2018 Acura RDX AWD Advance

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The Acura RDX is Acura’s smallest SUV. It is a compact luxury SUV that is a good all round performer and has best in class safety features. Unusually, at a time when most manufacturers were moving from V6s to I4 in compact SUVs, Acura went the opposite direction and switched from an I4 to a V6 for the current generation (2015-2018) RDX. The V6 can shut off one bank of cylinders and operate as an I3 under light loads. This gives the RDX fuel economy ratings that are just below its 4 cyclinder competitors. The V6 with 279 hp also makes the RDX fairly quick for its class at 0 to 60 in 6.2 seconds and a top speed of 135 mph.

The base model RDX starts at $36,995 including destination. AWD is available in all trims for an additional $1,500. There are 5 trim levels: Base, Acura Watch Plus, Technology, Technology & Acura Watch Plus, and Advance. An AWD Advance is $45,195 including destination. Dealer added accessories can take the price even higher. However, even at $45,000+ the RDX is a bargain, because a similary equipped Lexus, Infiniti, Audi, BMW, or Mercedes would be well over $50,000.

Our RDX is an AWD Advance with some dealer accessories. It is Basque Red Pearl with a Parchament leather interior. It has power seats (10 way driver and 8 way passenger) with memory, heating and cooling for the front seats, dual zone climate control, power locks and windows, power liftgate, keyless entry and remote start, a leather interior, navigation with real-time traffic and other features.

However, what really sets our RDX apart is the safety features. Auto-dimming side mirrors and LED headlights aid nighttime driving greatly. Front and rear parking sensors, including corners, coupled with the rear view camera and rear cross traffic alert, make parking safer. The real “advance” though is in radar and camera controlled featured. Many luxury SUVs will notify one when they drift out of a lane. However, the RDX will actually take over the steering from the driver and keep between the lines at highway speeds. Most SUVs have cruise control and many luxury SUVs have advanced cruise control that keeps a constant distance behind the car in front. The RDX though offers collision mitigation and will actually apply the brakes for the driver, if it detects an imminent collision. The an other safety techologies make the RDX a top pick by the IIHS.

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Richard Murphy 2013-2016