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.
Kia Sportage SX
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.
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.
Pleasant ride quality
Attractive and roomy interior
Well equipped for the price point
Shift quality is occasionally jarring
Electric power steering errs on the light side
Base Price Range: $35,205–$40,305
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