Executives freely admit the first-generation Acura RDX exudes a “boy racer” personality — but that won’t necessarily be the case for long. The new 2013 RDX will still be a powerful small crossover, but the entire package feels far more mature than its predecessor ever did.
How so? Certainly, the softer styling certainly helps. The exterior still boasts some rather sharp and strong character lins, but surfaces are smoother and far less cluttered than before. In many ways, it almost looks like a smaller version of the midsize MDX crossover, albeit with a smoother front fascia.
Yet the RDX also matures mechanically. Gone is the hairy turbocharged 2.3-liter I-4; in its place is the 3.5-liter V-6 used elsewhere in Acura’s lineup, including the TSX and base-level TL models. With 273 hp on tap, it actually boasts 33 more horsepower, but thanks to a new six-speed automatic, it may even be a bit more fuel efficient than previous RDX models. Additionally, the SH-AWD system — which helped improve turn-in and cornering by vectoring torque between the rear wheels — is no more, replaced by a less expensive conventional all-wheel-drive system shared with the Honda CR-V.
For more on the 2013 Acura RDX, check out our First Look here. For more on the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, including videos, the latest photos, and more information, click here to visit our Detroit Show homepage.