The 2017 Acura RDX AWD Review: Acura, Honda’s upscale brand, arrived in the late 1980s with a big sedan, the Legacy, and a compact sporty sedan/coupe the Integra. Today, the nameplate fields a wider range of vehicles, including the RDX crossover. The RDX is the smaller of the two Acura crossovers, under the MDX. With significant upgrades for 2016, the 2017 version carries over with little change. As usual, there’s a well-equipped model, and then lots of ways to upgrade it.
My tester was the top-level, with the Advance Package. On the way to that pinnacle, you can add the AcuraWatch Plus and Technology packages in stair steps. You can also opt for front-wheel or all-wheel drive at any level. There are two new paint colors, including the Modern Steel Metallic shade of my test car. It replaces Graphite Luster Metallic.
Acura has spent years defining its look, and retains much of the edgy shape from the last decade or so. The nose is softened and given greater dimension, and you can tell an Acura by the Jewel Eye projector headlamps, which resemble rows of ice cubes.
Inside, my tester was dressed in a shade called Ebony, which meant it was black on black, relieved by some sparkly bits. This is surely intended to convey a serious driver’s environment, and the nearly two-ton SUV moves along decently with the corporate 3.5-liter V6 under the hood and a fully independent suspension.
With 279 horsepower and 252 lb.-ft. of torque through a six-speed automatic, the V6 is good for an EPA rating of 19 City, 27 Highway, and 22 Combined. I got 19.7 during my test week. Add 1 mpg if you opt for front-wheel drive only. Green numbers are 6 for Smog and 5 for Greenhouse Gas.
AcuraWatch is a suite of tech features that includes adaptive cruise control, the Collision Mitigation Braking System with Forward Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, and Lane Departure Warning. The ACE (Advanced Compatibility Engineering) body structure helps protect passengers in frontal collisions. Since families will often ride in an RDX, these contribute to peace of mind and to a five-star overall vehicle safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The Advance Package adds goodies on top of the standard features and other package stuff. You get snazzier alloy wheels, rain-sensing wipers, fog lamps, front and rear parking sensors, ventilated front seats, on top of the heating, and all of the AcuraWatch features.
The Monroney Label, the MSRP window sticker, for this car shows an extensive list of pretty much everything anyone might want, and there’s much too much to mention here. The “base” car, already well equipped, starts at $36,310, with front-wheel drive. The Advanced AWD model begins at $44,460.
What if you want even more? My tester came with seven additional dealer-installed items that enhanced the RDX’s appearance and functionality, and presumably brought a smile to the dealership owner’s face as well. These included 18-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels for $2,463!, roof rails for $829, crossbars for the roof rails for $288, a rear bumper applique for $118, illuminated door sill trim for $484, and a rear cargo tray for $148.
Also on the list were running boards at $802, a throwback to the olden days of SUVs, and cars in general, if you go back far enough. I found that I kept hitting my leg or foot on them as I entered or exited the car, so I’d leave them off my RDX if I were to order one. As it is, my test car, with all the extras, came to $48,642.
The RDX, based on the Honda CR-V, is pleasant to drive and everything seems to work fine. Honda is hoping that its Acura division will deliver a product to challenge Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, and the others in the premium crossover battle. Acura, though, hasn’t ever caught up to Lexus or the German marques in prestige, even with remarkable sedans like the RLX.
Ideally, the pathway to Acura ownership comes from happy Honda drivers moving up as their careers and families expand. A CR-V or Civic owner could migrate to an RDX. In any case, crossovers are taking over from sedans in the marketplace now, so the RDX is positioned for continuing success. By Steve Schaefer © AutoWire.Net
The 2017 Acura RDX AWD Bottom Line Review provided by:
Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
The Bottom Line: The story of Acura, with the growing luxury SUV and crossover market, and modern cars in general, is to add more and more content, much of it high tech. So, the 2017 Acura RDX AWD is a clear look at Acura’s vision, with things like AcuraWatch, the ACE body structure, AWD, and a long list of safety features to prevent accidents and protect you in case one becomes inevitable. The question with Acura really is whether injecting a massive infusion of content creates a special driving experience. Acura buyers seem to be open to that, with the RDX having its best year ever last year. And maybe, just for those reasons alone, you should “Drive one, Buy one, Today ©”. Bottom Line Review provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
“Tony the Car Guy” is an automotive writer, editor and publisher in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you have a question or comment for Tony send it to TonyLeo@pacbell.net or visit AutoWire.Net at www.autowire.net - And remember: “You Are What You Drive ©”
Column Name: The RDX is positioned for continuing success
Topic: The 2017 Acura RDX AWD
Word Count: 958
Photo Caption: The 2017 Acura RDX AWD
Photo Credits: Acura RDX Internet Media
Series #: 2016- 26
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2017 Acura RDX AWD
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2017 Acura RDX AWD