2019 Acura RDX Premier Drive Review | Expert Opinion

May 31, 2018 | Author: | Posted in Cars

WHISTLER, BC – Things have gone well for the Acura RDX. The compact crossover was launched in 2007 with a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system for the brand to present the Super Handling designation. It was a sporty and fun vehicle in a sea of bored competitors, and we loved it enough to write a kind of a compliment when the second-generation RDX abandoned the fun turbo engine in favor of a V6 and descended its optional system from all wheels that stopped using the name Super Handling.

The Acura integration of RDX for its second generation has proven to be an intelligent game. Sales increased 94% in 2012, the first year of the redesigned RDX, a 50% jump in the next year and a 50,000 mark in the last three years. It may seem surprising, then, that Acura returns the game book a few pages by replacing its V6 engine with a four turbo and reinstalling the super drive Super Drive.

We believe that it is an intelligent movement. The 2019 RDX is sportier and more exclusive than the model it replaces. Do not just check boxes. It is interesting, has good technology and offers a solid value proposition.

The new four-cylinder turbocharged 2.0-liter engine of the RDX 2019 offers 272 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. It’s just seven insignificant ponies of the old 3.5-liter V6, but up to 28 lb-ft, and it’s set to provide most of that torque at the heart of its power strip. torque between 1600 and 4500 rpm. A new 10-speed automatic transmission transmits this power to the front wheels or, as in the case of the vehicles we test, on all four wheels.

When jumping on an RDX 2019 for the first time, our main focus on the powertrain was that the 10-speed automatic transmission would generate a ton of useless and annoying changes. It turned out to be an unfounded fear. The gearbox moves quite frequently under heavy acceleration, but it does so fast and without excessive jolts. A large number of gear options, the old six-speed car had a reduced gear ratio of 68%, and the combined torque engine to provide excellent straight-line acceleration in any real driving scenario we could imagine. The rest of the time, we really do not think about the transmission. However, we deplore the pushbutton interface. It is not as intuitive as a traditional shift lever and does not really save much space.

While it is true that a large percentage of the population of EE. UU Just do not need all-wheel drive, those who choose the latest Acura SH-AWD system will get real benefits, regardless of the weather. the surface of the road. Up to 70% of the engine torque can be transmitted to the rear axle of the RDX 2019, and then it can be distributed in any percentage from one side to the other. In practical terms, the RDX has excellent traction on slippery surfaces, and its torque vectoring technology allows it to drive more accurately when the driver feels particularly good.

This powertrain is housed in a completely new chassis that is exclusive to the RDX. Despite having a longer wheelbase (+2.6 inches) and a wider track (+1.1 inches at the front and 1.3 inches at the rear), the 2019 model weighs 20 pounds less than before, and it is considerably more rigid. The RDX Base, Tech and A-Spec models are equipped with amplitude sensitive dampers that can be moved between the so-called “driving zone” for greater comfort and a maneuverability zone to keep the car flat on tight curves… These basic non-electronic shock absorbers end up providing a well-ordered unit that is on the comfort side.

Unlike the all-mechanical base suspension configuration at the lower trim levels, the Advance RDX models feature an active registration system that electronically adjusts suspension drag. In just 0.002 seconds, a variety of sensors can change the behavior of each gate. It’s a great technology, and that’s why we want it to be optional on A-Spec. Unfortunately, it comes with the Advance finish level only, which means that the sportier RDX cannot be combined with the more advanced suspension system.

The Acura integrated dynamics system is standard and allows the driver to choose between four driving modes: Comfort, Sport, Sport + and Snow. All have obvious objectives, but the differences between Sport and Sport + need to be further developed. The throttle response, the increased steering, the SH-AWD torque adjustment and the traction control settings are all modified by the IDS, as are the electronic shock absorbers on the Advance models.

We left the IDS at Comfort most of the time, and were rewarded with a good driving feeling. In sport, the variable ratio steering is significantly heavier and provides solid feedback to track the performance of the front tires. The Sport + marks the maximum level and, if it is an Advance model equipped with the Active Damper system, Sport + accelerates the journey. The options are always appreciated, but we believe that comfort is a good starting point. Sport is ideal for winding roads and Sport + is trying too hard to make the RDX something it is not: a sports car.

The A-Spec setting we mentioned earlier is new to the RDX in 2019, and is intended only as a look-pack. On the outside, almost every piece of chrome is replaced by a dark edge, and a unique set of 20-inch wheels and 4-inch exhaust tips gives the RDX a more sinister look. But it’s the internal changes that we like the most. The red metallic gauges, the perforated leather steering wheel, the chrome shift vanes, the Ultrasuede seat inserts and the aluminum rim contribute to a sporty and exclusive interior. We really appreciate the optional red leather interior, especially when combined with the Apex Blue Pearl paint that is seen on our test vehicle.

Here is a quick video comparison that shows the exterior and interior differences between an Acura RDX A-Spec 2019 and an Advance model:

Acura says that the 2019 RDX is its first production vehicle to fully exhibit the spirit of the interior and exterior highlighted by the Precision and Precision Cockpit concepts of the brand. Full-grain skins, contrast stitching and seams, genuine brushed aluminum and genuine ash wood are part of the new RDX, and they all look like high-end materials. There is no obvious plastical piece with which passengers come into contact and that sits in place as a luxury brand.

The RDX 2019 is also the first vehicle to incorporate the new Acura True Touchpad interface, which in the RDX controls an information and entertainment package that is displayed on a centrally mounted 10.2-inch LCD screen. Discover our first thoughts on the touchpad here. In the real world, sharing windy roads that are not familiar with other drivers, we appreciate Acura’s efforts to make information and entertainment technology as user-friendly as possible. There is definitely a learning curve: zones A and B, split screens and lack of tactile feedback mean that the touch screen is not immediately intuitive, but once you get used to it, the True Touchpad interface is clearly superior to similar systems used by competitors of Acura (Lexus, we are watching you). Apple CarPlay comes as standard, and as soon as Google makes Android Auto can be used with a touch pad, Acura promises to add that too.

The larger outer dimensions are more spacious inside. The head, shoulders and legs are enough for four adults to sit comfortably in the 2019 RDX, and a fifth could sneak into the back seat for short periods. There are 31.1 cubic feet behind the second row, and Acura cites 79.8 cubic feet of storage space with the rear seat folded and including the rear seat floor area. A fresh rear refrigerator management system comes standard, just like a small bucket that apparently has a size that fits several wine bottles. Unfortunately, we have never found the time to prove this claim.

The 2019 RDX paints a clear image of the direction of the Acura style. A tense reticle similar to what we have seen adopted by TLX, RLX and MDX draws attention and is the place from where the rest of the sheet of the car seems to sink. A large Acura logo is found in the front and center of this grill, but this small chip does not do much to alter the attractive lines of the new RDX. The latest Acura Jewel Eye lights join the Diamond Pentagon Grille (your words, not ours) to make a distinctive look without completely rewriting the somewhat angular design that Acura owners have come to expect. Stationed side by side, the 2019 model looks significantly different and cool compared to the old one.

It’s not just the visual revival of the crossover that makes it extremely important for Acura. Remember, the brand had a very good run until 2009 and could try to recover some buyers with more traditional vehicles. But that does not do that. Instead, the 2019 RDX is more like a return to what made the Acura brand relevant: exciting, high-end vehicles based on a perception of innovation and real, palpable technology.

And this is not accompanied by a sharp increase in costs. The base price of the RDX 2019 of $ 38,295 easily reduces the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC 300. Best of all, the value of an RDX Advance charged for less than $ 50,000 is underscored by the fact that Germans with comparable powertrain options can all crest $ 60,000 if you’re not careful. Of course, it is also fair to note that these same Germans all have optional high-level engine options that Acura has not yet managed to counter.

Restoring the turbocharged four-cylinder engine and Super-Handling AWD is more than a pyrrhic win for enthusiasts, it’s a boon to luxury crossover consumers for a few reasons. First, this is the first of what we hope to be a long list of evidence points. Acura might be able to deliver unique vehicles that are not just Honda models a little more luxurious. Second, the guts of the RDX – its powertrain, chassis, style and price – are exactly where they should be. Finally, the fact that our biggest complaint with the RDX is the options available with this level of finish speaks volumes about the quality of the whole. Welcome, Acura ….

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