By on March 28, 2018

2019 Acura RDX

Acura’s reputation, at least as of late, has been that of a brand that’s lost its way. With the exception of the flagship NSX, the current lineup is, generally speaking, underwhelming.

The 2019 Acura RDX could be the first step back in the right direction for the brand, or it could be a dud. At a glance, it seems that Acura has the right idea, even if it expresses the message in eye-roll-worthy marketing gobbledygook.

Twist is up over the previous model by 28 lb-ft, thanks to a standard 2.0-liter turbocharged, direct-injection four-cylinder. Gone is the previous-gen model’s 3.5-liter V6. The compact crossover’s power output now stands at 272 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque.

That all gets to ground via a 10-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, as well as Acura’s “super handling all-wheel drive” system. This version of SH-AWD sends 70 percent of the torque to the rear wheels and up to 100 percent to either rear wheel.

Acura says this RDX is lower and wider, and key available features include a touchpad-based infotainment system that uses Android software. This touchpad doesn’t use a cursor. Instead, users press the touchpad in the spot that correlates to what they see on screen.

2019 Acura RDX

Other major available features include premium audio, standard moonroof, navigation, premium audio, LED headlamps, Apple CarPlay, in-car Wi-Fi, heated front seats, head-up display, power tailgate, and the usual driver’s-assistance tech (forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, et cetera). An available A-Spec package adds sportier appearance cues, LED fog lamps, and special 20-inch wheels.

Speaking of the A-Spec package, Acura will now offer it on all of its core models; the brand showed off an A-Spec version on the MDX in New York, as well.

At first glance, the RDX looks sporty and fun to drive, but there’s a big difference between promising something based on styling and actually delivering. We’ll see if Acura can deliver soon enough, but it’s possible the brand has stepped back on the right track.

[Images: Acura]

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43 Comments on “2019 Acura RDX – Will It Get the Brand Back on Track?...”


  • avatar
    Sub-600

    They seem to have gotten rid of those terrible beaks that plagued their front ends, that’s a start.

    • 0 avatar
      ceipower

      You are correct. However for me when I look at this thing I still see “The Beak” Same tired old look, same grill opening , just a different grill. And this new grill is hardly a beauty. Acura still seems to have the same fools in charge. How long can Honda carry the money losing HondaJet and Acura division?

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        It is going to take more than sytling to save Acura. With SH-AWD only 70% power fore or aft it is still being beat by BMW xDrive and GM Twin Clutch.

        Plus thr 2019 Envision 2.0T has 295 lb-ft of torque and one cu ft less of rear cargo. You can see why they upped the torque and Argo space from the prior generation.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          Quite frankly, Norm, the Envision isn’t all that premium of a car. I think it’s outclassed by uplevel versions of the Tiguan and even the CR-V. Plus, the design is anonymous.

          As for this RDX, even if it can’t hang with the Europeans with regard to driving dynamics, it—along with the QX50–can at least match them on design and luxury.

          I actually think it’s Buick’s greatest missed opportunity, and that’s with regard toward the ‘19 refresh.

          • 0 avatar
            Peter Gazis

            Kyree S. Williams

            I did notice the gigantic A on the front of the car. Lets people know it’s not a Honda CRV

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            Kyree, with that kinda torwue in the 2019 Envision the only design people are going to miss is B U I C K.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            Peter, but it is a CR-V underneath. It is been in thr media print from a number of sources and also assembled in counties adjacent to one another in Ohio.

  • avatar
    Peter Gazis

    Acura Death Watch

    The brand doesn’t sell well in Kentucky.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Geez. Rough day for people that like engine cylinders.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Its all moot since the brand was euthanized some time ago. Now it’s Honda and Honda would you like fries with that?

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    I doubt it.

    Also I honestly wonder if these companies do themselves no favors all running 2.0L turbo 4s in luxury brands.

    Doesn’t exactly give the prestige, much less the refinement that you’d expect. Why choose Acura?

    • 0 avatar
      ceipower

      Indeed!

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      “Why choose Acura?”

      The same luxury as other competitors, plus reliability.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “plus reliability.”

        Maybe in the 90s.

        More recently JD Power and Consumer Reports both rank them as below average in dependability.

        d1arsn5g9mfrlq.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/2018016a.jpg

        consumerreports.org/car-reliability-owner-satisfaction/car-brands-reliability-how-they-stack-up/

    • 0 avatar
      VTECV6NYC

      I agree; it’s attractive enough, however, if I were to ever be swept in the CUV craze, there’s nothing here to make me even consider this an upgrade nor a viable option, excepting the SH-AWD, of course. These turbo 4s are unrefined for the cash requested, and I am diametrically opposed to their presence in vehicles above a particular asking price, namely the $35-50K range, which is exactly where this rig will land.

      With the hideous redesign of the Accord and the removal of the V6 from many of their more mainstream products, there’s isn’t much at Honda/Acura these days to consider as an upgrade for my ’17 Accord V6.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    I hate SUV, CUV, SAV, XUV and whatever other names they slap on these things. They don’t drive well compared to cars, they feel top heavy and they look goofy.

    So I’m sad that I like this. I also like the new Aviator.

    Maybe it’s because the interiors of these things finally look good. I still hate the idiotic turbo 4s showing up in everything when a 6 would not only be better, feel better, sound better, be more reliable, but would get better mileage.

  • avatar
    mmreeses

    RDX/MDX only needed incremental changes to exterior and a better looking nose/grill.

    RDX’s and MDX’s big problem always has been their interiors. Looks straight out of 1979 East Germany compared to most of its peers. your tastes may vary.

    Now maybe the interior will look a lot better in person—-but the photos definitely do not want be to make a beeline to my nearest Acura dealer.

  • avatar
    JMII

    Well since it not a new Integra GSR I’d say this changes nothing regarding Acura as a brand.

    But its a SUV thingy so sales are guaranteed. The people that drive these things don’t care about engine size, it just needs to go, get decent MPG and offer AWD, cup holders and Bluetooth. I will give them bonus point for red accent seats, they sure look “sporty”.

  • avatar
    SSJeep

    The best answer to the title: no.

  • avatar
    carguy

    It doesn’t look bad but I would still prefer if Honda simply offered the 2.0t/10-speed in the CR-V Touring.

  • avatar
    ernest

    The only Acura’s I see around here are MDX’s and, to a lesser extent, TLX’s. Otherwise, the lineup is invisible.

  • avatar
    KalapanaBlack7G

    Premium audio twice?

    Also, this is ugly.

    Not Lexus-ugly. More boring with ugly details.

    The CR-V is well-styled. What’s the point? An extra .5 liter and 1.0 seconds faster to six-oh, who cares? It’s a small crossover. The owne-no, lessees won’t even know which wheels are driven most of the time or how many cylinders it has.

    I bet you can get a better lease paymet on this than a CR-V Touring within 2 months of launch.

  • avatar
    gasser

    The same problem all “near luxury” brands have. There isn’t enough room between the volume brands and the luxury brands for them to exist. For those moving up from Honda, it doesn’t seem justify the price bump. For those moving down from “luxury”, it just isn’t there, mainly in that they dont’ sell enough Acuras for the brand conscious to realize its an “upscale” brand. The stylized “A” doesn’t mean what the 4 rings or the rondel do.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Acura needs to submit to the industry standard on interiors. Drawing inspiration from the original RDX is not a good idea. The big silver infotainment clitoris has to die.

  • avatar
    Wodehouse

    “…Will It Get the Brand Back on Track?”

    I don’t know, but, “That Line” (Thank You 2002 Nissan Altima!) running up the bodyside should have been left in the folder marked “Expired Designs 2014”. Same for the Cadillac XT4.

  • avatar
    orick

    Is that a side blade thing copied from the Macan I see in the photo?

  • avatar

    Headlights remind me of the Audi A8’s sad/droopy looking headlights.

  • avatar
    HuskyHawk

    Did they finally put a power front passenger seat in it? If so, it will sell. It not, it won’t. Acura needs to stop half-assing these things.

  • avatar
    HuskyHawk

    Did they finally put a power front passenger seat in it? If so, it will sell. It not, it won’t. Acura needs to stop half-assing these things.


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