By on September 28, 2006

07_acura_rdx_13.jpg After Germany’s unconditional surrender to Allied forces in 1945, the allies stripped the country of all its patents. Germany’s former Axis ally, Japan, eventually exploited this situation by plagiarizing and mass-producing legendary German cameras and lenses. Today, Japanese manufacturers continue to look to Germany for “inspiration.” Case in point: the 2007 Acura RDX. It couldn’t look more like a BMW X3 if it tried, and by God, it did.

The RDX Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV) is one inch longer and a fraction wider and shorter than its German inspiration. Stylistically, the RDX is only a nip-tuck away from the baby Bimmer. The RDX’ steeply raked windshield, blackened B and C-pillars and tailgate spoiler all say BMW– and signal the Acura’s shared distaste for the rough stuff. The RDX is, in fact, another deeply metrosexual machine: a handsome manly form attired in delicate garments, whose manicured toes are meant for polished wingtips, not hiking boots. If you know what I mean.

07_acura_rdx_51.jpg Inside, Toto, I get the feeling we’re not in Bavaria anymore. The RDX’ cabin offers the all hushed minimalism we’ve come to expect from Honda’s upmarket homonyms. In fact, the CUV’s attention to tactility– from the meaty steering wheel bulges at the ten and two positions to the sensually shaped leather shift knob– takes us deep into Audi territory. That said, you can take the Acura out of Japan, but you can’t take the Japanese out of the Acura. The RDX’ three-ring gauges’ red-on-blue lighting strikes just the wrong note of Japanese spizzarkle. And the RDX’ climate control/media center shares Infiniti’s predilection for a high and mighty backwards tilting dash position.

The RDX’s traffic aversive satellite navigation system is voice controllable– which is just as well. The widescreen display is difficult to read in daylight, especially when the future's so bright you're wearing shades. The nav system and on-board computer are controlled by a distinctly phallic nubbin protruding through the center of the dash. Despite the gizmo’s indelicacy, its intuitive ergonomics put BMW’s iDrive to shame (as if it needed any help in that regard). As is the norm for this “so not an SUV” genre, cargo storage space is sacrificed on the altar of passenger comfort. Drivers with longer legs will find lots of room for their stems in either the front or rear seats, which provide much-needed lateral support.

07_acura_rdx_15.jpg The RDX is propelled by a turbo-charged 2.3-liter four-cylinder powerplant producing 240hp @ 6000rpm and 260 lbs-ft of torque @ 4500rpm. The much ballyhooed variable flow turbos keep the engine spinning at low revs, but it’s still not enough. The engine must climb above 3500rpms before it can get its boogie on. Fortunately, like all the best Honda power plants, this baby loves to twirl, redlining at 6800rpms. To keep the mill in the grunt zone, the RDX’ brushed-aluminum accented steering wheel (all the rage this year) sports F1-style paddle shifters. Unfortunately, the steering is a little slow; cornering tends to put the paddles out of reach.

Should you be so churlish as to engage in a little stoplight sprinting, the RDX makes the zero to 60 dash in a shade less than eight seconds. That’s respectable acceleration for a vehicle that weighs one Labrador retriever less than two tons and stands nearly 5’5” tall, but you’ll pay the price at the pump, diminishing the official 19/24 EPA mpg by a considerable margin. Worse yet, the new RAV4 V6 will best the RDX to 60 by more than a second.

07_acura_rdx_20.jpg A mid-day tear through the winding hills of Irving, Texas proved that Acura’s taut front strut / rear multilink suspension makes their cute ute feel light and tight– until you come to a corner. There’s no masking the leaning tower of SUV effect, or the vehicle’s tendency to nose-dive during hard braking. Acura’s Super Handling All Wheel Drive (SH-AWD), Vehicle Stability Assist and ABS systems conspire to keep the RDX’ wheels firmly gripped to the pavement, despite all the leans, pitches, rolls and yaws. For what it’s worth, the RDX is the best handling Crossover in its class. 

The RDX goes head-to-head against the similarly sized and priced fraternal twins, the Nissan Murano and Infiniti FX35, and the aforementioned BMW and RAV4. The RDX out-luxuriates the Nissan and Toyota, but still seems a little austere compared to the BMW and Infiniti. It straightens corners better than the others but has the least amount of straight line oomph.

Thanks to its superb build quality and [optional] mind-blowing surround sound, mp3-compatible stereo, I can’t imagine anyone sitting in an RDX, regretting purchasing Acura’s X3 knock-off instead of the “real deal.” Still, as I walked away from the RDX, I was left longing for a vehicle that holstered that sweet-spinning turbo four in something shorter, lower and lighter. Something like the Acura RL. Sometimes it’s best to just copy yourself, and call it good.

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63 Comments on “Acura RDX Review...”


  • avatar
    Claude Dickson

    My problem with this class of vehicles is that image is the main reason for their existence. This isn’t an off-road vehicle and it’s not a car. Why not drop the pretense, make a car, perhaps with a God forbid in the USA, a hatch. You get all the utility of these mini-SUVs and you get a car. The Audi A5 hatch, if AOA imports it, will show America what it really needs. All of these vehicles just don’t make any sense.

  • avatar
    Frank Williams

    In 1963, my Aunt Minnie drove a vehicle that was based on passenger car mechanicals, couldn’t be taken much further off the pavement than a dirt road, had a roofline that extended to the rear of the vehicle, offered four passenger doors, opened in the rear for cargo access and featured second and third row seats that folded flat to make a huge cargo area. Nowadays the marketers would call that a “crossover.” Back then it was a Fairlane station wagon.

  • avatar
    dolo54

    I was impressed that they got 240hp out of a 4 cylinder until I read the mileage. what’s the point? you add a turbo and an intercooler. does that weigh much less than a 6 cylinder? it’s cool, but seems overcomplicated without any kind of significant payoff. i wonder if there is much more cargo room than in an rsx (integra). i can fit a buttload of stuff in my integra 3-door. i fit an entire queen size bed frame in there once. can carry 3 people, 3 snowboards/skis and gear inside no problem. really what’s the point? maybe because you sit higher so you feel like you can see with all the other suvs on the road. that’s the only thing i can think of.

  • avatar

    That’s it: image and seating position.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    lol, you make it sound like only Japan plagiarized anything in Germany’s aftermath.

    I’m surprised it’s that slow compared to the Rav4. I expected more from Acura.

  • avatar
    Martin Albright

    Regarding the HP and MPG of the turbo, a question: Since turbos compress the air/fuel mixture going into the cylinder, doesn’t that mean you have to use high-octane (premium) gas to avoid pinging? For most of us, the reason we like higher MPG is it costs less to fill the tank. So it seems to me that a car that gets 20mpg on regular gas is actually better, cost-wise, than one that gets 22 on premium, figuring that on average premium costs at least 10% -20% more, right?

    My point here is that often companies put a turbo onto a small motor, with the idea that the small motor will equal good MPG, while the turbo will give the power that mimics a bigger bore. But, as I said above, if the cost to fuel the thing is the same (or more) due to the higher cost of the fuel, then the only benefit to the higher MPG is a longer range between stops. Or am I missing something here?

  • avatar
    Jesse

    With a four-cylinder turbo, you should get better gas mileage than a 6-cylinder but close to equal power. A turbo provides power when you need it (i.e. passing) rather than all the time. My 4-cylinder turbo saab gets around 32-34 mpg on the highway. Around town, if I stomp on the gas, the turbo kicks in more and I get worse fuel economy.

  • avatar
    nweaver

    What I’d like to see that drivetrain in is an RSX successor.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    Martin Albright,

    And yes, the RDX’s owners manual calls for premium unleaded gas.

  • avatar
    spinjack

    “What I’d like to see that drivetrain in is an RSX successor.”

    Too bad the RSX is getting the ax. IIRC.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    A couple points — William, does this actually handle better than the Infiniti FX? In my experience, the FX is second only in SUV moves to the Cayenne, and really, not that far behind.

    re: Mileage and premium fuel with Turbos. It’s really up to the driver. A tank of premium vs. a tank of regular is usually a $3 difference. Not a huge amount of money. Now, how fast you burn through said tank is totally up to your left foot.

    For instance, I would be shocked to learn that I get more than 20mpg in my WRX. But, I keep it close to 5,000rpm most of the time…

  • avatar
    Jeff in Canada

    The fact that Acura (and Mazda with the CX-7) have offered only turbo 4′s in their crossovers boils down to simple marketing. They are trying to appeal to people who wish to step out of their gas guzzling SUV’s into these confortable ‘fuel-efficient’ crossovers. The problem lies in the simple fact that an engine converts chemical potential energy (in gasoline) to mechanical energy. There is no magical way to get adaquate horsepower figures out of less fuel. It’s a direct relationship.
    A turbo engine is only fuel efficient when there is little or no boost. Where the engine is behaving much like a naturally aspirate 4 cyl. I imagine this Acura will be much like many other turbo cars, and it will be running in boost under most driving senarios. I am just speculating.
    A turbo 4 in a crossover is just a marketing ploy. A good one too, they’ll sell a ton of these.

  • avatar
    seldomawake

    I bought an RSX-S about a month ago. I will miss that car dearly; I can’t say I approve of Acura’s “we’re moving upmarket” initiative. I picked the car over a Boxster, a C5 Z06 ‘vette, an M3 (no clutch…), an RX8, a ‘stang GT…

    I really can’t say enough for the bang-for-the-buck that Acura seems to offer. I love my RSX-S, and would make the same decision again.

    That said, having driven the X3 and the RDX, I do prefer the X3, much as I am ashamed to admit it. It felt…tighter. Can’t say too much more than that.

  • avatar
    trandell

    I have a Saab 9-5 Aero with a turbo i-4. and if I choose to drive it conservatively it rewards me with good gas milage. I also have a Nissan Pathfinder and no matter how conservatively I drive it still gets the same poor gas milage.
    Both require premium fuel! The turbo I4 is power on demand or economy on demand. But not both at the same time!

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    Jonny,

    RE: Handling comparison to the FX35

    I like how the RDX handles better than the FX. Compared to the Infiniti the Acura is lithe, agile, and feels better balanced than the FX’s. Indeed it weighs more than 400lbs less than the FX35 AWD and 600lbs less than the FX45.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    I am hoping that they put the turbo in the TSX. If they do that, the TSX is my next car.

    But I think the RDX is ugly and way too expensive. Its badge-mate, the 2007 Honda CRV is better looking, lighter and much cheaper.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Further to the point RDX info is Available here [Shockwave], and CRV info is available here [PDF].

    The CRV is 500 lbs lighter, and $10K-$12K less.

  • avatar
    qfrog

    I like the review a lot more than the topic…

  • avatar
    lzaffuto

    You can have the same power as a V6 with a turbo I4 with better mileage. Many cars did this… in the past. The problem is that manufacturers nowadays are trying too hard to get rid of turbo lag in an ill attempt to make someone think they aren’t driving a vehicle with a smaller turbocharged engine. It used to be that turbocharged engines had turbos that spooled late and made good power, but you had to floor it for awhile to get it. This returns good gas mileage, because you’re almost never going to spool the turbo in traffic. To eliminate lag, you can either go with a very expensive twin-turbo setup, or you can program the engine’s powerband to make more power before the turbo spools so the difference isn’t that noticeable. This of course decreases fuel economy.

    I suspect in this case Acura figures that if you’re interested in an SUV, you’re not really concerned about gas mileage anyway. Turbocharged cars still hold a mystique about them with most of the general public. They have been around forever, but have never been mainstream. I think even though Acura could have used a V6 with as much power and probably *better* gas mileage, they went with the turbo I4 for the hype and rarity of it. A NA V6 is expected in this segment, and it wouldn’t have gotten nearly as much press and attention as this new powerplant has. They are trying to be different. And different can be cool.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    This drivetrain and audio/nav system in the 08 TSX is gonna be rockin’

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    Seating position, image and capacity. My wife had an Outback and I had a Nissan Murano up until a little while ago. I could stuff way more in my Murano than she could in her Outback and still have an expanse of room in the rear seat while hers was just so-so. Most people who purchase a CUV don’t want it for off-road (the same could be said for those who have purchased a body on frame SUV). They want to sit higher up for a better view of the road, they want to pack in some Best Buy sized purchases, be able to drive in 6 inches of snow all while in comfort.

  • avatar
    Claude Dickson

    Steve_S,

    You don’t need a SUV/CUV to do these things. There are a number of what I like to call station wagons on steriods that will do the job better than most of these cars. Eventually, someone is going to introduce a hatch for grown-ups into the US market. I think Mazda missed the boat with using the sedan for the Mazdaspeed 6 instead of the hatch. When someone does that, maybe people will come to understand how little there is to be gained by these vehicles.

  • avatar
    BimmerHead

    Claude -
    Even better than a Mazdaspeed6 in wagon form, Mazda has the Mazdaspeed3 coming out (or maybe out now) in wagon/5door hatch configuration (only, I believe). Sure, you give up a little size to the 6, but on the plus side you also give up some weight. Same 2.3 liter turbo from the MS6 in the MS3… could be interesting… all the reviews I have read thusfar have been positive…
    My hope is that Mazda will demonstrate to BMW that the time for the hot hatch is here now and BMW will bring the 1 series to the US.

    I can dream, can’t I?

  • avatar
    bodayguy

    Guess I’m the only one who thinks this car is hideous looking, especially the nose. The CX7, now that ain’t bad.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Steve_S — your wife had which Outback? The Imprezza? The Legacy?

  • avatar

    Hideous may be a bit strong, but it’s definitely not good looking. And I like the look of most Acuras. Someone mentioned the Murano. Now that’s hideous. The BMW crossovers are also pretty bad.

    I can’t imagine that a good-looking wagon wouldn’t sell. My late Dad’s ’95 Volvo 940 station wagon(!) was good-looking, perhaps because it wasn’t trying to be anything other than what it was, and because it was clean–no SUV/sneaker cladding, no stray lines to make it look like the stylist didn’t know when to stop. And loads and loads of space. Most of the crossovers–maybe all of them–look like they’re trying way too hard. But then, at its core the “crossover” is just a stupid marketing ploy.

  • avatar
    JimHinCO

    I’ve always been a huge Acura fan…and I did want all-wheel drive this go around while I was car shopping. I couldn’t afford the RL, but the RDX had a chance. I was very disappointed in the looks (it doesn’t look like a $35-38K car in my opinion) and the gas mileage.

    Luckily, I was able to test drive a subaru legacy spec-b and I was able to wave goodbye to Acura. :) Besides, I’m mad that they are casting aside the RSX. :(

  • avatar
    Claude Dickson

    Bimmerhead:

    By all reports, Mazda got it right with the Mazdaspeed 3, but missed the mark with the Mazdaspeed 6. In addition to everything else, I think they chose the wrong body style.

  • avatar
    kablamo

    This would be an awesome vehicle if it was the same engine in the TSX. With SH-AWD.

  • avatar
    Carzzi

    Jonny Lieberman:
    September 28th, 2006 at 10:42 am

    re: Mileage and premium fuel with Turbos. It’s really up to the driver. A tank of premium vs. a tank of regular is usually a $3 difference. Not a huge amount of money. Now, how fast you burn through said tank is totally up to your left foot.

    In my Bizarro world, mileage is controlled by the right foot.

  • avatar
    Nopanegain

    LZaffuto: The advent of variable area turbine nozzles as used in the RDX help to reduce the effects of turbo lag to almost non-noticeable levels. This essentially takes the place of sequential turbos. Turbo technology is growing by leaps and bounds, and I am personally excited to see more OEM turbocharged engines.

  • avatar
    Lantern42

    If the RDX looks like anything, it looks like the MDX.

    Does that mean that by trying to keep a similar look in its line-up, Acura is copying BMW? Or better yet, Which one came out first? The BMW X3, or the Acura MDX? (It’s the MDX.)

    It really is starting to amaze me the lengths the “writers” at this site will go to make the Japanese auto manufacturers look like copycats. Between Robert Farago claiming the 2004 Acura TL copies the 2004 BMW 5 (must’ve been a real quick developement for the TL) to saying the Infiniti FX looks like a a slew of other (newer to the market) cars. Thats right. Cars that came to the market after the FX was released were copied to make…the….FX….

    Unless you’d have us believe that Honda/Acura and Nissan/Infiniti are capable of seeing the future, and use that ability to view cars from Germany and the US before they are made, I’d say your obvious bias is painfully highlighted by a complete and utter lack of research.

    Anyone with an internet connection can find this out in 5 minutes. What stopping you? Generally, you need to support your opinions with facts.

  • avatar
    crackity jones

    “All of these vehicles just don’t make any sense.”

    The reason for this vehicle is ride height. Lots of women, and some men, like sitting up higher. There is no pretense in making a higher-riding vehicle that does not go off-road. RAV-4, CR-V, RX, FX, MDX. It starts with sitting up high and veers off into utility, sport, or economy or a combination.

    How ’bout let’s stop telling the buying public how dumb and pretentious they are for buying vehicles that fit their needs?

  • avatar
    nichjs

    Jeff in Canada:
    “The problem lies in the simple fact that an engine converts chemical potential energy (in gasoline) to mechanical energy. There is no magical way to get adaquate horsepower figures out of less fuel. It’s a direct relationship.”

    Correct, a given grade of gasoline has a fixed calorific value, but OF COURSE there are ways to get more horsepower out of the same given volume of fuel. This is the definition of the word “Efficiency”. Engines are evolving all the time to more efficiently convert that chemical energy into mechanical energy. Look at the trend of compression ratios: the more (and lower temperature ie higher density) air you put into the cylinder and heat by the combustion of hydrocarbons, the more momentum is imparted to the piston, forcing it down, thereby extracting more mechanical energy out of the fuel.

    http://courses.washington.edu/me341/oct22v2.htm

    Sorry, Jeff, it’s not a direct relationship, it’s a fantastically complex relationship, which is why we havn’t got the perfect engine. (and probably won’t ever do, as we’ll run out of Texas Tea before we’ve had enough time to do that many iterations!)

    Also “adequate horsepower” is very subjective, I drive a 65hp diesel (57mpg(US) thankyou) in the UK, and it has plenty of horsepower for the job. Same old argument, you can only drive as fast as the guy infront, and the powers that be get uppety when your right foot gets heavy.

    ~James

  • avatar
    lzaffuto

    “LZaffuto: The advent of variable area turbine nozzles as used in the RDX help to reduce the effects of turbo lag to almost non-noticeable levels. This essentially takes the place of sequential turbos. Turbo technology is growing by leaps and bounds, and I am personally excited to see more OEM turbocharged engines.”

    True, it helps to eliminate lag without being as expensive or complicated as a twin-turbo setup. But the fact remains that the longer the turbo is spooled the more gas you’re going to burn… so no matter how you look at it you’re going to hurt fuel economy by eliminating turbo lag.

    On that note, has anyone invented a system where you can prevent the turbo from spooling to get better fuel economy? I know some systems allow you to reduce the boost pressure…

  • avatar
    dolo54

    From what I’ve heard the RSX-S gets a real world 30mpg average. I’m sure this thing weighs a bit more, but it a shame that the mileage is so much worse, as the RSX-S engine is 210hp without the turbo and intercooler stuff. I understand why they’re dropping the RSX, as it competes with civic to closely.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    Lantern42: There is no problem with the timeline. The MDX, which made its debut mid-2000 as an ’01 model was “inspired” by the [German] Mercedes M-Class that popularized the sporty SUV with light off-road capability beginning in 1997 (’98 model). The BMW X5 also predated the MDX by a year. Infiniti and Nissan did not follow suit until the FX/Murano models in ’03. The only early Japanese entrant in this luxury crossover SUV class was the very good and successful Lexus RX.

    The BMW X3 debuted in the 2003 Detroit Auto Show and hit the road as an ’04 model and Acura’s facsimile followed with this ’07 RDX.

    I checked the Internet and all sources place the design inspiration for the RDX with the X3.

  • avatar

    >>It really is starting to amaze me the lengths the “writers” at this site will go to make the Japanese auto manufacturers look like copycats. Between Robert Farago claiming the 2004 Acura TL copies the 2004 BMW 5 (must’ve been a real quick developement for the TL) to saying the Infiniti FX looks like a a slew of other (newer to the market) cars. Thats right. Cars that came to the market after the FX was released were copied to make…the….FX….

    Cars these days look so much alike that it’s probably easier in most cases (Occam’s rule) to attribute look-alike to coincidence. I can’t believe that Accord and Corolla try to copy each other, but recently I tried to get into a Corolla that was the same color as my Accord (“why isn’t this f-ing key working???!). Yeah, I was being a bit absent minded, but there’s no way I could have mistaken my parents’ ’57 Chevy and ’57 plymouth for any other cars that were on the road at the time. When I look for my Accord in a big parking lot, I always look for the cruiserline ventiports I added on.

  • avatar
    ktm

    William C Montgomery, being inspired by and accusing one of copying the styling are two entirely different issues. BMW and Mercedes may have released the first “cross-over” utility vehicles, but you can not blame other manufacturers for following suite into the lucrative market. It is a simple business decision.

    Styling wise I would not say that the Acura is trying to look like an X3. As David Holzman said, any resemblence is most likely coincidence.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    David Holzman and KTM:

    I cannot disagree that in this age of wind tunnel engineering that so many cars tend to look similar. I too have mistaken another car for my own in a parking lot.

    Also, I am afraid that I am misunderstood. I do not think that there is anything wrong with an auto manufacturer targeting products of a successful or legendary competitor – especially if the knock-off is better and cheaper. Look at the original Lexus LS400. Toyota engineers and marketers openly promoted the fact that they picked what they thought was the best, most respected sedan in the world (Mercedes), and replicated it for less money. Was it wrong of the automotive press to point this out in 1986 (or whenever that was)?

    I did not write, nor did I mean to imply, that this practice was wrong. This strategy is actually quite brilliant if you can execute it well, which in this case Acura has done. My comments were observational that this practice continues. My research of the RDX indicated that Acura meant to build a smaller version of the MDX to match the automotive template set by the X3. The result is that these vehicles are, by design, overwhelmingly similar.

    I suppose we could quibble about whether the grill, the shape of some of the rearward windows, and creases in the sheet metal, constitutes significant styling differences, but I think that misses the point.

  • avatar
    Nopanegain

    LZaffulto: On that note, has anyone invented a system where you can prevent the turbo from spooling to get better fuel economy? I know some systems allow you to reduce the boost pressure…

    Probably not a good idea. Just cause the engine is running on turbo boost (positive manifold pressure) does not mean that the fuel injectors are squirting like well-paid porno stars. There are different levels of boost from mild to wild. Better to let the turbo spool up and just let the engine run lean for better economy. Of course, the caveat is emissions…

  • avatar
    cretinx

    great.
    another bimbo box for boys who’s wives won’t let them get a real toy. I guess this allows them to say they kept their testicles because they didn’t get the minivan? Right?

  • avatar
    Lantern42

    W C Montgomery-
    You’re right. Come cars do have to draw inspiration from other vehicles. Pointing that out isn’t my issue with this site.

    If I were to say that model “x” was inspired by competing model “y” there is no problem. The issue comes when I say that model “x” is an knock-off of model “y” even though model “y” was released after “x”!

    Thats what this site would have you believe. At least, according to thier “reviews”.

  • avatar
    ktm

    LZaffulto: On that note, has anyone invented a system where you can prevent the turbo from spooling to get better fuel economy? I know some systems allow you to reduce the boost pressure…

    NopanegainProbably not a good idea. Just cause the engine is running on turbo boost (positive manifold pressure) does not mean that the fuel injectors are squirting like well-paid porno stars. There are different levels of boost from mild to wild. Better to let the turbo spool up and just let the engine run lean for better economy. Of course, the caveat is emissions…

    Just keep the waste gate open. However, forced induction cars are not boosting full boost when cruising, thus the fuel economy.

  • avatar
    Claude Dickson

    Crackitty Jones:

    The whole point is that these vehicles really don’t meet their needs as well as another type of vehicle would. You get no off road capabilities and no utitlity that can’t be matched by another type of vehicle, but you do get poorer handling, worse gas mileage because all these vehicles tend to be heavy, less perfomance unless you drop major bucks, and generally a higher price to boot.

  • avatar
    bmilner

    I found it curious that you chose to compare the Acura to the V6 Rav4 and not to Honda’s own CR-V.

    I understand the price point likely puts it more in line with a V6 fully tricked out Rav4, but I always enjoy reading a clear diescription of just what you are getting by paying so much extra as a premium over the companies own cheaper models. Is the interior that much better or roomier. The engine that much faster/smoother?

    Case in point, some reviews of the Lexus SUVs indicate they aren’t worth the huge premium over the just-about-as-nice Toyota versions.

  • avatar
    kaisen

    Why use the turbo four in this application? Honda’s own 3.5L SOHC V6 makes about the same power, is less complex, and weighs about the same. That engine serves in a similar sized Saturn VUE where it gets better fuel economy and, because the Saturn weighs 350 pounds less, will smoke it in a straight line. Because the VUE is also available as a front-driver (where the RDX is AWD only) the disparity grows to 5+ mpg freeway and over 500 pounds. IIRC, Honda has a 300hp cylinder-deactivating variant of the 3.5L coming for truck duty, and the RL has had a 290hp variant for a couple years. Why the turbo four?

  • avatar

    Because the MDX gets the six.

    I’d much rather drive a BMW X3 or Infiniti FX35 along a curvy road than one of these. But handling is one of the more subjective aspects of a car.

  • avatar

    I drove one of these at their launch event…and I walked away impressed. Much more so than the X3. Dare I say this CUV felt a bit more refined than the BMW competitor? The X3 had more power, but I thought the handling was equal. I also liked it much better than the barge that the RAV4 has become. Had this been out at the time I was still looking for a small SUV earlier in the year before I made my trek back to sporty sedan world (and loving it too), I’d have bought it. The x3 costs too much for what it is, and the RDX does too. It’s just that the RDX does it cheaper than the X3.

    And not that I’m bashing WMC’s review and article, but I almost would have rather seen J Lieb’s thoughts on this car. I like all the writers, but this seemed more like a Lieberman vehicle.

    I do, however, enjoy the “WAAHHHH SUV WWWAHHHHH” comments…heheh…

  • avatar
    crackity jones

    Claude’s station-wagon master plan is ill-informed and based more on emotion than fact. There are wagons that get horrible gas mileage–like the Forester–and SUVs that get great mileage–like the V6 RAV-4.

    So I guess you’ll have everyone should buy a 4-cyl Passat Wagon because it gets 22/30 and has a big cargo bay. Great.

  • avatar
    wsn

    Replying to the above post:

    Toyota Matrix is better in that respect…

  • avatar
    james

    Because a 4-banger just doesn’t have the grunt to move a 2-ton SUV around it’ll be dipping into that turbo quite a bit so I have a feeling you might see 24 mpg if you drive cross-country but the rest of the time you’ll be lucky to break 20mpg.

    Toyota’s RAV4 V6 (should have been called “RAV6″) gets to 60 a second faster AND gets much better gas mileage than the RDX turbo, almost 30mpg. Acura should have gone with a V6 for such a heavy vehicle.

  • avatar
    AcuraRDXowner

    A second slower than a V6 Rav4?! I beg to differ. After reading this ridiculous claim, i went to http://www.caranddriver.com to get the official stats. Rav4 Limited V6 4×4 0-60 in 6.3 sec. RDX 0-60 in 6.5 sec. Now I dont know where this author is getting his specs from but it is complete BS. A second slower than a Rav4 my ass. Besides, the RDX’ competition is not even the Rav4. It is the BMW X3. The part about the gas mileage is true though. I get about 13-15 in the city where i drive it most. I was actually looking in the engine bay and realized how much space was available because of the smaller engine. Theres even room for another turbo. Come on Acura! RDX Type-S Twin Turbo!

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    AcuraRDXowner: A second slower than a V6 Rav4?! I beg to differ. After reading this ridiculous claim, i went to http://www.caranddriver.com to get the official stats. Rav4 Limited V6 4×4 0-60 in 6.3 sec. RDX 0-60 in 6.5 sec. Now I dont know where this author is getting his specs from but it is complete BS. A second slower than a Rav4 my ass.

    I got my number from Acura’s published PR material, which claimed a 0-60 time of 7.5 seconds.

    As for C&D, I wouldn’t necessarily say that they are the source of “official stats,” but for the sake of this discussion I’m prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt. At the time my RDX review was published (September 28, 2006), C&D had not published an instrument test of the RDX.

    In July 2006, C&D printed a Preview Review in which they estimated a 0-60 time of 7.5 seconds. One year later (July ’07 issue – about 9 months after my review) C&D first published instrument test results in their comparison test of “High Buck Cute Utes.”

  • avatar
    rdxturbo

    I cant picture anyone in their right mind prefering a RAV4 over an RDX,I test drove all of the different crossovers and there was no comparison.
    I am the type of person that needs to enjoy driving a vehicle and the RDX filled that to the letter.The quality and of the Acura/Honda products
    is hard to beat for the price.
    Sure you could probably find something cheaper that could out run it in a straight line but the total package is a well engineered crossover that will out handle and outrun most on the road.
    I think a lot of people tend to find fault with vehicles they cant afford.

  • avatar
    unhappywRDX

    I purchased a 2008 RDX with the Technology Package about 1 month ago. Unfortunately I am quite unhappy with this purchase. I made a few mistakes, mostly by not doing my homework on this vehicle, believing the company literature, sales staff and EPA ratings without looking on-line at all of the unhappy customers posting issues with the fuel efficiency of this vehicle. I had the impression Acura/Honda was very conscious on fuel efficiency and did not check their claims. I purchased this car with the idea of replacing my wife’s Jeep Liberty. We frequently drive up to Tahoe and require a 4WD vehicle. I made the mistake of thinking with the lowered EPA mile estimates would be much more accurate, unfortunately the RDX is getting significantly lower mileage than the already low EPA rating of 17 mpg city. Our Jeep Liberty has a 3.7 liter V6 and weighs over 1,000 lbs more than the Acura. With identical driving habits, the Jeep consistently gets 17 mpg with mostly city driving. In the RDX with conservative driving I am getting 14.1 MPG. Seriously WTF? On top of this I need to put premium gas into the RDX, where as the Jeep is getting 17 on regular unleaded. What upsets me more than everything is that the sales staff at Acura played the whole fuel efficiency card the whole time I was in there discussing the car. It is also stated right up front in the car’s literature: “The RDX artfully combines the low weight and economy of a four-cylinder….”. My sales person went so far as to say he had spent significant time driving both the MDX and the RDX and the mileage of the RDX made a big difference. From what I have seen the MDX most likely would do equal or even better in city driving. This being a car that is significantly bigger with a much larger engine. I brought the issue to the Acura, they had nothing to say other than it will get better as the car breaks in, I highly doubt it. Excluding the fact that the car is an absolute gas guzzling pig, it drives very nice. This was my second new Acura and it will most likely be the last, which goes for Honda as well, good by lifetime customer. If anyone is considering taking legal action against Honda/Acura on this issue, please sign me up.

  • avatar
    unhappywRDX

    I purchased a 2008 RDX with the Technology Package about 1 month ago. Unfortunately I am unhappy with my purchase. I made a few mistakes, mostly by not doing my homework on this vehicle, believing the company literature, sales staff and EPA ratings without looking on-line at all of the unhappy customers posting issues with the fuel efficiency of this vehicle. I purchased this car with the idea of replacing my wife’s Jeep Liberty. We frequently drive up to Tahoe and require a 4WD vehicle. I made the mistake of thinking with the lowered EPA mile estimates would be much more accurate, unfortunately the RDX is getting significantly lower mileage than the low EPA rating of 17 city. Our Jeep Liberty has a 3.7 liter V6 and weighs over 1,000 lbs more than the Acura. With identical driving habits, the Jeep consistently gets 17 MPG with mostly city driving. In the RDX with conservative driving I am getting 14.1 MPG. Seriously WTF? On top of this I need to put premium gas into the RDX, where as the Jeep is getting 17 on regular unleaded. What upsets me more than everything is that the sales staff at Acura played the whole fuel efficiency card the whole time I was in there discussing the car. It is also stated right up front in the car’s literature: “The RDX artfully combines the low weight and economy of a four-cylinder….”. My sales person went so far as to say he had spent significant time driving both the MDX and the RDX and the mileage of the RDX made a big difference. From what I have seen the MDX most likely would do equal or even better in city driving. This being a car that is significantly bigger with a much larger engine. I brought the issue to the Acura, they had nothing to say other than it will get better as the car breaks in, I highly doubt it. Excluding the fact that the car is an absolute gas guzzling pig, it drives very nice. This was my second new Acura and it will most likely be the last, which goes for Honda as well, good by lifetime customer. If anyone is considering taking legal action against Honda/Acura on this issue, please sign me up.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    My wife purchased this car about 6 months ago. We purposely looked for a small SUV as I was getting ready to sell my X5 and move to a BMW coupe. She loves it, I have mixed feelings, but it is after all her car. I look at the car and wonder why body panels don’t always match in color, why the Navigation is so difficult to use, why the Nav is angled into the sunshine making it impossible to read on sunny days, and why there isn’t a smooth flow on the stack. My wife just likes the cargo room, the deep and expansive center cargo area, and the stereo and thinks it’s cute….go figure. We had shopped the Nissan Murano (Nissan dealer was inflexible), the Infinity EX (not really practical space), and the X3 (my wife simply didn’t want to drive the X3 when I had the x5) and she wasn’t interested in the Infinity FX. We don’t have any issues with gas mileage like some claim here. Overall, she is happy with it and that’s all that matters. At least we purchased this prior to the new ugly Acura bottle opener front end.

  • avatar
    revolver1978

    energetik9 –
    Which vehicle did you and your wife purchase? To my knowledge, the RDX has laways had a front design as pictured above.

  • avatar
    AcuraRDXowner

    revolver1978-
    The RDX will have a redesigned nose in the upcoming year or so. It will match the grilles of the rest of the new recently redesigned lineup (RL, TSX, and TL).
    I mostly agree with you energetik9. The new front ends are not hideous, but definitely questionable. However, the new “bottle opener” grille does not look as terrible on the RDX as it does on the RL and TL.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    I should have clarified some. All Acura front ends (with the exception of the truck and Pilot) to my knowledge have been moving in this direction with the V shaped front end for a few years now. Yes, my wife has the same front end as pictured. All I was saying is that the most recent Acura front ends have taken a decent shape and exaggerated it to an obnoxious shape as seen in the most recent TSX and TL.

  • avatar
    ever_green

    ****
    excellent car, best i have ever owned. looks sexy (i have it in black) and performs great. Has enough cargo for me and NAV system was a savior when i traveled to NYC. Sound system is the best out there period. Fuel economy is bad however, im not sure why. Probably the turbo and the heavy weight reduces fuel efficiency here. I hope Acura improves fuel economy on this car in the future models. Weight is i think the main issue with this car, they used heavy metal plates for improved safety. This car weighs at a whopping 4000lbs! The rav4 weighs just 3650lb while being about 10% larger in size. Maybe they should look a bit more towards Toyota next time as well. RAV4 having a bigger 3.5L engine has better MPG. This is because of weight mainly.

    Acura can fix this issue by reducing weight, using a smarter AWD system and an option to reduce turbo usage?? I mean it does have an S mode, why not make it less aggressive on D and more Aggressive on S? Diesel would also be a could choice of fuel for future models. Oh and Tighter steering is desired. It turns too damn wide.


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