For two generations, Acura's RDX has been a safe and rational choice for compact SUV buyers.
It's reliable, it's resale value's pretty good, it's safe.
But for this thrid generation, Acura hopes that claims of best-in-class performance and technology, as well as a sharp new look, are going to make it a more emotional decision for buyers, give it a little sex appeal.
Has it succeeded?
Well, let's hop behind the wheel of this 2019 RDX A-Spec to find out.
So when it comes to sex appeal, the RDX makes a really good first impression with its exterior design.
The new SUV is wider and longer than before.
That frees up a lot of interior space.
But it also creates the optical illusion of it being lower and sportier looking.
Despite the fact that the overall height hasn't changed for this generation.
Now, the design is preceded by a new precision, concept inspired front end, with what I believe is the largest Acura badge in the line-up.
I could be wrong, but that's a pretty big A up there.
You know, it's taken some getting used to, but this design has really started to grow on me.
I like the way this car looks.
Now behind that large A badge, you're gonna find a two-liter turbo-charged four cylinder engine.
It's got V-tech technology, and it makes 273 Horsepower and around 283 feet of torque.
It's gonna be mated with what I believe is the only ten speed automatic transmission in this class, and they make a great pair.
Now on the standard setting, it's a very quiet power train, with really smooth acceleration and really smooth shifts.
Put it into sport mode, however, and man, that transmission is not shy about downshifting when you want to pass or tuck it into a corner.
It really takes good advantage of the amount.
Amount of power and torque that this engine makes.
Now in addition to the sport mode on the transmission, we've also got a couple of dynamic drive modes that we can choose from with this knob.
We've got a snow setting, a comfort setting, there's as sport and a sport plus.
And those are gonna basically affect the weight of the steering.
The throttle response The engine, sound, how the all wheel drive system works.
All of that with just this knob right here.
Speaking of all wheel drive, front wheel drive is standard, but we've got Acura's optional super handeling all wheel drive system.
It's able to shift up to 70% of available torque to the rear axel.
And then once there, it can torque vector that torque up to 100% to either side to help scoot the SUV through corners.
And normally I only really recommend all wheel drive systems for areas that maybe get really bad snow or have a really bad rainy season but super handling set up is actually a performance upgrade.
And I highly recommend it for really sporty drivers who want to tuck this thing into the corners.
It's worth every penny of the $2,000 upgrade price.
Now, also helping in the handling department is a new independent multi-linked rear suspension.
It's a five link setup, it's gonna help this SUV feel more planted in the corners.
And it's mated with a new, stiffer chassis that's gonna give that suspension a better platform to work with.
And I also highly recommend the Acura watch driver aid technology.
And it's a good things because it's standard on RDX models of this generation.
So even if you don't check any boxes, you just get the base model, you're gonna roll off the lot with a depth of cruise control that will Works all the way down in stop and go traffic.
You get lane keeping steering assist and for collision warning with automatic braking.
It's a pretty good set up.
Now with optional upgrades and other packages you can also add blind spot monitoring or surround you camera but base set up is actually pretty good.
I also highly recommend this true touch infotainment system we have here.
I've gone into great detail in another video, so you can check that out for the full deep dive on it.
But the long in short is it's a 10-inch entertainment system with a touchpad down here that has one to one absolute positioning.
So, you don't have to move a cursor around.
If you want to hit something in the upper right hand corner, you just push in the upper right hand corner and it takes you where you need to go.
I also like its split screen setup, which adds a little bit of multi-tasking.
One thing that I don't really like about this system now that I've spent some time with it is how slow it can be.
Sometimes it takes upwards of a minute to boot up and I also find that it takes a long time to just search for destinations.
You're also gonna spend a lot of time waiting for Android Auto to come to market.
Even though it's a standard feature, Google and Acura are still working out Kinks of getting the software to work with the touchpad.
So, they're gonna end up adding it as an update after launch.
Fortunately, Apple CarPlay is standard and it works out of the box.
You just plug in and go with that.
[UNKNOWN] Acura nail the emotional part of this equation.
Is this a car that I really want to drive, not just one that I can rationalize?
It's a good looking car, it's really fun to drive and the technology is, at the very least, headed in the right direction.
But Acura hasn't forgotten about the rational side of the equation And that's where the price comes in.
The 2019 Acura RDX starts at around $38,000 with destination charges.
But you definitely want all wheel drive, so let's call it an even 40,000 to start.
That's still a pretty good price when you consider the amount of standard driver aid technology, infotainment tech And performance that you're gonna get for that price point.
I mean, even fully loaded with the advanced package, all the bells and whistles, all wheel drive.
You're looking at a $50,000 price ceiling.
That's like $10,000 less than a comparably equipped BMW X3 or Audi Q5.
Would I rather be in the Audi?
Heck yeah I would but I'm willing to bet that a lot of you would prefer to have a very comparable driving experience to keep $10,000 in your pocket.
I know I would and that's got me really excited about spending more time with the Acura RDX when it comes out and it hits dealerships in June of this year.