Whatever you think of the burgeoning crossover segment does not matter. People have spoken and won Crossovers – compact crossovers are the fastest growing segment in the entire automotive world.
The good news is that competition among them has led to efforts like the brand new Acura RDX 2019.
While the RDX Mission has not changed as a premium do-everything-two-line crossover, nothing else has changed it. From the stem to the rear, nothing comes out of the model he replaces. In the development of the RDX 2019, Acura set the high-end range of a crowded premium compact crossover class – such as Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC and Volvo XC60 ̵
The RDX 2019 marks the third generation of the model and features a new Acura-specific platform that will underpin some of the automaker's future automobiles. The new RDX is a shade lighter and a bit stiffer than the one it replaces. Larger than its predecessor, the new model gains more rear legroom and cargo space thanks to a 2.6-inch longer wheelbase (now 108.3 inches) and a 2.4-inch overall length (186.8 inches). It is also 1 inch wider and 0.7 inches larger. To get an idea of how mature the new RDX is, bear in mind that its new wheelbase matches that of its predecessor MDX, its bigger brother.
The basic hardware of the RDX is not revolutionary. A five-link rear suspension replaces the in-country setup of the previous model for more precise handling and better driving control. At the front, all RDXs are equipped with a variable-ratio steering system which, when cranking the steering wheel, accelerates the steering and reduces the number of rotations required for the maximum steering angle. The rack itself is of the two-pinion type, allowing the engineers to choose the steering characteristics finer.
Turbo four-cylinder only
Gone is the V6 engine of the previous model, but that's no reason concern, concern. In its place is the same turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine from the parent company Honda and found in the top-level Accord and, in stronger-juiced, the Civic Type R.
In the RDX, this engine generates 272 PS and 280 pound-foot of torque, and it requires premium fuel. This is a bit less peak power, but more torque than the outgoing V6. The difference is especially strong at low speeds; At 1,600 rpm, the turbo four gives about 40 percent more torque than the V6. The four-cylinder is the only available engine and fits only to a 10-speed automatic transmission. All RDXs are offered in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive (AWD).
Despite moderate weight gain (additional devices compensate for weight savings elsewhere, giving front-wheel drive models 46 pounds and AWD variants 112 pounds), the new RDX shaves 0.5 seconds from sprint to 30 miles per hour and a few more Tenths from 0 – 60 mph stroke.
Next generation AWD
The latest version of Acura's optional Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) now works faster and handles more torque. As before, SH-AWD continuously adjusts the amount of torque delivered to the rear axle. On a highway cruise at constant speed, the front wheels do most of the work and the rear wheels essentially come along. However, the system can redirect up to 70 percent of the engine torque when sufficient weight-induced traction is available, such as on a hard dry asphalt start-up.
SH-AWD differs from other AWD systems in its ability to steer every fraction of the torque at the rear axle to each rear wheel. Combined with a rear differential that is slightly oversteer than the front, SH-AWD can help the RDX turn even when it provides more traction. It's a powerful, smart system.
One Trim Level, Four Packages
Like all Acuras, the new RDX is not offered in trim levels, but as a single trim with one of four optional packages: Base, Tech, A-Spec and Advance. The automaker keeps it simple by restricting stand-alone options to four-wheel drive and some dealer accessories.
Standard features of the RDX 2019 include an absolutely colossal panoramic sunroof and the formerly optional AcuraWatch driver assistance. The basic models are well equipped with two-zone automatic climate control, an electric tailgate and 12-way adjustable and heated front seats. The tech package offers a wealth of comfort (navigation, park warning, leather upholstery, additional driver assistance, improved sound system). The A-Spec offers understatement with its 20-inch wheels, wider tires (20 mm), ventilated seats, a stunning 16-speaker and 710-watt surround sound system, a darkened exterior trim and a unique cabin trim.
Leading the way in Advance, with thicker carpet and acoustic windshields for more noise reduction, stepless dampers, a hands-free tailgate, 16-way adjustable front seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, customizable and interactive head-up Display and the surround sound system.
Completely New Infotainment Interface
Perhaps the most striking aspect of the RDX 2019 is the True Touchpad Interface (TTI), Acura's brand new infotainment interface. This touchpad-based system, first shown as the "Acura Precision Cockpit" at the Los Angeles Auto Show 2016, marks a redefinition of interaction with a variety of vehicle functions.
A high-resolution 10.2-inch display sits high above the dashboard, out of reach of the arm. It is not a touch screen and there is no button. Instead, TTI includes a post-it-size, slightly curved touchpad that sits at the base of the center stack. Unlike other touchpad-based interfaces, where a cursor-like selector is pushed around, TTI relies on absolute positioning. In other words, the touchpad area is the same as the screen.
For example, if you touch the upper left corner of the touchpad, the tile in the upper left corner of the screen will be highlighted. Release your touch and the highlight disappears. This emulates the intuitive layout of a touchscreen, with the main difference being that the selection is made by lightly pressing on the touchpad.
Our time with TTI was promising. Unlike a touch screen, where you need to guide your finger to a desired icon, TTI can be operated with a short or peripheral view. It provides the intuitive interaction of a touch screen with less "eye-sight" problems of such a system. It is also very appealing. TTI has a certain learning curve – at first we tried to move the highlighted part like a mouse – but only because it's different, not because it's difficult.
Ride with the new RDX
We spent a day on RDX A-Spec and Advance models, all equipped with four-wheel drive. On the road there is little to complain about the decision to leave the V6. The turbocharged four-cylinder engine with turbocharger even produces a lot of oats. The gear shifts of the 10-Raser are subtle and it's only a short job to call the right equipment for the conditions to avoid shifting.
Turning the distinctive Dynamic Mode dial (front and center of the dashboard) gradually sharpens various chassis and powertrain functions. In standard comfort mode, the powertrain is still harmless, just right for routine driving. Sport mode is pretty lame; In A-Spec models, it provides some steering power and increases the volume of the exhaust. In addition, the dampers of the Advance models are slightly reinforced.
Sport + noticeably takes on a new level, including a more aggressive shift schedule and a livelier SH-AWD calibration that makes this trucklet something that can do surprisingly short work on a canyon road.
Steering issue, quickness and on-center stability good, but the feeling is on the dumb side. Even with the standard dampers, the RDX keeps the body in check and changes direction with a zeal that disproves its size and weight. Yes, this is a crossover that has a degree of precision, but its ride quality is compliant and is not disturbed by midcorner bumps. When it comes to balancing a comfortable ride with a satisfying handling, the RDX delivers.
The new cabin is attractive enough. The leather, open-pore wood and metal accents of the Advance package give a convincingly upscale impression. The seats are great too. However, the rear view is not large and forces you to rely on the surround camera. Nevertheless, the functionality of the RDX remains impressive. The cabin is really spacious, even in the backseat, and cabin storage options are abundant. The same goes for the Bring-Everything cargo space, which combines ample volume with clever storage space and back seats in the floor, which fold almost flat.
Fuel Economy and Pricing
Fuel efficiency for front-wheel drive models is 24 mpg combined (22 city / 28 highway), while AWD costs 1 mpg across the board. The wider tires on A-Spec models further reduce highway mileage by 1 mpg.
The price of the new RDX is a real strong suit. It starts at $ 38,295 (including destination) for base front-drive models, which is unchanged from the outbound AcuraWatch-equipped model. Other packages have gone up in price, but they contain more features. And with 48.395 US dollars, the most expensive Advance model with four-wheel drive undercuts many rivals many times over.
That the Acura RDX from 2019 does not save, well, everything, makes it an irresistible thing. Conveniently, it arrives at dealers on June 1st.