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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
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 47 Ratings for the 2013 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    8.6/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.7/10
    Styling
    8.5/10

Great vechicle - good looking and comfortable

By on Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,000

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Quality build and name, good looking"

Cons: "stiff ride on edgy bumpy roads"

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

"Have owned this RDX since July 2014 with 4000 miles now. Must say this is a nice vechicle that is luxurious, solid build and great looks. The vehicle rides so smooth on highway driving jet like.. I have used premium fuel as per manual. The one drawback about this vehicle for me riding over bumps. The ride is a bit stiff and the RDX does not quite handle the stiff bumps as smoothly as I would like but other than that this is a flawless car and a great value for the price"

3 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Quality build,quiet,handling,power and value.

By on Saturday, November 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 700

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: "Solid ride and power with excellent MPG."

Cons: "None"

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

"Traded 2014 Escape Titanium AWD, good vehicle,however RDX is an outstanding vehicle. Well worth the $5K MSRP difference. Hint: Use brand name premium fuel. From my experience this will save dollars in the long haul. Order ACURA splash guards($116) if not dealer equipped. Easy to install with instructions and look like factory. If your a "gadget" person get the Tech Pkg... If you are like me; K.I.S.S. Base AWD is the way to go!"

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Great car for the money

By on Thursday, November 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,000

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: "Fantastic car for the money"

Cons: "are there any?"

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

"I really like driving and cars. This car replaced a 2011 volvo T6 AWD s60. I also own a honda s2000 ap1, that I drive for fun in good weather. This is my everyday driver and have driven it now in 4 seasons. New I paid about 35,000$ and for that price it is a steal. Compare it to other compact SUVs and when you max out a mazda or crv with bells and whistles you still do not have the power, agility or stability of this car. Everything you need and nothing you do not (non tech package). Very quiet, smooth, and can still get up and go when you want it too. Sport shift mode is enough to get you around the slow cars and on your way."

7 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Underrated Gem

By on Saturday, November 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000

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: "handling, power, interior and exterior styling"

Cons: "no lane departure warning"

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

"I waited for Acura to redesign the RDX and then waited 1 year after the redesign to purchase my 2014 RDX. I simply love this vehicle. It offers alot of luxury for an EXCELLENT price. I really think this is the BEST vehicle in this segment. The only thing it is missing is lane departure warning."

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

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."

9 people out of 13 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."

10 people out of 13 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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