2017 Acura RDX Review

$35,570

Approval Rating

Mostly neutral rating based on 21 test drives.

$35,570 - $43,720

The average price paid for the 2017 Acura RDX is trending $1,524 below MSRP.

Popularity

Aggregated internet sentiment.

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Everything you need to know


The Acura RDX is the automaker’s first compact luxury crossover SUV and on paper it’s an attractive offering.

Withy Acura being the more upmarket side of Honda, it makes sense that the offerings bearing this nameplate should be a step up for the norm and should have better features and tech on board. With the Acura RDX first seeing the light of day in 2007 in it’ first incarnation it’s a relatively new model on the scene and is now in the second generation that recently saw a model refresh in 2016. Protective buyers in this segment have a tough choice as there are some really great offerings from rivals; like the BMW X3, the Audi Q5 and the Volvo XC60, but hopefully a closer look will help with that decision.

The interior of the Acura RDX is marketed as a luxury


It’s smooth, clean-looking and isn’t too cluttered, which is about right for buyers in this segment.

Entering the cabin of the Acura RDX see you greeted with a rather nice looking interior. It’s smooth, clean-looking and isn’t too cluttered, which is about right for buyers in this segment. The dual screen as seen in other Acura models is the main attraction, although while the looks are good, the operation of everything linked to it can be a little frustrating and hard to get used to. The plastics are plenty, but because the Acura RDX is touted as a premium model, they now have a nice soft-touch feel. The seats are comfortable and have good bolstering. The heated driver’s seat features 10-way power adjustments with memory function when optioned, and this affords a great driving position that also provides good all round visibility. The gauge cluster looks good, and in front of the cluster is a nicely styled leather-bound steering wheel with multifunction controls in easy reach of your thumbs. Using these is preferred to fiddling with the actual infotainment system though.

Who Buys Acura RDX?

Calculations are based on data from KKF, NHTSA and Department of Motor Vehicles using CarBuzz's proprietary algorithm.

Gender

0% men vs 100% women



Ethnicity

Acura RDX Owners vs. US Average

Caucasian 0%
50% Complete
African American 0%
50% Complete
Asian 0%
50% Complete
Hispanic 0%
50% Complete

For seating space, the Acura RDX can seat five well enough.

The main covered storage area in the center console can carry up to 23 CD cases, while the tray above is just right for a mobile phone or other small items. The console also features a second covered storage space ahead of the shifter that's also suitable for everyday items, as well as a USB connection, audio input jack and an accessory power outlet. At the rear of the console there’s a small shelf for rear passengers to use. For seating space, the Acura RDX can seat five well enough, but being a compact crossover means you’d be happier with just two passengers taking up space in the rear. The leg and head room is good though, class-leading in fact, and this remains the case even with a tall driver and passenger on board who may have moved the front seats all the way back. The rear seating is in a 60/40-split configuration so help extend the rear cargo space even more to expand the available 21.6 cubic feet of space to a rather large 76.9 cubic feet.

A suitably quiet and comfortable drive


One of the optional systems is collision mitigation with automatic braking.

There are quite a few driver aids in play in the Acura RDX, and while they’re there for your safety and to make the drive a better experience, but they can be a little intrusive. One of the optional systems is collision mitigation with automatic braking and this seems a bit on the sensitive side. You can also option the RDX with adaptive cruise control, and this runs off the same sensors as the collision mitigation system, which means it’s also super-sensitive.

Road manners are good, the suspension is tight enough to eliminate body roll on hard turns.


Steering feedback is typical of Acura, i.e. not sporty but also not completely devoid of feel and feedback. Road manners are good, the suspension is tight enough to eliminate body roll on hard turns but it’s also soft enough to offer up a comfortable ride over bumpy roads, as expected from a luxury compact crossover SUV.

The new Acura RDX is a one engine, one transmission luxury compact crossover


A 3.5-liter six-cylinder gasoline engine that produces an impressive 279-hp and 252 lb-ft of torque.

The Acura RDX is fitted with Honda’s meaty 3.5-liter six-cylinder gasoline engine that produces an impressive 279-hp and 252 lb-ft of torque, which is more than enough to be able to get the Acura RDX around in a hurry if the need arises. Fuel economy is also pretty good: the front-wheel drive version can return 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. When you switch on over to the all-wheel drive model, things look pretty decent too with 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg for the highway.

There’s just one  transmission available on the Acura RDX.

There’s just one transmission available on the Acura RDX, in the form of a six-speed automatic. The transmission is smooth and doesn’t falter, being in the appropriate gear at the appropriate time. It’s quite intuitive and shifts are quick and precise. As previously mentioned, the Acura RDX has shifter paddles on the steering wheel that allow the driver to select gears manually. For the all-wheel drive option, the car drives much the same as the front-wheel drive thanks to having 100% of the engine torque directed to the front wheels. The rear wheels only get some of that torque when the safety systems detect a loss of traction. Steering feedback is typical of Acura, i.e. not sporty but also not completely devoid of feel and feedback. Road manners are good, the suspension is tight enough to eliminate body roll on hard turns but it’s also soft enough to offer up a comfortable ride over bumpy roads, as expected from a luxury compact crossover SUV.

Lots of impressive tech and safety equipment


There are three packages available that will see the Acura RDX being equipped with anything you need.

There are three packages available that will see the Acura RDX being equipped with anything you need, of course some packages offer more than others, and choosing one over the other will see some systems being taken away. The $1,300 AcuraWatch Plus package includes a collision mitigation braking system, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist and a color multi-information display complete with turn-by-turn guidance if the trim is equipped with navigation. The Advance Package adds to the AcuraWatch Plus package and your $1,650 gets you heated and ventilated front seats, rain-sensing wipers, remote engine start, auto-dimming side mirrors and parking sensors all round. Visually you get 18-inch alloys and fog lights.

Oddly, even though the Acura RDX is fitted with state-of-the-art LED headlights, they only garnered a score of Acceptable.

The $3,700 Technology package is the one to go for though, this offers up some rather useful tech. For this money the Acura RDX gets sport seats, an 8-way power adjustable front passenger seat, on demand multi-use display, climate control, built-in navigation with voice recognition, a blind spot information system as well as dynamic guidelines on the rear camera display coupled with a rear cross traffic monitor. This all combines to make for a well-specified car that’s one of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s top safety picks for 2017 thanks to a Good overall rating including great front crash prevention. Oddly, even though the Acura RDX is fitted with state-of-the-art LED headlights, they only garnered a score of Acceptable.

Conclusion


The pricing of the Acura RDX isn’t cheap, but at the price point it does have just about enough to offer that warrants the price tag. The biggest problem with Acura is that you can have an equally good crossover SUV from a less-upmarket brand for less money. If the need is specifically for a Japanese compact luxury crossover then the Acura is worth taking a closer look, but do yourself a favour and drive one back to back against other rivals so you can find out if the premium is worth it for you.