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2011 Acura RDX

Overview
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2011 Acura RDX Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.5

At its introduction in 2007, few could have imagined that Acura's foray into the compact luxury SUV segment would - within a few short years - essentially define that segment. Combining a car-like platform with upright bodywork, 5-door flexibility and all-wheel drive is a near-luxury framework now used by Audi, Infiniti, Mercedes, Volvo and BMW; only BMW's X3 was in production prior to the RDX launch. Notably, of these mentioned the only ones sharing their platforms with more affordable donors are Acura and Audi, whose main architectures are also used by Honda's CR-V and VW's Tiguan, respectively.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you enjoy the smaller - albeit practical - footprint of a compact SUV, Acura's take offers Honda's reputation for service, reliability and resale value, wrapped in a package significantly more upscale than its CR-V stablemate. Add the benefits of Acura's SH-AWD, and the RDX is truly an SUV for all seasons.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Given its compact exterior dimensions and - when compared to a traditional sport sedan - excessive weight, the RDX may not provide enough sport, utility or efficiency to those looking for (approximately) equal measures of all three.

What's Significant About This Car?

With a freshened look, interior upgrades and available 2WD, the 2010 model year was a significant "freshening" for Acura's compact SUV. In 2011 those changes stay in place as the platform moves toward an eventual redesign.

Driving the RDX

Driving Impressions Given its all-independent suspension, turbocharged powertrain and available sport-tuned all-wheel drive, the RDX provides a reasonable take on a sport sedan within its SUV-like, two-box profile. It won't, however, mimic...

those compact SUVs with a rear-wheel drive bias, or - for that matter - standard rear-wheel drive. Opt for a 2WD RDX and you have - at its root - a Honda CR-V with approximately 50 percent more power and a more refined ride/handling balance. The RDX is perfectly proportioned - with an overall length of just over fifteen feet - for running around town. And if traffic allows, with its 240 horses you can actually run!
Favorite Features

Super Handling All-Wheel Drive
The availability of Acura's SH-AWD is what separates Acura's RDX (and larger MDX) from the others in its compact SUV category. Not only does SH-AWD augment traction in low-traction situations; it also effectively balances the platform by optimizing torque not only between front and rear axles, but also side to side. In the drizzle it's the shizzle.

GPS-linked, Solar-Sensing Dual-Zone A/C
In the Technology Package, the system's GPS capabilities will track the sun's position and adjust the climate control system accordingly.

2011 Acura RDX Details
Interior

Acura describes the RDX interior as a "direct expression of the vehicle's sports car lineage." If "sports car" conveys an interior more personal than expansive, they hit the nail on the head. Seating is comfortable for four, tightly drawn for five. And those relegated to the backseat should be no larger than football players; make that European football players. The (standard) leather seating is comfortable and well-constructed, outward visibility is very good from most seating positions, and the available Acura/ELS Surround premium audio is designed to simulate the experience of a studio environment. And with that one feature, you can now sing somewhere other than your shower.

Exterior

Although its skin - especially after the '10 refresh - is all Acura, there's no denying the Honda roots. When examining the smallish Acura proportions it's very close to the CR-V, from the significant front overhang to cowl height to its two-box profile. What Acura describes as "bold" 18-inch rims give the RDX a more aggressive stance than its Honda sibling, while the aggressive front fascia, HID front headlights and sculpted bodywork provide a more substantial presence than at the time of the RDX's intro.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

With a well-equipped window sticker of around $33K, the Acura RDX is appropriately furnished, offering in its standard spec a glass moonroof, HID headlamps, perforated leather-trimmed seating, racing-inspired paddle shifters, a rear view camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, multi-information display, USB port and AUX input jack. A host of safety features includes a full complement of airbags, vehicle stability assist with traction control, and theft-deterrent system with electronic immobilizer.

Optional Equipment

As is typical in both Honda and Acura vehicles, the RDX is easy to order, with a comprehensive list of standard equipment and only two factory options: Technology and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive. The technology option includes AcuraLink Satellite Communication System; navigation with voice recognition; real-time traffic and weather; a 10-speaker surround sound system with 6-disc changer and XM Radio; and rear view camera with 8-inch color viewing screen. And the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive isn't only for those living in the snowbelt; it gives the RDX a handling balance simply not available in the FWD variant.

Under the Hood

The Acura's 2.3 liter DOHC in-line four is effectively the RDX's centerpiece, and is the most singular reason for choosing the RDX over its CR-V stablemate. A Variable Flow Turbocharger delivers an unusually broad powerband - and 260 pound-feet of torque - with minimal lag. And when combined with the available SH-AWD, the combo makes for nimble handling in-town, and composed, secure handling on the open road - in any season. Regrettably, despite the RDX's performance orientation, the RDX is not available with a manual transmission. And while responsive, the EPA ratings for both 2WD and AWD are - at best - middle-of-the-road.

2.3-liter in-line four-cylinder Turbocharged
240 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
260 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/24 (2WD), 17/22 (AWD)

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2011 Acura RDX Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 181 Ratings for the 2007 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    8.9/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

Horrible gas mileage & heavy 4 cyl for a turbo

By on Thursday, April 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Great Luxury car, all the fancy things"

Cons: "Bad turbo, bad mpg"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"HORRIBLE GAS MILEAGE. The overall design of theis car is great. All the bells and whistles at a great price. The engine design is horrible. A turbo on a 2.0 liter 4 cyl enginer is fine....if it were a car. The RDX is a rather heavy SUV, and the turbo gets used a lot to haul around such car. The turbo burns out very fast. I have already replaced the turbo and A/C. The turbo was 4k. The weight sitribution is mostly in the back, wo when you have a car full of people it drags and you can feel it. Therefore, turbo kicks in. I hear the newer models are 6 cyl and i am sure they have fixed the other flaws. However, this isn't acuras first rodeo, so I expected more. The gas mileage is horrible. I average 12 mpg. 19 if its downhil and someone is pushing."

Has been a great car!

By on Tuesday, April 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 83,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "very responsive on the highway-like a sports car!"

Cons: "bumps are not handled too well-pretty rough ride!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I am second owner and love the fact that it's a small SUV and the turbo gives it a LOT of pep (except for the fact that it uses premium gas)It handles great on the highway-like a sports car in the curves and hills!! Only downfall is that I live in the midwest where we have lots of pot-holes and bumpy streets because of snow, and it is a very,very rough ride at times! If it weren't for that-I'd keep it forever, because I love the way it handles and that it sits up higher than a car and is easy to get in and out of!"

Best snow and wet road traction of AWD vehicles

By on Saturday, April 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 106,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Handling, brakes, traction, the turbos a blast"

Cons: "Stiff suspension"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've owned this car for 7 years. I've never had any quality/reliability issues with it, ever. Great handling car, great brakes, good acceleration. By far, the best snow traction of any vehicle I've ever driven, including other 4wd vehicles. While other trucks and cars are sliding around, this one's SH-AWD sticks to the road like glue. The suspension is stiff, so if you like a soft ride this is not for you. Small and nimble for great cornering and easy parking."

Best Vehicle ever, fun to drive, roomy and sporty.

By on Thursday, April 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 105,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great price fun to drive"

Cons: "gas mileage not so good.."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I was not looking for THIS car....and I am so happy that I purchased this vehicle. It is definitley the most fun car to drive. My RDX is a 2007 and I have not had any problems. Keep your maintenance up, change the oil and drive....!!!"

Fast, Responsive and Comfortable SUV

By on Sunday, February 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 83,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "comfort and luxury"

Cons: "not as roomy in cargo area as full size SUV."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This is truly a luxury SUV that drives like a car. The comfort and quietness of the interior is superior to many vehicles out there. It has been reliable and responsive to drive.It has very quick pickup and handles well in all weather, especially rain and snow."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

The best all weather vehicle I've ever owned

By on Thursday, December 26, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 69,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, Performance, Snow handling"

Cons: "Gas mileage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Had this car six years. Great in all weather conditions. Replaced a performance sports sedan with this SUV and have been very pleased. Winter and snow performance were previously an issue. No longer. The RDX handles the snow very well. It also a pleasure to drive all year round. Very high quality. The car still feels and performs like new six years later. No squeaks or rattles. The turbo four is lively and handling is very good for a 4000 pound SUV. Other than so-so gas mileage (23 on the highway, not as good in city traffic), I've really enjoyed this compact SUV. Found it to be perfect car for my family of four."

6 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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