By on February 7, 2012

Acura showed off their 2013 RDX, featuring a 3.5L V6 with 33 more horsepower than the outgoing model and substantially improved fuel economy.

At 273 horsepower and MPG ratings of 20/28 mpg for the front-driver and 19/27 mpg AWD version, quantitative performance is up for Acura’s small crossover. Pandora Radio, an ELS sound system, a power liftgate and a longer wheelbase/wider track are the big news for 2013. We’ll have more information tomorrow when our team starts live coverage of the Chicago Auto Show.

 

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23 Comments on “2013 Acura RDX Revealed: 2012 Chicago Auto Show...”


  • avatar
    Robstar

    Sounds like the are catching up to Kia. the 3.5L V6 FWD Sorrento is 20/26 IIRC and was an 2011 model year……not all that different. I just picked up a 1 year old 20k mile 3.5L V6 AWD with (The 3.5 V6 is 276 horse) for ~ $21k or so that seats 7. Acura better have a really good product to compete…

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Kia did a nice job with the newest Sorrento. I took a 2011 model in on trade recently, and it’s a major improvement over the first gen that I test drove and considered back when it first came out. While it’s a triumph of an interior in the budget-mainstream category, I wouldn’t put the overall feel of the materials and interior flow in the same category as the RDX.

      • 0 avatar
        Robstar

        The interior on our 2011 Kia is significantly better than any other car we own. We looked (pricing) at both the RDX & MDX and just looking at the base configs (engine, mpg, price) we couldn’t justify putting up more dough for a “luxury” car when the “value” competitors were quite good.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    So the ILX compact with a 2.4 4 banger making 200 hp gets 20/29 mpg, while the RDX as a CUV with a 273 hp V6 gets 20/28 ?

    Something funny is going on here.

  • avatar
    Ubermensch

    Sorry Acura, but from the pictures that does not look like a luxury SUV, inside or out. Honda has gone downhill lately…I mean REALLY downhill.

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    Seriously Acura, what is with your steering wheels? NO ONE else does wheels like that, because they look HORRIBLE. Nobody needs that many buttons on the steering wheel. Why not just have a giant pie pan that’s covered in buttons?

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    I like the drive train much more than the outgoing one, but this looks like Honda is trying to get some extra miles out of the tooling from the last CR-V. Who approved this? Fire them. Hopefully, this is an indication that Honda won’t be shafting their customers with turbo-DI CAFE cheating garbage that doesn’t perform in the real world, the first RDX being the worst Honda in years. They still need to fire the ‘designers’ and let the engineers shape the cars. They can’t do any worse, and the designs are bound to package better.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The fuel economy of the Acura RDX and the Mazda CX-7 Turbo has baffled me. Both get worse mileage than similar sized V6 vehicles. On the other hand, Ford and Hyundai/Kia have been able to develop turbocharged engines that produce both better EPA estimates and real world mileage.

      The mileage that Acura is getting out of the 2.4L 4 in the ILX is also pretty bad for the size of the engine and car. Does that engine share a design with the old RDX turbo?

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        I suspect that their bones are both K-series, but it is bound to have a higher compression ratio and no nasty DI. Other than undocumented claims for the F150, I haven’t seen any real world correlation between the EPA numbers for the Ford Ecoboost engines. The Hyundai Sonata/Kia Optima turbos are slower and thirstier than V6 Camrys in instrumented testing. EPA just doesn’t matter, as the tests don’t involve boost and don’t involve anything other than driving wheel rolling resistance. 0-50 mph in 24 seconds without wind resistance or weight being a factor just doesn’t relate to the real world, explaining EPA-optimized gearing choices that stifle both part throttle performance and fuel economy on the road. The Ecoboost powered Range Rover Evoque didn’t touch its EPA numbers even in MT’s ridiculous ToTY testing. I’m not too worried about the EPA numbers of the ILX, as roughly the same engine returns low 20s in the city during the winter and 34 mpg on the highway at 74-78 mph in our old Virginia-stationed TSX with the A/C blowing and a week’s worth of beach gear filling the trunk and back seat.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        The EPA tests do go up to 80mph now (2008+) and test with AC on and at varying lab temps, so that’s at least an improvement. It’s not exactly real world, but if all vehicles use the same testing procedure at least it can be used as a measuring stick between them.

        http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/fe_test_schedules.shtml

        Autoblog got 25mpg combined on the EcoBoost Edge, which is 1mpg higher than the EPA ratings. The buff books don’t seem to be interested in doing fuel economy centered reviews on CUVs, so not a lot out there, but reports I’ve read on Edge and Ford centric forums seems to indicate the EB Edge is matching or exceeding the figures.

        The EB Explorer looks like it’s improving on the economy vs the V6 model, but falling a bit short on the EPA numbers. Considering how close the Explorer figures were to the Edge, and how much bigger the Explorer is, I’m not really surprised.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        EPA does have a couple of new tests, but they don’t matter a bit. The results aren’t reported on the monroney and the regulations enforcing CAFE are based on the same old ridiculously inappropriate emissions tests in place since the ’70s. It can’t be changed without scrapping CAFE and rebuilding it, which might open the window to crush it as being unconstitutional. New cars don’t need to do well on the new tests, since they don’t impact CAFE numbers. New cars do need to excel on the old tests, so cars are getting less and less appropriately geared for the real world as CAFE ramps up. You have a fundamental resistance to comprehending that there is a less than zero correlation between scoring well on the EPA test and performing efficiently in the real world. You can’t gear a car for a test that ignores the impacts of wind resistance, weight, and the engine’s torque curve while producing a car that is as efficient as one that ignores the arbitrary objective of producing a number on a dyno at a fraction of the performance that will be required on a daily basis.

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      I thought both the original and the “new” RDX are derivatives of the CRX, no?

      As for fuel economy of the turbo 4, all I know is that when I test drove it, it was one of the worst turbo engines I have driven since the turbocharged Volvos and Saabs of the 1980s. Very hard to get the car going smoothly from a dead stop without using some turbo, which then gives more acceleration than you want (or usually need), so you back off the throttle.

      Probably not the most efficient way to run an engine and lightyears behind my more powerful turbo’ed ’02 Saab.

      • 0 avatar
        mmartel

        Agreed – I also test drove a 2009 RDX and found the Turbo/throttle tuning – particularly from a dead stop – to be absurd. Especially when compared to the VW / Audi 2.0 turbo.

        That said, my wife is seriously interested in getting a compact SUV in the next year to replace our old Civic. I will encourage her to check this new RDX out when it arrives.

  • avatar

    So Honda’s answer is now to simply blandify the CRV beyond all recognition and refuse to put a base model 4 cylinder in it, instead adding the hot rod v6 as the ONLY option just to make it look like they’re doing something. Oh btw Honda: You used to rule the hp/l wars. Now Hyundai and Nissan are tearing you apart liter for liter. This is atrocious.

  • avatar
    ckgs

    The comments here on the RDX and on the ILX post are pretty brutal. It’s almost like Acura could not do anything right regardless of the attempts. If the ILX and RDX had all the features discussed, the price would be high and the complaint would be that Acura cannot complete with “Tier 1″ luxury. Keep the price down, and the complaints are poor engine choices, just a Civic/CRV/Honda with leather, etc.

    I makes me wonder if Acura is simply a damaged brand.

    • 0 avatar

      It definitely is. I’ll wait to reserve judgement until I drive them. The last RDX may have seemed cool on paper, but the execution wasn’t that wonderful. It was thirsty, expensive and the turbo motor wasn’t as great as it was made out to be.

  • avatar
    shaker

    CUV’s and SUV’s certainly bring the worst out of 4-cyl powertrains lifted from their sedan counterparts; with the added weight and wind resistance, they perform poorly (especially in hilly terrain), and suck more fuel (and the EPA tests seem to not take these factors fully into account). Add AWD, and you have a formula for disappointment.

  • 0 avatar
    kezeka

    That was the first thing that went through my head as well. I just don’t understand Acura’s choices anymore – the previous generation TL and TSX were so much fun to drive and the old RDX actually looked sporty. The TL is now way too out there to compete with the 3 series etc., the TSX lost its fun to drive feel, and this new RDX just looks like a premium CRV (definitively NOT good for a car that costs a substantially more).

    I honestly think they just dont understand the market, their customers, or the point of Acura anymore.

  • 0 avatar
    amca

    It IS a CRV.

  • 0 avatar
    iNeon

    I don’t say these things to disparage– I simply do not understand why people like these vehicles.

    *I hate these guys, FYI, but I’ve got to be one for a moment*

    My best friend has a 2008 Accord. It is an up-rated model with 17″ wheels and sunroof. It cost around $25k. She recently spent $1,500 on service. I estimate her vehicle expenses to be 300% of mine. For comparison’s sake– I bought my 2008 PT wagon a year used, and a year after she bought her Accord– for $7,990.

    They’ve got the same miles. My Chrysler has currently been more reliable to date.

  • 0 avatar
    wsn

    You 2008 PT wagon is not only more reliable than her Accord, but also likely more reliable than most copies of Ferrari Anything. Not to mention money saved and 3 extra seats.

  • 0 avatar
    iNeon

    Rebadges like this used to cause the commentariat to convulse violently.

  • 0 avatar
    ckgs

    Right, it is a CRV, and an RX is just a Highlander. But Lexus doesn’t get the same brand scrutiny.


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