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2008 Acura RDX

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2008 Acura RDX Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By KBB.com Editors


Combining sport sedan-like power and handling with the cargo versatility, high seating position and all-wheel-drive capability of an SUV, the premium-badged 2008 Acura RDX boasts a full arsenal of appeal. Upon its introduction for the 2007 model year the RDX's only true competitor was the BMW X3, a vehicle that essentially had the compact premium SUV segment all to itself since its introduction for the 2004 model year. With new and upcoming entries from Audi, Infiniti, Mercedes and others, buyers will benefit from even more options.

You'll Like This Car If...

Delivering a convincing combination of performance and functionality---topped off by a premium badge and numerous features---there isn't much not to like about the 2008 Acura RDX.

You May Not Like This Car If...

For true sport-sedan driving dynamics you still have to buy a sport sedan. The 2008 Acura RDX's SUV chassis might prove too heavy for those looking for car-like handling characteristics.

What's Significant About This Car?

For 2008 the turbocharged 2008 Acura RDX receives minor updates, including an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a new paint color (Polished Metal Metallic) and two-position memory seats and mirrors. Lastly, Bluetooth hands-free integration is now standard.

Driving It Driving Impressions

With its turbocharged engine, Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive system and fully-independent sport-tuned suspension, the 2008 Acura RDX indeed delivers acceleration and handling levels in line with some sport sedans. Responsive and eager around town, the RDX will even handle curvy roads with deftness and confidence---although it doesn't provide quite the same feel of integration between driver, machine and road as does the BMW X3. Like a sport sedan, highway ride is taut but comfortable. All-in-all, we enjoyed every mile spent behind the wheel of the RDX.

Favorite Features

DVD-Audio Sound System
In addition to compatibility with "just about every type of current audio format," according to Acura, the RDX's optional DVD-Audio system delivers impressive Surround Sound.

Real-Time Traffic Information
As part of the RDX's satellite communication system, the navigation screen can display real-time traffic speeds and accident information, making it easy to see problems ahead and find the best way around them.

Vehicle Details Interior   photo

The athletic exterior design is complemented inside by sport-style seats covered in perforated leather, a sculpted three-spoke steering wheel and metallic trim. With or without the comprehensive Technology Package the RDX's interior features a dynamic, high-tech ambiance. One of the more functional features is a huge center console that's big enough to swallow a laptop computer. Most will find the back seat cozy without being cramped, while fold-flat rear seats extend the capacity of an already-generous cargo area.

Exterior

The RDX conveys its performance potential in the form of 18-inch wheels, a raked version of the familiar five-point grille, dual-outlet exhaust and a "turbo" badge on the back. A unique feature is the unconventional tailgate that is integrated into the rear bumper, unlike other SUVs, providing a smoother look to the rear end. HID headlamps are included as standard equipment.

Notable Standard Equipment

The 2008 Acura RDX's impressive standard-equipment list includes a glass moonroof, HID headlamps, heated front seats, 18-inch wheels and a 360-watt sound system featuring an in-dash six-disc CD/MP3/WMA player, XM Satellite Radio, Bluetooth hands-free integration, seven speakers and an auxiliary input for portable MP3 players. A long list of standard safety equipment includes front, front-side and two-row side-curtain airbags plus electronic stability and traction control systems.

Notable Optional Equipment

A comprehensive Technology Package is the only available option for the 2008 Acura RDX. It consists of a navigation system with voice recognition and real-time traffic information, GPS-linked solar-sensing climate control and a 410-watt, 10-speaker audio system that features XM Satellite Radio and a six-disc CD/DVD-Audio player with MP3/WMA capability plus DTS and Dolby Pro Logic II processing. Surprisingly, the tech-savvy RDX doesn't offer remote-sensing unlock and start.

Under the Hood

Featuring the first turbocharged engine to power an Acura (or Honda) automobile for sale in the U.S., the 2008 Acura RDX's 260 pound-feet of torque is the most ever for a Honda product---even more than the dear, departed Acura NSX. Thanks in part to a sophisticated variable-flow turbo, the four-cylinder engine delivers the quick response and minimal lag associated with smaller turbochargers plus the high-rpm boost of a bigger turbo. The Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive system is able to transfer torque not just from front to rear, but also between the two rear wheels, providing both safety and performance advantages. Unlike the BMW X3, the RDX is not available with a manual transmission. The RDX has a maximum tow rating of 1,500 pounds.

2.3-liter in-line 4 Turbocharged
240 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
260 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/22

Pricing Notes

The 2008 Acura RDX starts at a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $34,000 and tops out a little over $37,000 when equipped with the Technology Package, which is the only available "option". We expect our Fair Purchase Prices to reflect real-world transaction prices at or even above those MSRPs. As for value retention, we expect the RDX to perform equally to the BMW X3 and marginally better than the Land Rover LR2.

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