2019 Acura RDX First Drive Review: Third time

    It is taken some getting used to, however the 2019 Acura RDX’s Precision Idea design language has grown on me. All-new for the third-generation, this Ohio-built compact SUV is wider and longer, and rides atop an extended wheelbase. All of this makes the RDX look decrease and extra planted, regardless of its total peak being unchanged. The mannequin’s entrance finish balances massive, seven-element “Jewel LED” headlamps with what have to be the most important Acura badge within the model’s historical past. It is big, nevertheless it works by some means.

    The bigger physique and all-new platform open up a extra spacious cabin, which Acura has trimmed with improved supplies and a design that is as engaging as the brand new exterior. I am additionally happy to see a brand new True Touchpad infotainment system interface changing the model’s very dated outdated tech.

    Maybe most significantly, I used to be most impressed with how a lot smaller and extra nimble this SUV felt on the twisty and scenic Canadian mountain roads round Whistler, British Columbia. Because of its performance-oriented all-wheel drive system and well-sorted chassis, this larger, extra snug RDX nonetheless managed to be a really enjoyable romp when chucked at quick sweeper or two.

    Ooh-wee, that is an enormous ‘ol badge!

    Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

    Turbo energy and SH-AWD

    Behind that huge “A” badge spins a typical 2.Zero-liter turbocharged VTEC four-cylinder engine. Output is said at 273 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. That is a fairly large torque bump over the outdated three.5-liter V6, notably at low engine speeds, the place the RDX sees a 40-percent enhance, serving to it to really feel considerably extra responsive.

    The engine and its 10-speed computerized transmission make an ideal pair with clean and quiet operation round city and gas financial system that is up a single mixed mile per gallon over the V6. Base front-drive RDX fashions web 22 mpg metropolis, 28 freeway and 24 mixed, normal AWD fashions take a single mpg hit in every class, and the brand new A-Spec styling package deal drops an extra single mpg on the freeway as a result of its extra aggressive aerodynamics.

    In Sport mode, the gearbox will not be shy about downshifting when passing and cornering, which makes for actually robust, responsive acceleration. The shift logic is so good, I discovered that I did not actually need to make use of the paddle shifters in most conditions.

    Entrance-wheel drive is normal, however you positively need Acura’s fourth-generation Tremendous Dealing with All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) improve. SH-AWD can ship as much as 70 p.c of the engine’s out there torque to the rear wheels on demand (the outdated system may solely handle a 50/50 break up) and now options 100-percent torque vectoring on the rear axle to help in cornering stability. This new technology can shuffle energy round 30-percent faster, which I seen additionally makes the torque switch really feel extra seamless on the street.

    Usually, I solely actually suggest all-wheel drive for areas that get numerous rain or snow, however SH-AWD can also be a efficiency improve that makes it helpful and enjoyable even when the roads are dry many of the yr. Nevertheless, all-wheel drive is $500 costlier this yr, including $2,000 to the underside line.

    Protecting the RDX planted is a brand new five-link rear suspension mated with sport-tuned dampers. I feel that this normal mounted suspension is tuned nicely sufficient to maintain most drivers proud of a superb steadiness of responsiveness and planted really feel within the corners with a clean and comfy trip over bumps and round city. These searching for extra refinement ought to think about the RDX Advance. This top-tier mannequin options energetic dampers that modify to be smoother or firmer relying on the drive mode chosen.

    2019 Acura RDX A-Spec2019 Acura RDX A-Spec

    A brand new five-link impartial rear suspension with optionally available energetic damper assist preserve the bigger RDX dealing with like a smaller crossover.

    Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

    All RDX fashions characteristic improved isolation and energetic sound administration that cancels undesirable noise within the Consolation setting and provides a little bit of “oomph” to the engine sound in sportier modes.

    Drive modes are chosen by an Built-in Dynamics knob much like the one discovered on Acura’s NSX sports activities automotive. Twisting this knob toggles between Consolation, Sport, Sport+ and Snow settings. Sport+, for instance, sharpens the throttle response, weighs up the steering, livens the engine sound enhancement, biases SH-AWD energy towards the rear finish and corporations up the adaptive suspension. Knocking the transmission into its personal Sport mode is the cherry atop a really dynamic-feeling Sport Plus mode.

    Normal AcuraWatch driver help tech

    For the 2019 mannequin yr, the AcuraWatch driver help suite has moved to the usual tools checklist for all RDX fashions. Which means even base fashions with no choices roll off of the lot with ahead collision warning with collision mitigation braking, adaptive cruise management that works even in low-speed site visitors, lane-keeping steering help and street departure mitigation.

    Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic monitoring and parking distance sensors be part of that security suite on the midtier Tech trim degree. Prime Advance fashions exchange the RDX’s normal rear digital camera with a surround-view digital camera system that shows a top-down view of the world across the SUV at very low speeds to help parking.

    AcuraLink with True Touchpad interface

    For a while, dashboard tech has been a weak spot for Acura. This new RDX significantly improves in that regard with the all-new Acura True Touchpad interface.

    The system consists of a 10.2-inch full-HD show mounted excessive on the dashboard, new Android-based software program and the eponymous True Touchpad situated on the middle console. The menu construction could be very smartphone-esque and is simple to grasp. The interface makes use of a split-screen configuration that makes multitasking really feel very pure.

    Customers work together with the system by way of the touchpad, which acts form of like a laptop computer’s trackpad, however with completely positioned faucets. To hit an icon on the upper-right nook of the display screen, simply faucet the upper-right nook of the trackpad. Increase, there isn’t any onscreen cursor to maintain monitor of. It takes some getting used to, however not like Lexus‘ outwardly related Distant Contact pad-based system, I picked it up rapidly.

    Total, I am very impressed with True Touchpad’s ease of use, excessive degree of customization and emphasis on protecting eyes on the street. Apple CarPlay is normal throughout the board, however sadly, Android Auto is lacking from the lineup at launch. I am assured the latter is coming later via a software update.

    The RDX Advance additionally provides a big, full-color head-up show (HUD) that’s managed by way of buttons on the steering wheel and is customizable with infotainment shortcuts favourite contacts, radio stations or locations. Decrease trim ranges can nonetheless entry these shortcuts from the multi-information show within the instrument cluster.

    There’s rather a lot to like, however I additionally bumped into various cabin tech annoyances. My greatest hangup is True Touchpad’s slowness. The system takes a really very long time in addition up, generally as much as a full minute earlier than even the security disclaimer display screen seems. Utilizing the True Touchpad to write down textual content when looking for locations was additionally an arduously gradual affair. After a number of makes an attempt, I normally simply gave up and used the pure language voice search.

    2019 Acura RDX A-Spec2019 Acura RDX A-Spec

    It isn’t good, however Acura’s new RDX has improved sufficient to be in comparison with German luxurious SUVs with out an accompanying snicker.

    Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

    Pricing and competitors

    The 2019 Acura RDX begins at $37,300 earlier than $995 vacation spot cost and $2,000 improve for SH-AWD. That final bit is optionally available, however, belief me, you positively need all-wheel drive. That value is consistent with the 2018 base mannequin with the AcuraWatch improve, which is now merely rolled in as normal tools.

    Absolutely loaded, an RDX Advance with SH-AWD tops out at $48,395. Acura factors out that’s about $10,000 lower than comparably geared up German luxurious competitors — BMW’sX3 xDrive30i, the Audi Q5 Premium and Mercedes-Benz GLC300. No, the RDX is not as nimble because the Bimmer, as refined because the Benz or as high-tech because the Audi, however Acura has managed to ship a balanced driving expertise, security expertise and magnificence that is a minimum of within the ballpark.

    Drawing comparisons with German luxurious is all good, however the RDX truly will get cross-shopped as usually with Japanese and American premium compact SUVs — the Lexus NX, Infiniti QX50 and their ilk. Amongst this class, the 2019 Acura RDX will shine even brighter when it hits dealerships in June 2018.

    Editors’ notice: Roadshow accepts multiday car loans from producers so as to present scored editorial evaluations. All scored car evaluations are accomplished on our turf and on our phrases. Nevertheless, for this characteristic, the producer coated journey prices. That is frequent within the auto trade, as it’s miles extra economical to ship journalists to vehicles than to ship vehicles to journalists.

    The judgments and opinions of Roadshow’s editorial group are our personal and we don’t settle for paid editorial content material. 

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