Acura TSX Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,436 Posts
Discussion Starter #1

In a world where “downsizing” seems to be the concept du jour, the 2011 Acura RDX compact luxury SUV makes a whole lot of sense. Not only can its handy 27.8 cargo area fulfill all of your cargo carrying needs but its gloriously rev-hungry turbocharged 2.4 liter 240 horsepower engine can fulfill your need for speed just as easily.

During our testing of the 2011 Acura RDX the precise and linear steering also came up for notice as one of the best systems in the SUV segment. Not only does it offer plenty of feel but it is also able to track straight and true on the freeway with little steering input. It is sporty without ever being jittery.

And while the 2011 RDX’s engine may only be a four cylinder, it feels faster than many competitor’s six cylinder engines. It also returns a healthy 19 city/24 highway for 2 wheel drive variants and 17 city/22 highway when equipped with Acura’s hugely impressive SH-AWD system. If you can afford it, the SH-AWD not only gives you superb all-weather traction but also helps aid in cornering ability on dry surfaces.

Prices for the RDX start at $32,620 for a base 2WD RDX that still comes with standard leather covered power seats, automatic temperature control, power everything, steering wheel mounted audio controls back-up camera, iPod interface, Bluetooth, a 7 speaker 350 watt audio system and a telepathically smooth 5-speed automatic.

Adding the Technology Package takes the price to $34,620 but gives you Acura’s peerless navigation system, real time traffic reporting, voice command recognition, GPS linked temperature control and the awe inspiring ELS DVD audio system with Dolby surround sound, 10-speakers and a subwoofer. Our advice? Get the Technology Package!

Although some have complained about the new front grille design Acura is using across all of its 2011 models, it looks well integrated and slightly menacing with the RDX. Our tester’s black exterior paint also exacerbated this classy, yet slightly angry appearance.

As with any Acura, the interior of the 2011 RDX is beyond reproach. All controls are easy to use and pleasing to the touch. The leather trim is of incredibly high quality and feels durable. At cruising speeds the RDX’s interior is very quiet although it may not be quite the isolation chamber of a comparable Lexus RX. But the RX is no fun to drive.

So, if you are looking for a stylish, fun to drive, fast, frugal and supremely comfortable five passenger luxury SUV then the 2011 Acura RDX needs to be on your shopping list. It truly is the best luxury SUV we here at InsiderCarReviews.com have ever tested.
 

·
*Metalhead*
Joined
·
2,657 Posts
Sounds like they were just as happy as the wife and I are. Couldn't have summed it up better.
 

·
Clutch Dump of Death!!!
Joined
·
830 Posts
I drove a '10 RDX loaded when I had the PS recall done on my TSX and have to say it was fun; gadgets galore and fun little ute. For the price it is a fun luxury sport ute.
 

·
*Metalhead*
Joined
·
2,657 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,436 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
speed.com

Driven: Acura's Quick Little RDX CrossOver
Sporty drivability, hyper turbocharged 4-cylinder engine help compact SUV stand out from the pack


There’s a lot to like about the Acura RDX, a compact SUV with sporty handling and a hot little turbocharged four banger that begs to be hammered.

RDX had been around since 2006 after BMW started the rush to build compact luxury crossovers with the X3. The new niche drew lots of attention as gas prices rose and drivers got sick of lumbering around in big SUV trucks, and now most premium brands offer something similar to X3.

Acura RDX received a mild facelift for 2010, when the automaker’s now-signature beak was applied to RDX’s formerly normal grille. Maybe it’s an acquired taste, but I still can’t fathom that chirpy little grin that makes Acuras look like Japanese cartoon characters.

But getting past that, RDX impresses with its firm drivability in a class that’s usually more about comfort than cornering. The ride occasionally gets jarring over rough surfaces, but the tradeoff in handling is well worth it.

Acura now offers a front-drive-only version of RDX at a slightly cheaper price than the once-standard all-wheel-drive model, and that’s what I drove. In the Southwest, an AWD vehicle is not as much a boon as it is in snow country, and if one confines driving to pavement or graded dirt roads, it shouldn’t matter.

Despite the lack of Honda’s modestly named Super Handling All-Wheel Drive, the front-drive RDX felt pretty well-planted even in high-speed maneuvers.

Another financial plus for the front-drive RDX is improved fuel mileage, at 19 city and 24 highway rather than 17 and 22 for the AWD version, according to the EPA.

The down side to front drive is a mild amount of torque steer when you get on the throttle from a standstill. The 240-horsepower turbo 4 delivers loads of torque from the get go, and injudicious application of the gas pedal will earn you a raucous tire shriek.

At just 2.3 liters, the turbo 4 is quite an overachiever. RDX jumps off the line, and the engine pulls with a surprising amount of muscle with no hint of turbo lag. Though typical for this kind of setup, it runs out of breath slightly as rpm climb. The engine is admirably quiet and smooth even under hard acceleration, and it’s nearly silent on the freeway.

The transmission is a 5-speed automatic that shifts quickly either on its own or via SequentialSport Shift. The suspension is fully independent with struts up front and multi links in back.

RDX carries over its aggressive stance and carved body style, with 18-inch spoke alloy wheels, rectangular exhaust outlets and satin body trim. The look is trim and distinctive, all the more so because of that grinning beak face. No mistaking an Acura for anything else.

Inside, RDX boasts a nicely tailored premium interior with all the trimmings. Besides the supportive seats and leather trim, standard technology features include Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink connectivity with Bluetooth audio capabilities, seven-speaker Acura Premium audio and a USB port that allows the connection or charging such items as an iPhone or iPod.

The RDX that I drove was equipped with the Tech package, which Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition, AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic with Traffic Rerouting, and AcuraLink Real-Time Weather with radar image maps, plus 10-speaker surround sound and automatic climate control.

The technology package boosts the front-drive RDX bottom line from $32,520 to $35,620, so think carefully before checking that Tech box. The Super Handling AWD model starts at $34,520 plus the optional Tech if you so desire. Shipping adds $860 either model.

RDX continues as one of the best choices in compact crossover luxury, though its appeal is aimed more at driving enthusiasts who would appreciate its hyper turbo 4-cylinder engine and its firm ride.

Details

Vehicle type: Five-passenger, four-door crossover SUV, front-wheel drive.
Engine: 2.3-liter, turbocharged inline-4, 240 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, 260 pound-feet of torque at 4,500 rpm.
Transmission: Five-speed automotive with manual shift.
Wheelbase: 104.3 inches.
Overall length: 182.5 inches.
Curb weight: 3,752 pounds (with Tech package)
EPA mileage rating: 19 city, 24 highway.​

Bob Golfen, Automotive Editor for SPEED.com, is a veteran auto writer based in Phoenix, Arizona, who has driven and evaluated essentially every new vehicle sold in the United States. A lifelong car enthusiast with a passion for collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle, he annually attends and writes about Arizona's famous January collector-car auctions, focusing on Scottsdale’s monumental Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Event and other Barrett-Jackson auctions. SPEED.com fans email Automotive Editor Bob Golfen at [email protected]

The opinions reflected herein are solely those of the above commentator and are not necessarily those of SPEED.com, FOX, NewsCorp, or Speed Channel​
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,436 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
MotorTrend


The Acura RDX was designed to be among the sportiest in its segment, and except for a couple issues, the driving experience of the 2011 model is engaging as with our 2007 RDX long-termer. And that long-termer didn't benefit from the changes Acura made for the 2010 model year.

Yes, the RDX now wears Acura's polarizing power plenum grille, but the changes are far more significant than a restyled exterior and attractive new 18-inch wheels. A rear-view camera, changes to the leather seating surfaces, more ambient lighting, and USB-port connectivity now come standard.


When the RDX was introduced, it was available only with Honda's super-handling all-wheel drive. That strategy was rethought and now there's the front-drive model we sampled. It boasts a cheaper entry-level price and better fuel economy with the turbocharged 2.3-liter 4-cylinder engine making 240 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 260 pound-feet of torque at 4500 rpm. The engine is plenty powerful, and the turbo surge makes the RDX feel quicker than it really is at times.


Back when we tested our long-term RDX, it sprinted from 0-60 mph at 7.0 seconds. Now that the front-wheel-drive crossover is 200 pounds lighter, expect a slightly improved time. RDX drivers will need to develop a lighter touch with the throttle or else fuel economy will suffer.

The brakes, too, were improved for the refreshed RDX. Acura says the upgrades result in more feel and less grabbiness to the binders, although they still are a touch on the sensitive side. Regardless, there's no arguing with revised rear brake pad actuation that translates to less drag and longer pad life.

The RDX's turbo makes it more responsive and engaging to drive than others in the segment, but if there's a 2nd generation of this vehicle, fuel economy must be a higher priority. The front-drive RDX's fuel economy is rated at 19/24 mpg city/highway. For comparison, the turbocharged 4-cylinder version of the all-wheel-drive 2011 Audi Q5 is rated 20/27 mpg, and the front- drive 2011 Volvo XC60 nets 18/25 mpg. The all-wheel-drive RDX does match the all-wheel-drive turbo XC60 in fuel economy, but the Volvo does it with 2 additional cylinders and more power and torque.

But the RDX's turbo engine is part of its charm, and we would be disappointed if Acura offered a naturally aspirated 4 in its place. Steering feel is the 2011 RDX's other drawback. More feedback and far more heft from the RDX's high-quality leather-wrapped steering wheel would be welcome. Steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters are standard and a 5-speed automatic is the only available transmission.

That's as negative as our review gets for the RDX. MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link setup in the rear help the RDX corner far better than you would expect for a crossover, and that's at the heart of this Acura's appeal. Curving highway onramps become fun tests of the RDX's abilities, followed by a burst of acceleration from the turbo engine. Around town, it's not difficult to get wheelspin if you slam on the gas pedal. Spending the extra money on the all-wheel-drive system is worth it if you live in an area where it snows, or if you'll push the RDX to 9/10 or all of its capabilities on back roads.


The RDX's cabin is premium in a modern way -- wood trim has no place in this Acura. The functions of the countless buttons on the center stack aren't immediately clear, but become easier to use over the course of a couple days. At the front of the dash, a digital display shows temperature and sound system information. If you can afford it, go for the excellent 10-speaker Acura/ELS sound system, part of a technology package that includes a navigation system that is simple to use, but some information menus on the 8-inch screen look primitive. Electroluminescent gauges with blue accents feature a huge speedometer and smaller boost gauge. The sizable, lockable center console storage area can hold a computer.

Good outward visibility is one of the RDX's strengths, especially because many SUVs sacrifice sightlines for bold styling and blind spot-monitoring systems. The Acura RDX's dimensions allow for cargo space of 27.8 cubic feet with the rear seats in use and 60.6 cubic feet with those seats folded down. That compares to 30.8 and 67.4 cubic feet for the Volvo XC60 or 29.1 and 57.3 cubic feet for the Audi Q5.

Don't forget about the upcoming TSX wagon, which is really the front-wheel-drive RDX's first competitor. The similarly priced TSX isn't likely to be as sporty as the RDX, but the wagon does have a cargo area capable of swallowing 31.5 cubic feet of stuff with the rear seats up and 60.5 cubic feet with the seats folded down. Those who want a sporty drive and are willing to accept a stiff ride should stick with the RDX.


Value is still a great reason to consider an Acura, but the RDX goes further by adding a sporty driving experience. In a crowded field of SUVs, sales of the front- and all-wheel-drive RDX lag behind every Acura except the RL and ZDX. Despite its faults, the 2011 RDX has a sense of purpose and should be able to maintain its niche in the luxury crossover market. Whether Acura continues to commit to the sporting nature of the RDX in its next generation is another question.
2011 Acura RDX FWD
Base price $33,480
Price as tested $36,580
Vehicle layout Front-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 5-door CUV
Engine 2.3L/240-hp/260-lb-ft turbocharged DOHC 16-valve I-4
Transmission 5-speed automatic
Curb weight 3752 lb (mfr)
Wheelbase 104.3 in.
Length x width x height 180.7 x 73.6 x 65.2 in.
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 19/24 mpg
On Sale Currently​

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,436 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
CarConnection

2011 Acura RDX
Summary Rating 7.7 out of 10

by Bengt Halvorson
Deputy Editor
Jan 27, 2011​

The Basics
When it was introduced for the 2007 model year, the Acura RDX was Honda's 1st turbocharged vehicle, and one of the 1st compact luxury crossovers to have a performance emphasis. While it hasn't changed much since, and it doesn't have quite the feature set of some rival models, it still delivers in driver satisfaction with a nimble, responsive feel behind the wheel.

The Acura RDX carries into 2011 with its styling and details essentially unchanged—and that's not a bad thing at all. The RDX has been on sale un the U.S. for 4 years and has received only a few updates along the way, last year, but it still manages to look fresh.

The RDX remains related to the Honda CR-V, but it's a very different vehicle in many ways—styling included. The design is sportier, with a more sloping rear end that sacrifices some cargo room for a sleek look. The interior is crisp and focused, though a bit conservative. Purely from a style and design perspective, the instrument panel is beautiful and well sculpted, with a 2-tiered look complemented with well-placed brightwork and accents, along with the deep, hooded gauge cluster.

The 2011 Acura RDX gets a powertrain that strays from the norm: a turbocharged and intercooled 2.3-liter VTEC 4-cylinder developing 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, teamed with a 5-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. The energetic feel of the powertrain hasn't changed—it still seems a little spastic, thanks to turbo lag, and when the turbo does kick in, it comes on strong, making it difficult to modulate the power. However, Acura has tweaked some exhaust settings to tone down the engine's whizzy, dizzy feel. A new front-drive version doesn't feel substantially different from the all-wheel-drive model available last year and carried over for 2010; both are a joy to drive, compared to the more family-oriented crossovers in other auto lineups. Strong brakes are a part of the package, as is light, quick steering that cues up the least SUV-like driving experience in the class, though ride quality can be a little harsh.

In front, most will be happy with the seating and driving position. There's good headroom all around, but in back the cushions are rather hard and flat and only wide enough for 2 adults. Also, the backs of the front seats are finished in hard plastic, which adult knees will likely be up against. The downward sloping roofline cuts into the cargo area a bit, but fold the back seats forward for larger items and you're golden.

The Acura RDX has a plethora of handy storage places for things—and not only the small stuff. There's a false bottom to the center console [shhh...] with space enough for a purse, while the main compartment is lockable and large enough for a laptop. At the top there's a shallower tray that can be removed. In addition, there are smaller cubbies in the middle and side of the dash, and the doors have lidded compartments for other small items. Fit and finish in the RDX is excellent, and the RDX's interior spaces are fitted with lots of finely grained and silver-painted plastic. It's a look shared with lots of portable electronics, and it fits the brand's image well enough, though at the price point some shoppers will want lusher trim.

With a vehicle like the 2011 RDX, which has a suspension tuned for crisp handling, ride quality usually suffers somewhat. That not so much the case here with the RDX. It feels quite firmly damped but moderately sprung, so while it turns in with relative crispness, it's designed to keep it safe yet satisfying for any sane driver's needs on a curvy road while also absorbing major heaves quite well. The downside is that the RDX's ride is busy; it's not jarring, but it gets thrown around by pitchy surfaces and there can be a fair amount of road noise

Standard features on the RDX include Bluetooth connectivity, a 7-speaker sound system, and a new USB port that allows the connection of (and charging of) items such as an iPhone or iPod. Acura also picks up standard CD changer and XM hardware, with DVD-Audio and real-time XM traffic info as options. An electronic compass, automatic headlights, and better cup holders have been added, and ambient footwell lighting, a compass, a pull handle for the hatch, and automatic headlamps are included. But while the RDX is lavishly equipped to some, others might be disappointed in the lack of safety-tech features, such as a blind-spot system, lane-departure, or active headlamps. Rear heated seats and a heated steering wheel also aren't on the list.

Styling
8 out of 10 The 2011 Acura RDX looks athletic and attractive, albeit a bit conservative.

The Acura RDX carries into 2011 with its styling and details essentially unchanged—and that's not a bad thing at all. The RDX has been on sale un the U.S. for four years and has received only a few updates along the way, last year, but it still manages to look fresh.

The RDX remains related to the Honda CR-V, but it's a very different vehicle in many ways—styling included. The design is sportier, with a more sloping rear end that sacrifices some cargo room for a sleek look. Last year, the light touch-up included a new grille, to match the controversial snout that's being phased in throughout the lineup, along with new bumper fascias, slightly different headlight and taillight designs, new exhaust tips, and satin brightwork throughout. It also has adopted new 18-inch wheels, front and rear bumpers, and taillights.

The interior is crisp and focused, though a bit conservative. The driver-focused cockpit of the RDX gets new climate controls, ambient lighting, and more metallic trim to accent its high-tech look and complement its leather seats. Purely from a style and design perspective, the instrument panel is beautiful and well sculpted, with a 2-tiered look complemented with well-placed brightwork and accents, along with the deep, hooded gauge cluster.

Performance
8 out of 10 With 240 turbocharged horsepower, along with deft steering and braking and a lighter, more agile feel, the RDX is a great performer.

The 2011 Acura RDX is considerably more fun to drive than most compact crossovers. The engine—a 2.3-liter i-VTEC turbocharged 4-cylinder, making 240 horsepower—initially gives no hints (except if you spot the boost gauge in the dash) that it's the only turbocharged one in Honda/Acura's U.S. lineup, and the 1st for the automaker to ever bring to this market. It settles into an isolated, distant purr that's worthy of a luxury vehicle. Only when you take off the road at a moderate pace are you alerted to the fact that power delivery isn't quite as measured and predictable as you might have guessed.

Since torque off the line isn't stupendous, you'll find yourself stepping on the gas a little too hard from stoplights or out of corners, only having to back off when the engine really comes alive and the boost arrives. The transmission—or rather, the way the transmission coordinates with the engine—can be a little balky and adds up to drivability that isn't up to the standards of V-6 crossovers, even if it's as quick. Lumpy 1st-to-2nd shifts, and an unrefined torque-converter shudder at highway speeds. From Drive, you can manually select a gear with the paddle shifters on the steering wheel, but it will hold that gear for just a few seconds unless you have the selector in 'S' (Sport).

Steering feel in the RDX is way better than you'd probably expect in a crossover vehicle—even one with a performance edge. The RDX's steering wheel feels very naturally weighted, actually gives some feedback of the road surfaces, and returns to center without ever feeling artificial. On-center feel is quite light, without that artificial heft you find in some newer vehicles, yet it doesn't require frequent adjustments. Brakes are perfectly boosted, too, with a nice, firm feel.

The RDX is now offered in front-wheel guise, but we strongly recommend the all-wheel-drive models, which don't cost much more. The RDX's SH-AWD system expertly sends more power to the wheels that can use it the most. It's very helpful on wet roads. It's all-weather confidence inspiring, and more fun than you'd expect in a crossover.

Quality
8 out of 10 Comfort in the 2011 Acura RDX doesn't suffer much for its sporty tuning, but adults won't like the back seat for long trips.

The 2011 RDX is a sportier alternative, yet it doesn't sacrifice much utility or comfort—especially compared to curvier sporty crossovers like the Infiniti EX.

In front, most will be happy with the seating and driving position. There's good headroom all around, but in back the cushions are rather hard and flat and only wide enough for two adults. Also, the backs of the front seats are finished in hard plastic, which adult knees will likely be up against. The downward sloping roofline cuts into the cargo area a bit, but fold the back seats forward for larger items and you're golden.

The Acura RDX has a plethora of handy storage places for things—and not only the small stuff. There's a false bottom to the center console [shhh...] with space enough for a purse, while the main compartment is lockable and large enough for a laptop. At the top there's a shallower tray that can be removed. In addition, there are smaller cubbies in the middle and side of the dash, and the doors have lidded compartments for other small items.

Fit and finish in the RDX is excellent, and the RDX's interior spaces are fitted with lots of finely grained and silver-painted plastic. It's a look shared with lots of portable electronics, and it fits the brand's image well enough, though at the price point some shoppers will want lusher trim. Seats are upholstered in rather soft ventilated leather, controls nearly all have a pleasant tactility, and there's no looseness in the door panels or center console. Furthermore, visibility isn't the issue it is with many other crossovers, thanks to the rather low beltline that carries throughout the vehicle.

With a vehicle like the 2011 RDX, which has a suspension tuned for crisp handling, ride quality usually suffers somewhat. That not so much the case here with the RDX. It feels quite firmly damped but moderately sprung, so while it turns in with relative crispness, it's designed to keep it safe yet satisfying for any sane driver's needs on a curvy road while also absorbing major heaves quite well. The downside is that the RDX's ride is busy; it's not jarring, but it gets thrown around by pitchy surfaces and there can be a fair amount of road noise.

Safety
8 out of 10 Those who put the priority on safety should keep the 2011 Acura RDX near the top of the list.

With a good list of safety equipment and impressive (though not perfect) safety ratings, the 2011 Acura RDX is among the safer ranks in its class.

The RDX earns top 'good' ratings in frontal and side impact from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), though since the agency hasn't yet tested it for roof strength it hasn't yet garnered the Top Safety Accolade this year. The 2011 Acura RDX still hasn't been tested in the tougher, revised 2011 New Car Assessment Program, the federal government's crash-test program run by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Under the former NHTSA tests, the RDX earned top 5-star ratings, while in the new, revised test, the CR-V, which is still structurally related to the RDX, has earned 4 stars across the board.

The list of standard safety features lend further peace of mind. Traction and stability control, anti-lock brakes, active head restraints, and side and curtain airbags and a rearview camera are standard.

Although a few of the top-tech options, such as lane-departure warning systems or blind-spot detection systems-features that are becoming more common on high-end vehicles, aren't offered in the RDX.

Features
8 out of 10 While the 2011 Acura RDX offers an impressive list of audio and connectivity related features, though active safety features are still missing from the lineup.

The 2011 Acura RDX has more high-end audio features than many homes-and a savvy list of standard luxury items, too.

Standard features on the RDX include Bluetooth connectivity, a 7-speaker sound system, and a new USB port that allows the connection of (and charging of) items such as an iPhone or iPod. Acura also picks up standard CD changer and XM hardware, with DVD-Audio and real-time XM traffic info as options. An electronic compass, automatic headlights, and better cup holders have been added, and ambient footwell lighting, a compass, a pull handle for the hatch, and automatic headlamps are included.

But we've found, as we have on other Acuras, the control layout—especially for audio—to be cluttered and needlessly complex. The climate and sound system display right up against the base of the windshield, but thought that the display didn't have enough characters to handle satellite radio, let alone MP3s. The nav system's display screen was prone to reflections but we liked its menu system as well as integrated real-time traffic and weather (part of the Tech Package).

While the RDX is lavishly equipped to some, others might be disappointed in the lack of safety-tech features, such as a blind-spot system, lane-departure, or active headlamps. Rear heated seats and a heated steering wheel also aren't on the list.

Green
6 out of 10 The Acura RDX isn't very impressive, from a green standpoint.

Fuel economy ratings for the 2011 Acura RDX are unimpressive, and its ratings with all-wheel-drive, of 17 mpg city, 22 highway, are on par with luxury crossovers one size larger.

Last year the RDX was first offered in a front-wheel drive model—which costs $2,000 less and gets 2 mpg better both in the city and on the highway, for EPA estimates of 19/24 mpg.

Our editors averaged 20 mpg in a mix of driving, in an all-wheel-drive model, so real-world mileage might be somewhat better than the numbers suggest. But pricier premium fuel is strongly recommended.

We like
* Just-right size for urban commuters
* Excellent handling and dynamics
* Charismatic engine
* Strong brakes

We dislike
* Evident turbo lag
* Stiff-kneed ride quality
* No manual-transmission option
* Balky transmission behavior
* Mediocre fuel economy

Key Takeaway
The 2011 Acura RDX is delightfully frisky and nimble, but it doesn't feel as lavish as other luxury crossovers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,436 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Sales

They put that sweet ass ugly grill on the RDX too! There goes the sales! Beaver town!
The RDX got the Power Plenum Grille in 2010 & sales went up 48.5% for the year. Granted, sales were probably also helped by the introduction of the FWD model ...

The MDX also got it in 2010 & sales went up 52.4% ...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
The RDX got the Power Plenum Grille in 2010 & sales went up 48.5% for the year. Granted, sales were probably also helped by the introduction of the FWD model ...

The MDX also got it in 2010 & sales went up 52.4% ...
That baffles me. That grill looks horrendous on every one of their cars. I am glad my TSX is an 08....the long lost beautiful front end.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,790 Posts
we're looking into the tl awd within the next couple of months..I want to wait for the redesign of the rdx and that would be our first choice..I have a feeling that the 2012 will be redesigned.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
880 Posts
I had an 09 RDX as a loaner. I really liked it, I just wish it wasn't to popular to have a small SUV. I asked a few people if they thought it was a chick car, and the majority of responses were that they thought it was.

That thing was peppy though, and I think with the Hondata reflash, could be really quick. AWD is nice too. I'm surprised that they're offering a model with AWD and navi for only $2k more. It seems kind of pointless.

I would still get one if the grille wasn't so terrible. That's not new, either. The face has been ugly since it was released.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,436 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
AutoMobileMag


Exactly 5 years after I 1st drove the Acura RDX, I find that it is not aging well. The turbocharged engine delivers decent power, but it's not linear in its delivery, and the 5-speed automatic is a dated device. The ride-and-handling balance is ho-hum, and the suspension crashes over bumps. The steering is dead on-center. There's a distinct lack of a "premium" feeling to the RDX, especially when compared with the newer entries in this segment like the Volvo XC60, the Audi Q5, the Mercedes-Benz GLK, and the BMW X3. Heck, there are small crossovers from non-premium brands that feel more of-a-piece than the RDX does, like the Chevy Equinox, the Hyundai Santa Fe, and the Volkswagen Tiguan. The RDX is definitely overdue for a re-do.

Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor​
The Acura RDX is a decent-looking compact crossover -- from the B-pillar back. Unfortunately, its nose just seems all out of proportion for its size. I didn't mind the same front-end treatment on the MDX because that vehicle has the size and heft to carry it off, but it just doesn't fit on the smaller RDX.

The most notable feature on this vehicle is the turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. In a straight line it delivers power almost instantaneously, but it produces an inordinate amount of torque steer when you accelerate from a stop. As others have noted, it might have been less noticeable if our test vehicle was equipped with all-wheel drive. If I were thinking about buying an RDX, I'd make sure to get one with the SH-AWD system.

Amy Skogstrom, Managing Editor​
Wow. Are you guys serious? I just love the interior of the RDX -- the great spacious feeling delivered by the low cowl, the cheerfulness and clarity of the instrument cluster, and the exceptional execution of the center-stack controls. The buttons and rotary dials have the look and feel of premium home-audio equipment. I want to keep changing radio stations just to touch the buttons.

Agreed, though, that the cabin -- especially the back seat -- feels old school. Plenty of room, though.

Jean Jennings, Editor-In-Chief​
Like many Acuras, the RDX suffers for being a 'tweener. Its size and pricing put it roughly in the same category as the BMW X3 and Audi Q5, but its exclusive reliance on 4-cylinder power and its overall disposition are much closer to the cheaper Mini Countryman and other "sporty" compact crossovers. This leaves the RDX ill-equipped to compete in either class -- it lacks the refinement and premium feel to compete with BMW or Audi, and yet is too expensive (and too big) to square off against sportier, cheaper crossovers. Acura hurts itself further by making its excellent all-wheel-drive system an extra-cost option while BMW and Audi make it standard. As such, our $36,480 test model suffers from steering-wheel-tugging torque steer not unlike what you find in a $20,000 Nissan Juke. As Joe notes, the ride doesn't help matters -- the rear suspension in particular jumps over speed bumps. The interior hews more toward the Honda Civic and CR-V than other Acuras.

Despite all this, the RDX isn't a bad vehicle. The interior, although lacking in materials quality, is very comfortable and well thought out. I particularly like the deep, lockable center console. Like many Honda vehicles, it's easy to see out of, thanks to a low beltline and relatively thin pillars. The steering is also typical for Honda -- accurate and quicker than most. The turbocharged 2.3-liter engine isn't as refined as Audi's class-leading turbo 4 but it provides excellent mid-range passing power and would, I suspect, benefit immeasurably if paired with a modern transmission and all-wheel-drive.

A redesign that addresses the interior quality and ride would do wonders for this vehicle. The real work, though, should be done in the marketing department. Acura needs to decide whether the RDX is a zippy, sporty compact crossover, in which case it needs a cut in size and price, or the brand needs to commit to competing against the big boys and develop a vehicle that can meet them head-on.

David Zenlea, Assistant Editor​
I haven't driven an Acura RDX for probably 4 years, and I can't say I've missed it in that time. The small premium crossover market has been inundated with newer offerings from Audi, BMW, Infiniti, Mercedes, Volvo, and others since Acura brought out the RDX. And each of those competitors has brought with it more technology, better powertrain choices, or better interior execution (if not all 3).

I didn't have any issues with the performance of the 5-speed automatic transmission, but the power delivery of Acura's turbo 4-cylinder isn't nearly as linear or as refined as I'd like. It's not so much that Acura's engine is bad, it's that the Audi 2.0T is amazing and comes with an 8-speed automatic that enhances the experience even more. Oh, and thanks to the more advanced direct injection and wider gear-ratio spread on the Audi, the 20/27 mpg city/highway ratings for a Q5 2.0T absolutely trounce the RDX's 17/22 mpg figures when equipped with SH-AWD.

Acura's biggest problem with the RDX is that it is the oldest offering in a suddenly very competitive segment. The RDX isn't so far behind the other small luxury crossovers that it isn't worth a test drive, though. As much as we all like the Audi Q5, I'm willing to bet that an Acura dealer has a lot more wiggle room on price than Audi does right now.

Phil Floraday, Senior Web Editor​
Phil hit the nail on the head, I think: the RDX is a good vehicle that has simply been outclassed by all the competition that has flooded its segment in the past several years.

What I want to know, though, is why Honda has not installed the RDX's feisty turbocharged 2.3-liter 4-cylinder all across its lineup? This company normally does things in a very calculated, careful manner, but it seems very strange to me that it would go through the expense of developing this engine -- which, despite a lack of refinement, is a lot of fun to drive -- for use in only 1 model. This engine would probably need to be detuned a bit for duty in the Acura TSX, the Honda Civic, or other front-wheel-drive applications, however. It's already putting out more power than the RDX's front wheels can handle. Thankfully, Acura's excellent SH-AWD system is available in the RDX.

Potential buyers would have a harder time equipping an RDX to avoid the ultra-stiff dampening in our test car. The RDX does have very sporty handling, but other manufacturers are able to deliver similar sportiness without such a harsh ride. In SH-AWD form, the RDX could be a nice option for people living in snowbelt states where the roads aren't too bad. But is it the best choice on the market? Probably not.

Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor​
2011 Acura RDX Tech

Base price (with destination): $36,480
Price as tested: $36,480

Standard Equipment:
2.3-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine
5-speed automatic transmission
Shift paddles
4-wheel disc brakes with ABS
Vehicle stability assist
Tire pressure monitoring system
Sport seats with perforated leather
XM satellite radio
MP3/auxiliary audio jacks
USB interface
Heated front seats
HomeLink system
Bluetooth connectivity
Power windows/locks/mirrors
Auto-dimming rearview mirror
Power moonroof with tilt feature
Xenon HID headlights
Fog lights
Heated outside mirrors
Remote keyless entry
Acura navigation system with voice recognition
Acura/ELS surround sound system with 10 speakers
AM/FM/6-disc DVD-A, CD, DTS, Dolby Pro Logic II
Dual-zone automatic climate control

Options on this vehicle: None

Key options not on vehicle:
SH-AWD system -- $2000

Fuel economy:
(city/hwy/combined)
19 / 24 / 21 mpg

Engine:
Size: 2.3L turbocharged DOHC I-4
Horsepower: 240 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 260 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm

Drive:
Front-wheel

Transmission:
5-speed automatic

Curb weight: 3743 lb

Wheels/tires: 18x7.5-inch aluminum-alloy wheels
235/55R18 all-season tires

Competitors: Audi Q5 2.0T, Mercedes-Benz GLK 350, BMW X3​


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,436 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
AutoWeek


ART DIRECTOR TARA KLEIN: This 2011 Acura RDX is considered a premium vehicle? Wow, could have fooled me. While the Acura RDX does feature a few niceties, it needs an overhaul to get it up to par.

The exterior design is…eh. I get a bit confused as I take it all in, moving from the back to the front. The halves seem a bit disjointed, with the extreme angles on the nose not really matching up with the look of the rest of the vehicle.

When I opened the door, Plain Jane greeted me with a typical composition executed with middle-market materials. While the ergonomics were adequate thanks to well-placed controls, I was too busy yawning to really be impressed with just that. I will say that the back up camera had a crisp, clear display, like that of our long-term Honda Odyssey, so that was a plus.

On the road, the turbo churned out plenty of power, making for a bit of fun, but the rough and noisy nature of the ride overshadowed that.

There is so much competition that is far superior to the RDX (even within some non-luxury vehicle brands), that I see it getting left in the dust.


DIGITAL EDITOR ANDREW STOY: Ah, 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque flowing through the front wheels. That explains why this thing possessed the nastiest case of torque steer I've felt this side of a Dodge Omni GLH-S. Unfortunately for Acura, the RDX didn't feel particularly more refined than the Shelby econobox either. The engine was remarkably coarse, and while I enjoy turbo whistle, the RDX had more of a water-rushing-through-pipes sound that seemed as though it was coming from the footwell. Not pleasant.

Turbo aside, the RDX was loud overall, with plenty of tire and wind noise at highway speeds. The interior was a pit of blackness; the plastics had good texture and grain, but they weren't much better than what you'd expect in a Subaru--a company not generally known for premium interiors. And the entire SUV smelled like a Sports Authority on the inside. It was exactly the scent of new athletic shoes -- that's the only way I can describe it.

Another lasting impression the RDX left me with was its appallingly ugly front mug. The nose comes to a point and then falls off below the car with no spoiler or grille or trim to give it any heft. It looked like the nose of an Amphicar, with its prow-like beak jutting way out over the front wheels.

Did I like anything? The brakes were excellent, with nice pedal feel and very progressive application--pressure exerted by my foot translated into exactly the stopping action I expected; seems like a small thing, but it's amazing how many cars get the brakes wrong even if they have good panic-stopping distances.

Overall, I was as unimpressed with the Acura RDX as I had been impressed by the 2012 Acura TL just a few weeks earlier. There are still some demons to work out in the Acura lineup.


COPY EDITOR CYNTHIA L. OROSCO-WRIGHT: While I enjoyed the MDX that was part of the long-term fleet a couple of years ago, this RDX didn't really elicit any strong feelings. It's a crossover. It carries you and your stuff in basic comfort; I certainly wouldn't call anything herein luxurious. But it served its purpose over a weekend when I needed space to transport a large graduation cake and to pick up some boxes.

Getting up to speed wasn't much of a chore, but you do have to put your foot into it a bit to get the turbo juices flowing. And the brakes satisfactorily slowed things down. The seats had good bolster. The overall ride was fine, but the crumbling roads did upset the suspension quite a bit. I did like the big, clear screen for the backup camera and the nav unit, which was super easy to use.

Overall, there's nothing overly exciting about the RDX, from the odd lines of the sheetmetal to the power underhood. If you're looking for this kind of crossover/small ute, you certainly could find something that looks better and is more fun to drive, possibly for less money.


ASSOCIATE EDITOR JONATHAN WONG: Is the RDX a small luxury SUV? I would argue that it's a small entry-level luxury SUV, more compact than the likes of the Audi Q5 and BMW X3, which are also more expensive. For the cost of this loaded FWD RDX with navigation and satellite radio, you would only get a barebones version of the Audi or BMW.

A more direct competitor in terms of size and content is the Infiniti EX. Compared to that; I would tip my hat towards the Acura for sportier drive character with its tight chassis, responsive steering and muscular brake performance. Minus the front end, I also like the lines of the RDX better than the EX, but that's all personal preference. Neither interior is great, but they are nice enough to pass for an entry-luxury vehicle with some soft-touch surfaces sprinkled in with quality hard plastics. As with all Acuras, the front bucket seats are great with good side support.

I will admit that the stiff ride and louder-than-expected tire noise can get annoying. By the end of the night motoring around the beat up roads in my area, I was wishing for more give in the suspension. Of course, the payoff for the stiff suspension is apparent in turns, improving the driving fun factor. Along with the new grille added during the facelift Acura gave the RDX last year, they also upgraded the brakes, which were already good.

I'm also a fan of this turbocharged K-series engine. There's actually torque here, which is fun if you make sure to have the wheels on the FWD RDX pointed in your desired direction before rolling onto the throttle. The power band is wide and the 5-speed automatic delivers quick and seamless shifts. Is there torque steer? Yes, but it isn't terrible at all. You want bad torque steer? Go drive the 1st-generation Mazdaspeed 3 and then come to talk to me.


NEWS EDITOR GREG MIGLIORE: The 2011 Acura RDX is a mediocre entry in this segment, considering so many new crossovers can be loaded up and had for a similar price. The cabin does not feel very luxurious to me. Even basic vehicles can be dressed up with leather and electronics to get a similar result. Upscale crossovers should have differentiating materials in the cabin, and they are mostly absent or too subtle in this execution. Plus, the center console is busy and not very intuitive.

That said, this Acura does a lot of things well. The engine is strong and potent for aggressive launches and merging, and the chassis is well-done and comfortable. Passengers remarked on the roominess, and the interior is reasonably pleasant aside from the other faults.

The turbo is a hoot, but as others note, the torque steer is uh, present. It's almost fun, but you really do need to hold on. On the other hand, I doubt that's the feel people want for family hauling.

Overall, the RDX is a nice vehicle, but the interior could use a facelift.

2011 Acura RDX Tech

Base Price: $36,880

As-Tested Price: $36,880

Drivetrain: 2.3-liter turbocharged I4; FWD, five-speed automatic

Output: 240 hp @ 6,000 rpm, 260 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm

Curb Weight: 3,752 lb

Fuel Economy (EPA/AW): 21/22.4 mpg

Options: None​

 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top