The all-new 2019 Acura RDX is the third generation of this popular luxury crossover, and it’s an entirely new vehicle. It’s not simply a new engine, new technology, and a new look. Yes, they did all that stuff, but the RDX is something more. It’s fun, and that hasn’t been said of the Acura lineup in a good while.
You can argue that point if you like, possibly by relying on the NSX supercar to prove there’s excitement in the brand, but that’s not the kind of car most people park in their driveways. The RDX, however, aims to take a little bit of the NSX and put it into a family vehicle.
It starts with the design, which has a sporty, bold front end, longer wheelbase, and chrome finishes. There are new premium paint colors to take advantage of all that new sheet metal, and the combined effect is a crossover that looks fun to drive.
Inside, that impression is reinforced with an upscale interior far better than the previous generation RDX. It has a supercar vibe with a cockpit-like design for the driver and new 12-way adjustable sports seats. Acura pulled off a neat trick by giving these sporty front seats enough support and bolstering to keep you snug through the corners while still providing the adjustability needed to be outright plush for leisurely driving.
Power comes from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 272 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque paired to the segment’s first 10-speed automatic transmission. It’s more powerful than competitors like the BMW X3 and Audi Q5 and it brings genuine excitement to this vehicle. This is the quickest RDX ever with strong acceleration and a throaty exhaust note that adds to the fun.
Elevating the drive experience is the fourth generation of Acura’s all-wheel drive system, SH-AWD. Whether you’re driving through the snow or traveling clear roads, the system ensures optimum handling and control. A key part of that control comes from torque vectoring, which can send 70 percent of torque to the rear wheels and up to 100 percent of either the right or left rear wheel individually.
When it comes to safety, the RDX has a suite of advanced features as a part of AcuraWatch. This is standard on every RDX and includes collision mitigation braking with forward collision warning, road departure mitigation with lane departure warning, lane-keep assist, and adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow. All but the base model include a blind spot information system, front and rear parking sensors, and rear cross-traffic monitor.
Infotainment in the RDX includes Apple CarPlay, 4G LTE connectivity, and a 10.2-inch screen with a unique True Touchpad interface. Instead of having to locate a cursor on the screen and then slide it to the selection you want, this touchpad is mapped one-to-one with the driving environment so where you touch on the touchpad corresponds to the same location on the screen. It’s more intuitive and less frustrating than the average touchpad.
There are four available trims with standard front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive for an extra $2,000. The lineup starts with the base RDX at $37,300 with a power liftgate, panoramic moonroof, and heated front seats. One step up is the RDX Technology at $40,500 with navigation, perforated leather seats, an ELS audio system with 12 speakers, rear cross-traffic alert, and blind-spot monitor.
Next up at $43,500 is the A-Spec, which is the first time Acura has given an SUV this sporty appearance package. It turns all the chrome exterior trims black, adds larger diameter dual-exhaust finishers, gives the sport seats Ultasuede inserts with contrast stitching, and includes a 16-speaker ELS audio system. Finishing the lineup is the Advance priced at $45,400 with wood trims and a head-up display.
The 2019 Acura RDX breathes new life into this luxury crossover and elevates the brand. It has true luxury appeal with a powerful engine, competitive pricing, and a generously appointed interior.