My tester is a 2010 Acura RDX, in Technology package trim (which basically adds navigation system with bilingual voice-recognition abilities to an already well-equipped platform); but it is the four-wheel traction I appreciate the most as I take to the roads.
Acura brands its version of the drivetrain as Super-handling All-wheel drive; and sure, I’ll go ahead and call it “super”, as it hasn’t let me down yet.
SH-AWD distributes the torque between the wheels according to where it detects slippage, and works in conjunction with the computerized stability-assist and traction control systems to provide maximum grip in any situation.
I get lucky with the timing during my period in the tester, and have it for a couple of days before the snow hits; so, I get to enjoy the RDX’s driving dynamics on dry pavement as well.
The turbocharged 2.3 litre engine brings very good, lag-free acceleration to the crossover platform; and combines with excellent brakes and steering feel to make the vehicle one of the sportier offerings in its class.
The chassis is the same as previous generation RDX models, and the suspension retains a “stiff” feel that makes the ride more jarring than some of its competitors, but definitely makes the vehicle feel more solid and stable when cornering.
Acura’s smallest crossover ute gets a refreshed outward appearance for 2010, with the faux-metal grille taking on the “grinning” impression beginning to appear on some of Acura’s sedans (the TL, for example). The rear end is also reworked for the new model year, as is the styling of the 18-inch wheels.
Inside, the RDX shows off some nice upholstery (the leather quality has been upgraded from the previous generation) and a comfortable front row. I have always liked Acura’s driver’s seats, in any of the models I have used, and the fully adjustable and all-day-supportive bucket in the RDX is no exception.
The rear row suffers from a lack of space for taller passengers, but provides good sightlines for backseat drivers with an elevated, stadium style arrangement.
The RDX dash hosts a lot of information displays, particularly in the Tech package trim; and is cluttered with enough buttons and switches to please any toy junkie.
Don’t let the trim level name fool you, either, for while the Technology Package brings the aforementioned navigation rig (with an 8-inch display) and upgraded sound system, even an entry-level RDX boasts a high level of standard equipping. Bluetooth hands-free capability, iPod connection and charging ports and rear view camera are standard across the line-up, though the camera display is viewed through the rear view mirror in base models.
Overall, I have to give the vehicle high marks all around; owing mostly to the all-wheel drive performance (sorry, the “super-handling all-wheel drive” performance) during my time in the vehicle; with little to dislike.
The main detractions with the RDX are a hard-to-see display screen that tends to get lost in glare during daylight hours, a tailgate that must be opened manually to access the cargo area, and a tendency to drink more fuel than most of its competitors due to its turbocharged engine.
Its sticker price might be off-putting to buyers looking simply for an AWD small crossover as well, as the RDX is priced well above similarly styled utes. Starting at a base of $39,990, the Technology Package model tips the scale to $42,990 before taxes.