- Excellent drivetrain and chassis
- Large and perfectly positioned infotainment screen
- Upscale interior has clever storage solutions
- Vague braking feel and response
- Confusing touchpad infotainment controller
- Awful rear visibility
Acura RDX Expert Review
- Platinum White exterior paint
- Android Auto integration
- Key by Amazon in-car delivery
The Acura RDX is well-liked at MotorTrend. It was a finalist at our 2019 SUV of the Year competition, where we lauded its agile handling and powerful motor. The RDX has won a couple comparison tests, including against competitors typically considered more upscale. We kept an RDX A-Spec in our long-term test fleet, where we had plenty of time to appreciate its clever interior details and bold, complex styling. With a Sport+ setting too, it even does a decent job of being fun to drive.
We still have complaints, though. The brake pedal with almost no initial bite has been a call-out from our very first drive. Another issue is the infotainment system. While the display's size and placement is excellent, its touchpad controller can be distracting to use while driving. Like many infotainment systems, there's a learning curve, but its integration with popular smartphones isn't great.
Overall, though, the RDX earns a solid recommendation with its enjoyable driving dynamics and impressive value.
Powering the Acura RDX is a 2.0-liter turbo-four (derived from the Honda Civic Type R). In this tune it produces 272 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, channeled through a 10-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, while Acura's SH-AWD (Super Handling All-Wheel Drive) is optional. With all-wheel drive, the RDX accelerates from 0-60 mph in 6.4 seconds.
Standard front-drive models are EPA rated at 22/28 city/highway mpg, while all-wheel drive versions get 21/27 mpg. Opting for the A-Spec model with FWD or AWD brings sporty looks, at the expense of efficiency: Highway mpg drops by one compared to the regular RDX.
The RDX's standard headlights help the model earn a Top Safety Pick+ designation from the IIHS. Oddly, the top-of-the-line Advance package is only rated Acceptable (to the other trims' Good rating) because the IIHS found the model's set-up caused more glare for oncoming drivers. In either case the RDX's standard collision mitigation braking system avoided collisions at 12 and 25 mph. The NHTSA gives the RDX a five-star overall score.
The RDX comes standard with the AcuraWatch suite of safety- and driver-assist features. In addition to adaptive cruise control, it includes lane-departure warning with corrective steering assist, blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning, and collision mitigation braking. A surround-view camera system and rear cross-traffic alert are optionally available.
With the second row in place, the RDX has 29.5 cubic feet of cargo volume. Fold that row down and cargo volume expands to 58.9 cubic feet. It also has several clever storage areas distributed around the cabin. Front row occupants have 42 inches of legroom, while those behind get up to 38 inches.
The 10.2-inch display mounted top and center on the RDX's dashboard contains infotainment functions, controlled by a touchpad behind the shifter buttons. Other vehicle information is displayed on the 7.0-inch screen in the gauge cluster. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as is a WiFi hotspot. The front row has two USB ports, as does the second row on all models except the basic trim. Over-the-air software updates are included on all models, which recently allowed the addition of Key by Amazon in-car delivery and Android Auto.
The RDX's standard audio setup is comprised of nine speakers, but A-Spec and Advance models come with a 16-speaker ELS Studio 3D premium audio system. Other optional technology features include GPS-linked climate control, navigation with real-time traffic updates, and a head-up display.
The 2020 Acura RDX is a midsize two-row luxury crossover and comes in the following trim levels:
2020 Acura RDX: The entry-level RDX is a front-drive model that rolls on 19-inch wheels. LED headlights and taillights, and leatherette-trimmed heated front seats are standard. A large panoramic moonroof comes on all models, as does keyless entry and a push-button starter. All-wheel drive is an optional upgrade.
2020 Acura RDX Technology Package: The Technology package adds 3D-view navigation with traffic updates, GPS-linked climate control, two second-row USB charge ports, and a 12-speaker premium audio system. In terms of driver assistance, the Technology package includes front and rear parking sensors, a rear cross-traffic monitor, and blind-spot monitoring. Stylistic niceties include perforated leather seats and machined-face 19-inch wheels.
2020 Acura RDX A-Spec Package: Sporty looks (but no extra power) are what the RDX A-Spec is all about. Beyond the model-specific front and rear fascia, it adds dark 20-inch wheels, LED fog lights, blacked-out details, and big dual exhaust outlets to the exterior. Inside, model-specific front seats are heated and ventilated. The driver gets a leather-wrapped sport steering wheel and metallic sport pedals. Cabin trim is finished in dark aluminum, and red accent lighting gives a sporty ambiance. A-Spec models get an upgraded 16-speaker audio system.
2020 Acura RDX Advance Package: Technology and luxury are enhanced in the Advance package. It rides on adaptive suspension dampers which can firm or soften depending on the situation, enhancing the RDX's ride quality. LED foglights and model-specific 19-inch wheels denote the Advance package's exterior. The driver gets a heated steering wheel, front seats are heated and ventilated, while rear outboard seats are heated too. Natural wood trim decorates the interior, as does white ambient lighting. Features like rain-activated windshield wipers, a surround-view camera system, 16-speaker audio system, hands-free tailgate, and 10.5-inch head-up display add to the premium feel.