #17
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I wish the OP had pics of the snow that defeated his RDX.
Ask and ye shall receive:




In fairness, the left rear wheel was in a bit of a hole, but not much. I believe that is what was holding me up. Had the AWD system been able to transfer more power to the rear wheels like a proper AWD system would, I would have had no problem ripping through it. Alas, it certainly seemed like the Acura system as still asking the front to do 90% of the work. The front end was torque steering all over the place and the back never slid. That tells me the rear wheels weren't doing much work.

Sorry I didn't get a better pic, I just grabbed this one so I could better see what was under the car. This is the driver side front. As you can see, not a whole lot of snow was left after the plow. 2-3 inches at most.

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Old 01-23-2016, 05:31 PM   #18
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OP: Get a set of good snows. Then come back and talk to us.
Dirleton, thank you for the post. I will certainly be getting some snows for next year. I know the stock tires aren't ideal, my complaint is that the AWD system is not capable of taking anywhere near full advantage of the traction available.

FWIW, and I know it's a different car, but my Forester routinely ripped through snow like this with high mileage all seasons. I don't expect my Acura to be a Subaru (and in many ways I am thankful for that!) but I do expect more than it delivers.
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Old 01-23-2016, 05:35 PM   #19
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Ask and ye shall receive:




In fairness, the left rear wheel was in a bit of a hole, but not much. I believe that is what was holding me up. Had the AWD system been able to transfer more power to the rear wheels like a proper AWD system would, I would have had no problem ripping through it. Alas, it certainly seemed like the Acura system as still asking the front to do 90% of the work.

Sorry I didn't get a better pic, I just grabbed this one so I could better see what was under the car. This is the driver side front. As you can see, not a whole lot of snow was left after the plow. 2-3 inches at most.
Hmm, I got the back left tire of my SH-AWD TLX stuck in the snow as I was turning out of my driveway in reverse (turned a bit tight and went onto the edge of the snowbank). All I did was put it into S mode, select 2nd gear, and turn off traction control, and the fronts + right side pushed me out on the first try. I have Michelin X-Ice tires though and SH-AWD, so the one wheel can do work while the other one is stuck.
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Old 01-23-2016, 07:14 PM   #20
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Agree with you 100 percent

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Dirleton, thank you for the post. I will certainly be getting some snows for next year. I know the stock tires aren't ideal, my complaint is that the AWD system is not capable of taking anywhere near full advantage of the traction available.

FWIW, and I know it's a different car, but my Forester routinely ripped through snow like this with high mileage all seasons. I don't expect my Acura to be a Subaru (and in many ways I am thankful for that!) but I do expect more than it delivers.
We own both a 2014 RDX and a 2016 q5 diesel. We have owned both a Subaru Outback and a 2012 Tl with SHAWD. THE RDX even with X ice tires is no match for either cars. We have had all these cars in severe northern Ontario blizzards and can tell you that while the little AWD SYSTEM IN THE RDX is okay for mild snowfalls it in no way compares to either the q5, the Subaru or the TL. ACURA really screwed up by not putting the SHAWD in new RDX.

As a point of comparison we just came back from holidays in the usual blizzard to find our street with 2 to 3 foot snow levels. The Audi, even with all seasons (was waiting for ordered snows). Climbed our street hill and powered into our driveway with snow up to the just below the headlights with zero problems. There is No way the RDX would do that, indeed few other cars could as well.

I have too noticed that the little AWD will not transfer much power to the rear many times and found it less stable out on the highway in a blizzard. It would make it through, but was exhausting and not that confidence inspiring. Just the opposite of the other cars.

Now the Audi with blizzacks on it is (like the Subaru) is a veritable tank. It is stable and confidence inspiring in a blizzard. And a joy to drive no matter the circumstances. It balances power and traction to levels that the little RDX can't even imagine.

Acura should be ashamed, really ashamed and is losing ground to the competition. Put the SHAWD back in and they would have a vehicle I might want again, till then, no way for this guy.

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Old 01-23-2016, 09:35 PM   #21
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Ceb,

I'm quit familiar with how tires work. I'm also quite familiar with how AWD systems work, or at least how they should (and how other MFR's do). Re-read my first post; I did already mention the tires were not ideal. My gripe is in how the AWD system functions, or more correctly, does not function. It gives up under the slightest demand.

I'm fully aware that better tires would help. I never doubted that. All I said is that the AWD system itself fucntions poorly. Consequently, when the AWD system functions poorly, it cannot make use of the traction available, no matter what tires are installed.
Well, it is somewhat of a chicken or egg question. If the system fails to work as you expect because the tires have zero grip is that the systems fault or is it the fault of the tires.

If you had grip then the system may well have worked.
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Old 01-23-2016, 10:42 PM   #22
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Well, it is somewhat of a chicken or egg question. If the system fails to work as you expect because the tires have zero grip is that the systems fault or is it the fault of the tires.

If you had grip then the system may well have worked.
I live in central alberta and we get BAD winters here. Our winters laugh at other winters lol. I have never in my life owned a vehicle with snow tires, and it has never EVER been an issue for me. Infact took my touareg v8 offroad in deep deep snow and it dug out of a trench with no issues at all. I took that same touareg onto an ice rink for shenanagins and got the 2 front wheels into a deep pile of snow next to the rink (i.e 2 front wheels in deep deep snow and 2 rear wheels on pure uncovered ice. I got out of there with zero issues. This is with 70-80% tread all season tires (either goodyears or hankooks I beleive). I attribute that 100% to the excellent awd system.

I have to agree with the OP. But I also agree with you to some degree. I would like to see acura put the rdx on rollers and get one rear wheel to pull it out, then try that with the q5 and x3 except make a free wheel on the front. I guarantee they would get out and the rdx would do nothing. Regardless of if you have ice tires or studded super tires. These part time awd systems are only ever intended to give people a false sense of security as well as maybe a SLIGHT increase in traction on flat ground.
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Old 01-24-2016, 07:00 AM   #23
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One of the reasons I didn't get rdx this time when getting a new car is that it didn't have sh awd. It would be nice if Acura opened a suggestion box from loyal customers.
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Old 01-24-2016, 07:05 AM   #24
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I saw this article on another forum about the +16 MDX Gen 3 cheaper, lighter, and more capable sh-awd system is exactly the same as the awd in the all new Pilot with the only difference between the two is the programming: Acura SH-AWD: A Comprehensive Analysis (Updated Jan.8, 2016) - YouWheel.com - Car News and Review

Since the Gen 3 sh-awd will be shared with the Pilot, maybe the Ridgeline (possibly an awd Odyssey in the works); Acura has ZERO excuse to bring back sh-awd on the RDX whenever the all new model hits the road in 2019-2020. $$$ shouldn't be an issue any more since the cost is being spread across an additional +250,000 Honda vehicles.
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Old 01-24-2016, 10:42 AM   #25
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I posted my observations in another thread about my '15 RDX with a set of Nokian snows through the recent couple of storms, and how with those tires I had zero issues through any situation I could throw at it. I also reported that when I got the RDX last March I drove in a smallish storm with the OEM tires (brand new) and was nervous that I didn't get the right vehicle since I wasn't happy with the results. So overall I'm not completely in opposition to the OP's observation.

But that being said, having driven in NH for over 40 years, I learned a long time ago that AWD (regardless of the methodology) is only as good as the rubber that is between the road and that set of mechanicals. I had a 2013 MDX w/SH-AWD and during the first winter I ran the OEM Bridgestones, and even with the SH-AWD it didn't really impress me that much. But once I put a set of craigslist-bought Altimax's on that beast, it became a tank. The wife's TL SH-AWD is the same way (although I never tested it without snows since the OEM Michelins on that thing are pathetic even in the rain).

I have driven a Subaru forester for a week in Colorado not too long ago, and with the OEM tires (about 5k on the odometer), it was OK, but not inspiring in the parking lot I did some monkeying around in while I was there. Around here there are a lot of Subarus, but the ones with snow tires fare a whole lot better than the ones with OEM rubber.

As a final observation, I had an '06 Pilot with a similar AWD setup to the RDX. I tried once to get a trailer out of my yard with 2+ feet of standing, unplowed snow. I had upgraded the tires to Michelin LTX M&S on that thing, and while not a dedicated snow, the tread is pretty decent in the winter. I was dumbfounded at just how bad it was in that condition, and just sat there an spun. I was close to calling my neighbor to winch me back out. Then I remembered the deal about turning the TC off, and once I did that, I was able to get moving. Granted I'd gotten myself in pretty deep and it wasn't EASY getting out - but I was able to get the traction on the 4 wheels I needed to get out. My observation there was that, when driving in snow that had any depth or wasn't plowed, I had to consciously turn off the TC before even starting so I didn't get myself into a situation where I started packing snow under the wheels. Experience showed it was much easier to get out if I had TC off from the get-go than trying to save it after a sit-and-spin with the TC on.

Bottom line - the AWD in the RDX ain't perfect, but with the right tires and the foresight to keep TC off before you start, it's got enough to get you out of trouble should you get in too deep....

cheers - andy
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Old 01-24-2016, 01:27 PM   #26
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I posted my observations in another thread about my '15 RDX with a set of Nokian snows through the recent couple of storms, and how with those tires I had zero issues through any situation I could throw at it. I also reported that when I got the RDX last March I drove in a smallish storm with the OEM tires (brand new) and was nervous that I didn't get the right vehicle since I wasn't happy with the results. So overall I'm not completely in opposition to the OP's observation.

But that being said, having driven in NH for over 40 years, I learned a long time ago that AWD (regardless of the methodology) is only as good as the rubber that is between the road and that set of mechanicals. I had a 2013 MDX w/SH-AWD and during the first winter I ran the OEM Bridgestones, and even with the SH-AWD it didn't really impress me that much. But once I put a set of craigslist-bought Altimax's on that beast, it became a tank. The wife's TL SH-AWD is the same way (although I never tested it without snows since the OEM Michelins on that thing are pathetic even in the rain).

I have driven a Subaru forester for a week in Colorado not too long ago, and with the OEM tires (about 5k on the odometer), it was OK, but not inspiring in the parking lot I did some monkeying around in while I was there. Around here there are a lot of Subarus, but the ones with snow tires fare a whole lot better than the ones with OEM rubber.

As a final observation, I had an '06 Pilot with a similar AWD setup to the RDX. I tried once to get a trailer out of my yard with 2+ feet of standing, unplowed snow. I had upgraded the tires to Michelin LTX M&S on that thing, and while not a dedicated snow, the tread is pretty decent in the winter. I was dumbfounded at just how bad it was in that condition, and just sat there an spun. I was close to calling my neighbor to winch me back out. Then I remembered the deal about turning the TC off, and once I did that, I was able to get moving. Granted I'd gotten myself in pretty deep and it wasn't EASY getting out - but I was able to get the traction on the 4 wheels I needed to get out. My observation there was that, when driving in snow that had any depth or wasn't plowed, I had to consciously turn off the TC before even starting so I didn't get myself into a situation where I started packing snow under the wheels. Experience showed it was much easier to get out if I had TC off from the get-go than trying to save it after a sit-and-spin with the TC on.

Bottom line - the AWD in the RDX ain't perfect, but with the right tires and the foresight to keep TC off before you start, it's got enough to get you out of trouble should you get in too deep....

cheers - andy

Agree with all the above. We got maybe 4 inches last night, was on some unplowed side roads, no issues at all, but do have dedicated Xi3 snows. And honestly some of it is driving skill, although that will likely cause some pain/anger for those hearing it - not saying at all that is the the case with the OP, so please no flames. (It is a valid observation for many though, lots of people don't "get" winter driving..) 35 yrs of New England driving, did years in big boaty v8 powered rear wheel drive sedans with snows on the back and sand bags in the trunk, never an issue. Drove the mother in law to the hospital in 6" of snow in an active storm...was fine. Dad did his whole life in such cars, would do chains in the back sometimes, never an issue, he was prepared and understood winter driving. And my neighborhood is all fairly steep hills, never got stuck. RDX is my first AWD vehicle, and with the snows, I can't imagine a situation it can't get me through or hasn't got me through, including a drive from Montreal to Toronto in an active storm, with accumulated snow on the road.

Tires are so key, and there is so much reluctance for people to invest in dedicated snows, even when buying a 40k vehicle... All seasons are a compromise, and if you live in the snow belt...snow tires should be standard. We are driving us and our loved ones around, so not having that extra edge always puzzles me...its maybe 1500 more or 3-4% of the purchase price if done with dedicated rims, half that if you swap tires seasonally. I drive mostly on plowed/treated roads since that's what we do here in New England, but run into snow now and then, and do trips north of Boston into NH and ME and Canada. Snowy roads, slushy roads, icy roads, dry roads in 20 degree weather, snow tires make the experience so much better.
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Old 01-24-2016, 01:43 PM   #27
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Checked tirerack, it's even less. They have a package with blizzaks, dedicated rims and TPMS sensors, mounted, balanced and delivered for $1200...3% of the base mrsp price of a 2016 AWD with tech package.
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Old 01-24-2016, 01:43 PM   #28
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This is my first winter living in Erie, PA and we have gotten a crapton of snow already. With four snow tires and wrong wheel drive, my only issue in the TL is ground clearance sometimes. My mom drives a 2014 RDX with four snows and has yet to have an issue even in deep snow. My dad told me he thinks her RDX is as good in snow as the 2011 TL he used to have. Moral of the story, you should rely on tires more than the subpar awd system that the newer RDXs have.
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Old 01-24-2016, 04:00 PM   #29
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It should have had at least a AWD lock to keep it 50/50 at low speed like the Santa Fe has, that would help a little, open diffs suck and TC doesn't help when stuck.
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Old 01-24-2016, 05:32 PM   #30
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Coming from Infiniti FX and G vehicles with Blizzaks I never worry about snow. I purchased a set of Blizzaks a week after taking delivery of the RDX. So far we don’t have enough snow in Toronto to test the RDX.

After reading the entire posting, I have to believe that the RDX AWD system is not as good as others. However, as long as one respect the winter driving condition, the RDX with Blizzaks should get me by.

If I ever get stuck, I will remember to switch the TC off….

Thanks for the heads up!
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Old 01-25-2016, 01:25 AM   #31
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I saw this article on another forum about the +16 MDX Gen 3 cheaper, lighter, and more capable sh-awd system is exactly the same as the awd in the all new Pilot with the only difference between the two is the programming: Acura SH-AWD: A Comprehensive Analysis (Updated Jan.8, 2016) - YouWheel.com - Car News and Review

Since the Gen 3 sh-awd will be shared with the Pilot, maybe the Ridgeline (possibly an awd Odyssey in the works); Acura has ZERO excuse to bring back sh-awd on the RDX whenever the all new model hits the road in 2019-2020. $$$ shouldn't be an issue any more since the cost is being spread across an additional +250,000 Honda vehicles.
This is exactly what I was thinking about. Funny how Honda snuck in the new system into the pilot which is essentially a version of shawd and never brought attention to it. Seriously, if they don't put shawd into the next gen rdx, then they have peanuts for brains. Also why does the pilot have a pano roof and not the mdx?

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It should have had at least a AWD lock to keep it 50/50 at low speed like the Santa Fe has, that would help a little, open diffs suck and TC doesn't help when stuck.
This X 100! If they are going to give us a crappy sub par awd system. At least give us a 50/50 lock button. Very stupid not to have it on a system like this. Especially since having traction control off might affect the rear wheels kicking in.
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Old 01-25-2016, 07:29 AM   #32
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Thanks for all the replies. I'm glad to see many of my concerns are shared. Sure, a good set of snow tires make a big difference. So what??? They make a big difference on a two wheel drive car too. But that's not why one buys AWD. One buys AWD to make best use of available traction no matter what tires are on the car. You start with a good foundation and build on that. It sounds like the current AWD system on the RDX is not a good foundation. Disappointing that such a sub-par system exists in the year 2016, especially on a nearly $40k vehicle. I shouldn't need to spend another $1,000 on dedicated tires and wheels so my vehicle performs as well as those from lesser manufacturers do on regular all seasons.

In that case, I should have just bout the FWD model, put the $1,500 I'd save into tires, and get a few MPG of gas money back in my wallet.
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Old 01-25-2016, 09:07 AM   #33
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Thanks for all the replies. I'm glad to see many of my concerns are shared. Sure, a good set of snow tires make a big difference. So what??? They make a big difference on a two wheel drive car too. But that's not why one buys AWD. One buys AWD to make best use of available traction no matter what tires are on the car. You start with a good foundation and build on that. It sounds like the current AWD system on the RDX is not a good foundation. Disappointing that such a sub-par system exists in the year 2016, especially on a nearly $40k vehicle. I shouldn't need to spend another $1,000 on dedicated tires and wheels so my vehicle performs as well as those from lesser manufacturers do on regular all seasons.

In that case, I should have just bout the FWD model, put the $1,500 I'd save into tires, and get a few MPG of gas money back in my wallet.
I'm sorry but
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Old 01-25-2016, 09:13 AM   #34
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I'm sorry but
Please explain.
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Old 01-25-2016, 09:23 AM   #35
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I'm starting to think the same way as the OP about the most "bang for the buck" of fwd RDX+better tires instead of awd+OEM tires. My fwd 06 TSX handled the snow/ice better with Conti DWS tires compared to the 08 RDX sh-awd with OEM tires. Since gone with Conti DWS for all three car because of the better wet/snow/ice traction from storms we get 5-6 times a year.
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:09 AM   #36
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I agree that the AWD system in the RDX should be better but my biggest concern when driving in the snow is people driving without snow tires.

I'm ready with my dedicated snows.
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:31 AM   #37
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The FWD based AWD systems Honda uses have severe limitations at a standstill. An ideal AWD system will be freely able to direct torque to any individual wheel in any circumstances, which I have not seen any production car to be able to do just yet, especially for the front axles, the best it gets right now is to mimic this affect by braking individual wheels.

If the ideal system is not available you would at least want an AWD system capable of 50/50 or more, but the RDX is not capable of sending 50% of it's total torque output to the rear wheels, whereas many manufacturers have systems that can do this under all conditions. Not even the SH-AWD system is able to send 50% of it's torque to the rear, for example in the TLX from a standstill. The "up to 70%" going to the rear is only when the vehicle is already in motion, as the rear diff has a torque limit of 885 lb ft.
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Old 01-25-2016, 11:11 AM   #38
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Sorry, I'm in NJ, and I have a 2016 RDX with 12,xxx miles on the stock tires, so they are still in great shape.
That's like people driving winters in the summer complaining that the car takes forever to brake.

Tires are the most important thing on EVERY vehicle. No suspension, electronics, engine, AWD etc. is going to make up for the wrong tires for the wrong situation.

Caught in snow, you better make damn sure these are on your tires:



I put some Winters on my RDX, turned off the traction control, Put it in "S" and pressed "+" to put it in 2nd gear and went right over a snowbank a few weeks ago. NO PROBLEM!

The RDX does have great ground clearance for its class. But it's no off-road vehicle. It is mostly a paved road SUV.

Yes the SHAWD is better and i wish I had it on my 2016. Still i drive it like its supposed to be driven.
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Old 01-25-2016, 01:35 PM   #39
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The FWD based AWD systems Honda uses have severe limitations at a standstill. An ideal AWD system will be freely able to direct torque to any individual wheel in any circumstances, which I have not seen any production car to be able to do just yet, especially for the front axles, the best it gets right now is to mimic this affect by braking individual wheels.

If the ideal system is not available you would at least want an AWD system capable of 50/50 or more, but the RDX is not capable of sending 50% of it's total torque output to the rear wheels, whereas many manufacturers have systems that can do this under all conditions. Not even the SH-AWD system is able to send 50% of it's torque to the rear, for example in the TLX from a standstill. The "up to 70%" going to the rear is only when the vehicle is already in motion, as the rear diff has a torque limit of 885 lb ft.
This exactly, it actualy has a limit of only 40% which is really really odd. Systems from WAY back in 2000 were capable of sending 50% to the rear. At the very least, they could have installed the vtm-4 system which is capable of sending 100% of rear power to one rear wheel (acts like a limited slip rear diff). At least it would have been intereting vs a generic asian system.

Well the jeep gc overland has 3 electonically controlled limited slip diffs. So it technically can send all power to one wheel. Same deal with VW's old 4xmotion on their old touareg and cayenne. I think even the new subaru wrx sti can do that as well. Ideally, you almost would never really need all power to one wheel, they should at least have installed an active differential on the front axle like mitsubishi does on their outlander gt.
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Old 01-25-2016, 01:45 PM   #40
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The OP could always move down to NM? We broke a record in ABQ with 11 inches of precipitation in 2015 with the norm usually being about 4-5 inches. per year
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