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2010 Acura RDX FWD Review- A Cure for the Common Crossover

Friday February 19th, 2010 at 9:22 AM
Posted by: bclark

2010 Acura RDX

Handling
The very firm ride is the first hint to great handling. The suspension might even be a bit over-damped, but the first time you pitch it into a corner, it’s worth any compromise in freeway ride comfort. The RDX can probably out corner many sedans – it’s that confident in the corners. I could not detect much body roll at all and it just felt planted while inspiring confidence.

My passengers were not impressed with the firm ride on the freeway. In fact, my wife wrote off the car almost completely as did my rear-seat passenger.  They felt they were being thrown back and forth over bumps on the highway.  I think it’s a combination of firm suspension, relatively short wheel-base and high-perched seating position from being a crossover.  I thought it was awesome!  But I had a steering wheel to hold onto. It did seem as firm as my own sports car!

Acura’s choice of Michelin Pilot HX – MXM4 in P235/55R18 had a lot to do with great handling – sticky, responsive and quiet. The brakes are exceptional as well. Jump on them and they scrub speed very quickly and the chassis just deals with the g-forces.

2010 Acura RDX Acura RDX taillight

Engine/Drivetrain Performance
All RDX models come with a turbocharged and intercooled 2.3 liter 4-cylinder engine pushing nearly 13.5 PSI of boost. Does the absence of the AWD make it a poser? Not at all; it’s almost 200 pounds lighter than its AWD counterpart. So while the AWD might be quicker off the line, I‘d bet the 2WD is quicker everywhere else. As a bonus, fuel economy is improved due to the reduced weight – 19 city/24 highway versus 17/22 for the AWD. Observed gas mileage during our enthusiastic week with the RDX was 19 mpg overall.

Yes, wheel-spin can be an issue if you are not careful.  Also, the engine power output is fairly peaky. So off the line, you give it maybe 50% throttle, but then you have to back down to maybe 25% throttle as the RPMs creep up and turbo boost kicks in.  It took a little getting used to but it was livable.

This is a good place to point out Acura’s Vehicle Stability Assist.  I was unfortunate (or fortunate) to get some rain when I had the RDX.  I must say that Acura has done a commendable job controlling torque steer.  I am not sure how they did it, but their traction control was not intrusive like some cars.  At some points in the wet, under hard acceleration, I knew the tires were struggling for traction but the wheel held straight and true and power was still sent to the wheels, but at just the right amount not to cause wheel-spin.

Acura RDX HID headlights Auto on/off headlights with DRL

Build Quality
What can I say?  It’s a Honda/Acura.  Build is top-notch. Every piece seems solid, all panels match up very nicely, and there are no squeaks or rattles.

The 10-speaker stereo included in The Technology package is noteworthy. A center speaker up front and DVD-Audio capability are pretty impressive. With 410 watts and a powered 8–inch subwoofer in the trunk, sound quality adds up to pure listening joy. The sub plays with authority down to 30 Hz.  There’s just nothing in this car that Acura did not over-engineer.  I really don’t know how they kept the MSRP down.

Value
The 2WD RDX starts at $32,520. Add the technology package (worth every penny!) and you’re looking at $35,620.  As well-appointed as this car is, and if it were sporting a Bavarian propeller/sky badge, it would cost you closer to $50k.

The RDX has got to be the best bang for the buck crossover available today.

2010 Acura RDX

Who should buy it?
This is a great car for an enthusiast with a young family.  If you are considering selling your sportscar or just want to start with something more practical, the RDX is the hot-ticket.  Keep in mind it’s a small crossover, but you’ll be happy with the compact proportions when you are maneuvering around town in tight spaces.

Conclusion
I really enjoyed my time with the 2010 RDX.  Before spending some quality time with the RDX, I never thought I’d use words like fun and dynamic in the same sentence as crossover. Now I’m totally convinced that there is hope in crossover segment. The RDX has won me over with its powerful engine and responsive handling. Given enough time I can write a book on the voice-activated navigation. If Acura could put all of these features and performance into a sporty car, I’d be all over it. If I had to buy a crossover, this would be on the top of my list by a wide margin with the technology package just being the icing on an already delicious cake.

2010 Acura RDX

BUILD INTERIOR PERFORMANCE HANDLING STYLING VALUE OVERALL
RATING 5.0 4.5 4.0 4.0 3.5 5.0 4.3/B+

2010 Acura RDX Photo Gallery

2010 Acura RDX Specs

2010 Acura RDX FWD w/Tech Specs

AcuraThe official website of Acura – www.acura.com

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4 Responses to 2010 Acura RDX FWD Review- A Cure for the Common Crossover

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  3. Pumpkin Eater says:

    Peter – get a clue.

    The RDX looks nothing like the CRV and certainly performs better than anything in its class.
    OMG, the RDX would eat the Mini for lunch (with a full load), not to mention the RDX’s superior handling as well.

  4. Peter Anastopulos says:

    Right on this car is ugly as is the entire line.The shapes are what Honda should look like not Acura..They have not differentiated Acura from the standard Honda line since the old Legend.In some country’s these cars are known as Honda’s but we get suckered in to paying more for the Acura label.The RDX is really a dolled up CRV but in this case the Acura is less attractive.It’s not high enough off the ground for snow clearance .It’s overloaded with technology and which ends up adding weight at 17/19city 22/24highway for 2 or awl on a 4 cylinders?I am sorry but that’s awful for what?With the new Mini Crossover which will get twice the mileage in the same space on it’s way.I believe the RDX and the Dodo could have the same fate.





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