By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 3/1/2011
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 2010 Acura RDX boasts a full arsenal of appeal. Upon its introduction in 2007, 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 newer entries like the Audi Q5, Infiniti EX and Mercedes GLK, the RDX is now one of many luxury-minded compact SUVs on the market, and Acura is hoping that its combination of practicality and sportiness will lure buyers in and keep them interested.
For true sport-sedan driving dynamics you still have to buy a sport sedan. The 2010 Acura RDX's SUV chassis might prove too heavy for those looking for car-like handling characteristics.What's New for 2010
For 2010, the RDX gets a fresh look, numerous interior upgrades and a lower starting price. It also now comes in two-wheel drive form as standard, offering improved fuel economy.Driving It Driving Impressions
With its turbocharged engine, available Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive system and fully-independent sport-tuned suspension, the 2010 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 many major cities, making it easy to see problems ahead and find the best way around them.
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. High-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps are included as standard equipment.Notable Standard Equipment
The 2010 Acura RDX's impressive standard-equipment list includes a glass moonroof, HID headlamps, rear view camera, heated front seats, 18-inch wheels and a 360-watt sound system featuring a seven-speaker in-dash six-disc CD/MP3/WMA player, XM Satellite Radio, Bluetooth and a USB port and auxiliary input jack 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 and all-wheel drive are the only available options for the 2010 Acura RDX. In the tech package, you'll find 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 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 2010 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.
2.3-liter in-line 4 Turbocharged
240 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
260 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/24 (2WD), 17/22 (AWD)
The 2010 Acura RDX starts at a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $33,500 and tops out close to $38,500 when equipped with the Technology Package and all-wheel drive. Our Fair Purchase Price reflects what consumers in your area are paying for the RDX, so be sure to check that number our before you head to the dealership. As for value retention, we expect the RDX to perform equally to the BMW X3 and marginally better than the Land Rover LR2.