Acura’s RDX has long been one of the most popular products in the premium compact SUV/crossover segment and deservedly so. It combines everything the luxury SUV buyer could want in one of the most attractive packages in the industry.
The RDX has always offered a great combination of performance, luxury and reliability and it’s been among Acura’s best-selling products for some years. The vehicle has always been based on a Honda Civic platform but this time around, the RDX has a platform of its own.
For 2019, Acura is bringing us an all-new fourth-generation model with a very long list of stylistic, engineering and convenience upgrades. Although it’s been regarded as a vehicle that can’t get that much better, automakers continue to surprise us with new products packed with improvements.
Under the hood of the new model is a new direct-injected and turbocharged 2.0-litre 16-valve four-cylinder and if just four cylinders seems to reflect less response and power, consider that this one puts out a substantial 272-horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. In its class, it’s right there among the leaders and of course, turbocharged fours are impressively thrifty on fuel. The new powerplant replaces the previous V-6 unit but has a whopping 40 per cent increase in low-end torque. The RDX has all-wheel drive and a 10-speed automatic transmission.
As far as styling goes, this new Acura is very easy on the eye indeed. It’s a nice clean design with some clever elements and doesn’t resort to the kind of showy opulence of some of its rivals. The front end is highlighted by Acura’s now-established signature diamond pentagon grille and the LED headlights are right in there with current trends. Acura describes the styling of its new RDX as “sharp and dynamic” and that’s just about spot on. All trim levels have a panoramic moonroof, which is a nifty touch.
The cabin combines comfort and convenience with luxury ambiance and the electronics involve a higher level of connectivity than ever. Soft-touch trim abounds and some of the leather surfaces are hand-stitched. Olive ash wood accents set the look off nicely. The display for the infotainment system is a substantial 10.2-inches and it is, as might be expected, a touchpad system. There’s a new Android-based operating system to. Also included in the package is Apple CarPlay which is a great interface for music lovers. The front seats not only look good, they are exceptionally comfortable and supportive.
Looking at the specifications of the new RDX, which comes in five different trim levels, it’s clear that this will be the most popular model yet for a variety of reasons. Incidentally, one welcome trim level in the lineup is an A-Spec performance handling variant.
SPECS AT A GLANCE…
BODY STYLE: Four-door and hatch premium SUV/crossover
ENGINE: 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder
TRANSMISSION: 10-speed automatic
TOWING CAPACITY: 1,500 lbs
FUEL ECONOMY: 9.9-litres/100 km combined
PRICE: Starting at $43,990 MSRP