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Top Features of Base Model
- All-new chassis sharpens the RDX knife in the handling department
- New turbocharged engine with more torque delivers better performance, despite smaller displacement and fewer cylinders
- Standard active safety features include forward collision warning and emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control
- New infotainment interface with a console-mounted touchpad is easier to use
2019 Acura RDX: Everything You Need to Know
About the Acura RDX
The 2019 Acura RDX is the third-generation compact luxury SUV from Honda's luxury division and is the best-selling compact luxury SUV in the U.S. Over time, the RDX has seen the explosion in popularity of small luxury SUVs. What was once a class of only a few has ballooned to become the fastest-growing segment in the market, with no less than 14 competitors. The RDX is one of two SUVs offered by Acura, the other being the larger MDX.
What's new about the 2019 Acura RDX?
The RDX five-passenger luxury SUV is all-new from the ground up for 2019. Acura has rediscovered a bit of its old mojo in design and driving dynamics that the company forged many years ago. Under the hood, the old V6 engine gives way to a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine yielding 272 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, which is actually greater than the larger V6 of the outgoing model. It's also available with Acura’s Super Handling (SH) all-wheel drive system, though it's optional at a cost of $2,000.
Also optional is the A-Spec package, which we tested, offering sportier features on top of the standard model, such as 20-inch gray-painted wheels and larger tires, unique bumpers, black exterior trim including a rear spoiler, sport seats with heating and ventilation, suede interior trim, red instrument lighting, and a truly musical Acura/ELS premium 710-watt audio system with 16 speakers. The Technology package bundles full leather seating, premium audio, blind-spot monitoring, rear USB ports, navigation, and parking sensors.
The new RDX offers high-quality, up-to-date technology, practicality and Honda reliability. And despite occupying the premium end of the spectrum, the RDX carries a starting price of $38,395, much lower than most of its main competition.
The RDX also features 4GLTE Wi-Fi, available over-the-air software updates and cloud-based services, including emergency roadside assistance, remote door locking and unlocking, engine start, stolen vehicle tracking, remote diagnostics, geofencing, speed tracking, and more.
What vehicles does the Acura RDX compete with?
As the best-selling compact luxury SUV in America, the 2019 Acura RDX competes in a hotly-contested segment. Here are the players:
- Audi Q5
- Alfa Romeo Stelvio
- BMW X3/X4
- Buick Envision
- Cadillac XT4
- Infiniti QX50
- Jaguar F-Pace
- Land Rover Discovery Sport
- Lexus NX
- Lincoln MKC
- Mercedes GLC/GLC Coupe
- Porsche Macan
- Volvo XC60
The new Acura RDX is an exceptional choice for small families or couples/singles who venture into the woods with some outdoor gear and appreciate a small dose of sporty driving dynamics.
Acura RDX Exterior Design
Being all-new, the 2019 Acura RDX features a completely revised exterior design, making it wider, a bit lower, and with a shorter front overhang from bumper tip to the front wheels. It also looks lighter on its proverbial feet with greater use of gloss black trim, especially at the front, rather than having an aluminum expanse across the grille opening, as on the outgoing RDX, which created visual bulk and mass. The new RDX looks trimmer, fresher, and sportier than the old model.
Like some other new vehicles, the RDX's body design uses multiple intersecting lines that could be seen as too aggressive or harsh to some eyes. But this is not unique in the compact luxury SUV world, and there are far harsher examples of this than the RDX.
At the front, the fairly open grille is flanked by new headlights loaded with LED lighting elements on uplevel trims. Cars configured with the A-Spec trim receive 20-inch gray-painted wheels, rather than the 19-inch diameter standard ones, plus wider 245/40R20 tires, special bumpers, extensive use of gloss black exterior trim, a roof-mounted rear spoiler, and different exhaust outlets from the standard ones.
Interior Style in the new Acura RDX
All versions of the 2019 Acura RDX are configured with the same interior configuration, with seating for five passengers and no third row. There's plenty of space, with high-quality materials throughout. The front seats are highly supportive, whether you’re running errands or hustling along on fun backroads.
A 10.2-inch high-resolution infotainment screen sits on top of the dash, controlled by Acura’s new "True Touchpad" interface. This works with much greater accuracy and adaptability than many other touchpad or toggle-driven systems.
A dash-mounted chrome dial rotates to select the four driving modes. Pretty straightforward. The transmission, however, is not so straightforward. This control layout is now common across Acura and Honda product lines, but it can be an unfamiliar arrangement to the newcomer and takes some getting used to. Instead of a traditional gearshift, you press buttons.
Outward visibility has long been a Honda and Acura strong point, and the RDX follows that model. Cargo room in the rear is quite high, at 29.5 cubic feet with the rear seat up, and 58.9 cubic feet with the rear seat stowed. Lastly, all RDX models feature a large sunroof and power tailgate.
What technology comes in the new Acura RDX?
The 2019 Acura RDX offers as standard equipment:
- Adjustable drive modes that change engine and transmission response (Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Snow)
- 10.2-inch high-res central infotainment screen
- New, accurate touchpad controller
- Standard Apple CarPlay
- Walk away" automatic door locking: the RDX locks itself, when programmed, as you leave it
Though Apple CarPlay is standard, Acura has delayed Android Auto integration in the new RDX. If you use an Android device, this could be an issue for you.
The RDX also features its own Wi-Fi network using 4GLTE, along with over-the-air software updates and cloud-based services like emergency roadside assistance, remote door unlocking, remote engine start, stolen vehicle tracking, remote diagnostics, geofencing, speed tracking, and more.
What safety features are included in the new Acura RDX?
The new 2019 Acura RDX comes standard with most of the active safety systems on the market today. They include:
- Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking This system can detect another car, pedestrian, or bicyclist in your path, using radar and a camera to recognize stationary or far slower-moving objects. It alerts you with both an audio alarm and a visual warning if the car might run into the object in front. If you do not brake in time to avoid impact, the car will hit the brakes for you, though this is not a guarantee that the impact will be avoided.
- Lane departure warning An audio and visual signal will alert you when you come too close to the edge of your lane.
- Lane-keeping assist If you come too too close to the edge of your lane, it will gently steer the car back into the center of the lane.
- Adaptive cruise control This feature is set like normal cruise control, although you can also adjust your following distance to the next vehicle ahead. If the vehicle in front slows down, your car keeps pace by reading the distance to that car via a radar sensor, slowing you down, as well.
A blind spot monitoring system – which alerts you to vehicles in an obscured field of vision to the rear sides – is optional.
What is the new Acura RDX like to drive?
The all-new Acura RDX is a rewarding, quick, and agile car to drive. Though the new 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged engine is smaller than the departing V6, it generates close to the same horsepower (now 272 vs. the old V6's 279) and even greater torque (now 280 pound-feet vs. 252). Throttle response from the new engine is very good, with no delay due to the turbo needing to spool up. Acceleration is downright quick, with the turbo four emitting a sporty tone when hitting the throttle hard.
We tested the all-wheel-drive version (optional across all trim levels at $2,000) and it never put a wheel wrong during commuting, in wet conditions, nor when hustling over our favorite twisty roads. That sporty nature is echoed by the suspension, which offers crisp handling without much sacrifice in ride quality over bumps and poor surfaces.
The RDX's adjustable drive mode system (Acura calls it "Integrated Dynamics System") does indeed deliver different driving behaviors in its Snow, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ settings, growing from sedate to sporting as you escalate through the modes.
Outside noise is tuned out very well through extra sound deadening and extra weather-stripping gaskets at the door edges. This also made it more enjoyable to rock out with the optional ELS premium audio system, which boasts 12 speakers, 710 watts, and some smart electronics to give a very fine audio experience, whether you're into John Coltrane or The Clash.
Though the transmission's operation while driving is excellent, there is an issue. When shifting from Reverse to Drive or the other way around, as when in a parking lot or exiting a driveway, the engine and transmission are programmed to delay the actual delivery of thrust to the point that it can become aggravatingly slow. This may be a measure to guard against harsh driveline shock when toggling between gears, but the side effect is doggy throttle response during those instances.
The RDX doesn't exactly rewrite the fuel economy record books. Our test A-Spec SH all-wheel-drive model is rated at an official 21/26/23 mpg in city/highway/combined driving, though the base front-drive version posts 22/28/24 city/highway/combined.
Should I buy a new Acura RDX?
The all-new 2019 Acura RDX is a very solid entry in the compact luxury SUV segment, offering all the luxury, sportiness, usefulness, and much of the style of European compact SUVs, yet at a lower initial price. And all the meaningful active safety systems on the market right now are standard or optional on the RDX. You wouldn't be missing anything from that elite bucket by buying the RDX rather than a far more expensive compact luxury SUV. Acura and parent Honda are also known for solid build quality, where some, perhaps more stylish, European brands lack the same long-term reliability.
Should I buy a used Acura RDX?
Used models of the RDX will be of the prior generation vehicle, built from 2012-2018. These would not compare quite as favorably on features or driving quality, though they would assuredly cost less. And they have an excellent reliability record.
How much does the new RDX cost?
The 2019 Acura RDX undercuts many other compact luxury SUVs with a base price of $38,395 including destination charge. Major options include the Technology package ($3,200 for navigation, premium audio, full active safety and driver assistance features, and leather seating), the A-Spec package ($3,000 for unique front and rear bumpers, larger wheels and tires, and exterior LED lighting, although this trim also requires the Technology package, so it's really $6,200), and the Advance package ($4,900 for heated and ventilated seats, premium audio, leather and burl wood interior trim, and a surround-view camera system for backing up or when in close proximity to objects, as when parking).
Pros and Cons of the 2020 Acura RDX
- Newfound purpose in design and driving dynamics
- Excellent performance from the new turbocharged engine and well-tuned suspension
- Many features of pricier European entries, undercutting the competition
- Five-star overall government safety rating
- Long, aggravating delay in engine power or thrust transmitted when shifting from Reverse to Drive or vice-versa, as in parking lots or pulling out of driveways
- Fussy, odd transmission selector with various buttons
- No engine choices
Acura first showed the production RDX at the 2006 New York International Auto Show and then officially introduced the luxury compact SUV for the 2007 model year to compete in the small, but fast-growing segment. Acura offered its Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive (SH-AWD) system and the first turbocharged engine application Acura or Honda sold in the U.S. market. The peppy 2.3-liter turbo four-cylinder made 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The first RDX competed head-on with BMW's X3. This first-generation RDX set a slightly sporty tone that went away somewhat in the next generation.
The second-generation RDX arrived in 2013, powered by 3.5-liter V6 generating 273 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque paired to a six-speed automatic. This RDX softened its previously hard edges a bit, appealing to a wider, more traditionally luxury-focused audience, as some did not love the earlier car's slightly stiff ride quality in exchange for nimble handling. The second-generation RDX was also quieter and slightly larger.
In 2016, the second-generation RDX was given a refresh with new front-end bodywork with LED lighting and a new rear-end treatment with reconfigured taillights. The interior was reworked, as well, with a dual-screen layout common to a number of other Acura models. The engine got a slight power bump, to 279 horsepower, and revisions were made to the all-wheel-drive, suspension and steering. Among other minor revisions, the car also got shift paddles on the steering wheel, enabling the driver to change gears manually, if so desired.
Specs & Key Features of the 2020 Acura RDX
- Body Style
- Sport Utility
- 2.0L 16-Valve DOHC VTEC Turbo
- 272 hp
- 10-Speed Automatic
- Passenger Doors
- Passenger Seating
- Front Wheel Drive
- City MPG
- Hwy MPG
- Air Conditioning
- Apple CarPlay
- Back Up Camera
- Cruise Control
- Heated Seats
- LCD Monitor
- LED Lights
- Lane Departure Warning
- Leather Steering Wheel
- Remote Keyless Entry
- Tinted Glass
- Engine: 2.0L 16-Valve DOHC VTEC Turbo
- Transmission: 10-Speed Automatic -inc: sequential SportShift paddle shifters
- 4.17 Axle Ratio
- GVWR: 4,784 lbs
- Engine Auto Stop-Start Feature
- Transmission w/Driver Selectable Mode
- Front-Wheel Drive
- Gas-Pressurized Shock Absorbers
- Front And Rear Anti-Roll Bars
- Electric Power-Assist Speed-Sensing Steering
- 17.1 Gal. Fuel Tank
- Quasi-Dual Stainless Steel Exhaust w/Chrome Tailpipe Finisher
- Strut Front Suspension w/Coil Springs
- Multi-Link Rear Suspension w/Coil Springs
- 4-Wheel Disc Brakes w/4-Wheel ABS, Front Vented Discs, Brake Assist, Hill Hold Control and Electric Parking Brake
- Wheels: 19" x 8" Glitter Silver Multi-Spoke -inc: Aluminum alloy
- Tires: 235/55R19 High-Performance All-Season
- Spare Tire Mobility Kit
- Clearcoat Paint
- Express Open/Close Sliding And Tilting Glass 1st And 2nd Row Sunroof w/Power Sunshade
- Body-Colored Front Bumper w/Chrome Rub Strip/Fascia Accent
- Body-Colored Rear Bumper w/Black Rub Strip/Fascia Accent
- Chrome Bodyside Insert
- Chrome Side Windows Trim
- Body-Colored Door Handles
- Body-Colored Power w/Tilt Down Heated Side Mirrors w/Manual Folding and Turn Signal Indicator
- Fixed Rear Window w/Fixed Interval Wiper, Heated Wiper Park and Defroster
- Deep Tinted Glass
- Variable Intermittent Wipers
- Galvanized Steel/Aluminum Panels
- Splash Guards
- Lip Spoiler
- Black Grille w/Chrome Surround
- Power Liftgate Rear Cargo Access
- Tailgate/Rear Door Lock Included w/Power Door Locks
- Fully Automatic Projector Beam Led Low/High Beam Daytime Running Auto High-Beam Headlamps w/Delay-Off
- LED Brakelights
- Radio: Acura Premium Audio System -inc: 9 speakers, 7" color Multi-Information Display (MID), true touchpad interface, 10.2" HD dual-content center display, HD Radio, AcuraLink Connected Services, mobile hotspot capability, natural language voice recognition, Apple Carplay, Siri Eyes Free, SMS, MMS text message and email capability, Bluetooth HandsFreeLink wireless telephone interface, SiriusXM satellite radio, USB audio interface, Bluetooth streaming audio, MP3/auxiliary input jack, Speed-Sensitive Volume Compensation (SVC), 2 USB charge ports and Maintenance Minder system
- Radio w/Seek-Scan, Clock, Steering Wheel Controls and Radio Data System
- Regular Amplifier
- Fixed Antenna
- 2 LCD Monitors In The Front
- Heated Front Sport Seats -inc: front 12-way power seats w/power lumbar support
- 8-Way Driver Seat
- 8-Way Passenger Seat
- 60-40 Folding Bench Front Facing Fold Forward Seatback Rear Seat
- Manual Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column
- Gauges -inc: Speedometer, Odometer, Engine Coolant Temp, Tachometer, Turbo/Supercharger Boost, Trip Odometer and Trip Computer
- Power Rear Windows and Fixed 3rd Row Windows
- Leather/Metal-Look Steering Wheel
- Front Cupholder
- Rear Cupholder
- Proximity Key For Doors And Push Button Start
- Valet Function
- Power Fuel Flap Locking Type
- Remote Keyless Entry w/Integrated Key Transmitter, 4 Door Curb/Courtesy, Illuminated Entry, Illuminated Ignition Switch and Panic Button
- Remote Releases -Inc: Power Cargo Access and Mechanical Fuel
- HomeLink Garage Door Transmitter
- Cruise Control w/Steering Wheel Controls
- Distance Pacing
- Dual Zone Front Automatic Air Conditioning
- HVAC -inc: Underseat Ducts and Console Ducts
- Illuminated Locking Glove Box
- Driver Foot Rest
- Interior Trim -inc: Leather/Aluminum Instrument Panel Insert, Aluminum Door Panel Insert, Leatherette/Aluminum Console Insert and Piano Black/Metal-Look Interior Accents
- Full Cloth Headliner
- Leatherette Door Trim Insert
- Leatherette-Trimmed Interior
- Day-Night Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror
- Driver And Passenger Visor Vanity Mirrors w/Driver And Passenger Illumination
- Full Floor Console w/Covered Storage, Mini Overhead Console w/Storage and 2 12V DC Power Outlets
- Front And Rear Map Lights
- Fade-To-Off Interior Lighting
- Full Carpet Floor Covering -inc: Carpet Front And Rear Floor Mats
- Carpet Floor Trim
- Trunk/Hatch Auto-Latch
- Cargo Area Concealed Storage
- Cargo Features -inc: Spare Tire Mobility Kit
- Cargo Space Lights
- Memory Settings -inc: Driver Seat and Door Mirrors
- FOB Controls -inc: Trunk/Hatch/Tailgate
- AcuraLink Tracker System
- Driver / Passenger And Rear Door Bins
- Power 1st Row Windows w/Front And Rear 1-Touch Up/Down
- Delayed Accessory Power
- Power Door Locks w/Autolock Feature
- Systems Monitor
- Trip Computer
- Outside Temp Gauge
- Digital/Analog Display
- Manual Adjustable Front Head Restraints and Manual Adjustable Rear Head Restraints
- Front Center Armrest and Rear Center Armrest
- 2 Seatback Storage Pockets
- Perimeter Alarm
- Engine Immobilizer
- 2 12V DC Power Outlets
- Air Filtration
- Vehicle Stability Assist Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
- ABS And Driveline Traction Control
- Side Impact Beams
- Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
- Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS)
- Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) Lane Keeping Assist
- Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) Lane Departure Warning
- Tire Specific Low Tire Pressure Warning
- Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
- Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
- Airbag Occupancy Sensor
- Driver And Passenger Knee Airbag
- Rear Child Safety Locks
- Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Rear Center 3 Point, Height Adjusters and Pretensioners
- Back-Up Camera