2018 Acura RDX Review

RDX

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2018 Acura RDX Overview

The Acura RDX crossover stands out as one of the brand’s top-selling models. It’s easy to understand why, as the RDX offers excellent build quality, a long list of features, and plenty of space for passengers and cargo. For 2018, Acura isn’t making any changes.

The RDX is quite the sharp looker in the compact luxury crossover class. Its overall design follows in the footsteps of the larger MDX with a rounded profile, sculpting along the side, and a similar rear tailgate. Its shield grille, however, has been the subject of some ridicule—the chrome wing with its Acura emblem just doesn’t quite fit in with the overall design. To remedy this, Acura has created a wider and larger new front grille for the 2017 MDX and the 2018 TLX, and the RDX will likely undergo the same treatment when it gets redesigned in the next few years.

The interior of the RDX is a bit conservative when held up against those of key competitors—it lacks the unique materials and clever design ideas that might help it stand out. But the RDX makes up for this with the use of high-quality materials, a solid build, and by offering one of the most spacious interiors in the class. The back seat, for example, will comfortably seat a 6-foot passenger thanks to its ample head- and legroom, and cargo space is towards the top of the class with 26.1 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 61.3 cubic feet with the seats folded.

The RDX comes in a single base trim with several available package sub-trims—AcuraWatch Plus, the Technology package, Technology and AcuraWatch Plus packages, and the Advance package, which combines the Technology and AcuraWatch Plus packages along with some additional features. The standard infotainment system is a 5-inch screen and dial controller, which the Technology and Advance packages upgrade to a dual-screen infotainment system with navigation. Reviewers note the base system is actually the better of the two, as it’s less distracting, it’s easier to navigate, and the way the information is divided across the dual-screen system can cause a fair amount of confusion. RDXs equipped with the Technology or Advance packages also receive a 10-speaker ELS sound system that’s considered one of the best on the market.

Unlike most of its competitors, the RDX comes with just one engine option—a 3.5-liter V6 paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission offering up 279 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard, while all-wheel drive (AWD) is available as an option. The V6 offers impressive performance and fuel-economy figures of 20 mpg city, 28 highway, and 23 combined with FWD and 19, 27, and 22 with AWD, putting it towards the top of the class.

In terms of safety, the RDX is well-regarded—the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded the 2018 model a 5-star overall rating, while the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) named the 2017 model a Top Safety Pick+. All RDXs come with a full set of airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control, active front head restraints, and a reversing camera. The AcuraWatch Plus package adds adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning and mitigation, lane-departure warning, and lane-keep assist.

Pricing for the 2018 RDX ranges from $35,800 for the base FWD model to $44,000 for the AWD model with the Advance package.

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Ask William Maley how he started as an automotive writer and he would say he just fell into it. Based in Michigan, William has driven vehicles of all sizes and shapes. His work has appeared on Autobytel, CARFAX, Cheers & Gears, and U.S. News Best Cars.

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