Exactly five years after I first drove the Acura RDX, I find that it is not aging well. The turbocharged engine delivers decent power, but it's not linear in its delivery, and the five-speed automatic is a dated device. The ride-and-handling balance is ho-hum, and the suspension crashes over bumps. The steering is dead on-center. There's a distinct lack of a "premium" feeling to the RDX, especially when compared with the newer entries in this segment like the Volvo XC60, the Audi Q5, the Mercedes-Benz GLK, and the BMW X3. Heck, there are small crossovers from non-premium brands that feel more of-a-piece than the RDX does, like the Chevy Equinox, the Hyundai Santa Fe, and the Volkswagen Tiguan. The RDX is definitely overdue for a re-do.
Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor
The Acura RDX is a decent-looking compact crossover -- from the B-pillar back. Unfortunately, its nose just seems all out of proportion for its size. I didn't mind the same front-end treatment on the MDX because that vehicle has the size and heft to carry it off, but it just doesn't fit on the smaller RDX.
The most notable feature on this vehicle is the turbocharged four-cylinder engine. In a straight line it delivers power almost instantaneously, but it produces an inordinate amount of torque steer when you accelerate from a stop. As others have noted, it might have been less noticeable if our test vehicle was equipped with all-wheel drive. If I were thinking about buying an RDX, I'd make sure to get one with the SH-AWD system.
Amy Skogstrom, Managing Editor
Wow. Are you guys serious? I just love the interior of the RDX -- the great spacious feeling delivered by the low cowl, the cheerfulness and clarity of the instrument cluster, and the exceptional execution of the center-stack controls. The buttons and rotary dials have the look and feel of premium home-audio equipment. I want to keep changing radio stations just to touch the buttons.
Agreed, though, that the cabin -- especially the back seat -- feels old school. Plenty of room, though.
Jean Jennings, Editor-In-Chief