The previous generation RDX was targeted at your urban males, putting the focus on performance. It should come as no surprise that it was then a big hit with auto journalists, who loved its turbocharged 2.3-liter engine that made 240 hp and a serious 280 lb-ft of torque. It also had Acura’s amazing Super Handling All Wheel Drive system, which made its cornering capabilities spectacular.
As it turns out, however, buyers in this segment are actually couples, young and old, and they’re more interested in utility than performance. As a result, the RDX was never the success Acura hoped, especially as sales of the MDX soared.
Now Acura is launching a second-generation model, with a softer approach all around. Gone is the hi-tech and expensive SH-AWD in favor of a more conventional system. Also gone is the immensely fun, but equally fuel thirsty turbocharged engine in favor of a new 3.5-liter V6. The new unit produces 33 more horsepower for a total of 273. Torque numbers haven’t been announced, but expect them to drop.
Mated to a new 6-speed automatic Acura says it expects the RDX to receive a best-in-class fuel economy rating of 20/28 mpg (city/highway) for front-drive models and 19/27 for AWD versions.
Improving both ride quality and handling is a longer wheelbase, as well as a wider track and a lower center of gravity. Plus, the RDX gets standard “Amplitude Reactive Dampers”, an adaptive electric power steering system and 18-inch wheels.
Other standard and available goodies include an active noise cancellation system, keyless access and a push-button ignition, a three-view back-up screen, Pandora internet radio and an SMS text messaging feature that lets you reply to text with one of roughly 10 pre-selected responses.
Interior room is up on the RDX, though Acura hasn’t said by exactly how much. The cargo area does use its space more effectively and Acura says it has expanded the rear opening by up to six inches.
A watered down RDX? Yes. But will the new model find a home with more buyers? Most likely.
GALLERY: 2013 Acura RDX
Watch AutoGuide’s first look video of the 2013 RDX below:
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