2020 Acura RDX

Turbocharged engine and more interior space

Roseville, CA- Introduced halfway through 2006, Acura RDX luxury compact sport utility vehicle has gradually gained popularity over the years.

In 2015, it exceeded the 51,000 mark for the first time in sales and those numbers were nearly identical the next two years. The RDX had record-sales of 63,580 in 2018 and last year nearly matched that mark with 62,876.

While the previous incarnation of the Acura RDX didn’t inspire great enthusiasm, one would never know it judging by the sales figures. We mention this partly because last year’s RDX was better than ever. Despite its impressive past, Acura decided to tamper with a winning product. The overall redesign made the RDX even more appealing than ever.

The third generation 2020 Acura RDX rests on its laurels, with no significant changes. Last year the capable SUV got a new platform and was larger than ever before. The wheelbase grew to 108.3 inches, the overall length expanded to 186.8 inches, and the height was up slightly (65.7 inches).

Considering the size increase, it’s not surprising that the new RDX possesses even more interior space and could be easily confused as a midsize SUV.

Now Turbocharged

Criticized in the past for its somewhat lackluster performance, the RDX now features a turbocharged engine that is more engaging than the previous V6. While it’s not overwhelmingly more powerful, there’s a noticeable difference. Performance has improved and fuel efficiency remains good (22-28 mpg).

The Honda luxury brand, Acura has established a great reputation for dependability, competence and efficiency. However, much like Honda vehicles, Acura isn’t known for producing much excitement.

Produced in Liberty, Ohio, the RDX sticker price typically undercuts the competition that includes the BMW X3, Jaguar F-Pace, Mercedes-Benz GLK Class, Porsche Macan, Audi Q5, and Lexus NX 200t. The 2020 Acura RDX starts at around $37,700. Unlike most vehicles, the RDX has a single trim, base model available with three option packages (Technology, A-Spec, Advance).

2020 Acura RDX

  • Performance: turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, 272 horsepower
  • Price: $37,700 to $47,800
  • Mileage estimate: 22-28 mpg
  • Warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles; drivetrain 6 years/70,000 miles; corrosion 6 years/unlimited; roadside assistance 4 years/50,000

The new engine is a turbo 2.0-liter, four-cylinder that generates 272 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, and is teamed with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The turbo engine goes 0-60 mph in 6.4 seconds.

The RDX combines good acceleration in all driving situations and does it with a smooth and quiet ride that makes for a pleasurable driving situation. The compact SUV maneuvers well around town and has lots of passing power for freeway driving.

The front-wheel drive RDX has three driving modes (comfort, sport, sport plus) and the optional all-wheel-drive system continues to be the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system. It’s worth the extra cost, giving the RDX better traction in wet or snowy weather, and improved handling.

Interior

Drivers who find technology intriguing will love the touchpad interface on the 10.2-inch HD display. For the rest of us, it’s probably more of an acquired taste because it takes repetition to really master all the touchpad features. It’s initially distracting for any driver, but given time it should become far more intuitive.

The interior is befitting of a luxury vehicle; it’s attractive, comfortable, and spacious in all the right places. Seating is roomy for all five passengers, and the cargo area (29.5 cubic feet) behind the second row is spacious. The rear seats are easy to fold down and lie totally flat, expanding the cargo space to 58.9 cubic feet.

The 2020 Acura RDX is a very capable luxury compact crossover that is large for the class and can be purchased at a price that beats most of the competition.