We saw the prototype in Detroit and the production model in New York. Now, it’s time to try out the 2019 Acura RDX in the real world. All new for this model year, the RDX gets the updates it badly needed to bring it up to date with the rest of its competition. That competition is fierce as well, as the compact luxury crossover market houses some of the most powerful names in the business. Volvo, BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Infiniti – everyone’s here.
For the 2019 Acura RDX to successfully fight the headwinds it inevitably faces in such a hotly contested market, it doesn’t just have to look different. It has to drive and feel different as well. So does it? Here are our Top 10 Things You Need to Know about the all-new Acura RDX.
10) More Power and More Torque: 272 horsepower and 280 lb-ft
Power comes from a 2.0-liter VTEC engine, and it makes nearly as much power as the current RDX’s 3.5-liter V6. On the new model, there’s 272 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque on tap, which is plenty to shift this compact luxury crossover along nicely.
9) 10-speed automatic transmission (first in the segment)
Not only does the RDX get a new engine, but it also gets a new transmission. The 2019 Acura RDX will downshift from tenth to sixth gear on the fly when you need to overtake. First gear is also 15% lower than before for quick acceleration, and tenth gear is 7% higher for improved fuel economy.
8) Super-Handing All-Wheel Drive
The Acura RDX has the brand’s emphatically-named Super Handling All-Wheel Drive as well. It can actually move 70% of the power to the rear wheels. Then, on top of that, it can shift all of that power to either the left rear wheel or the right rear wheel, depending on which has traction. Instead of braking the inner wheel to improve traction in the corners, this system actually moves the power to the outside to push the outer wheel through the corner for true torque vectoring.
7) New chassis
The 2019 Acura RDX has a better suspension setup than before, all in pursuit of better handling. This time, the car has five-link rear suspension, as well as adaptive damping on the front and rear. There’s also multiple drive modes, including Sport, Sport Plus. Comfort and a Snow mode.
6) Driving modes
Sticking with those driving modes, the 2019 Acura RDX has a prominently displayed dial to switch between them. Sport, Sport Plus, Comfort and Snow mode are yours to command by simply rotating that dial in either direction. Changing driving modes adjusts the throttle, steering, suspension, the all-wheel drive system, and the level of noise enhancement.
5) The competition
The 2019 Acura RDX pitches into battle among a crowded segment of luxury compact crossovers. There’s the Volvo XC60, BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC and Audi Q5, to name just a few. There’s also the Lexus NX and the Infiniti QX50 to consider. So the Acura’s styling, handling process, and overall usability has to be strong to stand a chance against its European and Asian rivals.
4) New infotainment system
One of our complaints in the 2018 Acura MDX was its old-style infotainment system. Weirdly, the top screen was not a touchscreen, and that’s the one that housed the most important features, like Apple CarPlay. The 2019 Acura RDX switches that up by offering two touchpads to control the split screen of this new infotainment system. It’s fairly intuitive to use, and the voice controls – while not perfect – are much better than older infotainment systems.
3) The seats
Seats in the 2019 Acura RDX are comfortable and good-looking. They’re 16-way adjustable as well, which helps you dial them in just where you need them. Like all modern cars should, frankly, the new RDX also has thigh support, which helps tremendously to keep you comfortable on long trips.
2) Panoramic sunroof
There are four flavors of the 2019 Acura RDX. You can get a base model, the Technology Package, the A-Spec shown above, or the Advanced package. All of them come in front-wheel drive or with the Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive system. However, no matter which one you get, you still can have that massive panoramic sunroof.
1) The safest RDX ever
Acura has used high-strength steel throughout the body of the 2019 Acura RDX, as well as all the latest technology available to mitigate accidents happening in the first place. As a result, the company expects to receive a Top Safety Pick+ when crash test results for the new model come back.
Pricing isn’t available just yet, but we will bring you that information when Acura brings it to the public. Stay tuned to TFLcar.com for more updates! Subscribe to The Fast Lane Car and TFLnow for more news, views, and real-world, Canadian wilderness reviews.