‘A’ is for Attitude: 2019 Acura RDX A SPEC
The last decade or so for Acura has been, well, to put it blunt, boring. Their cars engineered for those that enjoy early morning coffee from a glass pot, perhaps a round of golf at noon, and collect their monthly pension checks before dusk. It was as if Acura lost they’re founded brand dynamics. After falling into the insipid state of the premium gamut, Acura knew a change needed to be made. With a fresh new outlook, Acura’s bold attempt at the high-end premium market wasn’t going to be a quiet one. Starting with their all-new RDX it’s a statement worth shouting.
Replacing their bread and butter was a bold leap. The RDX has served up as Acura’s most popular choice when it came to the small-size premium crossover. “Small” is definitely, however, not a term to describe their newest attraction. Wrapped up in a stunning Apex Blue Metallic paint, our RDX A-Spec is the sportiest RDX one can buy. Served as a one price fits all, the A-Spec seen here cost a mere $45,500 and carries an array of sport-galore features that has us oohing and awing – starting with its no-extra cost red leather interior with black suede inserts. Can we get a napkin to clean up our drool please?
Dropping the 3.5-liter V-6, Acura is moving forward with the times of our turbo happy world. The new 2.0-liter turbo-four produces 272-horsepower – losing 6-horsepower over the V-6. It makes up for it however with 280lb-ft of torque – nearly 30 more than before. Don’t let the four-banger fool, the RDX acts just as much as a V-6 – moving swiftly around town with assurance, the RDX happily pulls to 60 mph in about six and half seconds.
Behaving like a six-piston rower, the RDX sounds muscular – even with sound pipped through the speakers, it resonances naturally – not like an arcade game. It also drinks its fuel like a V-6 using premium grade octane fuel. That liquid gold runs through its veins in less than 300 miles and averages just shy of 20 mpg’s. With a 10-speed automatic, it shuffles through its gears just fine with a tendency to be a little aggressive while under our preferred COMFORT mode. Using the pronounce largely displayed Dynamic Selector, and switching between SPORT and SPORT +, the RDX opens itself to an energetic course of spirited driving.
The RDX carries itself very well. It’s supported by swift handling and direct responsive steering. It rides firm, but not uncomfortably on its 20-inch wheels. And its Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system plays a pretty unique game that can deliver up to 70-percent of its power to the rear wheels. With its torque vectoring, it then can move its power from either side. Sounds like something that could make us dizzy.
The interior of the RDX matches closely to the exteriors theatrical design. It carries a dramatic, upscale enterprise with lots of curvature elements. Our A-Spec’s interior was sizably executed with suede inserts on the dash, red stitching and sporty inspired metal accents. It’s a boldly designed setting that looks exceptionally well. The craftsmanship has been superbly well made with tight fit and finished materials. Every surface is covered in a premium material with not a single plastic piece exposed.
Technology has been a huge upgrade to the RDX family starting with a largely pronounce high-resolution center display. Controlled by a touchpad interface, the infotainment system is fluid and responsive. The touchpad is finicky at times, but can easily be overcome throughout the course of time. The infotainment system is easy to navigate and control over the previous generation and with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto at our fingertips, we’re always staying connected.
While the A-Spec isn’t the top trimmed RDX – with the Advance being the highest one could get – it carries an array of heavy premium equipment to make one think otherwise. With features like the large panoramic sunroof that showcases just how red the interior really is, a stunning ELS Studio audio surround sound system that brings out the crystal-clear quality of any music, the RDX is truly a serene place to be.
Safety obviously is a priority to Acura and the RDX features all of the latest safety hardware on the market including Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Emergency Alert and Braking with Adaptive Cruise Control, and Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear-Cross Traffic Detection.
With aggressive styling and bold lines, the new RDX is quite a looker. The A-Spec brings in the attitude and the charisma that Acura has been lacking for nearly the past decade. Providing all the luxury creatures and assertive driving behavior we expect from modern cars these days, the Acura RDX certainly checks all of our boxes.
That paint is just lickable. Just perhaps, Acura is getting a little bit of its mojo back.
I think the dum dum suckers might just have to come out with a new flavor. It’ll be interesting to see what the future holds for the brand.