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Photos: 2007 Acura RDX

<p>Acura, Honda's upscale brand, proved its cutting-edge tech in the Acura RL and extends that expertise into the Acura RDX. This crossover car combines the high riding position and cargo space of an SUV with the drivability of a car. Acura threw in all the tech it could find, with navigation, Bluetooth cell phone integration, and an excellent stereo.</p>

CNET Reviews staff

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Looking like the little brother to Acura's larger MDX, the RDX is a city-size SUV.
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The underside of the RDX rakes up steeply toward the front bumper, ensuring that no body parts will hit high curbs while parking.
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The height of the RDX makes it easy to step into, yet it's also a sporty driver, taking hard corners reasonably well due to its all-wheel-drive system.
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The RDX is much smaller than a typical SUV, making rear visibility much better.
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With ample cargo space, the RDX can carry suitcases for a family of four, or the rear seats can be folded down for bicycles or other large items.
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As a high-end brand, Acura tries to give the cabin a luxury feel. Although most of the materials and switch gear are high quality, it doesn't achieve the same level as a Mercedes-Benz or a Lexus.
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Acura didn't integrate the various cabin gadgets very well, resulting in many duplicate controls and too many buttons on the steering wheel and center stack.
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We counted 13 buttons on the steering wheel, plus the paddle shifters for the transmission mounted on the column. The spokes hold cruise control and stereo buttons, while two sets of voice command buttons sit below the left spoke.
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Acura uses a big dial/joystick to control the software interface on the LCD. Although that part works well enough, the software interface on the screen is not always intuitive. A stereo with a six-CD changer sits at the bottom of the stack.
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The console hatch in the RDX is deep and wide; it could easily fit two laptops.
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We generally like the voice command system in the RDX. It uses fairly intuitive commands and does a very good job of recognizing speech. Unfortunately, it has two disparate systems, one for cell phones and one for car and navigation functions.
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The RDX's stereo can read MP3 and WMA discs, but the CD interface isn't great. It's often difficult to know whether you should turn the dial or use the joystick, and the system doesn't display ID3 tagging information.
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The stereo has an auxiliary jack right in its faceplate, making it very easy to hook up an MP3 player.
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The sound quality in the RDX is excellent. The stereo uses a six-channel 410-watt amp and 10 speakers.
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A subwoofer is mounted in the cargo area of the RDX. It produces good, refined bass that's heavy enough for most music, and won't shake the car apart.
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The navigation system on the RDX gets live traffic reporting from XM satellite radio. It shows incidents as well as traffic flow on freeways and major roads.
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The RDX's navigation system offers a complete directory of locations, from restaurants, broken down by cuisine, to retail stores, broken down by shopping category.
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The RDX only has a five speed automatic, where many of its current competitors have gone to six gears. But the transmission does a good job of shifting seamlessly, providing power when needed.
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This engine uses the first turbo that Acura developed for a production car. It makes the car very peppy, with little turbo lag. Although it allowed Acura to use a lighter weight, four cylinder engine, rather than a six cylinder, it doesn't produce particularly good mileage. It's EPA rating is 19mpg city and 23mpg highway.

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