New 2019 Acura RDX SUV New 2019

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KBB Editor's Overview

By Editorial Staff

The 2019 Acura RDX is all-new and marks the third generation of this compact-luxury SUV. Its automotive environment has changed drastically in the decade since the first version was introduced. Back then it had only one notable rival -- the BMW X3. Now, it faces a dozen competitors that range from the Mercedes-Benz GLC and Audi Q5 to the new Jaguar F-Pace and Alfa Romeo Stelvio. Despite the influx, the RDX stands out with its amenities, practicality and the reliability inherent in its Honda parent. Furthermore, this revamped RDX has come into its own with newfound style, athleticism, innovation and stellar safety features. Unchanged is its value story. The 2019 Acura RDX is among the few vehicles that can make you feel self-indulgent yet fiscally responsible.


You'll Like This SUV If...

If you want a 5-passenger luxury SUV with standout style, the latest safety features and a wealth of features all at a price that undercuts rivals, turn your attention to the 2019 Acura RDX. A history of reliability and good resale value round out an all-around solid performer.

You May Not Like This SUV If...

An Acura badge may not draw the kind of envy that comes from a Mercedes-Benz, BMW or Audi. If you want more than one engine choice, rear-wheel drive or a high-performance model, you’ll also have to look to the RDX’s European competitors.

What's New for 2019

The RDX 5-passenger luxury SUV is all-new for 2019. This Acura has been revamped from the ground up. It boasts all-new design inside and out, swaps its previous V6 for a turbocharged 4-cylinder that has more torque, and is once again available with Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system. A sporty-looking A-Spec model also joins the lineup.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

Whereas the prior RDX was a solid performer that tended to fly under the radar, this new Acura RDX isn’t shy about touting its fresh athleticism. At the heart of its new powertrain is a turbocharged 4-cylinder that replaces a naturally aspirated V6. Though smaller, the 4-cylinder puts out nearly the same horsepower (272 vs. 279) and significantly more torque (280 lb-ft vs 252). It doesn’t have quite the linearity as the old V6, but is nonetheless punchy. Turbo lag isn’t an issue, though it works best in the meat of its powerband. Also new is a 10-speed automatic transmission that works surprisingly well given its number of gears, the higher ones made for optimal fuel efficiency. We found the RDX’s ride taut yet supple, and efforts to quiet the cabin have paid off. Rather than just Drive and Sport modes, the new RDX has a 4-mode drive adjust system (Acura’s Integrated Dynamics System) that makes a real difference in driving behavior among its Snow, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ settings. Our only quibble concerned brake-pedal feel. There’s an initial soft spot when the pedal is pressed, although the brakes ultimately engage and provide stopping power that feels equal to or better than its competition.

Favorite Features

The new Acura RDX crossover SUV has the ability to prevent an accident and assist in everyday driving thanks to features like lane-keep assist and adaptive cruise control. Collectively known as AcuraWatch, the suite also includes forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking and road-departure mitigation.

“Did I lock the car?” It’s a niggling thought that can make the best of us slightly paranoid. With the new Acura RDX, you’ll never need to worry. The Walk Away Door Lock feature does exactly what its name implies, securing the car automatically as you walk away. The system can also be switched on or off as needed.

Vehicle Details


All RDX models have a 2-row/5-passenger configuration and ample space. The cabin has a luxurious and futuristic appeal. At first glance, you might just think you’re in a space ship. The prominent silver dial mounted in the center of the dash that’s used to toggle drive modes looks straight out of a sci-fi film, while the 10.2-inch high-res screen mounted on the top dash that’s controlled by Acura’s True Touchpad Interface is further proof the future is now. Even the transmission is innovative, though potentially fussy. Instead of a traditional gearshift, you hit a button: D for Drive, P for Park, R for Reverse, etc. The front seats are above average in their support, as is rear-passenger space. Cargo room is also among the tops in its class. With the rear seat up, there is 29.5 cubic feet, about twice that of a trunk’s sedan. Fold the rear seats and that space expands to 58.9 cubic feet, plenty to hold packages or sports gear.


The RDX got an extreme makeover for its debut in all-new form, going from handsome yet conservative to stylish and athletic. It’s a tight bundle of creases, angles and crisscrossing design elements. Just look at the intersection of the D-pillar that makes the roof appear to float. Up front, swoopy headlight housings flank Acura’s diamond-pentagon grille, new to the RDX. All models feature a panoramic sunroof and power tailgate. RDX A-Spec ups the aggressive factor with darkened elements and 20-inch wheels in place of the usual 19-inch rollers. Below the paint but no less important, Acura used significant amounts of ultra-high-strength steel in the name of safety.

Notable Standard Equipment

The 2019 Acura RDX is available in four trims: base, Technology, A-Spec and Advance. Even in its base trim, the RDX is surprisingly well equipped. Included are Leatherette upholstery, power tailgate with height adjustment, panoramic moonroof, the AcuraWatch active safety and driver-assistance suite, dual-zone climate control, 9-speaker/350-watt premium audio system with AM/FM/HD Radio, Sirius XM, Apple CarPlay (Android Auto is said to be forthcoming), 10.2-inch high-def center display with True Touchpad Interface, 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, heated and 12-way-adjustable power front seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror and HomeLink universal garage remote. For just over $3,000 more, the RDX with Technology package is still a great value and adds perforated leather interior, navigation system, upgraded ELS audio system, blind-spot monitoring system, rear USB ports and parking sensors.

Notable Optional Equipment

Acura’s torque-vectoring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) is optional on all trims in lieu of the standard front-wheel drive (FWD). Otherwise, most options come as you climb trims. The A-Spec package adds 20-inch wheels, darkened exterior aesthetics and available red interior, 16-speaker ELS 3D audio system, ventilated front seats, and LED fog lights. At the top of the lineup is the 2019 RDX Advance model. It includes an active damper system for optimal handling on a variety of road surfaces, 16-way-power front seats, heated rear seats, wood interior trim, hands-free tailgate, rain-sensing wipers, and large head-up display that projects driving information onto the windshield.

Under the Hood

With an all-new RDX comes an all-new engine. Acura has dropped the 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V6 of the 2nd-gen model and has replaced it with a turbocharged 4-cylinder, similar to the original model. The engine in this 3rd-gen Acura RDX is a sophisticated little powerhouse. While only 2.0 liters in displacement, it makes 272 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque, nearly tops in its class. The engine is connected to a new-to-the-RDX transmission, a 10-speed automatic made in-house by Honda and also used in the Accord sedan. The vast number of gears is meant for higher fuel efficiency, returning up to 28 mpg in front-drive models and 27 mpg for AWD versions. Those highway numbers are laudable, but still only match those of the former model with a V6. An idle start/stop system that shuts off the engine at stoplights does, however, improve city-mpg ratings. Front-wheel drive is the standard configuration for the RDX, and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive is optional across the line for an extra $2,000. The Acura RDX’s towing capacity is rated at 1,500 pounds, on the lighter end of the spectrum.

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
272 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
280 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/28 mpg (FWD), 22/27 mpg (FWD, A-Spec), 21/27 mpg (AWD), 21/26 mpg (AWD, A-Spec)


Pricing Notes

The 2019 Acura RDX luxury SUV has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $38,295, including the $995 destination charge. Unlike many of the RDX’s rivals, pricing and options are very straightforward, with major options bundled into trims. The highly recommendable RDX Technology version is $41,495, the new A-Spec variant is $44,495, and the top-line Advance model is $46,495. Adding all-wheel drive to any model is an additional $2,000. That means a fully loaded RDX with AWD still slots in under $50,000. At these prices, the new Acura RDX retains a strong value proposition that undercuts its European rivals by several thousand dollars. Rivals closer in price are the Lexus NX, Infiniti QX50 and Lincoln MKC. Before buying, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new luxury SUV. The Acura RDX’s resale value has traditionally held up well, though not quite to the level of the Lexus NX.

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