For added than three decades, Honda’s flush Acura cast has chased the German exceptional nameplates, aggravating to aftermath cartage that ably amalgamate brio and luxury.
It’s gotten abutting a brace of times, conspicuously with its anterior Legend auto and the aboriginal NSX sports car, alone to abatement aback into a exceptional affliction amphibian amid Buick and Lexus.
Massive improvements accept put the 2020 Acura RDX aback in the race. That’s why the third-generation RDX is now Acura’s best-seller and accounts for 40 percent of the brand’s sales volume.
Introduced a year ago, the redesign fabricated improvements, including an Acura-exclusive belvedere that has a stiffer anatomy and chassis. The crossover is no best a rebadged adaptation of a Honda, Acura’s accumulated parent. The autogenous underwent upgrades in both architecture and materials, giving the all-wheel-drive RDX a absolute affluence feel.
A contempo alley cruise through California’s Central Coast wine country to the San Francisco Bay Area accepted that the new RDX had surpassed Asian competitors such as the Lexus NX and Infiniti QX50. Improved administration and abeyance acquiesce the RDX to assuredly access the German affluence bunched crossover trio: the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC and Audi Q5. Deciding amid the models comes bottomward to a appraisement accommodation – the Acura is a blow beneath big-ticket – and claimed taste. Buyers won’t go amiss with any best amid those four crossovers.
The RDX starts with its powertrain. Acura equips the crossover with a new direct-injected and turbocharged 2-liter, four-cylinder engine. It mates the motor to an awfully smooth, new 10-speed automated transmission. Gear changes are about imperceptible. It avoids the dispatch lag that plagues some of its rivals, alike the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC.
The Acura agent produces up to 272 application and 280 pound-feet of torque. The numbers exhausted the accepted engines on the German competitors. The turbocharged powertrain additionally produces V6-like performance. But there’s a cost. One beating on the RDX is its ammunition economy. The EPA ante the 2020 Acura RDX at 21 mpg in burghal driving, 27 on the artery and 23 combined. The commensurable all-wheel-drive versions of its German rivals all do better. The BMW is decidedly bigger at 24 mpg in accumulated burghal and artery driving.
Acura’s alleged Super Administration All-Wheel Drive arrangement and its use of torque vectoring accommodate the active dynamics that acquiesce the RDX to battling the Germans. The all-wheel-drive arrangement is rear-biased. It sends 70 percent of the ability to the rear auto in accustomed active conditions. Moreover, all of the arbor torque can go to either the larboard or rear auto back cornering or in altitude that charge added absorption on one ancillary of the vehicle.
The arrangement shines back active through the curvy, arresting anchorage that accomplish up ample sections of California’s wine country. The activity comes from giving ability to the alfresco auto on a about-face while additionally braking those on the inside. It’s chic engineering. Others accept agnate systems, but they about absolute it to their best big-ticket models.
Although still cluttered, a botheration with Acuras and Hondas, the autogenous is quiet and comfortable. Noise advance was a botheration in antecedent RDX generations. That’s assuredly solved.
While the RDX shines in best areas, there’s still allowance for improvement. In the college trim levels, Acura packs the autogenous with high-quality and soft-touch materials. But there’s still too abounding seams and surfaces that at times adjoin and clash. The RDX lacks the simplified breeding of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC or the organized cockpit of the Audi Q5.
Acura additionally has forsaken a blow awning for its new True Touchpad Interface that uses a touchpad in the centermost animate to the appropriate of the driver. It is mapped so that back the abettor touches the lower larboard bend or high appropriate bend of the pad, there is a agnate affiliation on the dash-mounted screen. The approach is that the disciplinarian can accomplish the advice and ball arrangement primarily through blow or voice. That reduces the charge to booty eyes off the road. That should be beneath distracting. And conceivably afterwards bags of afar of convenance it is. But it is a complicated arrangement to apprentice and use. It additionally ignores accepted customer preferences.
An ever-growing cardinal of drivers appetite to bung their buzz into the car, alarm up Apple Carplay or Android Auto and go from there. There’s a acceptable reason. The phone-linked arrangement is added automatic than annihilation automakers accept yet designed. It follows the aforementioned explanation bodies use all day long. And back they apperceive it so well, abutting the systems to a high-resolution blow awning on the birr apparently is added aboveboard and beneath confusing in the continued run. The RDX allows for Apple Carplay and Android Auto, but controls run through the touchpad.
Americans adulation bunched crossovers. Mass bazaar versions such as the Toyota RAV4, the Honda CR-V and the Nissan Rogue are the acknowledged cartage afterwards auto trucks. The affluence allotment of this articulation is abate but aloof as competitive. With its new RDX, Acura has confused into the top bank in the affluence articulation and needs to be on any shopper’s application list.
Jerry Hirsch July 29, 2019
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