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2013 Acura RDX

Overview
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2013 Acura RDX Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.8

The 2013 model year marks the second generation for Acura's RDX, and it feels akin to a rebirth for this 5-passenger SUV that made its debut six years prior. Now slightly bigger and more powerful – yet lighter and more fuel efficient – the new RDX is better refined and more mature than its predecessor. Among the biggest and best news is that the RDX is now propelled by a powerful-yet-efficient V6 engine instead of the smaller, fuel-thirsty turbocharged 4-cylinder of old. The RDX doesn't have the road-carving dynamics or towing power of some in this category, but its jack-of-all-trades character and overall good nature make it a welcome competitor to rivals like the BMW X3, Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLK and Cadillac SRX.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a smaller, premium SUV with plenty of comfort, value, performance, and predicted reliability, put the RDX on your shopping list. In those latter aspects, as well as some styling cues, the RDX may remind you of an upscale CR-V – not surprising, since Acura is Honda's luxury division.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Plan to tow with the RDX? Plan light. The Acura RDX's maximum towing capacity is just 1,500 pounds. The Audi Q5, on the other hand, can lug 4,400 pounds. If fleetness of foot is more your forte, the sportier BMW X3 edges the Acura.

What's New for 2013

Outside and in, from the curvy sheet metal to the soft leather interior, to the engine and even transmission, the RDX is all new for 2013. Acura's goal was to make the RDX a more viable choice for professionals in their early 30s who value comfort over sportiness, and who will eventually need extra room for the baby seats.

Driving the RDX

Driving Impressions A comfortable, quiet ride was paramount for the 2013 RDX, and the Acura delivers. To our welcome surprise, this small SUV went above and beyond, also proving itself a capable...

performer in initial acceleration and passing power. The new V6 is quite smooth and more powerful than we anticipated. For those rare times when more oomph is required, the RDX has a sport mode for speedier acceleration and passing. It doesn't take a whole lot of work to get comfortable in the 10-way power driver's seat, but front passengers might feel like they're riding low, as that seat does not adjust for height.

Power Tailgate/One-touch Folding Rear Seats
These conveniences, with the power tailgate as part of the Technology Package, are super helpful for loading cargo – then getting it to fit.

Push-button Start/Stop
No more digging a key out of your pocket or purse to start or stop the car. Like more and more new vehicles, the driver need only push a button to turn the RDX on or off. That may not sound like a big deal, but over the course of years it will be something to appreciate thousands of times.

2013 Acura RDX Details
2013 Acura RDX photo Interior

The 2013 Acura RDX's cabin is a good example of form meeting function. Yet the RDX still boasts a commendable amount of soft-touch materials, giving this SUV the premium feel (literally) its price warrants. Numerous buttons populate the dash and steering wheel, but they are relatively easy to use and identify, and are more straightforward than the center-console-mounted rotary dials used in the Mercedes GLK, BMW X3 and Audi Q5. Unlike past RDX models – and current CR-Vs – the Acura no longer features tumble-forward rear seats to create a flat floor. But they do fold in a 60/40 split to accommodate larger items. Rear-seat legroom has been improved over the first-generation RDX, and also betters rivals like the Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLK, Volvo XC60, Infiniti EX, and even the Cadillac SRX, whose total length is over half a foot longer.

Exterior

With the RDX's newly refined powertrain also come more grown-up looks. Acura learned from some of its past, shall we say, design controversies with the ZDX and TL, opting to play it safe with the 2013 RDX. On the whole it works, though with its sloping rear roof and teardrop windows, you wouldn't be blamed for confusing the RDX with the CR-V if glancing at the Acura from the side or rear. Thankfully, the RDX's nose signals a different, classier car, as do its prominent fender arches. In addition to being longer than the old RDX, the 2013 model is taller and offers more ground clearance, further giving this revamped vehicle a larger, stronger stance.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

All 2013 Acura RDX models come with a V6 engine, 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, leather seating, rear-view camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, a keyless entry, and a 360-watt, 8-speaker AM/FM/XM/CD system with USB and MP3-player inputs. Also standard are six airbags and a security system.

Optional Equipment

Major options for the RDX are bundled in the $3,700 Technology Package that can be added to either front-drive or all-wheel-drive RDX models. The package includes a navigation system that is spruced up with features like real-time traffic, Zagat Survey ratings and weather forecasting. The tech package also adds a power liftgate and 410-watt premium radio/CD/DVD system with hard-drive storage. A voice-recognition feature allows you to issue over 600 commands for the audio, climate and nav systems – and may just make feel like you're never traveling alone. For those desiring further customization, a la carte options include a wood steering wheel, and roof mounts for sports gear.

Under the Hood

In addition to being the first V6 offered in an RDX, the vehicle's 3.5-liter, naturally aspirated engine boasts another first for Acura: Variable Cylinder Management. The purpose of this system is to save fuel by deactivating cylinders when they're not needed. A V6 uses six of them – hence the name – but this system enables the engine to run on four or even three, essentially making it a smaller, more fuel-efficient power plant. Cylinder-deactivation systems have had a rather tainted past, but today's computer-assisted engine management systems make for a smoother application. How smooth? You probably won't even be aware that cylinder deactivation is taking place in the 2013 RDX.

3.5-liter V6
273 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
251 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/28 mpg (front-wheel drive), 19/27 mpg (all-wheel drive)

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2013 Acura RDX Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 42 Ratings for the 2013 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    8.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.3/10

Good Vehicle

By on Friday, October 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,375

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great power"

Cons: "Lake of blind spot monitoring"

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

"I love this vehicle. It has a very smooth ride and it will move when you need it to. The only complaints I have is that I wish that it had a blind spot monitoring system. I believe the data for the GPS is out of date as well. I enjoy my vehicle and will not be getting rid of it."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

great for the cash

By on Friday, October 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,450

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
7/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "mid size of car vs suv, price very fair, zippy"

Cons: "no rear vents"

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

"Overall I'm pleased with my choice of 2015 RDX AWD. It's zippy when I pass, seats are comfortable & has most all the basics of a luxury car that I was wanting. Only 2 things standout that I feel it should of offered--seat vents for the 2nd row & blind spot montoring. I am experiencing a strange creaking noise in the windshield, but haven't had a chance to go to dealer to see if it can be taken care of. Average gas is 25.2 (most of my driving is on highway). I went looking for a cross between my honda pilot & my accord--the RDX fit the bill. Really thought I would have brought home the Q5 or XC60, but neither of them had center arm rest that was useable--a MUST for a badback, seems dumb, but my old bmw had that small setback center & it drove me nuts. Also you can't bet leg room for backseat compared to other vehicles."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Outstanding

By on Tuesday, September 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Priced right, fun to drive, good looking."

Cons: "Taking a while to learn the technology."

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

"Very competent, reliable, crisp ride, and nice to look at. Will use around town, on trips, and for everyday use. Affordable luxury. Powerful engine, fun to drive. Handles well. Loaded with the WOW's at an affordable price. Honda reliability. Previously only bought Toyota's."

12 people out of 22 found this review helpful

Like it, but don't LOVE it

By on Thursday, September 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Great pick-up/acceleration, comfortable front seat"

Cons: "No rear air vents, outdated Navigation system"

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

"I've been a Honda or Acura owner for more than 20 years and love the brand, consequently didn't do a lot of detailed shopping around when it came time to purchase my next vehicle. This is my first move from sporty to crossover, so am having some personal adjustment. PROS: Great pick-up/acceleration Comfortable front seats Better than expected gas mileage CONS: No rear seat/compartment air vents, consequently difficult to cool in the Texas summer sun just due to volume of air to cool with only the front vents. Navigation system was 15 months out of date at purchase. I regularly drive on a relatively new toll road that opened in Oct. 2012, but is not noted on a Nov. 2013 purchase. The a/v system automatically records CDs to the hard drive and it's somewhat cumbersome to stop the recording, which has to be done at every stop/start of play time. I drive a lot (500 mi/week) and listen to a lot of audio books, and find this feature frustrating."

6 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Owned since July 4, 2014

By on Monday, September 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,100

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good price, drives well, good turning ratio"

Cons: "Could have more technology"

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

"After owning 3 Infiniti's (QX4, FX 35 x 2), and encountering a very difficult environment at the local Infiniti dealers, I gave up on "brand loyalty" and began to look elsewhere. The local Acura dealer treated me a million times better! The trade was easy, the price was negotiated to include several options, and add ons. Compared to my Infiniti, the Acura is NOT as luxurious--but it was also $20K less out the door! I can afford a bit less luxury for the savings. Vehicle interior is the color I wanted, the sound system is NOT as good as the Bose system--but $20K less (remember?), and the technology package isn't quite up with the MOST recent technological innovations (the Infiniti QX50/60/70) had much more technology. But $20K less, remember?"

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Back with Acura

By on Sunday, August 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,200

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Nice looking, Good leg room front and back."

Cons: "No air conditioned seats, No backup warning system"

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

"Traded in the MKX and went back to Acura. My wife and I both say it's fun to drive. Better gas mileage then the Lincoln."

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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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