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3rd Generation Acura RDX Reviews/Press

 
Old 05-29-2018, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by TxLady View Post
Ok...I thought I had read somewhere that there was remote start so I went back to the manual. It appears, if you pay for the Acura Connections service...they can unlock your door remotely so the ability appears to be there. The only reason I can think of why owner remote start was omitted is so they can add it later with wireless charging...also included on other competitors cars. You are right, it’s a bummer.

From the manual:

Connect Package (subscription fee) includes standard services and adds:
  • Automated crash notification and location
  • Assist Call
  • Enhanced roadside assistance
  • Alarm notification
  • Car finder
  • Remote start
  • Remote door lock/unlock
  • Stolen vehicle tracking
  • Link call information
  • Local search
  • Destination search using Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
  • Send to car
  • Virtual dashboard
  • Remote diagnostics
Remote start from a Key Fob is doable...but, it's an Accessory you buy from Acura...and they sell you the new Fob...and they install the electronics etc, to receive the "signal."
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Old 05-30-2018, 04:54 PM
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Old 05-30-2018, 05:33 PM
  #123  
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Just test drove the Advance.
My Acura history began with a '90 Legend coupe, and latest were 2008, then 2010 MDX. Upgraded my daughter to 2016 RDX (from CR-V).
I've purchased 28 new cars (I'm old!)...a car nut. My top 3 favorites have been '69 Mustang 428 Mach I (my first), a '99 E36 M3, and my current DD, '15 Porsche Macan S.
There were 3 RDX at my dealer...Blk/Blk Advance (tested), White/Blk A-Spec, and a Red/Tan Tech. The A-Spec looked great with the black trim. The red was my favorite...Tech wheels look FAR better than the Advance.
My comments:
I was greatly impressed with the RDX. The handling on on par or better than the Q-5, new X-3, or GLC. The NX (or RX) not even in same league. Engine and trans were magnificent for a 4-banger. Quick and smooth. I think this will be 0-60 in 5.7. Changing driving modes made significant difference. For the first time, we have an Acura that is quiet at 85 mph. Best steering ever in a Honda...quick and accurate without impacting on-center. Bank vault solid feel. My ELS in the MDX was great...this was lots better. Great visibility and driving position. I have 18-way in the Porsche...these were close. Pretty good engine sound. Very little turbo lag....felt stronger than 272 hp. Love that torque. I think when road tests become available, Acura will see a winner. New touch pad was instant...this should be a game changer. And was very comfortable to use...very user friendly. This felt like a lot more car than $48.4. Cars weren't cleaned yet, but attaching photo of the red Tech.
Negatives? Not much. Manual steering wheel adjustment. Too much chrome. They went to sound deadening material on rear wheel wells, but kept plastic on fronts. The Advance wheels aren't quite as homely in person....but still not good.
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Old 05-30-2018, 08:43 PM
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Two new nice videos!

2019 Acura RDX Off-Road - Amazing Luxury SUV

2019 Acura RDX Advance - Driving, Interior & Exterior White Diamond Pearl


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Old 05-31-2018, 06:23 AM
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https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/auto/2...a-rdx/preview/

2019 Acura RDX First Drive Review: Third-gen’s a charm

May 30, 20189:01 PM PDT
It's taken some getting used to, but the 2019 Acura RDX's Precision Concept design language has grown on me. All-new for the third-generation, this Ohio-built compact SUV is wider and longer, and rides atop a longer wheelbase. All of this makes the RDX look lower and more planted, despite its overall height being unchanged. The model's front end balances large, seven-element "Jewel LED" headlamps with what must be the largest Acura badge in the brand's history. It's huge, but it works somehow.

The larger body and all-new platform open up a more spacious cabin, which Acura has trimmed with improved materials and a design that's as attractive as the new exterior. I'm also pleased to see a new True Touchpad infotainment system interface replacing the brand's very dated old tech.

Perhaps most importantly, I was most impressed with how much smaller and more nimble this SUV felt on the twisty and scenic Canadian mountain roads around Whistler, British Columbia. Thanks to its performance-oriented all-wheel drive system and well-sorted chassis, this bigger, more comfortable RDX still managed to be a very fun romp when chucked at fast sweeper or 2.

Ooh-wee, that's a big 'ol badge!

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Turbo power and SH-AWD

Behind that massive "A" badge spins a standard 2.0-liter turbocharged VTEC four-cylinder engine. Output is stated at 273 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. That's a pretty big torque bump over the old 3.5-liter V6, particularly at low engine speeds, where the RDX sees a 40-percent increase, helping it to feel significantly more responsive.


The engine and its 10-speed automatic transmission make a great pair with smooth and quiet operation around town and fuel economy that's up a single combined mile per gallon over the V6. Base front-drive RDX models net 22 mpg city, 28 highway and 24 combined, standard AWD models take a single mpg hit in each category, and the new A-Spec styling package drops a further single mpg on the highway due to its more aggressive aerodynamics.

In Sport mode, the gearbox is not shy about downshifting when passing and cornering, which makes for really strong, responsive acceleration. The shift logic is so good, I found that I didn't really need to use the paddle shifters in most situations.Front-wheel drive is standard, but you definitely want Acura's fourth-generation Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) upgrade. SH-AWD can send up to 70 percent of the engine's available torque to the rear wheels on demand (the old system could only manage a 50/50 split) and now features 100-percent torque vectoring on the rear axle to aid in cornering stability. This new generation can shuffle power around 30-percent quicker, which I noticed also makes the torque transfer feel more seamless on the road.

Normally, I only really recommend all-wheel drive for areas that get a lot of rain or snow, but SH-AWD is also a performance upgrade that makes it useful and fun even when the roads are dry most of the year. However, all-wheel drive is $500 more expensive this year, adding $2,000 to the bottom line.

Keeping the RDX planted is a new five-link rear suspension mated with sport-tuned dampers. I think that this standard fixed suspension is tuned well enough to keep most drivers happy with a good balance of responsiveness and planted feel in the corners with a smooth and comfortable ride over bumps and around town. Those looking for more refinement should consider the RDX Advance. This top-tier model features active dampers that adjust to be smoother or firmer depending on the drive mode selected.A new five-link independent rear suspension with optional active damper help keep the larger RDX handling like a smaller crossover.Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow All RDX models feature improved isolation and active sound management that cancels unwanted noise in the Comfort setting and adds a bit of "oomph" to the engine sound in sportier modes.

Drive modes are selected by an Integrated Dynamics knob similar to the one found on Acura's NSX sports car. Twisting this knob toggles between Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Snow settings. Sport+, for example, sharpens the throttle response, weighs up the steering, livens the engine sound enhancement, biases SH-AWD power toward the rear end and firms up the adaptive suspension. Knocking the transmission into its own Sport mode is the cherry atop a very dynamic-feeling Sport Plus mode.

Standard AcuraWatch driver aid tech

For the 2019 model year, the AcuraWatch driver aid suite has moved to the standard equipment list for all RDX models. That means even base models with no options roll off of the lot with forward collision warning with collision mitigation braking, adaptive cruise control that works even in low-speed traffic, lane-keeping steering assist and road departure mitigation.

Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic monitoring and parking distance sensors join that safety suite at the midtier Tech trim level. Top Advance models replace the RDX's standard rear camera with a surround-view camera system that displays a top-down view of the area around the SUV at very low speeds to aid parking.

AcuraLink with True Touchpad interface

For some time, dashboard tech has been a weak spot for Acura. This new RDX greatly improves in that regard with the all-new Acura True Touchpad interface.

The system consists of a 10.2-inch full-HD display mounted high on the dashboard, new Android-based software and the eponymous True Touchpad located on the center console. The menu structure is very smartphone-esque and is easy to understand. The interface makes use of a split-screen configuration that makes multitasking feel very natural.

Users interact with the system via the touchpad, which acts sort of like a laptop's trackpad, but with absolutely positioned taps. To hit an icon on the upper-right corner of the screen, just tap the upper-right corner of the trackpad. Boom, there's no onscreen cursor to keep track of. It takes some getting used to, but unlike Lexus' outwardly similar Remote Touch pad-based system, I picked it up quickly.Overall, I'm very impressed with True Touchpad's ease of use, high level of customization and emphasis on keeping eyes on the road. Apple CarPlay is standard across the board, but unfortunately, Android Auto is missing from the lineup at launch. I'm assured the latter is coming later via a software update.

The RDX Advance also adds a large, full-color head-up display (HUD) that is controlled via buttons on the steering wheel and is customizable with infotainment shortcuts favorite contacts, radio stations or destinations. Lower trim levels can still access those shortcuts from the multi-information display in the instrument cluster.

There's a lot to love, but I also ran into a number of cabin tech annoyances. My biggest hangup is True Touchpad's slowness. The system takes a very long time to boot up, sometimes up to a full minute before even the safety disclaimer screen appears. Using the True Touchpad to write text when searching for destinations was also an arduously slow affair. After a few attempts, I usually just gave up and used the natural language voice search.

It's not perfect, but Acura's new RDX has improved enough to be compared to German luxury SUVs without an accompanying snicker.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Pricing and competition

The 2019 Acura RDX starts at $37,300 before $995 destination charge and $2,000 upgrade for SH-AWD. That last bit is optional, but, trust me, you definitely want all-wheel drive. That price is in line with the 2018 base model with the AcuraWatch upgrade, which is now simply rolled in as standard equipment.

Fully loaded, an RDX Advance with SH-AWD tops out at $48,395. Acura points out that is about $10,000 less than comparably equipped German luxury competition -- BMW's
X3 xDrive30i, the Audi Q5 Premium and Mercedes-Benz GLC300. No, the RDX isn't as nimble as the Bimmer, as refined as the Benz or as high-tech as the Audi, but Acura has managed to deliver a balanced driving experience, safety technology and style that's at least in the ballpark.

Drawing comparisons with German luxury is all good, but the RDX actually gets cross-shopped as often with Japanese and American premium compact SUVs -- the Lexus NX, Infiniti QX50 and their ilk. Among this class, the 2019 Acura RDX will shine even brighter when it hits dealerships in June 2018.
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Old 05-31-2018, 06:26 AM
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Old 05-31-2018, 06:30 AM
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2019 Acura RDX First Drive: The Hitman - Motor Trend

2019 Acura RDX 1st Drive: The Hitman

Doesn’t talk much, always gets the job done

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Let’s be honest with ourselves: If they made The Transporter today, Jason Statham’s character would drive an SUV. It’s the way of the world now. If he wanted to be inconspicuous, he’d drive a perennial best-seller like the RDX, but equipped with Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive for the chase scenes.

Regardless of franchise, the character is always the same: square jaw, finely tailored suit, obsessed with precision and discipline. He’s generally dispassionate and ruthlessly effective. If he were a car, he’d be the 2019 Acura RDX.

The RDX is the first of a new generation of Acura vehicles aimed to reanimate the brand’s classic “Precision Crafted Performance” philosophy. At the same time, though, it’s Acura’s bread-and-butter product. It had to be approached with the same sort of rigid discipline and single-minded determination to get it right. It’s reflected in the car’s personality: cool, collected, self-assured, and unflappable. Passionate for precision, not passionate for passion.
You get the measure of it the moment you step on the gas. The RDX has a devious quickness; the speedometer always seems to be gaining ground far faster than the world outside is blurring. There’s no lurch forward as you take off, no press into the seat. The isolation from speed is such that the nagging thought you could get out and run faster lasts all the way up to the moment you look down (or into the optional head-up display) to see you’re grossly exceeding the speed limit. It’s not remarkably fast for a small SUV, but it’s quicker than you realize.

The engine, a 2.0-liter turbo-four that essentially comes from the sublime Honda Accord, goes about its business with only audible drama (exaggerated by way of the stereo). Although peak horsepower is down compared to the previous V-6, torque is up, and both measurements boast fatter curves. As a result, a gentle swell of power is always on hand when you need it, even in Comfort mode. The buttery-smooth 10-speed automatic is never in the wrong gear and can drop four cogs at a time should you demand it.

Acura imagines many of its customers will be stepping up from sport sedans to sport utilities, which usually means a trade-off in terms of dynamic performance. RDX buyers will appreciate the moderately sharper response of Sport mode, which remains engaged even after shutdown and restart. However, most will find Sport+ mode a bit much—all snappy throttle and gears held to redline, like watching a well-choreographed fight scene on fast-forward.

The chassis reads from the same script. The RDX moves down the road with technical sophistication and reassuring confidence, but it’s a dispassionate virtuosity. It doesn’t flow through corners. It dispenses with them. The body remains flat in the bends, so the vehicle never develops a rhythm. It just does the job you ask of it and moves on to the next. The steering has a bit of weightiness in the Sport modes and offers a hint of road feedback, but just enough of each to remind you the vehicle really is sporty in a calculating way.

Contributing greatly to all this is the optional Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system, whose name and provenance suggest a hardcore personality the vehicle doesn’t possess. One would expect its torque-vectoring magic would lie in its ability to overdrive the outside wheels and push you harder out of a curve. Although it does do that if you drive like a maniac, the real magic hides in plain sight in that you don’t feel it working all the time. As such, you don’t notice power transfer to the rear or side to side, because the system doesn’t wait until the front wheels slip to respond. It doesn’t feel like high-performance torque vectoring, and that’s the point.

Some people will find this dispassionate precision downright boring, but if the market wanted luxury crossovers to drive like sports cars, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio would dominate this class on the sales charts. Instead, the RDX does. Most customers like the somewhat disconnected performance Audi trades on, and it’s easy to see where Acura set its benchmarks (Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC 300, and Volvo XC60). Anyone can get in an RDX and comfortably and confidently drive very quickly.

For all of the RDX’s carefully planned and executed strikes on the luxury buyer’s wants and needs, it doesn’t land every punch. A particular misgiving is the brake pedal. There’s almost no initial bite, an unpleasant surprise that makes you jump on it harder.

At that point the pedal firms up and the vehicle slows appropriately, but with zero pedal feedback. It doesn’t inspire confidence in the least, but you learn to drive around it. Acura says its engineers did this to prevent passengers’ heads from being whipped forward by grabby brakes. It’s a laudable goal, but the execution is a miss.

Similarly disappointing but far less critical is the tire noise. Acura was confident enough in the RDX to bring similarly specced competitor vehicles for back-to-back drives. Although this demonstrated the RDX’s competitive attributes, it also highlighted how loud its tires are compared to the Europeans’. They’re by no means deafening, but they stand out in an otherwise whisper-quiet cabin.

There’s an easy workaround: pay for the ELS Studio 3D audio system upgrade. Its 16 speakers and 710 watts deliver a quality of sound typically found in luxury cars costing double the RDX’s MSRP. Placing you in the seventh row at Carnegie Hall while driving a car is no easy task, but they’ve nailed it.

The stereo is but one highlight of the new interior. Another: the seats. Front and rear,they provide an easy-chair plushness without sacrificing support. They’re nicely bolstered and contour perfectly with your body. This is especially notable in the second row, where automakers often skimp on comfort. Here again, it’s worth paying extra for the Advance model, which adds upgraded seats with power side bolsters and thigh support. Either way you go, the seats are finished in the same buttery leather that (along with olive wood and aluminum trim) also wraps much of the cabin.

The third component of Acura’s interior trifecta is the True Touchpad Interface. Rather than a rotary knob or a touchscreen, a touchpad above the push-button gear selector is mapped to the standard 10.2-inch infotainment screen. That is, if you touch the top left corner of the touchpad, it highlights whatever’s in the top left corner of the screen. It’s different from a laptop touchpad (or a Lexus) in that there’s no cursor to find and follow. There’s a steep learning curve before it becomes muscle memory. I recommend spending a lot of time with it in the showroom or your garage before you use it while driving. Once you get it, though, it’s completely intuitive.

The screen is as customizable as a smartphone. Every function is an app with an icon you can drag and drop wherever you want. You can make your spouse’s number or your home address into an app and put it right on the home screen for easy access. The touchpad is also tied to the optional head-up display, and any app on your home screen can be added to the head-up menu. We could spend the whole review on just this new interface, but it’d be easier to go try it yourself. The only downside is a lack of sharpness to the images provided by the reverse and 360-degree cameras, especially as the rear window is unusually impacted for an Acura.

This is the story of the new RDX, really. It’s packed with features and demonstrates a sophisticated mechanical prowess, but it’s particular about things. It’s clinical and precise, in some ways to a fault, but balanced with obvious value and features. Like the hit man, the RDX is no nonsense up front, but there’s an underlying warmth and desire to please once you get to know it.




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Old 05-31-2018, 06:35 AM
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Old 05-31-2018, 06:37 AM
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Old 05-31-2018, 06:40 AM
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Old 05-31-2018, 06:43 AM
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https://www.autoblog.com/2018/05/31/...review-853992/

2019 Acura RDX First Drive Review Boringness banished

Acura returns to its roots to find a winning compact crossover formula

May 31st 2018 at 12:01AM
  • Image Credit: Acura
WHISTLER, B.C. — Things have come full circle for the Acura RDX. The compact crossover launched in 2007 with an all-new turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an all-wheel-drive system that was sophisticated enough for the brand to affix the Super Handling designation to it. It was a fun, sporty vehicle in a sea of boring competitors, and we liked it enough to write a eulogy of sorts when the second-generation RDX ditched the fun turbo engine in favor of a V6, and dumbed down its optional all-wheel system so much that they dropped the Super Handling name.

Acura's mainstreaming of the RDX for its second generation turned out to be a smart play. Sales jumped 94 percent in 2012, the first year that the redesigned RDX went on sale, leapt another 50 percent the following year, and have stayed over the 50,000 mark for the past three years. It may sound surprising, then, that Acura is flipping the playbook back a few pages by swapping its V6 engine back to a turbo four and reinstalling Super Handling All-Wheel Drive.

We think it's a smart move. The 2019 RDX is both sportier and more upscale than the model it replaces. It does more than just check boxes. It's interesting, boasts some cool technology, and offers a strong value proposition.



The 2019 RDX's all-new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivers 272 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. That's down a negligible seven ponies from the old 3.5-liter V6, but up 28 lb-ft, and it's tuned to provide the bulk of that torque in the heart of its powerband — peak torque plateaus between 1,600 and 4,500 rpm. An equally all-new 10-speed automatic transmission sends that power to either the front wheels, or, as was the case with the vehicles we tested, all four wheels.

Jumping into a 2019 RDX for the first time, our main powertrain concern was that the 10-speed automatic would generate a ton of unnecessary, and distracting, shifts. This proved to be an unfounded fear. The gearbox does shift quite often under hard acceleration, but does so quickly and without any undue jerkiness. The sheer number of gearing options — the old six-speed auto had a 68 percent narrower spread of ratios — and the torque-rich engine combined to provide excellent straight-line acceleration in any real-world driving scenario we could conjure. The rest of the time we didn't really think about the transmission at all. We did, however, lament the push-button transmission interface. It's not as intuitive as a traditional shifter, and doesn't really save that much space.

While it's true that a large percentage of the American population simply doesn't need all-wheel drive, those who do choose Acura's latest SH-AWD system will see real benefits regardless of the weather or surface of the road. Up to 70 percent of the engine's torque can be delivered to the rear axle of the 2019 RDX, and can then be spread in any percentage from side-to-side. In practical terms, the RDX has excellent traction on slippery surfaces, and its torque vectoring technology helps it handle more crisply when the driver is feeling especially frisky.

That powertrain is housed in an equally new chassis that's unique to the RDX. Despite boasting a longer wheelbase (+2.6 in.) and wider track (+1.1 inch at the front and 1.3 inch at the rear), the 2019 model's platform weighs 20 pounds less than before, and it's significantly stiffer. Base, Tech, and A-Spec RDX models come with Amplitude Reactive Dampers that can shift between a so-called Ride Zone for comfort and a Handling Zone to help keep the car flat under hard cornering. These base, non-electronic dampers end up delivering a well-sorted ride that's just on the firm side of comfortable.

Unlike the fully mechanical base-level suspension setup in lower trim levels, Advance RDX models get an Active Damper System that adjusts the suspension firmness electronically. In just .002 seconds, a whole suite of sensors can alter each individual damper's behavior. This is some pretty cool technology, and that's why we wish it was optional on the A-Spec. Unfortunately, it comes with the Advance trim level only, which means the sportiest-looking RDX can't be combined with the most advanced suspension system.




Acura's Integrated Dynamics System comes standard, and it allows the driver to choose from four drive modes: Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Snow. Those all have obvious purposes, but the differences between Sport and Sport+ are worth a deeper look. Throttle response, steering boost, the SH-AWD's torque vectoring, and traction control settings are all altered by the IDS, and so are the electronic dampers on Advance models.

We left the IDS in Comfort most of the time, and were rewarded with reasonably good steering feel. In Sport, the variable-ratio steering gets predictably heavier in effort, and it delivers strong feedback to keep track of what the front tires are doing. Sport+ dials up the heft to its maximum level, and if it's an Advance model with the Active Damper System, Sport+ similarly firms up the ride. Options are always appreciated, but we think Comfort is a good baseline, Sport is great for a fun drive down some twisty roads, and Sport+ is trying too hard to make the RDX into something it isn't: a sportscar.

The A-Spec trim we mentioned earlier is new for the RDX in 2019, and it's intended solely as an appearance package. On the outside, pretty much every bit of chrome is replaced with dark trim, and a unique set of 20-inch wheels and 4-inch exhaust tips add a more sinister look to the RDX. But it's the changes inside we like the best. Metal-look gauges that light up red, a perforated leather steering wheel, chromed paddle shifters, Ultrasuede inserts on the seats, and aluminum trim all add up to an interior that feels sporty and premium at the same time. We really like the optional red leather interior, especially when paired with the Apex Blue Pearl paint seen on our test vehicle.

Here's a quick video comparison showing the exterior and interior differences between a 2019
Acura RDX A-Spec and an Advance model:Acura says the 2019 RDX is its first production vehicle to fully display the interior and exterior ethos put forward by the brand's Precision and Precision Cockpit concepts. Full grain leathers, contrast stitching and piping, real brushed aluminum, and genuine Olive Ash wood can all be found inside the new RDX, and they all look and feel like premium materials. There aren't any obvious plasticky bits that the passengers will come into contact with that would feel out of place from a luxury brand.

The 2019 RDX is also the first vehicle to feature Acura's new True Touchpad Interface, which in the RDX controls an infotainment package displayed on a centrally mounted 10.2-inch LCD. Check out
our initial thoughts on the touchpad here. In the real world, when sharing unfamiliar windy roads with other motorists, we appreciated the effort Acura put into ensuring that the infotainment tech is as easy to use as possible. There's definitely a learning curve — A and B "zones," split screens, and the lack of haptic feedback mean it isn't immediately intuitive the way that a touchscreen would be — but once accustomed, True Touchpad Interface feels vastly superior to similar systems used by Acura's competitors (Lexus, we're looking at you). Apple CarPlay comes standard, and as soon as Google makes Android Auto workable with a touchpad, Acura promises to add that, too.

Larger exterior dimensions equal greater roominess inside. Head, shoulder, and leg room are sufficient for four adults to sit comfortably in the 2019 RDX, and a fifth could squeeze in the back seat for short stints. There are 31.1 cubic feet behind the second row, and Acura quotes 79.8 maximum cubic feet of storage space with the rear seat folded and including the rear-seat footwell area. A cool underfloor rear cargo management system comes standard, as is a little cubby that's apparently sized to fit several bottles of wine. Sadly, we never found time to test that claim.




The 2019 RDX paints a clear picture of where Acura's styling is headed. A taut grille similar to what we've seen adopted by the
TLX, RLX, and MDX catches the eye and is the location from which the rest of the car's sheetmetal seems to flow. A comically large Acura logo is housed front and center in that grille, but that bit of garishness doesn't do much to detract from the attractive lines of the new RDX. Acura's latest Jewel Eye headlights join the Diamond Pentagon Grille (their words, not ours) to make for a distinctive look without completely rewriting the somewhat angular design that Acura owners have come to expect. Parked side-by-side, the 2019 model looks significantly different and fresh when compared to the old.

It's not just the
crossover's visual rebirth that makes it massively important for Acura. Remember, the brand had a very successful run until roughly 2009, and could try to claw back some buyers with more mainstream vehicles. But it's not doing that. Instead, the 2019 RDX feels more like a return to what used to make the Acura brand relevant in the first place: vehicles that feel exciting and upscale, based on a perception of innovation and real, palpable technology.

And it
doesn't come with a big cost increase, either. The 2019 RDX's base price of $38,295 easily undercuts the Audi Q5, BMW X3, and Mercedes-Benz GLC 300. Better still, the value proposition of a loaded RDX Advance for less than $50,000 is underscored by the fact that the Germans with comparable powertrain options can all crest $60,000 if you're not careful. Of course, it's also fair to note that those same Germans all boast optional up-level engine options that Acura has yet to counter.

The restoration of the turbocharged four-cylinder engine and Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive is more than just a Pyrrhic victory for enthusiasts, it's a boon to luxury crossover consumers for a few reasons. One, it's the first in what we hope are a long string of proof points that Acura may be back on course to deliver unique vehicles that aren't just slightly more luxurious
Honda models. Secondly, the guts of the RDX — its powertrain, chassis, styling, and price — are right where they need to be. Lastly, the fact that our biggest gripe with the RDX is about what options can be had with what trim level says a lot about how good it is, overall. Welcome back, Acura.


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https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews...t-drive-review

2019 Acura RDX

New from the ground up, this time with an actual personality.

May 2018 By Andrew Wendler Photos By The Manufacturer 13 Comments
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[img]https://hips.hearstapps.com/hmg-prod/images/2019-acura-rdx-placement-1527627366.jpg?crop=1xw:1xh;center,center&resize=9 00:*
For all the advances realized by the completely new 2019 Acura RDX, the automaker’s agenda to remake it from a popular but dynamically unremarkable vehicle into a genuinely sporting one can be distilled down to one ostensibly minor and optimistic detail: The default setting for the RDX’s Integrated Dynamics driving-mode system is Sport. Realized with a simple software tweak—or a relabeling of the switch, for the cynics among us—the decision to proactively bias the luxury compact crossover’s personality carries significant weight. Signaling not only a tangible attitude adjustment from that of the previous RDX, which defaulted to Comfort mode, this also plays into Acura’s attempted spiritual reawakening initiated with the return of the NSX.
Highs
Content rich, torque-vectoring agility of AWD model, quiet interior.
Lows
Tight rear headroom, 10-speed needs a moment to think, touchpad infotainment controls require familiarization.
The first RDX to be entirely designed and constructed in the United States, the third-generation 2019 model is larger than the outgoing car in nearly every respect. The wheelbase grows to 108.3 inches from 105.7, the overall length expands to 186.8 inches from 184.4, and height is up slightly to 65.7 inches from 65.0. The engine, on the other hand, shrinks in both displacement and cylinder count, with the previous RDX’s naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V-6 having been replaced with a smaller but torquier turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four. The turbo four’s 272 horsepower clocks in just seven ponies shy of the outgoing V-6’s 279, but the new engine tromps the old one in the torque department at 280 lb-ft to 252. Gear swaps are handled by a version of the corporate 10-speed automatic transmission that has been popping up across the Honda and Acura universe since it first appeared in the 2018 Odyssey, bringing with it the now familiar buttons for gear selection. The RDX is available in both front- and all-wheel-drive configurations; the latter employs Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) for a cool $2000 upcharge regardless of trim level.

Feature Creep

The compact-luxury-crossover segment is no place for the faint of features, and the new RDX certainly panders to the compulsions of modern tech- and luxury-obsessed buyers. Standard highlights include a panoramic sunroof, an acoustically insulated windshield, heated mirrors, heated 12-way power-adjustable front seats, LED head- and taillights, push-button start, two USB charging ports in front, adaptive cruise control, a multiview backup camera, and the AcuraWatch package of safety and assistance features including forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, lane- and road-departure warning systems, and lane-keeping assist. It’s a rich set of features, excepting a few peculiarities: Curiously, no inductive device charging is available, and Apple CarPlay is standard, but Google is still working to make Android Auto compatible with the new Acura True Touchpad interface—more on that in a moment.

Additional features are generally bundled within the four available trim packages. The base RDX includes everything above and more. The Technology trim adds navigation, a 12-speaker audio system, two rear-seat USB ports, leather-trimmed sport seats, parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. The RDX A-Spec builds on that with specific 20-inch wheels, A-Spec badging, and different exterior styling. A-Spec trims also get model-specific heated and ventilated leather front sport seats, dark aluminum trim, a different steering wheel, and a premium 16-speaker audio system. The top-level Advance trim brings a 10.5-inch head-up display, adaptive dampers, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, a hands-free power liftgate, acoustically insulated side glass, genuine wood interior trim, leather upholstery, and 16-way power front seats with adjustability for lumbar, side bolsters, and thigh extensions. You’ll find more feature minutiae buried in the online configurator (click here for our story about RDX pricing).

See Me, Feel Me

Dubbed True Touchpad Interface, Acura’s answer to the perceived infotainment dilemma uses a high-mounted 10.2-inch screen controlled by a console-mounted touchpad positioned just ahead of the armrest. The idea is that while touchscreens are intuitive, their mounting position is compromised by the conflicting needs to be both accessible and easily viewed. While similar in concept to Lexus’s Remote Touch setup, Acura’s True Touchpad Interface has no cursor, instead relying on the user’s procedural memory to tap the area of the touchpad that directly relates to the same area on the display. If you want to select the Bluetooth app at the top right of the display, for instance, you simply tap the top-right area of the touchpad. No sliding or dragging of your finger or a joystick is required, and you don’t need to take your eyes off the road to finesse a cursor into place. When you hit your mark, the selection is highlighted on the display. A pair of hard buttons provide back and home functions, and a smaller “B-zone” located directly to the right provides touchpad operation of a secondary function such as music selection, which is displayed on the right side of the screen. After a short familiarization period, we were hitting our desired marks with something like an 85 percent success rate, and the system carried out our commands without lag or misdirection. Acura wisely went with hard buttons for the HVAC controls, however, as that display is not touch-capable, bucking the current trend of providing redundancy by combining a touchscreen with a control pad or hard buttons. Overall, this is a noble effort with intuitive functionality, although we didn’t find it to be the game-changing solution that the world’s automakers apparently seek.

Thankfully, the 2019 RDX is more than a rolling display case for the latest digital realizations. The Acura-specific chassis is new from the ground up, more than half of it built of high-strength steel and, in a first for Acura, using plenty of high-performance structural adhesives. Inner and outer hot-stamped front-door rings increase body rigidity, while the rear frame substructure was specifically designed to distribute suspension loads over a wider area. The downside? A cross beam about the size of a two-by-four runs directly across the floor of the cargo area. To mitigate the intrusion, Acura designed a nifty storage-bin insert with segmented cubbies, then hid the whole shebang under a flat floor panel. Acura says cargo capacity behind the rear seat has increased from 26 cubic feet in the old RDX to 30 in the new one. There’s no shortage of real estate for the driver and front passenger, and rear-seat passengers have plenty of elbow and knee room, although rear headroom is still tight—largely thanks to the panoramic sunroof (reminder: it’s standard).

The New Normal

3 additional driving modes supplement the personality-defining Sport: Snow, Comfort, and Sport+. Leaving it in the default Sport setting reveals a well-balanced ride with minimal body lean, but requests for urgent acceleration from typical secondary-road speeds linger unheeded for a heartbeat or three while the transmission performs its cog-skipping 10-6-4 downshift trick to put the engine in the meat of its 1600-to-4500-rpm max-torque band. Depress the round S button behind the transmission switchgear for more expedient shifts executed automatically or via the standard shift paddles. As you might expect, selecting Sport+ mode heightens nearly every parameter including steering and throttle response, as well as the digitally enhanced engine soundtrack and—if you spring for the top-line Advance trim—the adaptive dampers. The engine itself is a willing unit that combines proven VTEC technology with a low-inertia turbo to create a broad torque plateau unmatched by the outgoing naturally aspirated V-6.

While the variable-ratio electrically assisted power steering provides direct and linear response in all modes, the RDX carries an ace up its sleeve in the form of the latest version of Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive, which is probably why all the vehicles Acura made available for our first drive were so equipped. Capable of sending 70 percent of available torque to the rear wheels, SH-AWD’s real trick is its ability to route 100 percent of that torque to the left or right wheel to create a yaw moment, coaxing the RDX to turn more sharply than it would otherwise be capable. This in turn alleviates much of the plow often associated with vehicles that carry most of their mass on the front wheels. Despite its claimed 57/43 front/rear weight distribution, the RDX with SH-AWD maintains a tight line when pushed. A confidence-inspiring trait, it makes quick work out of erasing mildly banked 90 degree turns. The feel at the wheel is light and lively, and the RDX as a whole feels lighter on its feet than a comparably equipped BMW X3 but can’t match the Bavarian in terms of solidity and precision. The stoic Audi Q5, by comparison, feels almost reluctant when pressed to perform similar tight maneuvers, leading us to wonder just how much work its rear wheels are doing. Leaning heavily on the software to extract the RDX’s agility, however, leads to a slightly synthetic overall feel, and steering feedback is but a myth, although the effort does build progressively. The 255/45R-20 Goodyear Eagle RS-A tires on our A-Spec tester (other trims wear 235/55R-19 rubber) gave plenty of audible warning before the front end started to give up and push wide. This is one AWD vehicle that will actually step its tail out given the proper circumstances—say, a gravel parking lot with the traction control defeated—but you didn’t hear that from us.

Despite its reputation as an unexciting car, the previous RDX continued to post top sales numbers in the luxury-compact-crossover segment that it essentially invented. With the 2019 model, Acura has taken some calculated risks to recast the RDX with the excellent dynamic qualities of the 1st-gen model while trying to retain the sales success of the blander second generation. With a base price of just $38,295 for a front-wheel-drive base model and $48,395 for a top-trim Advance SH-AWD model, it offers well-equipped packages at prices where some of its European competitors begin. As a brand built on offering affordable indulgence, Acura knows that value can sometimes be the most appealing performance attribute of all.
Specifications:

VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, front- or all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback
BASE PRICES: Base, $38,295; Technology, $41,495; A-Spec, $44,495; Advance, $46,395ENGINE TYPE: turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injectionDisplacement: 122 cu in, 1996 cc
Power: 272 hp @ 6500 rpm
Torque: 280 lb-ft @ 1600 rpmTRANSMISSION: 10-speed automatic with manual shifting modeDIMENSIONS:
Wheelbase: 108.3 in
Length: 186.8 in
Width: 74.8 in Height: 65.7 in
Passenger volume: 105 cu ft
Cargo volume: 30 cu ft
Curb weight (C/D est): 3800–4000 lbPERFORMANCE (C/D EST):
Zero to 60 mph: 5.6–5.7 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 14.4–14.7 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 14.3–14.5 sec
Top speed: 125 mphEPA FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST):
Combined/city/highway: 23–24/21–22/26–28 mpg

Last edited by TSX69; 05-31-2018 at 06:58 AM.
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Old 05-31-2018, 06:59 AM
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Old 05-31-2018, 08:19 AM
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2019 Acura RDX: Everything you need to know about Acura's latest crossover

2019 Acura RDX 1st drive: Desperately seeking emotion

Acura's new premium compact SUV is reliable and, uh, reliable, but Acura wants more...

May 31, 2018

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The Acura RDX has always been a safe bet in compact entry-luxury crossovers, but Acura doesn’t like being just a safe bet. Acura wants to be desired. Maybe even sought after. Perhaps even for emotional reasons.

Sifting through piles of buyer data, Acura found that the top three reasons people bought RDXs in the past were: 1) Value 2) Reliability and 3) Because they had already had good experiences with the brand and assumed they’d get another. Not exactly the stuff from which love poems are written and then read in the pouring rain beneath the window of your desired.

Acura wants you to not just buy an
RDX because it makes good sense to do so, though it may indeed make good sense, but because you desperately want it. Quantified, that desperation shows up in the data as “emotional appeal.” Of 16 purchase reasons Acura measured, only five fell under the “emotional” heading. And three of those – brand image, vehicle image and prestige – sound pretty bland.

So the new 2019
RDX is going to address all those things and, after various committee meetings, PowerPoint presentations and spreadsheets stapled in the upper left-hand corner, maybe create emotional appeal. Under the category of “What We Set Out To Achieve” with the new crossover, Acura actually listed “Increase Emotion.” Attaboy Acura, pour yer heart out.

But let’s give them credit. We’ll start out with styling, because that’s emotional, or it can be. The new third-gen RDX takes styling cues from the Precision Concept that debuted at the Detroit show in 2016. Sure, the Precision Concept was a sedan, but Acura applied styling elements to this crossover body. See the diamond pentagon grille, “jewel eye signature daytime running lights” and “sculptured chrome moldings and door garnishes?” Are you writing poetry yet?

The proportions are changed, too. The new RDX is just over an inch longer overall but more than two and a half inches longer in wheelbase. The body creases are subtle and, dare we say, attractive. See? Emotion!

Performance is probably an emotional attribute, too. Yet Acura dropped the 3.5-liter V6 engine and swapped in a turbo four. It's a good turbo 4, with just 7 fewer horses and more torque, also used, in other tunes, in the
Civic Type R and the Accord. The new VTEC 4 offers 272 peak hp at a relatively low 4800 rpm while torque is listed at 280 lb-ft and plateaus from 1600 to 4500 rpm. For a vehicle that weighs from 3783 to 4068 pounds, depending on options, that’s not bad. Without listing specifics, Acura says the new RDX is quicker to 30 mph, 60 mph and in the quarter mile than the previous V6 model. Score 3 more for emotion.

That output is routed through an in-house designed 10-speed automatic that Acura says can shift from 10th gear straight to 4th for passing. The new Super Handling All-wheel Drive (SH-AWD) can transfer as much as 70 percent of torque to the rear wheels, where inboard clutch packs can then shift it to either side. As much as 100 percent of that rear-wheel torque can drive a single rear wheel should conditions call for it.
To further its sporty credentials, that powertrain is mounted in an all-new chassis that is –- so far, at least –- exclusive to Acura. It is 38 percent stiffer and held together with more than 120 feet of adhesive bonding. Mounted to that stiffer chassis is a new, optimized five-link rear suspension and an optimized MacPherson strut setup in front. Steering incorporates 2 pinions on the rack, which you would think would make for more precision and better feel, but engineers say the motivation in placing the electric steering motor on the right side of the rack opposite where the steering column connects to it was done for space considerations and not to increase steering feel.

So, overall, does the new RDX create emotional appeal?

Right out of the parking lot you can feel the stiffness of the new body and the immediate response of the drivetrain. It’s not soft. By the standards of the class, which may include the
BMW X3 and Audi Q5 but may also include the Lexus NX and Infiniti QX50 -– it is certainly competitive with the best.

4 drive modes allow you to tune the suspension to your likes. I cranked it immediately to Sport +, which stiffened the flow through the control damper that sits on the outside of each main shock absorber. The modes are closer to each other than I might have expected, so Sport + was almost like Sport, which was not too far from Comfort. I didn’t really get a chance to throw it through any really good curves, though, since the roads we were on were semi-rural, with the emphasis on the semi, and were all heavily patrolled. But the extent to which I did get to drive it semi-hard it felt promising. It’ll need more testing on less-constricted and more curvy roads to really see what it can do but first impressions suggest it’s competitive with the best in class in handling and performance.


I did get a chance to fling it through a slalom on a gravel road like a combination rally driver/drift king. For the gravel run, technicians had disabled all traction and stability control. Whee! I was powersliding through cones like I was on the pre-pavement Pikes Peak (where this car will run next month against a Bentley Bentayga, btw). What a blast it was in this driveline configuration, a true, rear-tire-spinnin’ boondoggle. Just one problem: Unless you are married to an Acura technician, one who really likes you, you won’t be able to replicate this level of tc-free hootinany behavior. Acura will not allow you to fully disable traction control like this. So my gravel run was something of a moot point.

I did get to try out the new “True Touchpad Interface,” though. A screen propped atop the dash can be manipulated by the Touchpad, the latter which Acura emphasizes is not a mouse. You tap various positions on it to manipulate functions displayed on that screen atop the dash. There is also a customizable head-up display that you can program to include just about whatever you want, from nav and phone functions to radio and Apple Car Play.

Pricing starts at $38,295 for a “well-equipped” front-wheel drive model and goes up to about ten grand more than that if you throw the kitchen sink at it. The RDX officially goes on sale June 1. Try one out, see if you feel any of the emotions!
Mark Vaughn - West Coast Editor Mark Vaughn covers all car things west of the Mississippi from his Autoweek lair high above the LA metropolis.
See more by this author»On Sale: June 1
Base Price: $38,295
As Tested Price: $48,395
Powertrain: 2.0-liter turbo I4, 10-speed automatic, fwd
Output: 272 hp at 4800 rpm, 280 lb-t from 1600 to 4500 rpm
Curb Weight: 3783 pounds (mfg.)
Fuel Economy: 22/28/24(EPA City/Hwy/Combined)Pros: A sportier, more stylish RDX
Cons: Still tough to make a crossover sexy

Read more:
2019 Acura RDX: Everything you need to know about Acura's latest crossover

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Old 05-31-2018, 09:09 AM
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Thanks TSX69, saved me a lot of time looking for these this morning.
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Old 05-31-2018, 11:41 PM
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Never thought much of this guy's reviews.....

https://www.thecarconnection.com/ove...acura_rdx_2019
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Old 06-01-2018, 05:02 AM
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Originally Posted by mapleloaf View Post
Never thought much of this guy's reviews.....

https://www.thecarconnection.com/ove...acura_rdx_2019
yeah.....he has the 2018 rated higher than the 2019. I have used this site for comparisons, but very strange scores compared to initial feedback from other reviewers. Kinda like Consumer Reports....they just don't seem to be fans of Acura.
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Old 06-02-2018, 06:05 AM
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https://www.consumerreports.org/suvs...-drive-review/

All-New 2019 Acura RDX Shines With Peppy Engine, Improved Ride and Handling

But this redesigned SUV is bogged down by its complex infotainment system

By Jon Linkov
May 31, 2018
Acura’s third-generation RDX impresses us with its powerful turbocharged engine, improved handling from chassis upgrades and added noise suppression, and also its standard advanced safety features.But we are far less enthusiastic about the RDX's infotainment system, which we found confusing to operate.The new RDX is a clear evolution, and its improvements tick all of the boxes necessary for it to compete with established, popular models including the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC, and Volvo XC60, among others. Prices start at $37,300 and reach $47,400, which positions the RDX about $6,000 less than comparably equipped rivals.

We rented an RDX from Acura to sample this all-new vehicle before purchasing our own for testing.

What we drove: 2019 Acura RDX SH-AWD Advance
Drivetrain: 272-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with a 10-speed automatic transmission
MSRP: $47,400
Options: Exterior color
Options cost: $400
Destination fee: $995 (est.)
Total cost: $48,795

How It Drives

Acura has adopted a new 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine and ditched the V6 that powered the previous-generation. This brings it in line with its competitors, but Acura brings more power to the party. The RDX’s 272 horsepower (down seven) is more than nearly every competitor’s turbo 4-cylinder engine produces, save for the 280-hp Alfa Romeo Stelvio and the 285-hp Lincoln MKC.
LUXURY COMPACT SUV ROAD TESTS
Audi Q5
BMW X3
Mercedes-Benz GLC
Volvo XC60
The engine is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, which works very well; there’s hardly any turbo lag. The RDX accelerates promptly, either from a stop or at highway speeds. Each shift from the smooth transmission was immediate and virtually undetectable.Acura offers front- and all-wheel-drive versions of the RDX; we drove the AWD version. The AWD Advance trim we rented is rated by the EPA at 21 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, and 23 mpg combined by the EPA. We'll run our own fuel-economy tests on an RDX we purchase.The new RDX no longer shares any components with the popular Honda CR-V compact SUV, because it has moved to an all-new chassis. The result is a livelier SUV that’s better able to compete with the BMW X3 and Audi Q5. It has precise steering, and feels secure and tied to the ground, even when tasked with hustling along curvy roads.We were also impressed with the RDX’s ride and handling characteristics. The ride is firm but also absorbs the bumps, even with its standard 19-inch wheels (larger wheels like these often come with a harsher ride). The top-level Advance trim that we drove comes equipped with an Active Damper System that adjusts the suspension depending on which mode the driver chooses: Comfort, Sport or Sport Plus. We’ll know more about the ride and handling with the standard suspension when we buy our test car, which will be a more mainstream version.Acura added more sound-deadening materials and a new noise-cancellation system, called Active Sound Control, to all RDX trims. The Advance trim gets even more sound-absorbing materials. These efforts have paid dividends as the new RDX is very quiet.

Inside

Getting into the RDX’s cabin is easy, thanks to its low step-in height. Once there, the seats really stand out. Drivers—of various body types—felt the seats fit them well and provided a comfortable experience for short or long drives.Adjusting the seats can be difficult, however. Drivers can use controls on the lower seat to toggle through three seat adjustments, but they need to watch the center touch pad screen to see how the seat will be adjusted. It’s not intuitive, and drivers who don’t want to take their eyes off the road will need to adjust the seats by feel.Acura’s infotainment system comes with a steep learning curve. Called the Acura True Touchpad Interface, it has two small touch pads on the center console. That’s how drivers interact with most audio, phone and navigation functions. So far, based on our initial experience, we’re not fans of this system, but we’ll reserve final judgment until we live with it for longer when we buy our own RDX.We did like the optional driver head-up display. It offers lots of information, and can be moved both vertically and horizontally, which is a nice touch. And scrolling through audio channels or songs with the left-side thumbwheel is a snap.We’re also not fans of the push/pull gear selector because it’s hard to perform a succession of Reverse-Drive maneuvers without looking down, as drivers will have to do when parking or turning around.The rear seat and cargo space are on par with the RDX’s competitors. It was easy for kids to climb up and into the RDX, and adults found the seats comfortable. There is plenty of room in the well-finished cargo area for a family trip, run to the grocery store, or all the required sports gear for a weekend of games and practices.

Safety and Driver-Assist Systems

The AcuraWatch suite of advanced safety systems is standard, and includes forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane-departure warning, and also has driver-assist convenience features including lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control. Buyers who opt for the Tech trim or higher get blind-spot warning, front and rear parking sensors, and a rear-cross traffic warning. The Advance trim includes a head-up display and 360-degree camera.

Bottom Line

The new RDX comes at a key time for Acura—when much of its product line is just mediocre, based on CR’s testing, and reliability and owner satisfaction surveys. The SUV has been the brand’s best-selling model, and its most reliable one in Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto Survey. The new version seems to be more competitive with its new engine, transmission, and suspension. But we’re concerned about the controls, particularly the all-new infotainment system.We look forward to buying an RDX to put through our extensive road-test program and see how it measures up.
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Old 06-02-2018, 07:43 AM
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I would take this testers complaints about the complexity of the infotainment system and the seats with a grain of salt. It might take someone two or so hours to really learn the systems, maybe even four. Complex systems are often flexible systems, and once you do learn how to use them, they are worth the learning curve. A tester pops in and would like simple systems that they need spend little time learning, and then they pop out. Owners benefit from the very flexibility that testers abhor.

For example, an owner might take the time to rearrange the icons so that those most used while driving are on the four corners, easily hit with the pad. The owner will spend the time to see how the voice command system works best, etc., The tester is in and out in no time.
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Old 06-02-2018, 08:27 AM
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IMHO, CR has an ingrained bias and an inability to grasp anything that doesn't work like their IPads. The simplicity of accessing and changing menus, as well as the additional safety of using this system is what appeals to me. As for the shift buttons, once you are used to them, shifting without looking becomes intuitive in a similar fashion to using a regular shifter.
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Old 06-02-2018, 10:36 AM
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https://www.trucks.com/2018/06/01/re...019-acura-rdx/

First Drive: 2019 Acura RDX Improves an Already Best-Selling Package

June 01, 2018 by John O'Dell
Acura aims to continue as the small luxury crossover leader with the redesigned, re-engineered 2019 RDX. (Photo: Acura)
As more and more consumers abandon sedans for trucks, SUVs and crossovers, the extensively upgraded third-generation 2019 Acura RDX should have no problem keeping Honda’s luxury division riding high in the compact luxury crossover segment.With a new powertrain, new chassis, sporty new sheet metal, new electronics, new interior and improved driving characteristics, the 2019 RDX brings more of everything to the game versus its predecessor.Until U.S. fuel prices start to climb, trucks and crossovers will be profit centers for most automakers. For Acura, that means increased competition.The RDX has topped the small luxury crossover segment by selling more than 50,000 annually in each of the past three years. Maintaining that sales lead is why the company doubled down on the new RDX.

On the Road

Acura provided only a few hours of drive time in the 2019 Acura RDX during a recent media preview held on the mountain roads around British Columbia’s Whistler Mountain ski resort.That’s not enough time for an in-depth evaluation, but in 60 miles of highway and twisty mountain road driving, the top-trim Advance model and the sporty A-Spec proved themselves to be among the best handling and most comfortable of the current crop of small luxury crossoverAcceleration was powerful, the steering tight and responsive, the braking firm and well-modulated. The seats were supportive and comfortable, and the views unimpeded. Road and engine noise was minimal thanks to an abundance of soundproofing.The 2019 RDX uses a four-mode performance control system — snow, comfort, sport and sport plus — that automatically alters accelerator and steering reaction. In the Advance trim, the system tunes adjustable suspension dampers for firm, more responsive action in the sport modes and a softer ride in the comfort mode.There were several of the RDX’s peers available for comparison, including the new BMW X3 and the 2018 Volvo XC60, which was recently named North American Utility Vehicle of the Year and World Car of the Year.For all-around comfort, handling, roominess, performance and value, the Acura would be my choice. Although for pure performance — albeit on rock-hard seats and a fairly stiff ride in Sport-plus mode — the BMW still leads the pack.

Pricing and Trim Levels

Acura launched the third-generation RDX in four trim levels this week at a base price of $38,295, including destination and handling charges. That’s thousands less than any of its competitors and the same as the equivalent 2018 model that includes the AcuraWatch advanced safety tech package.Key standard active safety systems and alerts for the new RDX include collision warning and braking, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist, road-departure mitigation and adaptive cruise control with low-speed following.
Split fold-down rear seats are standard in the new RDX; the red leather seats are exclusive to the A-Spec trim. (Photo: Acura)
Other standard features include well-bolstered 12-way power adjustable heated sport seats up front, a power tailgate, panoramic sliding glass roof and a nine-speaker stereo system with satellite radio, USB interface and Bluetooth. The 10.2-inch color touchscreen infotainment display is compatible with Apple CarPlay. Android Auto is coming in later models.The Technology package — which brings the SUV’s price to $41,495 — adds blind spot warning, front and rear parking sensors, rear cross-traffic alert and navigation with real-time traffic updates. The rear seating area gets two USB charge ports. Leather upholstery and a 12-speaker ELS Studio sound system also are included.Pricier trim levels like the A-Spec and Advance, which cost $44,495 and $46,395, respectively, add features such as 20-inch alloy wheels, fancier leather upholstery and interior trim, a hands-free power tailgate and rain-sensing windshield wipers. All-wheel drive models run $2,000 more in each trim level. AWD models get a real spare tire, mounted beneath the cargo floor so it doesn’t eat into cargo space. Front-drive trims get a tire sealant kit and roadside assistance.

Super AWD is Back

Acura’s “super handling” AWD system, or SH-AWD, was dropped from the second-generation RDX, replaced with a less complex and less expensive all-wheel drive system from the 2013 through 2018 model years.But the desire to keep RDX’s position as the segment leader and grow annual sales beyond the 50,000 mark dictated a return.The SH-AWD system can send as much as 70 percent of available torque to the rear wheels, as conditions demand. It also balances rear torque, shifting as much as 100 percent to the outside wheel. A companion system that’s standard on all RDX models automatically brakes the corresponding front wheel. It all works to keep the RDX on track when handling curves and corners. SH-AWD turns the 2019 RDX into a sure-footed mountain goat on loose and slippery surfaces.A word of caution here: The RDX is a crossover utility vehicle, but its relatively low 8.2-inches of ground clearance and limited wheel travel argue against confusing it with an off-road capable SUV.

Engine and Transmission

Standard in both front-drive and all-wheel drive configurations, the 2019 Acura RDX’s new 2.0-liter, turbocharged, aluminum-alloy four-cylinder engine is rated at 272 horsepower, down from 279 in the previous generation’s V6.Torque is rated at 280 pound-feet, up from 252 pound-feet in the second-gen RDX. The turbo four in the 2019 RDX churns out maximum torque at a mere 1,600 rpm versus 4,600 rpm in the old V6. That translates into brisk acceleration at low speeds.Power is sent to the wheels via a new 10-speed automatic transmission, a segment first. It improves responsiveness by keeping the engine in its peak performance bands longer than the previous model’s six-speed transmission. It can be operated in standard or sport modes, with more aggressive shift patterns in first through eight gears in the sport mode. Paddle shifters on the steering wheel are standard across the line.

A Solution to Infotainment Distraction

Most automakers make drivers reach up and look right to swipe and poke at a touchscreen located a foot or more from the steering wheel. It’s not ideal in a world where car companies should be removing distractions, not creating them.Honda has an improvement. The company is using the 2019 Acura RDX to introduce its newly developed remote touchpad system. The console-mounted touchpad makes it easy to control the infotainment system while keeping eyes on the road. No control wheels or knobs, no cursor, just press the spot on the touchpad that corresponds with the on-screen location of the icon you want to trigger and it happens. It took me about five minutes of practice to figure it all out.
Blacked-out trim, 20-inch wheels and oversize exhaust tips are features of the sporty RDX-A-Spec. (Photo: Acura)

Fuel Efficiency

The 2019 RDX’s smaller, turbocharged engine and advanced transmission make a difference at the pump as well as on the road, but it’s a small one.The Environmental Protection Agency rated the 2019 RDX in front-wheel drag at 24 mpg combined, 22 city, 28 highway (27 mpg highway for the heftier A-Spec trim). Subtract 1 mpg in each category for all-wheel drive models. That’s a 1-mpg improvement over 2018 RDX models in the “combined” and “city” categories.

Last Words

The new RDX doesn’t have the most room, the largest cargo box, the best fuel economy or superior handling of all the crossovers in the small luxury segment.But it comes close to the leader in each category and sets the standard in others, including seat comfort, audio system quality and infotainment interface. And none of the competitors combine so many attributes in such an attractive package and at such an attainable price point.
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Old 06-02-2018, 02:08 PM
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Old 06-02-2018, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by mapleloaf View Post
IMHO, CR has an ingrained bias and an inability to grasp anything that doesn't work like their IPads. The simplicity of accessing and changing menus, as well as the additional safety of using this system is what appeals to me. As for the shift buttons, once you are used to them, shifting without looking becomes intuitive in a similar fashion to using a regular shifter.
I totally agree! I have learned to just ignore CR's car reviews - I totally don't take their car reviews seriously at all.
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Old 06-04-2018, 02:28 PM
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https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/270081-2019-acura-rdx-review-best-compact-suv-yet-give-or-take-the-touchpad

2019 Acura RDX Review: Best Compact SUV Yet, Give or Take the Touchpad

The all-new 2019 Acura RDX goes head-to-head with the German premium compact SUVs and beats them by at least $7,000 on price. There’s a 272-hp 4-cylinder turbo engine, all-wheel-drive, mechanical torque vectoring, a head-up display, a dazzling 16-speaker audio system, telematics, decent passenger space front and back, a quiet ride, and a new sport version that warrants newfound attention from the BMW faithful.

The 3rd-generation RDX faces three challenges. A touchpad on the console, called Acura True Touchpad Interface, replaces a center stack knob for controlling infotainment. Acura’s dreams of market dominance will rise, or fall, based on acceptance of TTI. The basics of selecting an application are easy, but the drill-down features have a learning curve. Also, the rear seat is roomy but the cushion is low, and blind spot detection is not on the entry trim line. Those are the only significant shortcomings of the new RDX.

A 10.2-inch display sits atop the 2019 Acura RDX's console. Below is a separate HVAC display and dedicated controls, plus an audio volume knob and track controls, but no tuning knob.<><>
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Step inside the new RDX and you’re in a world of softer-touch surfaces, finer materials, comfier seats, acoustic glass, and active noise cancellation. This is the Acura Precision Interior concept of the 2017-2018 auto show circuit brought to life. It’s a big step up in refinement. So, too, is passenger space front and back. This being a compact SUV, there is no third row seating, notwithstanding the Nissan Rogue.

The 279-hp V6 engine of the second generation is gone in favor of a heavily modified Honda Accord/Civic Type R engine, returning the RDX to its first-generation, four-cylinder-turbo roots but with better gas mileage. Four cylinders is the norm for the compact-SUV market, four and a turbo on the premium compacts. Producing 280 pound-feet of torque and mated to a Honda-designed 10-speed automatic transmission, the car is quick when you stomp the throttle, about 6-1/2 seconds to 60 mph. Fuel economy for all-wheel-drive RDXs is 21 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, 23 mpg combined. For front drive models it’s 22/28/24. The sporty A-spec is 1 mpg lower on the highway number.

The previous RDX offered all-wheel-drive; this one has AWD with Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive, or mechanical torque vectoring for the rear wheels. As Acura explains:Acura’s SH-AWD uses a rear clutch pack to distribute up to 100 percent of rear axle torque between the left and right wheels creating outstanding control and agility. Additionally, we deploy Agile Handling Assist, a feature which uses the anti-lock brake system to individually brake either the left or right front wheel to improve corner traceability and balance.While the roads outside of Vancouver, BC were dry for the test drive, Acura set up an off-road course with loose dirt and gravel to test SH-AWD. With SH-AWD off and most of the stability control curtailed, the RDX fishtailed under heavy throttle and turning (as it should). Enabled, the car tracked nicely through corners. SH-AWD under throttle sends extra power to the outside wheel in a turn, effectively forcing the car into the turn.

On the highway, driving the A-Spec and Advance versions, the RDX was extremely quiet. (Higher end models add more sound insulation.) The 12- to 16-speaker audio system, developed by the recording engineer and producer Elliot L. Scheiner. It was delightful, with clear separation between the instruments and vocals on several songs. Because ELS Audio comes as part of all but the entry trim line, you can’t directly apportion a cost to it. But it doesn’t appear significant. The thing is low key: a smart guy with a lot of Grammys and a couple associates, quality manufacturing by Panasonic, and virtually no coloration induced to give the audio a different flavor. The head unit is Android-based.
RDX inner and outer steel door rings provide rigid load paths for more stiffness in a vehicle with a big sunroof, allowing Acura to meet or exceed front, side, and rollover crash targets.

Top-Notch Safety Standard, More on Higher Trim Lines

The safety suite works well. AcuraWatch, standard on all trims, has stop and go cruise control, lane keep assist, collision mitigation (forward emergency) braking, and road departure mitigation (if the car crosses a solid or dotted line marking the road edge, RDM tries to bring the car back on the road). In 2019, you might hope the RDX doesn’t just veer back from lane markings but remains centered in the lane (lane centering assist) but that’s not what Acura provided; LKA is good enough, though. Blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert, using the same sensor set, plus front and rear parking sonar, are included on the Tech model, another reason not to go entry-level. Acura raised the structural integrity of the body with more high-strength steel. This is a new body shell, and no longer a variant of the Honda CR-V.

The 2019 incorporates Acura telematics, called AcuraLink, using AT&T. The 1st year is free; then it costs $89 per year for security services such as crash notification and roadside service. Remote services such as remote start/stop, door unlock, voice destination download come free for six months; then it’s $110 a year. The service includes onboard Wi-Fi.

The 2019 Acura RDX center stack from the top: 10.2-inch display, dedicated HVAC controls, transmission selector, True Touchpad Interface, padded wrist rest.

True Touchpad: Getting Past the Learning Curve

The older 2013-2018 Acura RDX controller.
With the 2019 RDX, Acura is switching from a control knob on the angled center stack (inset) to a touchpad that mimics your finger manipulating a touch screen. The principle is simple: Where your finger strikes on the slightly concave surface of the touchpad will correspond to one of the eight locations on the main window of the 10.2 inch display: four icons in the top row, four icons in the bottom. The corresponding on-screen icon is highlighted; tap to select (don’t hold) and the app loads. That part is drop-dead simple.

The challenge using True Touchpad comes when you want to go beyond the basics. Some commands and gestures you’ll know from tablets and smartphones. The home screen has up to eight pages, and you swipe left to show them 1 by 1. If you swipe right, rather go the other way through the screens, you bring up an all-apps menu. Flick or drag your finger up/down to scroll through long lists. Drag with two fingers, not one, to reposition the map. To see the menu for any app, you press and hold rather than tap.

Incoming call? You press the top of the secondary pad to answer; press the bottom to ignore or end the call. On the top-line RDX Advance, you can press the steering wheel’s left roller wheel to the right (“right swipe dat,” as in Tinder), to the left to ignore or end the call. You press the Home button, swipe right to see all apps, then press and hold (don’t tap) the icon you want on the main screen.

The 2019 Acura RDX’s True Touchpad.
For navigation, you can finger-write on the touchpad, or call up a typewriter keyboard, which means your finger placement has to be more accurate, and it can be done only when parked. You can also use voice input with conversational speech, and it’s quite good.

A lot will depend on how much instruction the buyer and his or her family gets on delivery, and perhaps later when questions arise. It’s all in the 648-page owner’s manual and the 91-page navigation manual. Happy reading. At least Acura has fewer of the stupid warnings (“Don’t change wiper blades while driving”) that take up space.

Analog Instrument Panel, Huge Head-Up Display

The instrument panel behind the steering wheel is typical of a nice Honda or Toyota: mechanical gauges plus a digital color multi-information display between them. An all-LCD configuration is not yet offered.
Head-up display (on Advance trim) creates a large 10.5-inch image, can display speed, speed limit, adaptive cruise speed setting, navigation arrow and turn info, safety-critical alerts.

The head-up display of the RDX Advance is tremendous. Most HUDs can be moved up or down to deal with driver height. This 1 can be shifted left and right as well. Acura measures it as 10.5 inches diagonal, and the company gets credit for actually being able to communicate what that means: “10.5 inches … is referring to the measurement of projected image at nominal seating position. The image appears about 2 meters from the driver’s eyepoint.”

The steering wheel buttons are nicely sized, and there’s a roller or selector wheel on each side of the steering wheel. The small wheels can also be pushed left or right to make additional choices.

These to-die-for red power-vented Alcantara seats are unique to the sporty A-Spec trim line. While the A-Spec is the designated sporty model, the top-line RDX Advance is the one with adaptive shocks.

Acura RDX Trim Walk

The 2019 RDX has four trim levels, or versions. Unlike most cars, the options and packages are baked into those trim lines, simplifying the buying process. (At the Acura build-your-own site, they are called “Packages.”) All-wheel-drive plus SH-AWD torque vectoring adds $2,000 and costs 1 mpg on city, highway, and combined driving.

RDX, $38,295 including $995 shipping for front drive. Features include two USB jacks, heated front seats, 19-inch alloy wheels, a power tailgate, a backup camera, Bluetooth, smart entry and keyless start, and fabric-covered seats. New to the RDX is the AcuraWatch safety system, panoramic sunroof, 19-inch alloy wheels, nine-speaker audio, 4G LTE telematics with Wi-Fi onboard, and Apple CarPlay compatibility. Android Auto will follow once Google builds in a touchpad interface. Acura estimates 15 percent of buyers will go for the base RDX. This a solid car, lacking only blind spot detection, front and rear sonar, and rear cross traffic alert.

RDX Tech, $41,495. The $3,200 jump brings on-board navigation, the missing safety features, two more USB jacks (totaling four), leather seats, ELS/Panasonic 12-speaker audio, and natural language voice control. It will be 40 percent of sales.A-Spec, $44,495. This is the sporty offshoot of the Tech trim line, with 20-inch alloy wheels, LED fog lamps, ELS Studio 3D sound with 16 speakers, ventilated Ultrasuede seats, and A-Spec styling touches outside and in, such as blacked-out trim and red leather seats. It will be 20 percent of sales.RDX Advance, $46,395. For a $4,900 bump over the RDX Tech, or $8,100 over the base RDX, you get active dampers (shock absorbers), a surround-view camera system, ELS Studio 3D sound, different 19-inch alloys, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, a hands-free power tailgate, auto-dimming side mirrors, and rain-sensing wipers. It will be 25 percent of sales. The max you can pay for an RDX is $48,795 for the all-wheel-drive Advance with premium paint ($400).

Acura RDX sales more than doubled since the RDX’ first year. They peaked at 52,361 in 2016, then fell 1% last year to 51,295.

Should You Buy?

Leave aside True Touchpad for a minute. The 2019 Acura RDX is the clear bang-for-the-buck choice among premium compact SUVs. Acura says that the premium comparing the all-wheel-drive RDX Advance with competitors is: Audi Q5, $8,160; BMW X3, $8,675; Mercedes-Benz GLC, $10,885; and Volvo XC60, $7,300. The 2019 RDX is the most serious compact SUV from Asia or the Americas that Europe faces. The BMW is sportier and costs more; it’s the best driver’s car. Audi, Mercedes and Volvo all have cockpits that stand out for tasteful luxury. All offer adaptive shocks and head-up displays. Acura and BMW have 10.2-inch center stack screens. The others offer engine upgrades if you want to go faster and pay more.

The Lexus NX, which edged out the RDX in sales last year, is a fine car for around-town and highway cruising in comfort as long as you don’t want a hyper-sporty vehicle. The Lincoln MKC is currently uncompetitive and the GMC Terrain is more truckish than the others. The Cadillac XT4, arriving in fall, bears watching. The Infiniti Q50 with variable compression cylinders is fascinating technology, but reports on real-world full economy are mixed. Among cheaper, mainstream compact SUVs, the one serious competitor is the Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring, $34,000 all in, with a less powerful engine and not quite as quiet, but equally roomy and with plenty of soft-touch cockpit trim.

Acura’s shortcomings are modest: blind spot detection isn’t offered on the entry model (affecting only one in seven buyers, though), rain-sensing wipers are only on the top trim line, trailer towing is limited to 1,500 pounds, a low rear seat cushion (in my opinion), no Android Auto support for now, no Qi wireless charging, and no AC outlet.

As for True Touchpad, a day of driving isn’t enough to declare it a flop or a success. I hope to spend time driving the RDX over the summer and will update the review. If I were to predict the future, my conclusion most likely would be: a) once you learn to use TTI, it’ll be okay and perhaps approaching BMW iDrive (which also rewards practice) and b) friends who borrow your car will not be happy because for newcomers nothing beats a touch screen and adjacent buttons that say Map, Navi, Phone, Ent. That goes for spouses/partners who don’t try to learn.

Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive indicator in MID.
Should you buy? The 2019 Acura RDX is a big step beyond the second generation. If you want sportiness, luxury, and comfort, and if you don’t need the self-indulgence of a luxury European emblem on the hood and the accompanying costs, the Acura RDX is the best — actually, only — upscale compact SUV that lets you pay in the forties for a loaded model. This is what Acura has been working on for more than two decades: good stuff, comparatively affordable. Drivers who want the sportiest model should consider the RDX Advance with its adaptive suspension and HUD over the A-Spec with its 20-inch alloys (pothole bait) and to-die-for red leather seats. Everyone should bypass the base model (because of slightly reduced safety content) for the RDX Tech. The Advance has even more comfort features than Tech, but the only safety gain is the surround vision cameras and rain-sensing wipers.

What if TTI might not be for you? Ask the dealer if you can bring back the one you bought for a refund, or to test-drive the RDX for a week before you buy. They’ll say “absolutely not.” But it’s a reasonable request if you’re unsure about TTI. This type of commerce isn’t happening in 2018, unfortunately.

The 2019 RDX is an Acura breakthrough along with the MDX midsize SUV and the Acura TL sport sedan. The RDX is proof Americans and Japanese can design, engineer, and build a great SUV when they put their minds to it: developed in Ohio and California, most parts (engine included) sourced from across the US, and built in East Liberty, Ohio. This is a true world car, created with North American tastes foremost in mind.
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Old 06-04-2018, 09:32 PM
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I was finally able to test drive a new RDX Tonight (SH-AWD Tech Package) and thought I would share a few thoughts. Here is the summary:
  • Overall design looks awesome in person, especially the A-Spec with the 20" wheels. I saw one in dark gray and it looks stunning with the blacked out trim and darker rims.
  • The DPG looks so much better on the RDX than any other Acura. I realize it was designed with the DPG from the ground up, and that makes a big difference
  • The interior looks totally different than any Acura I can remember. It feels like a whole new design team was used for the interior and they were able to think outside the box.
  • The front seats are extremely comfortable and you can tell Acura invested time in improving them
  • The infotainment console looks very neat but it was not immediately intuitive using the touchpad. I was only with the vehicle for 20 minutes, but I think this could keep away some customers who are afraid of learning something that might appear too techie.
  • Second row legroom is really nice and definitely would fit a couple kids well
  • The cargo space is also really nice, and I was impressed how easily the 2nd row seats fold down
  • Regarding the drive, this is where the RDX really shines. It has great acceleration and also hugs the rode nicely on curves at a high rate of speed. I was on a highway coming off a ramp and didn't realize I was going 90 MPG on a 65 MPG highway (oops). Now I left it in sport plus mode so that definitely has the nicest pickup. It also guzzles the most gas and I only got 15.1 mpg on the short trip.
  • The rims on the Tech models are WAY WAY nicer than the Advance which seems odd. I am not sure what Acura was thinking with the Advance rims. The A-Spec has the nicest rims and overall appearance though.
I wish I had more time to explore, but there were many on test drives so I had to take the time I could get.
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Old 06-04-2018, 10:45 PM
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Compared! 2019 Acura RDX vs Audi Q5 vs BMW X3 vs Volvo XC60 vs Mercedes-Benz GLC


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Old 06-04-2018, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by James Wilson View Post
I was finally able to test drive a new RDX Tonight (SH-AWD Tech Package) and thought I would share a few thoughts. Here is the summary:
  • Overall design looks awesome in person, especially the A-Spec with the 20" wheels. I saw one in dark gray and it looks stunning with the blacked out trim and darker rims.
  • The DPG looks so much better on the RDX than any other Acura. I realize it was designed with the DPG from the ground up, and that makes a big difference
  • The interior looks totally different than any Acura I can remember. It feels like a whole new design team was used for the interior and they were able to think outside the box.
  • The front seats are extremely comfortable and you can tell Acura invested time in improving them
  • The infotainment console looks very neat but it was not immediately intuitive using the touchpad. I was only with the vehicle for 20 minutes, but I think this could keep away some customers who are afraid of learning something that might appear too techie.
  • Second row legroom is really nice and definitely would fit a couple kids well
  • The cargo space is also really nice, and I was impressed how easily the 2nd row seats fold down
  • Regarding the drive, this is where the RDX really shines. It has great acceleration and also hugs the rode nicely on curves at a high rate of speed. I was on a highway coming off a ramp and didn't realize I was going 90 MPG on a 65 MPG highway (oops). Now I left it in sport plus mode so that definitely has the nicest pickup. It also guzzles the most gas and I only got 15.1 mpg on the short trip.
  • The rims on the Tech models are WAY WAY nicer than the Advance which seems odd. I am not sure what Acura was thinking with the Advance rims. The A-Spec has the nicest rims and overall appearance though.
I wish I had more time to explore, but there were many on test drives so I had to take the time I could get.
The dark grey one must be Modern Steel Metallic. I haven't seen them in person yet, but right now it's between that and Majestic Black Pearl for me.
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Old 06-05-2018, 06:27 AM
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Digital Trends


https://www.digitaltrends.com/car-re...ra-rdx-review/

2019 Acura RDX 1st drive review

'Sporty' is more than a marketing slogan for Acura's agile new RDX

The forward-thinking RDX sets itself apart from the more staid European competition.

Highs

  • Sporty character
  • High-quality audio
  • Well-appointed interior
  • Lots of analog buttons

Lows

  • Driving experience lacks soul
  • Tricking touchpad
Stephen Edelstein @SAEdelstein Posted on 6.4.18 - 8:11PM Acura has never really known which way to take the RDX. The first-generation RDX tried to be different, adopting a car-like look and feel when most SUVs were trying to be trucks. The second-generation model went in a more conservative direction. Now the third-generation 2019 Acura RDX is changing course again, emphasizing tech and sporty driving dynamics like never before.In developing the new RDX, Honda’s luxury brand said it benchmarked the German triumvirate of Audi Q5, BMW X3, and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class, as well as Sweden’s Volvo XC60. But the RDX’s competitive set also includes the Lexus NX, Infiniti QX50, Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Cadillac XT5, and Lincoln MKC.The Acura RDX is available in base, Tech, A-Spec, and Advance trim levels. Front-wheel drive is standard on all 4 trims, while all-wheel drive is a $2,000 option. The base model starts at $37,300, but we drove A-Spec ($43,500) and Advance ($45,400) models. The A-Spec is primarily an appearance package added onto the Tech model, which includes features like navigation, 12-speaker audio system, and leather seats. The Advance is the range topper loaded with features like active suspension, a head-up display, and 16-speaker audio system.

Interior and tech

The RDX’s dashboard is like nothing in any other current SUV. A drive-mode knob borrowed from the NSX supercar sits front and center, and the center console arches up, creating a convenient storage nook for your phone (complete with 12-volt and USB charging ports) below. But the real centerpiece is Acura’s new True Touchpad Interface, which controls most infotainment functions.Acura isn’t the first automaker to try a touchpad: Lexus uses one with its infotainment systems, and we’ve found it to be quite infuriating to use. But while Lexus relies solely on a track pad, similar to what you’d find on a laptop. Acura added hard press points at the corners. Press at a corner, and the cursor moves to the corresponding area on the 10.2-inch display screen. Otherwise, just swipe across the pad to move the cursor, and press gently to select an on-screen icon for functions like music, navigation, and phone.





We found the system to be better than Lexus’ touchpad, but not quite as good as competitor systems, like BMW’s iDrive, that use a rotary controller to navigate on-screen menus. The Acura system comes with a significant learning curve: When driving, it was hard to coordinate the movement of our finger on the touchpad with what we were seeing on the screen, all while trying to pay attention to the road. We imagine an owner could get used to this over time, but first-time users will find it challenging.
The RDX relies more on technological tricks to deliver a sporty experience than human-machine harmonization.

At least Acura had the good sense to include lots of hard buttons. The driver can use buttons for all climate-control functions, including turning on the heated and ventilated seats on the higher-level A-Spec and Advance models we drove. Scroll wheels on the steering wheel make changing tracks on a playlist easy, and volume is controlled using a simple knob. This means the dashboard is a bit of a mess aesthetically, but functionally it works well.The RDX comes standard with Apple CarPlay, as well as a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. But Android Auto won’t be available at launch, because it can’t interface with the touchpad controller (despite the fact that the entire infotainment operating system is Android-based). Acura does plan to make Android Auto available once that issue is resolved.The vehicles we drove were equipped with the optional Acura ELS Studio 3D 710-watt, 16-speaker audio system. Acura and partner Panasonic used tricks like putting speakers in the headliner, and brought in Grammy-winning music producer Elliot Schiener. The result is a quality music experience that rivals that of systems in much more expensive cars, with more elaborate hardware.

Stephen Edelstein/Digital TrendsAside from the tech, the interior itself features high-quality materials like brushed aluminum and nice-looking Olive Ash wood trim. The A-Spec model’s optional red leather upholstery with gray suede inserts (in a pattern inspired by tuxedos, Acura says) is the kind of risk we’d like to see more automakers take with interior styling.
The Acura touchpad system comes with a significant learning curve.


When it comes to interior substance, the RDX compares favorably to its rivals. Headroom, legroom, and shoulder room in both the first and second rows is on par with the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class, and Volvo XC60. At 29.5 cubic feet, the RDX also offers more cargo space than any of those models with the rear seats in place. However, the Audi has more stowage space when the seats are folded, at 60.4 cubic feet to the Acura’s 58.9.The AcuraWatch bundle of driver aids is standard on all RDX trim levels. It includes autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and lane-departure warning with road-departure mitigation (if you’re about to veer off the road, it will apply steering if necessary).

Driving experience

Acura claims sportiness was one of its engineers’ top priorities for the RDX, even referring to the new model as a “sports sedan utility vehicle.” So how did the RDX measure up to that boast? Pretty well, actually.

Stephen Edelstein/Digital TrendsUnder the hood sits a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 272 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. That’s more than you get in base versions of the Q5, X3, and GLC, but Audi, BMW, and Mercedes all offer performance-focused variants with more power (albeit at higher prices). The RDX also outmuscles the base Volvo XC60 T5, but not the T6 model, which is rated at 316 hp and 295 lb-ft. But the XC60 T6 does start about $3,000 above the top-spec RDX Advance.
SH-AWD is the RDX’s secret weapon.


The RDX’s turbo-four is coupled to a 10-speed automatic transmission with standard front-wheel drive, or Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD). This system, which was used on the first-generation RDX but not the outgoing second generation, is different from many others because it incorporates torque vectoring. That means power is shunted between the rear wheels to help turn the car into corners. SH-AWD is the RDX’s secret weapon.On the road, we could feel the system working to nudge the car into position for faster corner exits. In its default mode, the system also sends 70 percent of its power to the rear wheels, making the RDX feel more like a rear-wheel drive car. We even got the RDX completely sideways on a gravel slalom course Acura set up (with the traction control turned off, that is). Most owners won’t hoon their luxury SUVs like this, but it’s nice to know that they could.


Stephen Edelstein/Digital TrendsThat being said, the RDX doesn’t exactly form a bond with its driver. Even by modern standards, the RDX relies more on technological tricks to deliver a sporty experience than good old-fashioned human-machine harmonization. We drove the RDX back to back with a Q5, X3, GLC, and XC60. Only the X3 matched the RDX’s red-blooded nature, and it did so in a more satisfying way. The Acura relies heavily on its trick all-wheel drive system to be sporty. The BMW just is.Acura expects EPA fuel-economy ratings 24 mpg combined (22 mpg city, 28 mpg highway) for base, Tech, and Advance models with front-wheel drive, and 23 mpg combined (21 mpg city, 27 mpg highway) for all-wheel drive versions of those models. The A-Spec carries a 1-mpg penalty in the highway category with both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash-test ratings are not available at this time.

Warranty



Acura offers a 4-year, 50,000-mile basic warranty and six-year, 70,000-mile powertrain warranty. Because the RDX is a redesigned model with relatively few carryover parts from the previous generation, it is difficult to predict reliability.

How DT would configure this car

Acura expects the RDX Tech to be the volume trim level, but we’d upgrade to the A-Spec model. The A-Spec’s model-specific styling features, including blacked-out exterior trim, 20-inch wheels, and aluminum and suede interior trim, are an appropriate match for the RDX’s sporty character, and help it stand out from the SUV crowd. We’d also pay the extra $400 for Apex Blue Pearl or Performance Red Pearl paint to make even more of a visual statement.The A-Spec also includes the 16-speaker audio system, which is the main optional tech feature we think is worth spending extra on. The Advance model that sits above the A-Spec in the RDX hierarchy includes even more equipment, but considering that essential features like the touchpad-based infotainment system and AcuraWatch driver-aid suite, we’d rather save a bit of money and stick with the A-Spec.

Conclusion

The Acura name isn’t as evocative as Audi, BMW, or Mercedes-Benz, but Honda’s luxury brand is trying hard to change that with the 2019 RDX. By doubling down on sporty character, and taking some styling and tech risks, the RDX sets itself apart from the more staid European competition. The RDX is also a good value: The Germans climb much higher than the $45,400 price of the top RDX Advance trim level. Acura still needs to refine that touchpad and put more soul into the driving experience, but the RDX is still a strong contender in a competitive segment.
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Old 06-05-2018, 06:31 AM
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Old 06-05-2018, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by 19RDX View Post
The dark grey one must be Modern Steel Metallic. I haven't seen them in person yet, but right now it's between that and Majestic Black Pearl for me.
I think what really makes the modern steel metallic pop is that the rims on the A-Spec are a near-perfect match for that paint color, and the black trim provides some contrast without being too stark. I wish I could have seen the red and blue A-Spec in person. My dealer told me an older couple was in getting their current RDX over the weekend and had no intention of buying a new car, but when they saw the Blue A-Spec they fell in love and walked out with a new vehicle. This appears to be the first Acura since the 3G TL to have an emotional appeal that prompts impulse buying like I just described. I am sure the dealers are excited about that!
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Old 06-05-2018, 02:37 PM
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Good write up. I too found the MPG really low. I did a long highway segment and it did not edge up much. Ended at about 20 mpg overall. Of course, engine is tight and far from broken in.

SH-AWD Power has a price because power going to all four wheels in various doses. Fun yes.

My guess. 27-28 Real world highway. 70 mph.
Teens in city as we all seem to have noted.

Not sure this engine is progress. Remember BMW 2.0T is very efficient and evidence proves it.
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Old 06-05-2018, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by idgystinks View Post
Good write up. I too found the MPG really low. I did a long highway segment and it did not edge up much. Ended at about 20 mpg overall. Of course, engine is tight and far from broken in.

SH-AWD Power has a price because power going to all four wheels in various doses. Fun yes.

My guess. 27-28 Real world highway. 70 mph.
Teens in city as we all seem to have noted.

Not sure this engine is progress. Remember BMW 2.0T is very efficient and evidence proves it.
Time will tell about overall mpg, but let's not forget the V6 wasn't paired to SH-AWD. We'll never know how efficient it would have been. Now if the next V6 MDX gets the 10-speed and turns out to be more efficient than the RDX, well then you could make the argument that the 2.0T wasn't necessarily a good idea from an efficiency perspective. Proponents will still point to the weight loss, dynamic advantages and meaty torque curve as benefits of the 4-cylinder turbo, however.
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Old 06-06-2018, 06:57 AM
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2019 Acura RDX First Drive Review

1st Drive: 2019 Acura RDX

By Jeff WilsonJune 06, 2018 Share this article:
It can be a heck of a challenge to balance state-of-the-art technology with refinement and driveability. Too often lately, we’ve seen tech for tech’s sake in modern machinery, and sometimes it becomes a distraction from the enjoyment of driving. Good technology improves lives without making a big fuss.Refinement, a powerful engine, and great value.
Acura seems to want the technological advancements infused into its new RDX compact luxury SUV to define the machine, and the net result is an almost seamless integration of innovation throughout the driver experience.

The RDX needs to be great since it’s the sales leader for Acura, and a huge seller in the segment overall. Fortunately for the buyers who have loved the RDX in the past (or those who will become buyers), and for Acura, the new RDX embodies what has made this model so popular in the past: refinement, a powerful engine, and great value.

Turbo returns to RDX

Replacing the 3.5L V6 from last year’s model is a new 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder as the only engine available. Starting out as the same celebrated powerplant from the Honda Accord, it’s tuned here to put out 272 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. While down a bit in horsepower from the V6, the torque is up a notable 28 lb-ft and both figures better the outputs of the RDX’s key competitors from Audi, BMW, Mercedes, and Volvo.

What’s more, the power curve is much flatter than before, making the Acura more driveable in normal conditions. The power-to-weight ratio of the RDX is better than its competitors, also lending to better performance. Our drive around western Vancouver Island showcased the little engine’s flexibility as we hurried the Acura up and down the twisting mountain roads and around the endless flow of dawdling tourists.

There’s a new 10-speed Sequential SportShift automatic transmission that helps the RDX’s driveability, too. While I was never impressed by Acura’s 9-speed found in the TLX, this new 10-speed never seems to be caught hunting for the right gear.

Acura claims this new transmission provides a first gear that’s 15 percent lower than last year’s, which helps the RDX energetically jump off the line from a standstill, and four-gear downshifts are programmed in for when they’re needed to really get the hustle on a passing manoeuvre. More importantly, under normal operating conditions, the shifts go mostly unnoticed, but during more energetic driving, gear swaps happen with immediacy.

Unsurprisingly, the combination of smaller engine and 10-speed gearbox nets appreciable fuel efficiency benefit. Roughly 10 percent better than the old RDX, the new one is rated at 11.0 L/100 km city, 8.6 highway and 9.9 combined.
The RDX is an SUV, not a high-performance sport sedan, yet utilizes the latest application of Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system to direct power to the ground. As much as 70 percent of the RDX’s torque can be sent rearward, and up to 100% of that twist can be sent to either right or left, as best utilized. Acura claims its torque vectoring provides greater confidence in inclement weather conditions, but hustling the RDX on rainy roads near Tofino, BC, we also discovered that it helps the RDX turn in quicker.

Sportier A-Spec available

What’s more, thanks to wheels that have now been pushed further to the corners (the new RDX has both a wider track and longer wheelbase), coupled with a MacPherson strut front, and all-new 5-link rear chassis design, the RDX is better planted during high-speed handling.

Steering is typical of most modern electrically assisted systems in that it’s lacking in feel, but it’s quick with reasonably heavy weighting and good immediacy.

An A-Spec variation is available on the RDX for the 1st time and is expected to account for 35 percent of the model’s sales. It features sporty-looking trim bits, as well as 20-inch wheels with more aggressive 255/45R20 Goodyear tires and a slightly different suspension tune. Smaller yet still sizable 19-inch wheels are standard fare on all other trim levels.

Overall braking performance is said to be improved as well, with shorter overall stopping distances. What’s interesting here is that Acura has actually engineered out some of the initial bite in order to make braking more progressive and linear. Compared to the Germans, it just ends up feeling a bit mushy and definitely took me a while to get used to.

Fiddling with the Integrated Dynamics System settings via the giant knob placed front and centre on the dash, we found that in Sport+ modes, not only is the throttle and transmission responsiveness dialled up, but so too is the steering weighting and the Active Sound Control to digitally “enhance” the soundtrack reaching the cabin. It’s all pretty high-tech stuff, but it operates as promised.

Lavish interior

Despite a product presentation that revolved around the brand’s Precision Crafted Performance mantra, Acura has created a cabin that, particularly in up-level trims, is quite lavishly appointed. Models with contrasting interior colour combos look particularly posh, with creamy-soft Milano leather, open-pore Olive Ash wood trim, and real aluminum trim where it looks like aluminum. Most of the plastics feel sufficiently pliable and upscale, too.

The panorama sunroof keeps the cabin bright and airy-feeling, even when finished in darker shades, and it’s standard fare on even the entry-level RDX. This last note is particularly interesting since cutting such a large hole in the roof does no favours for body structure stiffness – key to a solid handling feel – yet the new RDX is 38 percent stiffer than before.

On top-trim models, the front seats are 16-way adjustable and do an admirable job of balancing decadent suppleness with adequate bolstering to keep occupants where they belong during spirited jaunts. Even the back seats are surprisingly comfortable with plenty of head, leg, and shoulder room for a pair of adults, and 3 on occasion. Thanks to a wheelbase that’s stretched 65 mm, Acura claims 24 percent more rear knee space than the next largest competitor.

There’s also class-leading cargo capacity with 1,668 L available with the back seat up, and up to 2,260 L with it folded flat.
The cockpit benefits from its own technological upgrade, focussed mostly on Acura’s all-new True Touchpad Interface – something that was certainly needed. Mounted on the floating centre console directly behind the shift buttons, Acura has placed a 2-hemisphere touchpad that maps at a 1:1, absolute-positioning ratio on the 10.2-inch HD screen. This means a driver can more easily navigate the system’s menus and apps without having to hunt or take eyes off the road.

Of course that’s all in theory. In reality, anyone who has used similar systems, like the one found in modern Lexus models, will require some time to recalibrate their brains to work the 1:1 ratio on the fly, using it like a touchscreen, rather than a scrolling cursor set up. Manually tuning through radio stations (instead of presets) took multiple steps, as did trying to zoom in or out on the navigation screen.

Of note, although Acura employs an all-new Android-based operating system, Android Auto won’t be compatible at the RDX’s launch, pending Google’s certification of the touchpad operation, but will soon be a downloadable update. Apple CarPlay is compatible at the outset.

Graphics are crisp and, having teamed up with Here, the mapping is particularly slick with 3D terrain and online POI searches available. In top-trim Platinum Elite models, a customizable 10.5-inch head-up display is also offered 4G LTE in-car Wi-Fi is available, but a wireless charge pad is not; a decision made by Acura after learning that only a very small percentage of motorists actually want or use such systems. Instead, having numerous USB charge points positioned around the car is preferred and offered here.

Acura has also fitted its most advanced audio system to the RDX. With 16-speakers dispersed throughout the cabin – including on the ceiling – the 710-watt system provides astonishingly clear and full sound. The German competitors would charge serious money for optional systems that sound almost as good as this. Of course, good sound systems are only worthwhile in sufficiently quiet and composed machines, and fortunately the RDX utilizes good sound deadening to keep wind and road noise quelled. Engine sound is kept at bay too, unless Sport+ mode is selected, which digitally amplifies engine sounds.

Design updated, and improved

As a premium product, styling plays a huge role in the emotional buying process. Where the outgoing RDX model lacked character in its exterior aesthetic (and let’s face it, where Acura has occasionally stumbled in recent years), the RDX’s new Precision Crafted Performance ethos translates well to this new RDX.

Acura’s Jewel Eye LED headlights continue on and help lend some familiarity to the RDX’s face, but the broad pentagon-shaped grille with its spider-web-like design spinning out from the A-logo help give a bolder, more sporting look than before.

The shorter front overhang afforded by the more compact 2.0-litre engine helps give the RDX a more planted appearance. This is emphasized further with the larger wheels on the A-Spec trim – the most aggressive-looking RDX. The rear of the RDX is slightly less distinctive, but still handsome.

The RDX was designed in California and is built in Ohio, mostly to serve an SUV-hungry North American market (although it will also be sold in China). Getting the RDX right was absolutely crucial for Acura given the importance of the model in the segment and within its own sales numbers.

As a sign of what’s to come in terms of both technology and styling, it’s equally important to Acura. Not only is the RDX dynamically – and technologically – superior to its highly popular predecessor, it has given Acura fans a glimpse into the exciting improvements yet to come throughout the rest of the line-up.

The RDX hits dealerships in Canada this month.

Pricing: 2019 Acura RDX

RDX: $43,990
Technology: $46,490
Elite: $49,990
A-Spec: $50,290
Platinum Elite: $54,990


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Old 06-06-2018, 06:36 PM
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Old 06-06-2018, 08:12 PM
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These scores focus only on specifications and suggest a closer competition than reality. A brief drive in both reveals a big advantage for the RDX (IMHO).
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Old 06-06-2018, 09:55 PM
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I was going to buy an RDX but the QX50 can go 22 miles further on a tank of gas...said nobody ever.
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Old 06-06-2018, 10:10 PM
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Is that kid old enough to drive?
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