The RDX is Acura's new sport utility vehicle-a younger and smaller sibling for the MDX, which itself is virtually all new for the 2007 model year. Acura says the RDX is designed for "high-energy urbanites" who spend their workweeks in the city, but who want to "decompress" on weekends by getting out of town. To enhance their time on country highways-and to deal with the demands of the daily commute-the RDX is powered by Acura's first turbocharged engine and features Super Handling All-Wheel Drive.
The Acura RDX is a 5-passenger (2-row) sport utility vehicle that is about 10 inches shorter, three inches narrower, and an inch lower than the larger MDX. Acura says the exterior design is taut, with a steeply raked windshield and a unique rear hatch finished with a replaceable panel to enhance the visual transition from body to bumper and to reduce the cost of repairs in the event of being bumped from behind.
The interior of the RDX provides elevated seating for a high vantage of the road ahead. The second-row seat is split 60/40 to enhance versatility. With the second row folded flat, the RDX provides 60.6 cubic feet of storage, including a lockable center console that can hold a briefcase. Standard equipment includes dual-zone climate controls and a 360-watt premium audio system with a 6-CD changer and input jack for personal audio devices. Only one option package is offered-a Technology grouping that includes an Acura/ELS surround sound audio system engineered by Grammy award-winning engineer Elliott Schneier, a hands-free telephone, and a navigation system with voice recognition so the driver can give audible commands instead of having to enter destinations by hand.
Power for the RDX comes from a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine that uses a turbocharger to increase power when needed. The engine generates 240 hp (about the same as many larger, normally aspirated V-6 engines), but is rated at 19 mpg in city driving and 23 on the highway. The engine is linked to a 5-speed automatic transmission that can be manually shifted by use of paddles on the steering wheel. Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system is designed to distribute power to the wheels that provide the needed grip and also to use anti-lock braking technology to enhance driver control to help overcome even potential "skid" situations.
The Acura RDX competes in the Compact Premium Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV) segment, which consists of only two models. Buyers in this segment look for performance, quality, and safety, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Avoider StudySM and the Escaped Shopper Study.SM
The top sellers in the segment during calendar year 2006, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM were the BMW X3 (31,291 units sold) and Acura RDX (9,164 units sold) in 2006 in its first year on the market.