In this installment of Styling Showdown, we take a look at the recently-updated 2013 Acura RDX. Yes, the RDX. At a quick glance, the new model is almost indistinguishable from its bigger brother, the MDX. That similarity is probably not accidental, as the MDX has consistently been 1 of Acura's best-selling models. The last-generation RDX? Not so much.
So if you were a fan of the last-gen RDX's tidy dimensions and prominent eagle-beak nose, you'll probably be disappointed by the 2013's comparatively subdued mini-MDX styling. But unlike its big brother, the new RDX doesn't have the polished dual exhaust tips, instead tucking the pipes discreetly under the rear bumper.
Interior changes are not quite as radical, but still noteworthy. The multi-function display moves up on the console, into its own hooded cowl in the center of the dashboard. Freeing up this real estate allowed Acura to make the center console visually slimmer, giving it a more elegant, tapered look, with the air vents taking on a "winged" appearance. As before, functions on the center display are controlled by a button and knob controller.
And although technically not part of the "styling," the underhood changes of the 2013 model are an indication of the change in direction and philosophy of the new model, in terms of refinement, an area that the previous generation was lacking, according to customer feedback. The 2013 employs a naturally-aspirated 3.5-liter V-6, compared to the previous generation's 2.3-liter turbo 4. Ironically, as most of the industry is moving from 6s to turbo 4s, the new V-6 achieves better fuel economy than its blow-4 predecessor, thanks to an extra gear in the transmission, and cylinder-deactivation.
Are you a fan of the 2013 RDX's more conservative, mature look? Or do you miss the more youthful, aggressive lines and proportions of the last-gen model? Share your thoughts below.