2010 Acura RDX SH-AWD Tech Road Test Review

Alexandra Straub - CAP staff
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The Acura RDX and I go back, way back. And even though it's been quite some time since I last drove one, it feels like just yesterday that I was loading one up with my husband and going on a road trip to Vancouver Island.  That was about three years ago. 

This sudden rush of nostalgia hit me as I hopped into the latest version of Acura's Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV).  All the good times, the good drives and more came back and reminded me of what a great vehicle it was and how much I liked it.  Needless to say, the 2010 version of the RDX looks better, drives better and is better all around, and has created some new impressions in my mind that I'm sure will continue to last. 

There are quite a few upgrades for the 2010 model year.  The most notable is the exterior with new front and rear bumper fascias, revised headlights and taillights, new exhaust tips and redesigned 18" aluminum-alloy wheels, which come standard with P235/55R18 all-season tires.  The exterior appears more refined and edgier than last year's model, and has a bold look to it. Truly, it's nice to look at. 

And as much as I like the outside, it's the inside that I love.  The cabin of this CUV is very cozy -- cozy in the sense that it is relaxing and comfortable.  For 2010, there are a few new standard features that add to its inside ambiance including improved cupholders, a centre console tray (very handy since this centre console is huge!), ambient footwell lighting, a USB-port connection, and more.  The leather seating surfaces are divine to sit on and the seats have a nice firmness to them, which not only support my back, but are also cushy for the tushy. 

Seats and centre console aside, there was one feature of the RDX that really stood out to me, the stereo system. It comes with the Technology Package and includes six-disc DVD audio, CD/MP3/WMA player, DTS, AM/FM tuner, XM Radio, Dolby Pro Logic II, 10 speakers and a 410-watt amplifier.  Try saying that all in one breath!  I found this system to be really good.  In fact, it's been a while since I've really enjoyed a stereo system as much as the one in the RDX.  The system was designed by Grammy Award-winning sound engineer Elliot Scheiner.  No wonder the music sounded so good!  Also part of the Tech Package is a very handy rearview camera, a nav system, and a revised 8" screen. 

What never ceases to amaze me is the ride quality of Acuras, especially the RDX.  Having a fully independent front and rear suspension, the RDX excels when driving at highway speeds but also when I need to get around the bend of a sharp turn.  It maintains its composure, and looks good while doing it.  Plus, it comes with the added bonus of Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SW-AWD).  And when Acura calls it "Super," they mean it.  The system helps maximize traction regardless of weather conditions and distributes optimum torque not only between the front and rear axles, but also between the left and right rear wheels while also being able to overdrive the rear wheels.  Translation: if the wheels start to lose grip, the system will automatically correct itself to keep you going in the intended direction. Although it was sunny most of the week I had the RDX, there were still a few days of liquid sunshine to help me get better acquainted with the AWD system to see what it could really do.

Under the hood of the RDX is a turbocharged, 2.3-litre, DOHC, 16-valve inline four-cylinder engine with an output of 240 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 260 pound-feet of torque at 4,500 rpm.  This compact-luxury CUV is not short of pep, that's for sure.  It is quick on its feet and is ready to pounce when I need it to, thanks to the five-speed automatic transmission, which comes complete with a manual mode and paddle shifters. 

When it comes to fuel economy, the RDX also performs quite well. It uses an estimated 11.7L/100km in the city and 8.7L/100km on the highway. And since the fourth and fifth gear ratios are higher for the 2010 model year and the vehicle is more aerodynamic, it now has a combined city and highway rating of 10.3L/100km in comparison to last year's combined rating of 11.1L/100km. 

With all the bells and whistles that come with the RDX and the Tech Package, the MSRP of this vehicle is $44,885 (including freight and PDI).  For those who want all the RDX goodies minus the fancy stereo system (and other electronics associated with the Tech Package), the base RDX is $41,885 (including freight and PDI). 

Although I didn't do a road trip with the 2010 RDX, I still really enjoyed its company.  With its peppy engine, amazing ride quality and dashing new looks, it's a great package all around.  Cheers to the RDX.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Crossover, Acura, 2010, RDX, $30,000 - $39,999, $40,000 - $49,999,

Organizations: Acura

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