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2013 Acura RDX Overview

Justin Cupler
Automotive Editor - January 4, 2013

In 2007, Acura released its entry-level SUV, the RDX. For the 2013 model year, the RDX is getting a complete overhaul, marking the beginning of the SUV's second generation. With this overhaul comes some pretty significant changes on the inside and outside of this luxury crossover SUV.

The 2013 RDX comes out with a slew of changes. Acura stretched the RDX in just about every direction, making it 0.1 inches wider, 1 inch longer and taller, and gave it an extra 1.8 inches in ground clearance. Along with all of those increased dimensions, Acura also gave it a 1.4-inch-longer wheel base, a 0.3-inch-wider front track and a 0.8-inch-wider rear track, giving the RDX a better footprint on the road.

Also changed up was the SUV’s exterior look, as Acura eliminated the soft-looking body from the 2012 model year and replaced it with one that features aggressive body lines and an elongated hood, making it look more SUV-like and less like a crossover. Also eliminated is the 2.3-liter turbocharged engine and a 273-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine takes its place, increasing horsepower by 13.7 percent, and increasing the RDX’s fuel economy from 19 mpg city and 24 mpg highway to 20 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. Unfortunately, the RDX is not designed to tow very much, as it only has a 1,500-pound maximum towing capacity.

As with last year’s model, the RDX only comes in one trim level, Base, and is available in front-wheel or all-wheel drive. It also has the optional Technology Package, which tosses in: Acura navigation; 10-speaker, 410-watt ELS surround system with hard drive, voice recognition; power rear hatch; GPS-linked, solar-sensing climate control; and xenon HID low-beam headlights.

The 2013 Acura RDX is in one of the fastest-growing automotive segments: compact crossover SUV. First up on the list of competitors is the 2013 Audi Q5, which seats up to five people, features standard leather, tows up to 4,400 pounds and has a standard 211-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. The 2013 BMW X3 sneaks into the competition, despite its slightly higher price tag, boasting a 240-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, leatherette seating for five, standard all-wheel drive and 3,000-pound towing capacity. Next up is the 2013 Nissan Rogue, which carries a 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, cloth seating for five, available all-wheel drive and a 28 mpg highway rating.

The competition for the all-new RDX is fierce, and Acura needs to separate itself from the pack if it expects to lead the pack at some point in the 2013 model year.

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