While the previous incarnation of the Acura RDX didn’t inspire great enthusiasm, one would never know it by the sales figures.
Introduced halfway through 2006, the luxury midsize sport utility vehicle has gradually gained in popularity. In 2015 it exceeded the 51,000 mark for the first time in sales and those numbers were matched the next two years. With two months still unreported for 2018, the RDX is nearly at the 51,000 mark again.
We mention this partly because the 2019 Acura RDX is better than ever. Despite its impressive past, Acura decided to tamper with a winning product. The overall result makes the RDX even more appealing than ever.
The 2019 Acura RDX rests on a new platform and is larger than ever before. The wheelbase has grown to 108.3 inches, overall length expanded to 186.8 inches, and height is up slightly (65.7 inches). Considering the size increase, it’s not surprising that the RDX possesses even more interior space.
Criticized in the past for its somewhat lackluster performance, the 2019 version has a new turbo engine that is more engaging. While it’s not overwhelmingly more powerful, there’s a difference. The new RDX is also a little more fuel efficient (22-29 mpg).
And we haven’t mentioned the sticker price, which has typically undercut the competition that includes the BMW X3, Jaguar F-Pace, Mercedes-Benz GLK Class, Porsche Macan, Audi Q5, and Lexus NX 200t. The 2019 Acura RDX starts at around $37,400.
The new engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four cylinder that generates 272 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. It’s teamed with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The engine replaces a V6 that had a little more horsepower (279). The latest RDX goes 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds.
The RDX combines good acceleration in all driving situations and does it with a smooth and quiet ride that makes for a pleasurable driving situation. The midsize SUV maneuvers well around town and has lots of passing power for freeway driving. It has three driving modes (comfort, sport, sport plus) and the optional all-wheel-drive system continues to be the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system.
2019 Acura RDX
- Performance: turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, 272 horsepower
- Price: $37,400 to $47,500
- Mileage estimate: 22-28 mpg
- Warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles; drivetrain 6 years/70,000 miles; corrosion 6 years/unlimited; roadside assistance 4 years/50,000
Drivers who find technology intriguing will love the new touchpad interface on the 10.2-inch HD display. For the rest of us, it’s probably more of an acquired taste because it takes repetition to really master all the touchpad features. It’s initially distracting, but given more time it should become far more intuitive.
The interior is befitting of a luxury vehicle. It’s attractive, comfortable and spacious in all the right places. Seating is roomy for all five passengers, and the cargo area of 31.1 cubic feet is spacious. The split-folding rear seats are easy to fold and lie almost flat.
The redesigned 2019 Acura RDX eliminates much of its previous criticism as it continues to post top sales numbers in the luxury-compact-crossover segment that it essentially invented more than a decade ago.
Jeffrey Weidel can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jeffweidel. His “Weidel on Wheels” auto reviews are featured periodically on this website at www.tahoeskiworld.com.