2016 Acura RDX drive evaluate: Most improved participant?

Not probably the most thrilling crossover, however robust on utility and worth

The 2016 Acura RDX acquired a full-face makeover for the brand new mannequin 12 months, and albeit, it wanted it. Although the final one didn’t get the model’s unlucky full-beak nostril therapy, it suffered from plain-Jane appears to be like even in a section not identified for thrilling styling.

Acura up to date the looks and added its cool Jewel Eye headlights together with LED taillights with gentle piping, all of which does an excellent bit to spruce up the entrance and rear fascias. The bumper will get a couple of further character traces, and the fog lights have mesh inserts and a protruding border. The again is similar — extra character traces, every thing appears somewhat sharper and the rear reflectors are just a little deeper, with cooler-wanting surrounds.

General, the visible nonetheless gained’t blow you away, however Acura discovered a very good steadiness between an excessive amount of beak and never sufficient aptitude.

Energy nonetheless comes from Honda’s three.5-liter SOHC VTEC V6. It now makes 279 hp and 252 lb-ft, up a couple of ticks from final yr. The EPA says it will get 19 mpg within the metropolis and 28 on the freeway. A six-pace computerized handles gear adjustments and sends energy to all 4 corners.

2016 Acura RDX interior i1

Lighter colours assist add some character to the Acura RDX’s in any other case-uninspired inside design. Photograph by Acura

 

What’s it wish to drive?

Drivers of the RDX are greeted with a plain however clear-wanting sprint and instrument panel with some steel accents. Twin screens dominate the central portion, which permits for the usage of navigation and sound or local weather controls on the similar time. The wheel is plagued by buttons, a few of which get pressed when gripping the wheel in a flip, however general having all the pieces inside attain is a web optimistic.

The seats are snug and straightforward to regulate, although just a little flat on the again and backside — the RDX isn’t a nook carver, so consolation is on the menu. There’s a great quantity of room by your ft and a pleasant, massive useless pedal on which to relaxation your left foot.

Acura RDX at the Chicago Auto Show

The RDX is downright fast due to its 279-hp V6, with good throttle response as quickly as you contact the pedal. Like all VTEC engines, it pulls more durable within the larger rev ranges, largely above four,000 rpm. Shifts from the automated are lots easy, and the paddles are principally jewellery, telling the automobile’s mind that “it’s OK to shift now, when you’d like.” The three.5 doesn’t actually have a growl to talk of, however at a full-tilt shift, it has slightly musicality to it. The brakes chew rapidly whenever you press the pedal, which can take just a little getting used to, nevertheless it’s much better than the choice of an excessive amount of journey.

Steering is straightforward at sluggish speeds and when coming into or maneuvering round parking tons — which is its house surroundings — but it surely quickens up and provides weight at velocity. So far as SUVs go, this one is extra sprightly than most. Preliminary flip-in is nice, and lengthy, sweeping cloverleaf expressway entrances don’t require many mid-nook corrections.

Bumps are dealt with by a MacPherson strut setup in entrance and a multilink design in again. Entrance and rear stabilizer bars hold every little thing planted. Most potholes arrive with a muffled thud within the cabin and might throw the automobile off its course a bit, however they must be huge, and the RDX must be going sluggish. Bumps at pace on the freeway are principally absorbed.

Visibility is sweet out of the back and front, although with the rearview/cross-visitors indicating display, we didn’t should crane our necks an excessive amount of. The blind-spot indicators cowl to the left and proper, however it’s simply as straightforward to whip your head round for a cut up second.

2016 Acura RDX interior i2

With the rear seats up, 26 cu ft of cargo area is obtainable; fold them down and also you get greater than 70 cu ft Photograph by Acura

 

Do I would like it?

We all know the RDX brings the game, not less than comparatively, however folks purchase crossovers for utility greater than anything. And in addition to a 3rd row, this car has utility in spades.

When the rear seats are in place, drivers have about 26 cubic ft of cargo area; that’s practically tripled when the second row is down. It might absolutely match an enormous grocery run or sufficient meals for every week of tenting. The inside can comfortably accommodate 4 adults for a protracted drive with out grievance — 5 for a shorter stint. Three youngsters within the again — although in shut quarters — would survive. Your nerves may go both means.

The RDX can tow a little bit, about 1,500 kilos to be actual. That’s sufficient for a Jet Ski, small boat or possibly an ATV or two. The hitch is about $500 from the manufacturing facility.

Out on the dealership lot, the RDX has some first rate competitors from Audi’s Q5 ($39,300) and the Volvo XC60 ($36,four hundred). Our RDX is $forty four,340 with choices, however its entrance-wheel-drive base value is extra like $35K. The Infiniti QX50, previously the EX, is a bit larger all the best way round however has a number of extra ponies, too. Like the remainder, its base worth is round $35,000. For those who err on the aspect of sport in your crossovers, we’d advocate the RDX or the Q5. If it is luxurious and security you’re after, the Infiniti and Volvo are most likely extra for you.

The Acura RDX, although, outsold almost all rivals within the first six months of 2015, and gross sales are up 15 % since final yr. Acura has a superb one-two punch with the MDX and RDX. Now, if the corporate might inject a little bit enthusiasm into its sedan lineup, or possibly even introduce a coupe, we’d actually be getting someplace.

 

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