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2012 Acura RDX

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2012 Acura RDX Review

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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.

You'll Like This Car If...

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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If class-leading fuel economy tops your list of desirable attributes for your next compact SUV, the Audi Q5 or the BMW X3 might satisfy your efficiency craving.

What's New for 2012

With an all-new model on the way, the 2012 Acura RDX remains unchanged from the 2011 model.

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, 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.

2012 Acura RDX Details
2012 Acura RDX photo Interior

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
2012 Acura RDX photo

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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

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.

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: 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.

Under the Hood

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)

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2012 Acura RDX Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 197 Ratings for the 2007 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    8.8/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

In the shop constantly - poor quality

By on Tuesday, January 12, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
2/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "Very few pros in my opinion"

Cons: "Unreliable and cheap plastic interior."

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

"Despite repeated (6) trips to the Acura dealership for various electric and sensor problems, the dealership has admitted that they can't fix the problem and has offered no suggestions. The interior plastic is cheap and is falling apart. Terrible gas mileage. The car has been a huge disappointment."

8 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Acura did it right in 2007

By on Tuesday, November 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 44,900

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Powertrain, suspension, sound system."

Cons: "Gas mileage."

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

"Purchased one month ago. Vehicle had merely 44,005 miles and looked basically new inside and out. Like every single aspect of this RDX except gas mileage and, much less importantly, the appearance of the grill/front end."

8 people out of 12 found this review helpful

A very sweet ride, fun to drive

By on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great handling, peppy, stylish, fun"

Cons: "fuel economy"

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

Looking right at home on Mulholland Drive, before I bought it and brought it home to New England.

"I love the sporty handling and energetic power of the RDX. I love the technology package. The car is comfortable, stylish, well-crafted, and safe. The only real minus is that it gets pretty abysmal fuel economy - about 19mpg - and takes premium fuel. That is to say, it's pricey to run. More on the plus side - insurance is lower than my Integra's was - presumably because of added safety features in the "R" and being less of a theft target."

21 people out of 33 found this review helpful

Looking right at home on Mulholland Drive, before I bought it and brought it home to New England.

Head rests are terrible!

By on Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 69,815

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
1/10

Cons: "headrests, passenger seat,gasoline"

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

"The seats are not the most comfortable....passenger seat will not go back very far. It is actually a rough riding vehicle and the gas will cost you a fortune (this car likes the Premium grade)."

15 people out of 39 found this review helpful

CHOPPY RIDE, ROAD NOISE, BAD AUDIO.

By on Sunday, January 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"OVERALL A VG SUV, ROAD NOISE PRONOUNCED, THE AUDIO PORTION IS NOT VG IN MY OPINION,PAINT GREAT , SEAT LEATHER VG, REAR ENTRANCE A LITTLE DIFFICULT. BUT I LIKE HONDA /ACURA PRODUCTS."

13 people out of 34 found this review helpful

Perfect luxury crossover w/ great performance

By on Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 73,900

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Luxurious. Turbo engine really makes the car move"

Cons: "Lots of extras some don't want/need."

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

"Silver exterior. Black leather interior. Beautiful car. Excellent ride. All maintenance is Acura certified and recorded in maintenance book. Up-to-date GPS. This is a dream car and I plan to get another when I return to the U.S. Will email photos on request."

9 people out of 17 found this review helpful

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