3/4 Front Glamour 2014 Acura RDX

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Expert's Rating


MPG 20 City / 28 Highway
  • Powerful yet fuel-efficient V6 engine
  • Roomy and well-appointed interior
  • Excellent reliability history
  • Attractively priced
  • Not as nimble as competition
, Automotive Editor -
Cargo room is in short supply, but refined performance and a luxurious cabin will appeal to those who don't need family-sized space.


Now in the sophomore season of its current generation, the Acura RDX pursues crossover buyers who want premium appointments but don't need scads of space. Unlike run-of-the-mill compacts, the Acura offers near-luxury ride characteristics and robust power from its standard V6. There's very little in the way of options -- the RDX comes lavishly equipped from the start, which helps justify its price premium over similarly sized competitors.

The 3.5-liter V6 delivers a healthy 273 horsepower, good enough for spirited all-around performance, even when carrying cargo. Astute cylinder deactivation helps the engine achieve 23 mpg in combined city and highway driving, more like the economy you would expect from a four-cylinder crossover. The RDX borrows an optional all-wheel drive system from its downscale cousin, the Honda CR-V.

The standard leather-swathed cabin offers comfort and room normally associated with larger -- and less efficient -- crossovers. Every RDX features heated front seats, an inviting two-tone dashboard with rear camera display, and push-button start.

Some buyers might be disappointed to learn wood trim is not available, and that a power tailgate is offered only as part of the $3,700 Technology Package. That suite of upgrades also includes navigation with real-time data, a multiview rear camera, an upgraded audio system with 15 GB of storage, customizable controls with voice recognition, a tire pressure monitor, solar-sensing temperature control, Xenon low-beam headlights, and fog lamps.

When it comes to cruising the open road, the RDX certainly lives up to its luxury aspirations. Wind and engine noise have been all but engineered out of the cabin, and the steering is light but responsive. Hit the accelerator and power rushes in smoothly, without much indication of what's happening under the hood. The ride is controlled and relaxed, an attribute that's likely to shine on long trips.

There's 26 cubic-feet of cargo space behind the rear seat, and 61 when it's folded. That's average for this class, which makes the RDX more of a getaway vehicle for two than one for the entire family. To accommodate the grown-up toys, Acura dealers offer roof rails with attachments for everything from kayaks to snowboards. It's easy to imagine the RDX becoming a favorite of affluent young couples who might one day need room for one more.

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2014 Acura RDX
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Recommended for: Buyers who want true luxury features in a small crossover.

The RDX comes as single model with a high level of standard equipment, even for the near-luxury class. Every example is equipped with: power leather seats with heat and driver memory; heated power side windows with automatic-down and integrated LED turn signals; a sunroof; and 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels. The seven-speaker sound system with subwoofer features speed-sensitive volume control, a SIRIUS radio and Pandora compatibility.

The available Technology Package adds navigation with real-time data, a multiview rear camera, an ELS Surround audio system, 15 GB of media storage, a power tailgate, voice controls, a tire pressure monitor, fog lamps, Xenon low-beam headlights, and sun-sensing climate control.

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