2010 Acura RDX Review

2010 Acura RDX - Acura's RDX gets sporty tweaks for 2010


Acura has revised the RDX for 2010, giving it a fresh new look, a more luxurious interior, additional standard features and a two-wheel-drive option to help improve fuel economy, while also coming in at a lower price point than its all-wheel-drive counterpart.

The RDX is a purposeful entry-level luxury crossover utility vehicle that targets young professionals who are upwardly mobile and enjoy the journey as much as they do the destination.

For 2010 RDX buyers who don't really need the benefits of all-wheel drive can get a front-wheel-drive model, which offers an improvement of 2 mpg in the city and on the highway (19/24) and a savings of $2,000.

The base 2010 RDX (2WD) is priced at $32,520. It includes goodies like 18-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, leather upholstery, heated (and power) front seats, a rearview camera, electronic compass, automatic xenon headlamps, dual-zone automatic climate control, seven-speaker audio system with six-disc CD/MP3 changer and ambient foot-well lighting.

Stepping up to the technology package (an additional $3,100) adds a fabulous 410-watt premium 10-speaker audio system, a navigation system with real-time traffic rerouting and a GPS-linked, solar-sensing, dual-zone automatic climate-control system.

By the way, the navigation system in the 2010 RDX has a revised 8-inch screen; however, I'm disappointed that it's not a touch screen. Also, models with the technology package get a faster-reacting and more useful rearview camera in place of the non-technology package models that feature a viewing screen integrated into the auto-dimming rearview mirror.

In my opinion, the RDX looks a lot better from the driver's seat than it does from my front porch. I just can't get used to its newly styled front fascia. It's strikingly unique, but not to my liking. Other than that, I find the 2010 Acura RDX to be attractive.

The cabin has been tweaked, too. It looks and feels more luxurious than its predecessor. I especially like the comfortable and supportive leather-trimmed seats. The front-seat side bolsters are significant and do well at keeping you in place when pushing the RDX hard through twisty roads and highway entrance ramps.

Acura chose to power all models of the RDX with a lightweight, turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 240 horsepower. It's very responsive. There's just a slight bit of turbo lag, but not to the point of being objectionable. Torque comes in rapidly and peaks at 260 pound-feet.

All RDX models feature a smooth-shifting five-speed automatic transmission. Also, there are steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles to shift the automatic manually when desired.

The transmission operates seamlessly when cruising around town, yet provides firmer shifts when pushing hard on the accelerator pedal. The transmission has a good top gear, too. I was impressed that at highway speed, my 2WD tester's engine was spinning slightly below 2,000 rpm.

Those who choose the RDX with SH-AWD (Super Handling All-Wheel Drive) will benefit from even better traction and handling on dry and wet pavement.

SH-AWD not only distributes optimum torque between front and rear axles, but it also splits the torque between the left and right rear wheels while being able to overdrive the rear wheels to reduce understeer.

RDX is definitely fun to drive and provides all the versatility buyers in this segment are looking for. RDX has a luxurious and comfortable cabin. It comes nicely equipped, and it's priced well below many of its competitors. Plus, Acura has earned the reputation of producing well-built, reliable vehicles. The RDX is no exception.

2010 Acura RDX with technology package

ENGINE: 240-horsepower 2.3-liter turbocharged I-4

TRANSMISSION: five-speed automatic

DRIVETRAIN: front-wheel drive

FUEL ECONOMY: 19 city/24 highway

BASE PRICE: $35,620

AS TESTED: $36,480 (including $860 for destination)

WEBSITE: www.Acura.com