2019 Acura RDX A-Spec: How Does Acura’s First American-Born Crossover Stack Up? [Review]

Acura's all-new RDX brings a whole new attitude to the model and the brand.

June 2018 Crossover Sales Report
[Photo: Acura]


The 2019 Acura RDX is the first Acura designed and developed totally in America. Designers created the new model at the company’s Design Studio in Los Angeles, while the new RDX is assembled in East Liberty, Ohio.

Acura continues the trim levels from its other models. That includes the base RDX, as well as the Technology and Advance Packages. All models are available with front- or all-wheel drive. However, the 2019 model brings one new addition: the sporty-looking A-Spec variant.

The 2019 Acura RDX went on sale nationwide June 1, 2018 with a starting MSRP of $37,300. Prices head upward from there, topping out at $47,400, excluding a $995 destination charge. The new model comes standard with an array of premium features and technologies. Better yet, it’s the same price as the outgoing model. However, you get more standard equipment, as it now comes equipped with AcuraWatch, a suite of safety and driver assistance technology.

Available new premium features in the Technology or Advance packages include 16-way power adjustable heated and ventilated front seats, a 10.5-inch full-color Head-Up Display and a 16-channel ELS Studio 3D premium audio, as well as a Surround View Camera System, Cross Traffic Monitor and blind spot monitoring.

[Photo: Acura]


The RDX is the first Acura SUV available with the A-Spec sport appearance package. The package includes 20-inch wheels and low-profile 245/45R20 tires, gloss black exterior accents, large-diameter exhaust finishers, A-Spec badging and exclusive interior upgrades including an available red or black leather interior with black Ultrasuede inserts.

2019 Acura RDX
[Photo: Acura]


Moving into the interior, the new RDX provides luxurious interior appointments. Authentic brushed aluminum, stainless steel and Olive Ash wood accents make their appearance throughout the cabin. Acura fitted supportive sport seats, an ultra-wide panoramic moonroof and a high-deck floating center console that features a new touchpad interface and an NSX-inspired drive mode dial. The cabin space has expanded over the previous model, as well. Acura designed the 2019 RDX with more rear legroom and a larger (+3.4 cubic feet) cargo area. There’s also an additional 1.7 cubic feet of compartmented underfloor storage.

Acura has also updated infotainment and connectivity equipment in the new RDX, with the first application of Acura’s True Touchpad Interface. It’s an approach that combines the features of a conventional touchscreen and a 1:1 touchpad control system. Acura mounted the 10.2-inch display high atop the center stack. Acura is also launching a new, 16-speaker ELS Studio 3D premium audio system with this model.

Other features include is the new natural language voice recognition system, the latest generation of AcuraLink connectivity with in-vehicle 4G LTE, available over-the-air software updates and a wide array of cloud-based services. Those services include emergency roadside assistance, remote locking/unlocking and engine start, stolen vehicle tracking, remote diagnostics, geofencing, speed tracking and more.

2019 Acura RDX


The 2019 Acura RDX shifts along thanks to a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged engine. The new unit makes its peak output of 272 horsepower at 6,500 rpm, along with 280 lb-ft of torque. Motive force is geared to the driving wheels via an electronically-controlled 10-speed automatic transmission with sequential SportShift Paddle Shifters. The new RDX has bests its rivals, including the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC and Volvo XC60 on performance figures. In fact, the new RDX pumps out 40 percent more low-end torque than the outgoing 3.6-liter V6.

The acceleration and performance capability is a superlative improvement over that of the outgoing model.  The 2019 Acura RDX The ride quality leans to the firm side of the scale without being harsh, and the handling attributes are nimble and responsive.

The next-generation of Acura’s SH-AWD features improved rear-wheel torque capacity over the previous generation system. It amplifying the capabilities of Acura’s dynamic torque vectoring technology with up to 70 percent of torque available to the rear wheels. Up to 100 percent of that torque is distributable to either the right-rear or left-rear wheel.

All RDX models are equipped with Acura’s Integrated Dynamics System. The system features Snow, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ modes. Each mode is designed to provide a wide range of dynamic experiences to suit the driving environment. The system works through the 10-speed transmission, electric power steering and the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system (if equipped) to provide a wider range of driving experiences and dynamic capabilities based on the needs of the driver and driving conditions.

2019 RDX pricing and EPA info released
[Photo: Acura]


The 2019 Acura RDX proved itself to be a right-sized crossover for many consumers shopping in the class. It is luxurious and comfortable, but also delivers a sporty, fun-to-drive persona.

As with all other Acura models, the 2019 RDX is covered by a comprehensive 4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. Powertrain coverage extends to six years or 70,000 miles. Additional ownership benefits include Acura Total Luxury Care, which provides free 24-hour roadside assistance, concierge service and trip routing.

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On Sale: Now
Base MSRP: $45,500
Price as Tested:
Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4
Drivetrain (Layout): Transversely mounted front engine, all-wheel drive
Horsepower: 272 hp @ 6,500 rpm
Torque: 280 lb-ft @ 1.600-4,500 rpm
Transmission: 10-speed automatic
Suspension: Front: MacPherson strut with Adaptive Damper System and 30-mm stabilizer bar

Rear: Multilink with Adaptive Damper System and 23-mm stabilizer bar

Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs (vented front)
Tires: Goodyear Eagle RSA 255/40 R20 111V
Fuel capacity: 17.1 gallons
Fuel economy (EPA): 21 City / 26 Highway / 23 Combined mpg


Wheelbase: 108.3 inches
Length: 186.8 inches
Width: 74.8inches
Height: 65.7 inches
Turning Circle: 38.9 feet
Curb Weight: 4,015 pounds