2013 Acura RDX Tech Review

Spending a week in one suburbia's favorite SUVs.

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February 28, 2013

2013 Acura RDX Tech Review

Crossover SUVs are rarely the first choice for aggressive driving on challenging roads, but the RDX held its own.

Stalk any suburban strip mall and you'll find plenty of mid-size and compact crossover SUVs, many of them bearing luxury nameplates. Lexus started it all with the introduction of the RX in 1998, forcing its competitors to soon follow suit.

Acura's MDX launched in 2001 as a Lexus fighter, and the RDX came on scene in 2007 to replace the MDX in the compact class as the MDX grew in size and price, leaving the RDX to take on the BMW X3 and Audi Q5.

The RDX underwent a minor makeover for 2013, getting slight styling changes, a new engine and transmission, and a power liftgate. The RDX also grew a bit in both overall length and wheelbase.

There are only two trim levels--base and Technology Package--both available with front- and all-wheel drive. We spent some time getting to know the front-drive version with the Tech Package.

2013 Acura RDX On the Road On the road, the RDX struck us as fairly engaging for a tall crossover SUV, with steering that seemed suited for a sports sedan. Crossover SUVs are rarely the first choice for aggressive driving on challenging roads, but the RDX held its own.

That doesn't mean that the laws of physics didn't apply. Like any tall vehicle, the RDX suffered some from body roll, and cornering responses weren't always as sharp as they could be.

Around town, the ride struck an acceptable balance between sport and comfort, with the RDX being a pleasant cruiser on good pavement. The new V-6--which replaces a turbocharged four-cylinder--gives it plenty of punch.
2013 Acura RDX Exterior With a design that blends curves (most notably in the A-pillar) and angles (most notably in the triangular snout at the front), the RDX follows in the footsteps of the other vehicles in the Acura lineup. It looked a lot like a raised Acura sedan, which is not surprising, given the car-like nature of most crossover SUVs.
2013 Acura RDX Interior Like other Acuras, the RDX had a button-heavy interior that looks intimidating at first glance. Fortunately, the large control knob in the center stack was intuitive.

Cabin materials were generally class-appropriate.

Headroom and legroom up front were acceptable for the class if not overwhelmingly spacious.
2013 Acura RDX Final Thoughts It's difficult to get a balance between sportiness and practicality in a crossover SUV, but this Acura did it pretty well.

With plenty of punch, a nice ride/handling balance, and a comfy interior, we can see the appeal in this little compact luxury SUV. To Bed, Bath, and Beyond we go.
2013 Acura RDX Specs, Features, Prices Engine: 3.5-liter V-6

Transmission: Six-speed automatic

Drive Wheels: Front-wheel-drive (all-wheel-drive available)

Fuel Economy: 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway

Base Price: $38,020

As-Tested Price: $38,915 (includes $895 destination fee)

Available Features: Navigation, Bluetooth, satellite radio, 18-inch wheels, rearview camera, media hard drive, fog lamps, dual-zone climate control, power liftgate, heated front seats, heated power door mirrors, USB port, auxiliary port, leather seats

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