Premium compact SUV; Built in
  • 4-door wagon
  • transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $22,100 – $33,200*


2014 Acura RDX


2014 Acura RDX


2014 Acura RDX


2014 Acura RDX


2014 Acura RDX

Pros:
  • Acceleration
  • Automatic-transmission performance
  • Interior materials
Cons:
  • Navigation is only available in expensive package.
  • Loading bulky cargo could be easier

Acura’s RDX might not lead the premium-compact SUV class in any one area, but this is a vehicle that does just about everything well. A refined drivetrain, tossable handling, and a roomy, well-appointed cabin are its biggest strengths. Weaknesses include mediocre fuel economy, and a control interface that could do with less button clutter. RDX more than makes up for these shortcomings by offering lots of comfort, convenience, and safety features at reasonable-for-the-class prices. Value-conscious luxury buyers would do well to put this Acura at the top of their shopping lists.

Overview

RDX is Acura’s entry-level SUV. It seats 5 and slots below the 7-passenger ~|MDX|~ in size, features, and price. It comes with a V6 engine and the choice of front- or all-wheel drive.

RDX is available in a single Base trim level. Per Honda/Acura tradition, the optional Technology Package is priced as a separate model. Models without the Technology Package include leather upholstery, heated front seats, power front seats, and a sunroof. The Technology Package still dual-zone automatic climate controls, along with a navigation system, AcuraLink assistance, upgraded audio system, music hard drive, power liftgate, and xenon headlights.

This premium-compact SUV is among the least-expensive entries in its class. RDX’s rivals include the ~|BMW X3|~, 2013 ~|Infiniti EX37|~, and ~|Volvo XC60|~. Note that for the 2014 model year, the Infiniti was renamed QX50.

Yearly Updates

2013 RDX
Acura redesigned the RDX for the 2013 model year, giving it updated styling, more-power, fuel-efficient engine, and new features. As such, the 2014 edition of this small SUV sees only minor changes. Xenon headlights are newly standard on models equipped with the optional Technology Package. Further, dual-zone automatic climate control is no longer standard on the Base trim (it’s still included with the Technology Package).

Engines

transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive

All 2013-14 RDXs are powered by a 273-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission.

ohc V61
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.5/212
Engine HP 273
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 251
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic

20/28

21.8

1. EPA estimated fuel economy is 19 mpg city/27 mpg highway with all-wheel drive. Premium-grade gasoline is recommended.

Road Test

RDX is not the most powerful 6-cylinder premium-compact SUV, but it accelerates with more than adequate dispatch. Linear throttle response and a slick automatic transmission make RDX very easy to drive in both the urban grind and on the highway.

In Consumer Guide testing, our long-term AWD RDX with Technology Package is averaging 21.8 mpg over its first 12,802 miles. Though much better than the previous-generation 4-cylinder RDX, this is still not a great figure by absolute standards. Acura recommends premium-grade fuel for the V6.

Per Honda/Acura tradition, RDX’s ride errs on the firm side of the spectrum. You feel most bumps, but the RDX’s solid body structure prevents intrusion of unwanted secondary motions.

Handling is stable and predictable, with great steering feel and well controlled body lean during spirited cornering. The brakes have a firm pedal and strong stopping action.

Most noise sources don’t rise above modest levels. The engine produces a rich growl during acceleration and disappears into the background at cruising speeds.

No RDX models without the Technology Package have been made available for evaluation. The Tech Package’s included navigation system operates separately from the audio and climate controls. This setup is not as difficult to negotiate as some “all-in-one” interfaces, but the sheer number of buttons (upwards of 40, including those on the steering wheel) is daunting. Voice control is included with the Technology Package, but it doesn’t work all that well. Commands must be spoken slowly, loudly, and clearly, and even then the system sometimes fails to do what we ask.

Like other Acuras, RDX’s cabin errors more toward purposeful luxury rather than uptown opulence. Hard-plastic bits are found only in out-of-the-way areas. Most every other surface is soft-touch and nicely grained.

Front headroom and legroom are very generous, which is a bit of a surprise given RDX’s tidy exterior dimensions. Kudos to Acura for including leather, seat heaters, and power adjustment for both the driver and passenger. The seats themselves are long-haul comfortable. Visibility is quite good. The included rearview camera offers three angles: normal, top-down (for hooking up a trailer), and wide-angle. Each setting is useful, particularly the wide shot, as it affords a great view to aid when backing out of a parking space. As in front, the rear seat is quite roomy and comfortable, again surprising given RDX’s size. Our only complaint is a lack of under-seat foot space if the front buckets are set low.

RDX has a generous cargo hold with either the rear seat backs raised or lowered. Dropping said seat backs is possible from either the passenger compartment or a couple cleverly integrated levers in the cargo area. The rear headrests don’t need to be removed in order to lower the seats. The catch is that the backs don’t lie flush with the floor, which can complicate loading bulkier items. Generous in-cabin storage consists of a two-tier glovebox, large console box, a bin below the central dashboard control stack, and cupholders in the doors.

Long-Term Report

At about 1,300 miles into our yearlong evaluation of a 2013 RDX with Technology Package, we found that the headlights were out of alignment. A local dealership corrected this issue, and the car has needed no other unscheduled service over its first 12,802 miles.

Ratings

Model Tested: RDX

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 6
60%
Fuel Economy - 5
50%
Ride Quality - 6
60%
Steering/Handling - 6
60%
Quietness - 7
70%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 9
90%
Room/Comfort Rear - 9
90%
Cargo Room - 8
80%

Other

Value - 9
90%

Total: 71

Specifications

4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
105.7 183.5 73.7 66.1
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
61.3 16.0 5.0
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.7 38.1 42.0 38.3
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2014 RDX 4-door wagon

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 5
100%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Engine stalling
Description: Possible throttle control malfunction. (2013-14)

Recall History

2013
Description: During sub-freezing temperatures, the brake-shift interlock blocking mechanism may allow the gear selector to be moved from the Park position without pressing the brake pedal.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.