Overhauled 2019 Acura RDX Crossover Debuts

Craig Cole
by Craig Cole

The third-generation Acura RDX just made its global debut at the Detroit auto show. Roof to rockers, this luxury crossover has been completely overhauled for model year 2019.

Driving this point home, it even rides atop a brand-new, Acura-exclusive architecture, a platform that’s dramatically stiffer yet lighter than the one underpinning today’s model. Making this weight-loss even more impressive, the 2019 RDX has a 1.2-inch (3.0 centimeter) wider track and a wheelbase that’s been stretched by 2.5 inches (6.4 centimeters).

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Behind the Acura brand’s signature diamond pentagon grille resides a new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Output figures have not been released, but it supposedly has 40 percent more low-end torque than the 2018 model’s 3.5-liter V6. For reference, that unit can muster a maximum of 252 foot-pounds at 4,900 rpm; horsepower peaks at 279, which is delivered at a heady 6,200 rpm.

A 10-speed automatic transmission will be standard in every RDX. Acura’s torque-vectoring Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive system returns, complete with a newly designed rear differential that can handle 40 percent more torque than before. Adaptive suspension dampers are also on the menu.

SEE ALSO: 2018 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

Being a clean-sheet redesign, the 2019 RDX is the first Acura to fully embrace its new design theme, which debuted on the Precision Concept car several years ago. Offering customers even more sportiness and style, this will also be the brand’s first crossover offered in A-Spec trim.

But proving it’s more than just a pretty face, the RDX’s interior is expected to offer class-leading rear-seat legroom and cargo space, with accommodations for up to five people.

This luxury crossover’s interior is all new, featuring real wood and metal trim, rich-feeling leather and a swooping design. Letting the sunshine in, all models come with a standard panoramic sliding moonroof, one that should be the segment’s largest.

SEE ALSO: 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid Review

A brand-new Android-based infotainment system is also included, which is splashed across a 10.2-inch full-HD screen floating atop the dashboard. It’s controlled by the Acura True Touchpad Interface, a laptop-like click-pad on the center console. Making it more intuitive than rival systems, it’s been mapped for one-to-one precision, supposedly the first application of this sort of absolute positioning in the automotive space. What all this means is if you click on the upper-right corner of the touchpad it corresponds to the upper-right corner on the display screen, no scrolling or extra swiping required.

The all-new 2019 Acura RDX will launch around the middle of this year. Engine output figures, fuel-economy estimates and pricing will be released closer to its on-sale date, so stay tuned.

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Craig Cole
Craig Cole

Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for AutoGuide.com. When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).

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2 of 6 comments
  • Mac Bailey Mac Bailey on Jan 31, 2018

    Do not like the push button shifters. I have an 85 lb golden and all I need is for him to hop up front and it is over. Change for the sake of change. Ridiculous. Do they still make you wear non polarized sun glasses? Who came up with that brilliant idea. Getting less impressed by Acura each year. I am on my 4th edification of the MDX and my wife has forsaken her TL for a Lexus.

  • J-F J-F on Mar 12, 2018

    Just like pretty much everyone, I hated the push botton gear selctor on the other Acura models and didn't know why, until this rdx 2019 appeared. On the rdx 2019 the push botton gear selector is symmetrically positioned on the center console. It makes it look very good, simple, pure and well integrated now, probably better than a stick shift could look. Anyway, the rdx 2nd generation shifter and mdx 2014-15 shifter literally looked like cheap phalluses. Not to mention the rdx turbo first generation shifter. To be perfect they could have put the start/stop button on the center console as well just above the park button. I hope the small black button (volume?) could be less protuberant, or may be clicked-in/clicked-out? @disqus_B0kjN8hRGz:disqus : 85lb dog paw on a push botton or pressing on a stick shift will do the same. If your animal is loose in the vehicle while you drive expect anything to happen. Don't blame the automaker.