2014 Acura RDX Crossover Review

2014 Acura RDX and if you didn’t know it it got a complete redesign in 2013 for some reason a lot of people seem to think that the RDX is smaller than it actually is and I think that’s why a lot of people overlook it the RDX is actually

about the same size as an rx 350 a
Lincoln MKX the Cadillac SRX a Volvo xc60 BMW x3 mercedes glk etc it’s a solid mid-sized five seater crossover vehicle it’s not a compact luxury crossover like you’d think the Lincoln MKC would be this generation of RDX grew a couple inches in just about every dimension versus the outgoing model but a lot of the reason that this model looks so much bigger than the outgoing model is simply styling we have a much more aggressive front end with the Acura shield that you see on all the Acura models in the US it’s a little bit more
demure here than we’ve seen in other

Acura models I think it’s very
attractive on this front end but also the rest of the RDX has been styled to make it look bigger than that outgoing model the way that Acura styled the side of the RDX it makes it look a little bit lower and a little bit longer than some of the competition but when you actually look at the numbers this is the same height as the lexus rx350 it’s just a little bit shorter than that Lexus model it’s all down to the styling on the side it has a relatively high beltline relatively low greenhouse that gives it a slightly sexier look but does hamper a little bit of rearward visibility the RDX also has a higher ground clearance than most of these luxury crossovers it comes in at around eight point one inches which is a little bit lower than
the volvo xc60 but it is notably higher

than that lexus RX in addition to the
sloping rear glass you can also see what’s going on in terms of style this roof line really doesn’t plug it that much at the back versus the middle of the cart really is right about the same height however with the gas taking this drastic angle at the back it makes it look a lot sleeker a lot more coupe like in the back the arcs looks much wider from there and part of that’s because of these shoulders in this design right here these slightly protruding tail lamps we also have hidden exhaust tips on the back and overall I think the back end of the RDX is a little bit more exciting than something like an RX 350 bindle II that’s not a difficult thing to achieve with almost everybody in this segment moving away from six-cylinder engines to four-cylinder turbocharged

engines Acura did an about-face and they
actually moved from a four-cylinder turbocharged engine in the last generation RDX to a 3.5 liter v6 engine this is basically the same v6 engine you’ll find under a wide variety of Honda and Acura hoods it produces 273 horsepower and 251 pounds of torque in the RDX trim with this engine upgrade things actually improved in terms of fuel economy fuel economy went up to 20 miles per gallon city 28 highway with 23 miles per gallon combined in the front-wheel drive model 19 27:22 combined in the all field drive model like we’re testing right here some of that fuel economy improvement has to do with the 6-speed automatic transmission that you now find under the hood of the RDX but a lot of it has to do with the acura cylinder management technology which allows this engine to run on 6 4 or 3 cylinders depending on
the load and the needs of the driver

variable cylinder management isn’t
exactly new but this is probably one of the most advanced systems on the market the reason is not just because this can operate on 6 4 or 3 cylinders giving you more options than the competition but also because Acura installed active engine mounts in this car think of active engine mounts as noise cancelling headphones for your engine the system basically monitors engine vibrations listens for them and then it plays back a negative vibration through those active engine mounts thereby cancelling out the primary vibration that’s exactly what noise cancelling headphones do by doing this in this car you cannot tell whether this engine is operating in 6 4 or 3 cylinder modes and that’s really different than the others out there on the market because in the Chrysler and GM and other systems out there you can

tell very slightly when the system is

operating in reduced cylinder count mode
it’s not horribly noticeable but you still can tell when it’s happening you just can’t in this engine one major change for the 2013 and 2014 model year is right back here and you’ll notice this badge just says all-wheel drive it no longer says SH all wheel drive or super handling all-wheel drive let’s talk about the difference between all-wheel drive and super handling all-wheel drive because there are a lot of misconceptions about all-wheel drive systems in general the RDX is a front wheel drive based vehicle that’s both this generation and the last generation so if you opt for an RDX without all the drive all the power is going to the front wheels the all wheel drive system in this RT X can lock up a center clutch pack and it can connect the front axle and the rear axle together thereby splitting the power 50/50 with this car on regular old dry pavement it is not possible for this car

to send more than 50 percent of the

power to the rear so you can have 50 percent of the power to the rear of 50 percent of the power to the front or all power to the front none to the rear and everywhere in between those two figures this is very common for front-wheel drive based all-wheel drive systems so the Volvo xc60 the Lincoln MKX and MKC the Cadillac SRX etc they will all operate in basically the same way now a lot of manufacturers will say with asterisks can send up to X amount of power to the rear wheel that’s more than 50 percent that’s under a very limited set of circumstances so basically if your front wheels had absolutely no traction and the rear wheels had traction then maybe you could send more power to the rear but on dry pavement or

even on wet pavement where traction is

not an issue 50/50 is all you’re going to get out of those systems Acura super handling all-wheel drive system is entirely different and you’ll find that in the MDX as well as the Acura TL at the moment the RL X does not get that system and now the RDX doesn’t get it either what super handling all-wheel drive does is it actually makes the rear wheels spin faster than the front wheels so it still locks up a clutch pack but then there’s a separate transmission basically in the back that actually accelerates the rear wheels makes them spin faster than the front wheels thereby making them drive the car forward with that setup you can get up to about 90% of the power to the rear wheels super handling all-wheel drive also takes things to another level so versus this RDX something like a TL or an MDX with a super handling all-wheel drive package can not only get more power sent to the rear axle than the front axle but it can also direct up to 100% of that power to a particular wheel whenever the car feels like it it’s not happening in this RDX but it does happen in the TL and the MDX driver seat comfort in the RDX is excellent I have a multi way power driver seat with a two-way power lumbar support the to position memory right there on the door for the driver seat also have a tilt telescopic steering column with a decent

range of motion one thing to keep in

mind however is that unlike most of the competition this power passenger seat is only a 4-way adjustable power passenger seat which makes it a little bit less comfortable for front passengers there’s no way to adjust the height of the seat bottom cushion or the angle of that seat bottom cushion in the RDX despite its reputation as being a small crossover vehicle the RDX is back seats are very accommodating I have two to three inches more leg room back here than you’ll find in most midsize luxury crossover vehicle and in truth only the lincoln MKX beats the RDX in terms of rear seat legroom this is more than you’ll find in lexus rx350 or any of those other competitors behind myself i have about four or five inches of legroom left and if i move over to the right seat you’ll see that i have about an inch and a half of legroom left with this front seat all the way back in its tracks this was suitable for a six foot five passenger I had in the car although my view is a little bit obscured by this glass line that plummets towards the rear of the vehicle I do have a decent amount of headroom back here I have been an inch and a half of headroom sitting in the outboard
seats still have a reasonable amount if

I sit in the middle seat and still have
about an inch and a half right here in the middle seat we are in an RDX with the sunroof so do keep that in mind being the value entry in this segment there are a few things back here that you won’t find that you will in the competition no storage in the rear armrest we have two fairly small cupholders in the back we could fit one of the largest take out drinks that you can find in American Drive thrus but we weren’t able to put two back here and we also won’t find any air-conditioning or HVAC vents for the rear passengers thanks to the large amount of rear legroom these folding rear seat backs can be folded down even if these front seats are all the way back in their tracks and in a moderately reclined position that’s something you won’t be able to do in something like a Volvo xc60 which does have a fairly cramped rear seat all RDX models have height adjustable seatbelts for the driver and the front passenger we have perforated leather and these seats are heated but not cooled in our RDX model doors in the RDX are a mixture

of hard and soft touch plastics so we

have soft touch plastics right there on the armrest and above the armrest but the lower portions of the door panel are hard touch plastics this is a little bit different than you’ll find in most entries in this particular segment on the door you’ll see one of these speakers in our optional Els surround sound system we also have speakers in the doors as well as speakers in the dashboard the dashboard of the RDX is a soft injection molded plastic dashboard this is metallic effect trim it’s just plastic made to look like metal you won’t find real metal or real wood trim in any RDX in the US we have a very large glove compartment here easily able to accommodate a large tablet computer see right there we have instruction manuals a DVD case etc and there’s a little divider to help you divide your cargo inside your glovebox because we’re in the Technology Package model we have this large 8 inch LCD dominating the dashboard in its own binnacle right there as you can see we also have a surround sound speaker right above the LCD and that little grill right up there if we have the base RDX that we’d only get a 5-inch multi-information display

with a lot of buttons going on in the

dashboard single slot DVD player right here direct access buttons to most system features and this joystick arrangement is how you control that LCD above there we have a ring that spins around we have a joystick that goes up and down side to side and clicks to enter below that you’ll find standard dual zone climate control because we have the model with the technology package ours is also GPS link so the side of the car that has the stronger Sun gets more cooling power right over here you’ll find the start/stop button for the engine that’s because we have keyless go as well as keyless entry on our RDX right here in this opening and closing cubby you’ll find the auxilary input USB input as well as a 12-volt power outlet very large cup holders right here the dashboard easily able to accommodate the largest size takeout drinks that we were able to throw at it very traditional shifter heated seats and then a very large center armrest with storage right here you can see it’s a very deep cubby because of the front wheel drive nature of the RDX a decent amount of room right there and a little

divider to store additional things in
the RDX has a simple and clean four dial instrument cluster if we zoom out to the steering wheel we have Acuras very attractive 3 spoke steering wheel with a ton of buttons on it over here we have our radio control buttons phone hang up and pick up button voice command button back button these three buttons control the multi information display right there between the speedometer and the tachometer and over here we have our cruise control buttons on the back of the steering wheel you’ll find the RDX’s shift paddles down on this side and up on the other as I’ve said before manufacturers tend to apportion their space differently an Acura tends to favor rear seat legroom over cargo room and that’s really obvious in the back where we only find 26.1 cubic feet of cargo space back here this is one of these smallest cargo areas in the segment although it’s still much higher than you’ll find in your average midsize sedan of course the lexus rx350 has a whopping 40 cubic feet it’s by far the biggest pretty much everybody else in this segment slots in right around 32 or 33 or so one nice touch back here is that in addition to these handles right on the seat back to lean the seat back forward you can also pull these handles from the back it makes a lot easier to tilt the seats forward if you’re in the back and you need to do it from back here
they’re also spring loaded so you just

pull the handle and the seat just flops

forward it’s a lot easier to do that if you need to put something large in the car very we also have the power tailgate because we’re in the advanced package model there’s a little button right here somewhere that gives us an overall score of seven out of ten points in our exclusive trunk comfort index the weight difference between the RDX and the rest of these midsize luxury crossover is extraordinarily obvious out on the road even though the RDX doesn’t have as much power as most of the competition it’s still faster to 60 than most of the competition most notably this RDX is a half second faster to 60 then the lexus rx350 f-sport even though the f-sport has a brand new 8-speed automatic and this RDX only has a six-speed it’s because this is 700 pounds lighter than that Lexus model we scored 60 in just over six seconds which is notably faster than pretty much every version of the Volvo xc60 except for that very fast t6 our design model it’s definitely faster than the BMW x3 28i as well suspension tuning in the RDX is moderately firm this is approximately similar to what you’ll find in the Audi as well as the Volvo competitors cabin noise is something that Acura has typically struggled with and that’s true for the RDX as well our cabin noise test at 50 miles an hour came in at 74 decibels which is a little bit higher than most of the luxury competitors but it is quieter than your average
mass-market sedan Acura has a well

deserved reputation for building

excellent handling front wheel drive vehicles and the RDX is no exception even without the super handling all-wheel drive system the RDX feels very connected to the road and it also handles very well we don’t get the same kind of powering around the corner feel that you do with the super handling all-wheel drive system like in a TL or like in an MDX but this always feels very sure-footed the key difference is when you’re powering around a corner in this RDX it can feel a little bit front heavy very much like the Audi q5 as well as the Volvo xc60 the Lincoln as well as the Cadillac competition however the lighter overall weight of the MDX helps this handle better and also feels better than those heavier competitors the light kerb weight pays you back in other ways as well over about 700 miles this RDX has averaged 24.9 miles per gallon which is 3 miles per gallon better than its EPA combined average that’s thanks to the light kerb weight as well as the cylinder deactivation in this car and an overall very efficient 3.5 liter v6 that’s most notably 2 to 3 miles per gallon better than I averaged in the 8-speed Lexus R Rex 350f sport and considerably better than I’ve ever averaged in a Volvo xc60 Lincoln MKX or Cadillac SRX mostly because they’re an awful lot heavier but also because they don’t offer the same cylinder deactivation systems that this
RDX does the RDX tops notably shorter

260 than most of the entries in this

segment definitely faster than the rx 350 and Lincoln MKX because there’s so much heavier than this RDX light kerb weight also seems to help the steering feel in this car because well it is still isolated it’s not as numb as some of the competition the only downside worth noting is the 6-speed automatic transmission it’s not as fast shifting as the ones used by the rest of the competition and first gear is strangely low on this Acura six-speed so you can’t use the paddle shifters to paddle shift into first gear till you’re basically crawling along so it does make that first year a little bit less useful the RDX is an awful lot of fun out on these winding mountain roads and an interesting twist Acura has given this transmission a true manual mode so with the exception of the transmission shifting out of first gear automatically for you before it hits redline this transmission will stay in every other gear if you command it from the paddle so right now we’re in second gear and we can make this engine scream up to 7000 rpm and it does sound awfully good up here well I really wish that a cure would make super handling all-wheel drive at least an option in the RDX because it would take this from definitely fun to that next level of excitement in this segment it would make this compete more directly with something like a bmw x3 I admit that for the average driver it

probably doesn’t matter and by leaving

out the super handling all-wheel drive they’ve given this vehicle better fuel economy as well as better 0 to 60 times which is what most drivers are really after pricing for the 2014 RDX is very simple because they’re really only two different options available on the RDX aside from colors we have the all-wheel drive system which we’ve already discussed we also have the technology package which includes the eight-inch multi-information display we saw on the inside navigation software the premium sound system which is a complete Dolby Pro Logic surround sound system with a center channel speaker and a subwoofer in the back power tailgate xenon headlamps fog lamps as well as a voice command system for all the features that’s all in one package and then we have the algal Drive option so that means pricing starts out at thirty four thousand two hundred fifty dollars for the base front-wheel drive model without that particular package you want to add all-wheel drive to that base model it’s thirty five thousand nine hundred twenty dollars the all-wheel drive model with the Technology Package as we’ve been seeing it here is fully loaded at thirty nine thousand six hundred twenty dollars and that’s all pricing without tax destination or title fee’s if you want to know more about pricing specifics or direct apples-to-apples comparisons with the competition I encourage you to go visit my friends over at Trudel TOCOM you won’t find the same kind of luxury gadgets and goodies and optional extras on the RDX that you’ll find in most of the competition and that includes the volvo the lincoln as well as the cadillac competition instead the RDX is quite simply the best value in this
segment at under forty thousand dollars

fully loaded like we’ve been showing you
here the RDX is an incredible Buy when you compare it to the competition even compared to the former value entries in this segment like Audi Volvo Lincoln as well as Cadillac the RDX is thousands and thousands less for a similarly priced vehicle the RDX isn’t just the best value in this segment however it’s also the third best handling probably one of the best performing sedans and has incredible gas mileage as well well the RDX isn’t exactly my first pick as far as favorites in this segment that would probably be the BMW x3 with the Volvo xc60 t6 are designed a very close second the R is a very close third overall and probably the car that I would buy in this segment if it was my own money on the line because of that value there’s really relatively little Delta between this in terms of performance and the Volvo xc60 the bmw x3 has a solid rear wheel drive dynamic that you no longer find in the RDX now that the super handling all-wheel drive system is gone but for most people that really doesn’t matter instead the RDX just delivers excellent value excellent reliability and excellent fuel economy as I said at the beginning of this video the Acura RDX is one of the most frequently overlooked vehicles in this luxury crossover segment in fact I overlooked the 2013 model when it came out and it was completely refreshed not exactly sure how I overlooked it like many of the shoppers but somehow that did happen which is why we’re taking a look at it as a 2014 model year vehicle some shoppers may overlook the RDX because of its value proposition the RDX is without a doubt one of the least expensive entries in this particular segment however it is in my estimation one

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