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2012 Acura RDX Overview
The RDX and its lone trim received a bit of a facelift for 2010, but has since gone untouched. Despite slowing sales and certain loud complaints, the 2012 RDX again carries over with just a few new colors. However, if Acura's schedule holds true, drivers can look forward to a freshening up next year - and if the early refresh of the TL is to be any indication, there might be an upgraded 6-speed transmission in the deal.
Being a sports car through and through, the RDX has its pitfalls. Drivers consistently point out the hard seats and firm ride, relatively poor fuel economy requiring high-octane fuel, limited storage functionality and the less-than-luxurious look and feel of the materials used.
That said, the RDX is "the one" for certain drivers, and those drivers are perfectly happy to overlook the pitfalls for its highly spirited driving, high-tech infusion and exceptional reliability and safety all wrapped up into one affordable but dignified package.
Additionally, one other thing is certain - the raw stats on the RDX do not convey the thrill it delivers. Sure, its engine is just a 2.3-liter four-banger - but it's a turbocharged four-banger with hefty torque and very little burden, putting out 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque for a second-best-in-class 6.9-second zip-to-60 time.
Opting for the SH-AWD ("Super Handling" all-wheel drive) only increases the driving thrill by moving power to the outside wheels around curves for a crisp, lively feel. Unfortunately all of that power chews through gas rather quickly - the best you can hope for fuel economy is just 24 highway mpg, the worst being 17 city mpg with the SH-AWD.
Front-wheel drive and a 5-speed automatic with paddle shifters are standard, as are features like powered seats all around, heated mirrors, heated front seats and automatic xenon headlights. Major options include solar-sensing automatic climate control, voice control and the best stereo in its class.
A rear-view camera is an optional addition to the impeccably safe RDX, coming standard with all the basics you have come to expect plus active head restraints. The RDX earned perfect scores across the board in the most recent safety tests - although it is worth noting the testing standards have since changed.
Overall, the RDX is a prime pick for anyone who wants a reliable and aggressive - but wholly safe - crossover, but doesn't care about the cost of filling up the tank relatively frequently with high-test fuel. Sure the materials could use a look and feel upgrade, but that appears to be the only genuine sacrifice to get an affordable price tag on such a fun compact crossover.
by Patricia Mayo
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