First Drive: 2011 Acura RDX

#Acura, #RDX

As the RDX has its toes in both the sport crossover and luxury crossover segments, it's a little difficult to put that figure into context. On the one hand, it's significantly cheaper than building a comparably equipped BMW X3 xDrive28i (doing so will run you close to $46,000). On the other, a number of challengers drive just as well -- if not better -- than the RDX, and cost a whole lot less. RDX customers may not think to cross-shop the model with the Mini Cooper S Countryman All-4, but the funky vehicle is a blast to drive. Better yet, add the same features found in a loaded RDX, and the Mini's price tag comes in at nearly $3000 beneath the RDX.

Acura has the general formula -- sporty with a dash of sophistication -- down pat. Since competitors continue to pack their compact crossovers with upscale features, we'd love to see the company bestow its contender with some additional refinement -- perhaps a revised cabin, along with a modern gearbox -- in the near future. Considering a number of new rivals are expected to debut shortly (BMW's X1 and the Audi Q3 are both believed to come stateside within the next two years), a refresh, even a mild refresh, may be imperative for the RDX to weather its next few years on the market

2011 Acura RDX

Base price: $33,480 (including $860 in destination)
Price as tested: $36,850 (RDX with Technology Package)

L x W x H: 182.5 x 73.6 x 65.2 in
Legroom F/R: 41.8/ 37.7 in
Headroom F/R: 38.7/ 38.3 in
Cargo capacity (seats up/ down): 27.8/ 60.6 cu ft
Curb weight: 3743-3942 lbs
EPA Rating (city/highway): 19/24 mpg (fwd), 17/22 mpg (SH-AWD)

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