2012 Acura RDX

Base FWD 4-Dr Sport Utility I4 auto trans

2012 acura rdx Reviews and News

2012 Acura RDX Front Left View
The RDX, Acura's compact crossover, was previously an outlier in its category. It seemed to have been developed by a bunch of engineers who were trying to channel the Integra Type R. As intriguing as that sounds, the RDX's buckboard ride and high-strung four-cylinder turbo just didn't work in a compact, premium-brand crossover.

Larger, but lighter

The new RDX takes a much different tack. It looks and drives exactly like the larger MDX -- arguably, Acura's best-realized current product. The new RDX is larger than its predecessor, and looks it. But it's also lighter, and roomier. The latter quality is particularly evident in the rear seat, where occupants sit on a high cushion and where a flat floor facilitates three-abreast seating.
One can imagine that no one at Acura is eager to spend much time thinking about the unloved, oddball ZDX, but it might have been nice if some of that vehicle's inventive, luxurious interior design and materials had found their way into this car. Instead, the RDX serves us the standard Acura fare -- which means this is a design-free zone, wrought in materials that are decent but little more, with controls arranged in a sober, straightforward manner.
The electronics interface, an area where luxury-brand car shoppers might expect to be wowed, looks stuck in the last decade. (Maybe Acura is waiting for its upcoming new RLX flagship sedan to introduce a new interface.) True, Acura's turn-and-push knob controller is safer and easier to use than some carmakers' flashy touch screens, but it contains its own annoyances. It surely gets tiresome, for instance, to have to agree to the lawyer screen every time you start the car (if you don't hit OK, the display goes blank); and once you do, the screen always defaults to the map, no matter what it was set to when the car was shut off. For me, that meant having to hit "audio" to get the radio information to appear, at every start-up. Also, the presets are arranged in two stacks of three, but the preset buttons are arranged in a row of six, so they don't match.

From four to six

The big break with the past is under the hood, where the turbocharged four-cylinder has been jettisoned in favor of Honda's corporate 3.5-liter V-6. Other carmakers are making the opposite move -- replacing V-6 engines for turbocharged fours, in a quest for better fuel economy. Acura, though, achieved better mileage here by adding cylinders. The old 2.3-liter was a heavy drinker among turbo fours, while the new V-6 is pretty efficient thanks in part to cylinder deactivation. It also benefits from being paired with a six-speed automatic, versus the previous five-speed. As a result, EPA ratings jump from 19/24 mpg to 20/28 mpg (FWD), and from 17/22 mpg to 19/27 mpg (AWD).
The V-6's 273 hp beats the turbo four's 240 hp, although its torque figure of 251 pound-feet is just shy of the previous engine's 260 pound-feet. Regardless, the V-6 makes the new RDX plenty quick; the six-speed automatic is unobtrusive; and throttle response is now linear and predictable. Honda's torque vectoring SH-AWD system helped the previous RDX claw its way around corners, but it's been replaced by a more pedestrian system similar to that in the Honda CR-V. Without torque vectoring, it doesn't aid handling, and the RDX is now pretty middle-of-the road in that endeavor. It does ride a lot better than before, however, and the new electrically assisted power steering is well weighted.

Well priced, well equipped

Acura keeps it simple with options, offering none, and only two trim levels. Front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions are offered with or without the Technology Package, which adds $3700. Its primary elements are navigation and a high-end audio system. Otherwise, everything you'd want is standard, including leather, heated seats, a sunroof, keyless entry and ignition, Bluetooth, power seats, et cetera. Pricing starts at a very reasonable $35,215 and tops out at $40,315
Surprisingly, one item that might not be worth ordering is four-wheel drive. It wasn't the season for snow or ice when I drove the RDX, but when pulling out from even a slight uphill grade onto a busy two-lane, the RDX would often spin its front wheels -- excessively so in the wet. The car is so lazy about reapportioning torque to the rear I thought it must be front-wheel drive. It wasn't, but it might as well have been.
Other than the disappointing all-wheel-drive system, however, the new RDX looks perfectly positioned to meet the wants and needs of its target market. It may be less of an iconoclast, but it's roomier, mellower, more powerful, more comfortable, and more economical. We think buyers will be happy to make that trade.
2013 Acura RDX AWD Tech
Base price (with destination): $40,315
Price as tested: $40,315
Standard Equipment:
3.5-liter V-6
6-speed automatic transmission w/shift paddles
All-wheel drive
4-wheel disc brakes
Leather-trimmed seats
Keyless entry and ignition
Power windows
Power door locks
Power driver's seat (10-way), power passenger's seat (4-way)
Power side mirrors
Power moonroof
Heated, power mirrors
Navigation system w/voice recognition
Multi-view rear camera
AcuraLink communication system w/traffic and weather
Acura/ELS surround-sound AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 audio system w/aux and USB inputs and 10 speakers
Hard Disk Drive
Dual-zone automatic climate control
Xenon HID headlights
Power tailgate
Fog lights
Options on this vehicle:
Key options not on this vehicle:
Fuel economy:
19 / 27 / 22 mpg
3.5L V-6
Horsepower: 273 hp @ 6200 rpm
Torque: 251 lb-ft @ 5000 rpm
6-speed automatic
Curb weight: 3852 lb
18 x 7 inch alloy wheels
235/65R18 Michelin Primacy MXM4 tires
Audi Q5
Cadillac SRX
Infiniti EX35
Lexus RX
Lincoln MKX
Mercedes-Benz GLK
Volvo XC60
2012 Acura RDX
2012 Acura RDX
If you lust for a hot hatch but need the versatility of a small SUV, Acura may have the perfect compromise: the RDX. Despite sharing its basic architecture with Honda's popular CR-V, the RDX exhibits a completely different -- and much more dynamic -- personality. Even with its tall roofline and higher ground clearance, the SUV behaves like a subcompact. The rorty, snorty 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder packs a substantial wallop, and the available SH-AWD system -- which aids handling by sending power to the outer rear wheel during cornering -- helps the already-poised RDX exhibit tenacious grip. Dynamically, the RDX is still quite impressive, but it is starting to show its age elsewhere. That's most evident in the cabin. Although the interior is chock-full of clever cubbies and storage areas (including a locking center console designed to hold a laptop computer), its aesthetic generally feels dour and dated. Buyers may be wooed by a number of advanced features, such as ELS surround sound, perforated leather seating, and GPS-linked climate control, which are typically found in more expensive vehicles, but the RDX's true party trick remains its on-road demeanor. The compact utility segment has grown increasingly crowded, but the RDX is one of the few that convincingly meld the soul of a sports car with the shape of a sport-utility vehicle.
2013 Acura RDX Front Three Quarter
Acura's 2013 RDX compact utility vehicle may have just officially debuted at the Chicago Auto Show, but the automaker already announced pricing today. The 2013 Acura RDX will be priced from $35,205, including $885 in destination charges.
2013 Acura RDX Front Three Quarters View
We've been looking at the new 2013 Acura RDX since January, when a so-called prototype debuted at the Detroit show, but Acura used the 2012 Chicago Auto Show to officially debut the finalized production model.
2013 Acura ILX Left Front
Honda showed concept versions of the Acura ILX and RDX at the Detroit Auto Show last month. Now the luxury brand plans to debut the production version of the 2013 Acura ILX and the completely redesigned 2013 Acura RDX at the Chicago Auto Show this month.

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2012 Acura RDX
2012 Acura RDX
Base FWD 4-Dr Sport Utility I4
19 MPG City | 24 MPG Hwy
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2012 Acura RDX
2012 Acura RDX
Base FWD 4-Dr Sport Utility I4
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2012 Acura RDX Specifications

Quick Glance:
2.3L I4Engine
Fuel economy City:
19 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
24 MPG
240 hp @ 6000rpm
260 ft lb of torque @ 4500rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player (optional)
  • CD Changer
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation (optional)
50,000 miles / 48 months
70,000 miles / 72 months
Unlimited miles / 60 months
50,000 miles / 48 months
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
IIHS Overall Side Crash
IIHS Rear Crash
IIHS Roof Strength

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5-Year Total Cost to Own For The 2012 Acura RDX

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Five Year Cost of Ownership: $35,917 What's This?
Value Rating: Average