Chicago 2012: Enough Teasing, Here’s The 2013 Acura RDX

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.

The new 2013 Acura RDX isn’t much larger than the outgoing model, but officials say interior space has been increased. That’s hard to verify without a tape measure in hand, but certainly the cabin is far more upscale than ever before. Acura isn’t kidding when it talks about prolific use of soft-touch materials or using leather as a trim element: both are used extensively on the instrument panel and door panels. Unlike Acura’s previous attempts at the latter (the Acura MDX and ZDX interiors come to mind), the leather door accents in the 2013 RDX have a refreshingly plush feel.

Beneath the skin, Acura swapped out the turbocharged I-4 in favor of a 273-hp, 3.5-liter V-6. Despite having two cylinders and 33 horsepower on the turbo-four, Acura says the 2013 RDX will be considerably more fuel-efficient than before. How can that be? A six-speed automatic transmission (in lieu of the previous five-speed unit) doesn’t hurt, nor does the fact the V-6 boasts cylinder deactivation, allowing it to run on three cylinders under light throttle. Additionally, the 2013 RDX’s available all wheel drive system, borrowed from the Honda CR-V, is lighter than the previous SH-AWD driveline, and sends all power to the front wheels under normal conditions.

The finished product is surprisingly impressive in person, but how will it stack up against the likes of the Lexus RX, Cadillac SRX, Audi Q5, or BMW X3? We’ll hopefully be able to tell you that after we drive the 2013 Acura RDX next month. Stay tuned.

For more on the new 2013 Acura RDX, check out our First Look here. For more on the 2012 Chicago Auto Show, including videos, the latest photos, and more information, click here to visit our Chicago Show homepage.

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