The 2019 RDX is an important accomplishment for Acura. It can be said to represent the brand’s dedication to technology and performance.
Years of directionless journey seems to have ended for Acura, since it now has found one clear route with the lovely RDX.
Whoever is looking for a compact luxury crossover has to consider this Acura as a very potential option as it provides exceptional technology, excellent driving experience and most importantly, it’s more affordable than its competitors.
Acura’s struggle has taken a long time in the premium market. The Honda’s luxury division has been trying to gain respect as a big player. It managed to earn good reputation for well-made and fun cars, but has had a difficult time proving to costumers that its vehicles deserve the premium label above the equivalent Honda.
Fortunately now we get the RDX, the Acura’s most serious effort yet to transform that perception. Totally done over for 2019, the compact SUV is ready to rival top luxury cars in the market. Yes, the RDX is definitely geared up for this big competition.
Usually, when people talk about Acura, they simply consider its products as leathered Hondas or the warmer versions, no more than that. But when it comes to the RDX, things are really different, and you better believe it. Because the SUV sits on a new platform that is exclusively used by Acura for now. So it’s absolutely not the Honda CR-V in different skin.
Acura has worked hard to complete the interior. To go cheaper than the competition, Honda often uses tech and faux-premium substances. This time, Acura decides that it will play a different strategy with its latest cars. So what buyers think is metal is metal, and what looks like wood is wood.
The outcome is an unquestionably deluxe interior compatible with a $46,495 crossover, complemented by a novel infotainment system that you won’t find in any Honda car. A massive display is mounted up high with a newly-designed touchpad interface.
The RDX’s True TouchPad system will let you skip guesswork. It is drawn 1:1 with the screen. So when you click in the top right corner of the pad, you will select anything in the top right of the screen. It’s a smart way out that allows the display to be in your eye line and easily accessed.
In addition, a hard lesson taught Honda to bring back volume knobs. That is important since the RDX is the first model to feature Acura’s fantastic-sounding ELS Studio 3D Premium audio system, which is among the best ones you can find around.
Sitting in the RDX will make you feel at home thanks to its quiet and peaceful cabin. The incredible suspension does its job very well when running through the highways or twisty roads. To make driving feels even better, the car’s all-wheel drive system will vector torque between the right and left rear wheels to aid in cornering. A similar configuration is used in the Acura NSX supercar.
When we think about it, the RDX is a pretty high-spirited model, too. Its powerlant is a 272-hp variant of the identical four-cylinder unit that motivates Honda’s noisy Civic Type R. It works beyond all bounds with the 10-speed automatic gearbox, producing balanced performance in the city without sacrificing excitement.
With all this value, the RDX is within reach at a price that is much lower than its competitors. The SUV is a big deal that offers a big value.
For sure, if there are pros, there will also be cons. This applies to every product, and the RDX is no exception. The car’s interior, although a big improvement for Acura, is as yet less pleasing to the eye than those of the top dogs in the segment.
And despite the fact that the badge is not a feature to yell about, the RDX proudly puts on view the “A” insignia that clearly takes over the front end, creating an unasked interruption in the otherwise-great design. The reason for this is partially practical, which is for the badge to conceal the advanced safety sensors, but it still feels a bit boastful.
The SUV has an exceptional handling alright, but the steering wheel won’t give you a great deal of road feel, which is a bit regrettable.
Lastly, the RDX takes care of its power so nicely that we think the A-Spec line has the potential to become something that goes beyond all expectation. 272 hp is surely good enough, but Acura has to remember that there are rivals like Mercedes that offers more power in the same category through its 476-hp GLC 63. As you can see, there are enormous margins. So you may wonder if Acura forgets to include a more potent variant in the offer.
Starting at $37,300 excluding delivery fees, the 2019 RDX comes with a panoramic sunroof as standard, in addition to a dynamic drive-mode selector and the True Touchpad infotainment system. If you want to get all-wheel drive, you will have to shell out $2,000 more. But for a much better handling, it’s really worth it.
The Technology package requires an additional $3,200 if you’re interested. It will give you leather seats and extra safety features like blind spot detection. AcuraWatch suite is standard on every RDX, bringing automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and more. Other options include the A-Spec and Advanced packages, with the latter being the top-end and costing $4,900. If you want to spend less but get enough goodies, the better-looking and more affordable A-Spec can already give you most of the essential equipments for $3,000.
So in conclusion, yes, the 2019 RDX is a good car. Acura kept its promise on the crossover. The model itself is a remarkably effectual one that demonstrates the brand’s capability to make its mainstream vehicles attractive again.