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2014 Acura RDX

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2014 Acura RDX Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.7

Fresh off last year’s full redesign, the 2nd-generation Acura RDX is a rare example of an SUV that does almost everything right. Its no-frills character, strong-yet-fuel-efficient V6, and expansive list of standard equipment make the 2014 Acura RDX a serious contender in the small luxury SUV segment. Available in front-wheel drive (FWD) or-all-wheel drive (AWD), the RDX further impresses with one of the best optional audio systems on the market and top-notch ergonomics. But, despite Acura’s best efforts to promote the RDX as a tech-laden wonderland, rivals like the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLK Class and Audi Q5 offer significantly more in the way of advanced in-vehicle technology. On the other hand, the 2014 RDX nonetheless remains an attractive package for value-seeking luxury car shoppers. That's why we named it one of the 10 Best Luxury Cars Under $40,000 for 2014.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2014 Acura RDX is the clear choice for those who have grown weary of the complex ordering guides, pricey options and questionable reliability associated with many of today’s luxury SUVs. Exceptional resale value combined with Acura’s well-established reputation for quality offers prospective RDX owners an added measure of peace of mind.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you desire a compact SUV with the athleticism of a sports sedan, the BMW X3 or Infiniti EX might be a better fit. On the opposite end of the performance spectrum, off-road types should take a closer look at the stylish and highly-capable Range Rover Evoque.

What's New for 2014

In the wake of last year’s complete revamp, the Acura RDX sees no changes of note for 2014.

Driving the RDX
Driving Impressions

To our welcome surprise, the 2014 RDX delivers above and beyond the expected level of dynamism, proving itself a capable performer in initial acceleration and passing power. The standard V6...

... idles smoother and pulls harder than the 4-cylinder turbocharged engines found in the Audi Q5 and Land Rover LR2. For those times when more oomph is required, the RDX has a sport mode for speedier gear changes and enhanced control over the paddle shifters. 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.

ACURA/ELS SURROUND SOUND
While it’s comprised of a comparatively low speaker count, the available Acura/ELS sound system is one of the best factory-installed sound systems money can buy. Speaking of which, the Acura/ELS setup is also remarkably affordable for a system of this caliber.

MULTI-VIEW CAMERA
Unlike traditional backup cameras, the RDX employs a versatile Multi-view camera system for a more comprehensive view from behind the vehicle. Choose from the basic default mode, a wide angle 170 degree setting, or a unique top-down view, which comes in handy when parallel parking or lining up a trailer.

2014 Acura RDX Details
2014 Acura RDX photo Interior

The cabin of the 2014 Acura RDX is a classic representation 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. In terms of hauling power, the RDX offers an expansive 76.9 cubic feet of maximum cargo space, topping virtually all compact competitors. Although the rear seats lack fold-flat capability, they do feature a 60/40 split to accommodate larger items. Furthermore, the RDX has more rear legroom than even the mid-size Cadillac SRX.

Exterior
2014 Acura RDX photo

Acura learned from some of its past, shall we say, design controversies with the ZDX and TL, opting to play it safe with the 2nd-generation 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 and more aggressive stance.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

As a value-based proposition, the 2014 RDX offers the longest list of standard equipment in the category. Key features consist of a Multi-view backup camera, heated front seats with a 10-way power driver’s seat, and a 7-speaker audio system with a 5-inch LCD display, voice-activated text messaging (not compatible with iPhone) and Pandora Internet radio. And unlike its German-built rivals, the RDX includes keyless entry and start as standard fare. On the safety front, the RDX comes with six airbags and a full suite of electronic stability aids.

Optional Equipment

Apart from all-wheel-drive and a handful of dealer-installed accessories, optional features for the 2014 RDX are grouped together in the $3,700 Technology Package. Package highlights include a navigation system with traffic overlays, high-intensity-discharge headlights that significantly improve nighttime visibility, the above-mentioned Acura/ELS audio system, and an AcuraLink application hub with Zagat ratings, weather forecasts and dealer appointment reminders. On a sour note, the voice recognition’s primitive software platform makes for frustrating and overly complicated hands-free communication. If you own a smartphone, we suggest using the native voice assistant software (i.e. Siri or Google Voice Search) for phone and audio commands.

Under the Hood

In addition to being the first V6 offered in an RDX, the standard 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 while behind the wheel of a 2014 RDX. The sole transmission choice is a 6-speed automatic linked to a set of steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

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 (FWD), 19/27 mpg (AWD)

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2014 Acura RDX Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 81 Ratings for the 2013 - 2017 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    8.6/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    8.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.5/10

Excellent Vehicle Overall

By on Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,300

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
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Power, Reliability, User Friendly, Paddle Shifters"

Cons: "Slightly Rough Ride -- Better With More Tire Press"

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

"Three years after purchase, the RDX has been maintenance free apart from routine items, and has been a very enjoyable car to own. Plenty of power, good handling (put 38 psi in the tires), and I love the paddle shifters in sport mode for great shift control on hilly terrain. With standard items that cost extra for other brands (leather, Bluetooth etc.), lots of cargo and leg room, and classic styling, the RDX is an excellent value and I highly recommend it."

Nice & nimble

By on Saturday, June 18, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 66,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "smooth and crisp ride excellent seating comfort"

Cons: "Can be bumpy over rough spots"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Very reliable and nimble ride but it does not handle bumps well it seems to move the driver and passengers from side to side on tough bumps but other than that it is a smooth and luxurious ride I had an RL before this and plan to stay in the Acura family as long as they continue to get it right."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Great Vehicle for the Money

By on Monday, April 25, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,450

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fit and finish are great"

Cons: "Seat adjustment up/down would be nice."

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

"Before buying this car, I set criteria for myself as to the features and functions I wanted in a vehicle. For the money, this vehicle surpassed them all. I was looking for a vehicle with a 6 cylinder engine, all the luxury options and could get around 30 mpg on the highway. This vehicle exceeded these expectations and it looks good as well."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

2015 RDX Base FWD

By on Tuesday, March 29, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "value"

Cons: "seats lacking adjustability"

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

"This is my wife's car and I also drive it every now and then. It is really the best value you can get on a premium brand. A lot of standard features. Maintenance cost is somewhat the same with a non-luxury brand. Very peppy engine and a good highway cruiser. I just wish they made the front passenger seat height adjustable and the 2nd row seats reclinable. But it's not bad. 2nd row is spacious and comfortable."

10 people out of 14 found this review helpful

30K miles - 2013 AWD RDX w/Navi

By on Thursday, March 3, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Fun driving"

Cons: "Turning radius is not as good as my Honda Odyssey"

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

"Love my 2013 car - now want the extra bells and whistles that come with the 2016's. I have one of the initial models and had its teething problems, which the dealer fixed ASAP. Overall a great experience; get around 20-22mpg in city driving and 28+ mpg on freeway. On the 2013's I can use regular or premium gas but prefer the premium. That's a nice feature in case you're stuck somewhere with only regular gas. The turning radius is not so good though, so you'll be doing 3-point u-turns on narrow streets. To put things in perspective, my Odyssey can turn circles around this car."

4 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Was sort of talked into the 2015

By on Friday, January 22, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Good price, easy to drive, love the no key start"

Cons: "No beepers to back up, figure out electronics????"

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

"Bought this on spur of the moment, without my husband. I should have bought the 2016 with bells and whistles, but was sort of talked into (good salesmanship) a 2015 they wanted to get off the lot. Money not the issue. It gets great gas mileage and rides very nicely."

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

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