2019 RDX SH-AWD A-Spec

A fine Acura ride
August 17, 2019 Updated: September 9, 2019

Acura’s edgy white diamond exterior and red interior draws the eye to a vehicle that is very attractive but also very powerful.

The 272 horsepower, 2.0-liter direct injection VTEC turbo-four engine is assisted by a 10-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Admittedly, shifting through the gears is not as smooth as I would have liked, and the gear selector itself is a little challenging. Fuel economy is rated at 21 mpg city and 26 mpg highway, for a combined 23 mpg average.

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A-Spec leather seating. (Courtesy of Acura)

Sport A-Spec premium leather seating is soft and comfortable. The front seats have heating, ventilation, 12-way power adjustment, and power lumbar support. Driver recognition memory system simplifies the lives of a family sharing the RDX.

The True Touchpad Interface infotainment system, as the name would suggest, centers around a touchpad for controls. This touchpad works a little differently from the usual computer touchpads in that instead of being a cursor motion control, the touchpad directly corresponds to the 10.2-inch display. So if you want to click an icon at the bottom left corner of the screen, you would always put your finger on the bottom left corner of this touchpad. This was a little confusing and slow to respond. It was awkward to use and I was never able to advance its Android-base OS features.

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Button-style electronic gear selector and True Touchpad Interface in the center console. (Courtesy of Acura)

Push-button start and HomeLink garage door system are complemented by dual-zone automatic climate control. RDX climate control is accessed via hard buttons so it is always at your fingertips.

AcuraLink provides a suite of connected services for your vehicle. You can use it to locate your vehicle and remotely lock and unlock doors. It also has a live concierge service, and automatically sends alert and data if it thinks there is an emergency situation.

Keyless entry and pushbutton start get you on the road quickly, and the navigation system will help you get to your destination. Acura’s Voice Recognition System was helpful, but the nav system was hard to “zoom in” on a particular location, and some addresses could not be recognized by the system.

The most impressive exterior feature was the Panoramic Moonroof with tilt-and-slide that allows for a grand outside view. Power liftgate effortlessly opens up to a cavernous space that was more than adequate for cargo.

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Panoaramic Moonroof. (Courtesy of Acura)

Heated power side mirrors with turn signal puts icing on the suite of lighting, which has attractive Jewel Eye LED headlights and LED taillights. This beautifully styled vehicle rest on 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in all-season tires.

Acura engineers had a focus on safety with airbags leading the way. There seemed to be individual airbags for everyone, as well as side curtain airbags with rollover sensors. The driver and the front passenger have additional airbags to cushion their knees too.

Agile Handling Assist provides additional safety by utilizing active braking on individual wheels to help avoiding oversteer and understeer. It is even more assuring when it is working together with AcuraWatch features like Collision Mitigating Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Departure Warning, and Road Departure Assist.

Acura RDX scored very well on the government NHTSA 5-Star Safety Rating, while providing a comfortable interior for all occupants with good head, shoulder, and leg rooms.

The numerous safety features, a great sound system, a handsome and elegant exterior, and an aggressive attitude blended well with inside comforts and technology. Combined, these features make the Acura RDX a good vehicle choice.

Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price for the A-Spec SH-AWD model is $45,800.

4-year/50,000-mile Vehicle Limited Warranty
6-year/70,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty
5-year/unlimited miles Outer Body Rust-through Limited Warranty

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or dcaussey@sbcglobal.net.