Acura’s “little” crossover impresses on all levels.
Review and photos by Tom Sedens
Pricing: 2022 Acura RDX
Base price (Elite A-Spec): $58,000
Options: $500 Premium Paint Colour
A/C tax: $100
Price as tested: $61,975
I’ll let that price sink in first. The RDX has never been touted as a cheap alternative, but considering it’s the “smaller, cheaper” Acura SUV… and it has now snuck into the low-$60s before you even add on taxes and dealership add-ons… yikes!
I really like this generation of RDX. The styling is modern, but not way out there, so it has aged gracefully. This vehicle’s A-Spec trim gives it a special front and rear fascia. The front end looks aggressive thanks to the 3D grille, air intakes and Jewel Eye LED headlights. The rear end is finished off nicely with LED tail lights and massive exhaust tips.
All the trim is darkened and it makes for a nice sinister and slightly more aggressive look.
Filling the fenders are huge 20-inch rims with 255-sized boots all the way around.
My review vehicle had the red and black interior – it looks great and combines excellent materials. There are stitched leather-like panels on the console and stitched Alcantara panels on the dash and the doors, front and back, as well as nice contrasting stitching and piping on the seats.
I really loved the A-Spec heated flat-bottomed steering wheel – it looks fantastic and feels great in hand, and has perforated leather segments where your hands would generally be holding it.
The heated and ventilated front seats are at once very comfortable and very well bolstered.
The dash-mounted screen is controlled by a dual touchpad interface, which I do not enjoy.
The ELS Studio 3D audio system has 16 speakers and sounds absolutely incredible.
There’s a full suite of driver assistance technology including blind-spot and rear cross-traffic monitoring, adaptive cruise control, surround-view camera, collision mitigation braking, a heads-up display and plenty of other systems.
Rear passengers get heated outboard seats, two USB-C plugs and an old-school dial-based temperature control. A huge panoramic sunroof overhead lets in plenty of light and makes the space nice and airy.
The console has a sliding lid that covers a bin with two cupholders, a USB plug and a small storage bin. Another little bin can be found under the armrest lid. The centre console is more like a bridge with an open storage space underneath, accessible by both front seats – it’s rubberized and there’s a wireless charging mat there, as well as 12V and USB-C charging ports.
Popping the power trunk lid reveals a spacious trunk, whose space can be increased substantially by folding down the 60/40-split rear seats.
Under the Hood
The RDX’s motivation comes from a turbocharged 2L 4-cylinder putting out 272HP and 280 lb.ft of torque. It’s mated to a 10-speed automatic and the power is distributed to all four corners via Acura’s outstanding SH-AWD (Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive) system.
Fuel economy is rated at 11.3/9.1 L/100 km (city/highway).
There’s plenty of power available, right from the get-go, and the RDX sounds great when stepping on it – although I believe that some if not most of that sound is artificially piped in through the speakers.
The transmission is activated with a push-button selector, which works fine but is never the quickest when you have to do things like a 3-point turn in a parking lot. Gears can be shifted manually using the paddle shifters.
The huge silver Dynamic Mode dial selector visually dominates the centre stack and allows you to choose between Comfort, Normal, Sport and Snow driving modes. These impact how the vehicle responds to your inputs, and also changes the interior ambient lighting accordingly, which is a neat touch.
Thanks to the adaptive suspension, the RDX’s ride is just as great as its outstanding handling characteristics. Add in the world-class SH-AWD system and you can expect excellent traction in all driving situations.
WAF (Wife Approval Factor) was high. She really liked the exterior styling of the RDX this time around, and said it drove beautifully.
While the pricing is reaching scary heights, the RDX represents a modern, sporty, tech-forward crossover with enough utility, performance and luxury to satisfy most buyers. If it’s in your price range, I would absolutely put it on your shopping list. It’s a wonderful vehicle through and through.
Disclosure: Vehicle was provided by Acura Canada.
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