By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.0
Now that the market offers a healthy variety of desirable compact luxury SUVs, one could easily overlook the segment's value-oriented veteran, the Acura RDX. Basically sharing a platform with the popular Honda CR-V, the 2012 Acura RDX outclasses its corporate stablemate with available Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (AWD), a more refined interior and a turbocharged engine with a robust 260 lb-ft of torque. Boasting the lowest starting price of its competitors and one of the highest residual values in its class makes the Acura RDX a smart choice for most small luxury SUV shoppers.
If you are searching for a small luxury SUV with an array of standard features at a value price, the Acura RDX offers Honda's legendary reputation for reliability and resale value along with an attractive sticker price.
With an all-new model on the way, the 2012 Acura RDX remains unchanged from the 2011 model.
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, 2-box profile. It won't,...however, mimic those compact SUVs with a rear-wheel-drive bias, or - for that matter - the standard rear-wheel drive found in the Mercedes Benz GLK350. Opt for a front-wheel-drive (FWD) 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 appropriately proportioned - with an overall length of just over fifteen feet - for running around town. And if traffic allows, with its 240 horsepower you can actually run!
Super Handling All-Wheel Drive
The availability of Acura's SH-AWD is what separates Acura's RDX 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 Temperature Control
Within the available Technology Package is a unique dual-zone climate control system that tracks the sun's position via GPS and adjusts the cabin temperature accordingly.
An upscale, modern character is expressed throughout the cabin of the 2012 Acura RDX, thanks to silver-painted accents and the center stack's high-tech design. The standard seating surfaces are wrapped in supple leather, as is the multifunction steering wheel. The front-seat bolsters offer ample support for spirited driving and the rear seats offer sufficient legroom and headroom for most average-sized adults. Despite its cozy cabin, the RDX features one of the biggest cargo areas in its class with over 60 cubic feet of space with the 60/40 split rear seats folded flat.Exterior
There's no mistaking an Acura vehicle for anything else these days, thanks to their prominent satin chrome-finished front grilles. The 2013 RDX's features an aggressive design defined by angular sheet metal, a muscular stance and a pair of wide, chrome-tipped exhaust outlets. The RDX rides on 18-inch, 10-spoke alloy wheels wrapped in 235/55R18 all-season rubber. Nighttime illumination is provided by standard xenon headlights and integrated fog lights for increased visibility in murky weather.
With a well-equipped window sticker under $34K, the 2012 Acura RDX is suitably furnished in its standard spec, offering a power moonroof, xenon headlamps, perforated leather-trimmed seats, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, dual-zone automatic climate control, multi-information display, a rear backup camera, USB port, and an auxiliary input jack for your MP3/WMA player. A host of safety features includes six airbags, whiplash-lessening active front headrests, and a theft-deterrent system with an electronic immobilizer.
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: the Technology Package and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive. The Technology Package includes an AcuraLink Satellite Communication System with navigation, voice recognition, real-time traffic and weather, a 10-speaker audio system, and SiriusXM Satellite Radio. The package also includes an 8-inch full-color display and a GPS-linked climate control system. And the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive isn't only for those living in the Snowbelt states – it gives the RDX all-season handling ability that the FWD variant simply cannot match.
Acura's 2.3-liter DOHC 4-cylinder 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 lb-ft of torque - with minimal lag. Partnered with the available SH-AWD, the combo makes for nimble handling in-town, and composed, secure handling on the open road - all year long. The turbocharged powerplant is mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission with a sequential shift mode. And while the setup is responsive, the EPA ratings for both FWD and AWD are - at best - middle-of-the-road.
2.3-liter turbocharged inline-4
240 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/24 mpg (FWD), 17/22 mpg (AWD)
By Gman on Tuesday, July 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,800overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "A lot of car for the money and very fun to drive"
Cons: "Could be better gas mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This car drives like a sport car and handles wonderfully in traffic and the open road. Its not a economy car, however if driven normally I get 20mpg in town and 24 on the road at a steady 75mph. Plenty of cargo room with 61 cubic feet of space with the rear seats folded flat."
5 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By Dave on Saturday, May 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 59,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Paint, outer and interior looks, quickness."
Cons: "Premium gas, audio (radio )"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"My only beef is the audio and having to use premium gas. I understand on the newer cars this has been solved."
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Dave on Thursday, May 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,800overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Cons: "GAS PREMIUM."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"My one problem is, this year rdx (first ) needs to run on premium gas and gets expensive, other than that it runs strong and is very quick. visual is great ( windows ). Yes, I would buy another Acura, this is my second."
1 person out of 4 found this review helpful
By acuragirl on Thursday, May 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Handling, reliability, excellent resale value"
Cons: "Cup holders, no trunk/hatch release"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The older model Acura RDXs are excellent cars and Acuras are always a great investment. Even after leasing for 3 years, followed by a 4-year loan, I have more than $10K in equity in the car. Having the turbo and paddle shifters is a blast and the handling is more like a smooth sedan than an SUV. My only complaints about this model are the cup-holders - pretty lame - and the fact that there is no trunk/hatch release. Other than that this is a fantastic car."
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Angiepants on Thursday, April 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
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."
5 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By jo on Tuesday, April 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 83,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
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!"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful