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2013 Acura RDX (pictures)

The new generation of the RDX, Acura's smaller SUV, shows substantial changes. The body is new, but the V-6 engine and cabin tech, used in Acura's other cars, are nothing new.

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Wayne Cunningham
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Acura's smallest SUV grows an inch in length and height for the 2013 model year, gets an engine swap, and has its all-wheel drive dumbed down.
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New styling on the body is apparent from the grille, which assumes a more subtle posture. The front bumper is molded completely into the front of the car, and at the rear the exhaust pipes are invisible, hidden underneath the car.
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Acura went from a turbocharged four-cylinder engine to this naturally aspirated V-6, giving the RDX more power and better fuel economy.
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The RDX is designed as a five-passenger SUV with a reasonable amount of cargo space.
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The RDX can be had with front- or all-wheel drive, although Acura got rid of the more advanced SH-AWD (Super Handling-All Wheel Drive) found on the previous generation of the RDX.
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Even with the rear seats up, there is plenty of cargo space. The RDX could easily take a family of four on a road trip.
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Acura maintains its premium level with the RDX, with good noise insulation for the cabin and leather-covered, power-adjustable seats.
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The rear seat is a typical bench, but it does offers a surprising amount of legroom.
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Acura offers all of its tech in one big package. Without the tech, the LCD comes off the dashboard, along with the main interface controller.
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Acura uses an electric power-steering system in the RDX. The steering wheel offers a little resistance.
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Buttons abound on the steering wheel and dashboard. Acura could take lessons from other automakers in better consolidating such buttons.
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The six-speed automatic is the only transmission available. It has a Sport mode, and the gears can be selected manually, but its shifts are too slow for fast driving.
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The big control in the middle is a hybrid dial/joystick/button that controls most cabin tech functions.
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The navigation system's maps offer only a 2D, top-down view.
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The navigation system includes Zagat restaurant listings, and even shows comments for each restaurant.
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A nice feature of the navigation system is a set of scenic drives, at least one for every state.
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The infotainment system brings in weather forecasts, along with this severe-weather map.
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The Bluetooth phone system is capable of receiving text messages, although this only works with some phones.
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The iPod play screen shows album cover art along with track information.
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The iPod music library screen shows categories for album, artist, and genre. You can also use voice command to request songs by name.
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Bluetooth audio streaming shows track information, and includes Pause/Play controls.
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Acura reserves 15GB on the car's hard drive for a music library.
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The audio setting gives level control over the subwoofer and center channel, as well as bass and treble.
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This 10-inch subwoofer is part of the ELS audio system, which delivers crisp, excellent sound.
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The rearview camera offers three different views to aid in parking.

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