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Acura RDX

Trading turbochargers and hot-hatch fun for mature refinement.

It’s hard to understate how different the all-new 2013 RDX is from its predecessor. No longer does it seem like a frenetic hot hatch on stilts; instead, Acura’s compact crossover finally looks, drives, and feels like a vehicle you’d expect from a luxury automaker. The smoothed exterior resembles the larger MDX, and the RDX’s enlarged cabin is now devoid of the dark, hard plastics that plagued the first generation. The biggest changes for 2013 are mechanical. Although competitors left and right are replacing six-cylinder engines with turbocharged four-cylinder options, Acura is doing the reverse. That sounds odd until you consider that the new 3.5-liter V-6 is more powerful and more fuel efficient than the outgoing turbocharged 2.5-liter I-4. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, as is front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive remains available, but it no longer boasts a torque-vectoring rear differential. A lowered center of gravity improves cornering, and new amplitude-reactive dampers and redesigned suspension mounts provide a smooth, taut ride. In typical Acura fashion, the 2013 RDX is well equipped right from the get-go. Base models receive heated leather seats, a power moonroof, a rearview camera, a USB audio input, and Bluetooth phone connectivity.

COMPETITORS

Infiniti EX

Kia Sportage SX

Lincoln MKX

Volkswagen Tiguan

new for 2013

The 2013 RDX, which went on sale in the middle of 2012, is an all-new vehicle. It won’t see any major amendments through the course of the 2013 calendar year.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Front, side, and side curtain air bags; ABS; and traction and stability control are standard. Blind-spot detection is not offered, but a rearview camera is available as part of the technology package.

MPG

CITY 19–20

HWY 27–28

PRO

Pleasant ride quality

Attractive and roomy interior

Well equipped for the price point

CON

Shift quality is occasionally jarring

Electric power steering errs on the light side

Base Price Range: $35,205–$40,305

SPECIFICATIONS

DRIVE: Front-wheel, 4-wheel

TRIM LEVELS: RDX, RDX with Tech Package

BODY STYLE: SUV/crossover, 5-passenger

ENGINE: 3.5L V-6, 273 hp, 251 lb-ft

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic

PASSENGER VOLUME: 103.5 cu ft

CAPACITIES: Towing N/A; cargo (rear seats up/down) 26.1/76.9 cu ft

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