Updated styling. The 2022 Acura RDX enters the new model year with updated exterior styling. The exterior design of the compact RDX now matches the midsize MDX. The front end features an updated grille and redesigned air intakes, while the rear end receives rectangular exhaust tips. The RDX’s wheels now measure in at 19 inches, while the sporty A-Spec trim comes with new 20-inch wheels. The changes aren't large, but they help the RDX to continue being one of the more stylish Japanese SUVs.

The interior is equally as stylish, though it flexes its sporty edge. The center console comes together in a V, while the red gauges, large dial for the drive modes, and push-button gear shifter are all sporty elements on the inside. Unfortunately, these elements are held back by somber colors.

Peppy, not blistering performance. Unlike the majority of compact SUVs in the segment, the RDX is only available with one powertrain. The good news is that the engine is fine for daily use. A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 272 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque is standard. The engine offers plenty of power for daily use and quick acceleration off the line, though it doesn’t have nearly enough grunt to match engines from AMG, BMW’s M, or Audi’s S models.

Acura didn’t update the powertrain for 2022, but the automaker changed the drive modes to make a larger difference between Comfort and Sport settings. You have to look for the changes to know that they’ve been made, but different settings do make the RDX feel different.

Power isn’t one of the RDX’s strengths, but the handling is. Models with the torque-vectoring SH-AWD system feel agile and offer precise steering. Acura’s all-wheel-drive system does more than just give drivers the confidence to get through a winter storm, but also brings sharp handling in dry conditions. All-wheel drive is an extra $2,200, but it’s well worth the cost.

With fuel economy figures of up to 24 mpg combined for models with front-wheel drive and as low as 23 mpg combined for models with all-wheel drive, the RDX is simply average when it comes to fuel economy.

Generously equipped. Since its introduction, the RDX has always been a strong value option in the compact class. Pricing for the 2022 RDX starts at $40,345, which undercuts a lot of the competition. You can’t tell that the RDX is a value option because it comes packed with features. Standard features on the RDX include a 10.2-inch display, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, dual-zone automatic climate control, a Wi-Fi hot spot, nine audio speakers, a panoramic sunroof, and heated front seats.

Acura offers the RDX with three major packages that it uses as trim levels. We think the Technology package continues to be the best option for most people, as it brings a 12-speaker ELS audio system, navigation, a wireless charging pad, leather upholstery, and GPS-linked climate control. The A-Spec trim isn’t worth the extra money since it doesn’t bring any additional performance features.

You don’t have to worry about safety features with the RDX, because Acura packs the compact SUV with a lengthy list of standard safety features, too. All of the modern safety features you expect to see with a new vehicle are standard. A head-up display, a surround-view parking camera, and parking sensors are optional.

Roomy, comfortable cabin. Thanks to its 108.3-inch wheelbase, the RDX offers enough room for five people to sit comfortably. Still, if we had the choice, we’d pick one of the two front seats, as they offer an impressive amount of adjustment and, with the right available package, support for a day trip. With a traditional SUV roofline, the RDX offers spacious accommodations in the back with 38 inches of rear headroom and 38 inches of rear legroom.

The RDX offers more cargo capacity than a lot of its competitors. The SUV has up to 29.5 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats in place and a total of 58.9 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.

For the most part, the RDX comes with upscale materials that fit in for the luxury segment. While the design won’t be for everyone, high-quality materials and soft-touch surfaces make it feel like a true luxury SUV. For 2022, Acura has increased the amount of sound deadening and introduced a new active sound-reducing system to make the RDX quieter.

Final thoughts. The 2022 Acura RDX lacks the brand recognition and panache as some of its rivals, but it offers a nice blend of refinement, comfort, and value, while feeling upscale. Sharp styling and enjoyable handling are also reasons to overlook the SUV’s tricky infotainment touchpad.

For similar levels of value, but more performance, an even prettier design, and more tech features, check out the Genesis GV70. It came out of nowhere to be one of the best SUVs in the segment. The BMW X3 is a well-rounded SUV that offers peppy performance, high-tech features, and a luxurious cabin. You’re also getting a badge that will fill people with envy.

Check prices for the 2022 Acura RDX