The 2014 Acura RDX is essentially unchanged for this year other than a new exterior paint color, Kona coffee, which replaces a shade known as amber brownstone...more
Acura's compact crossover RDX was completely redone for the 2013 model year, so the 2014 Acura RDX is essentially unchanged. Where Acura geared the previous-generation RDX more toward the sporty side of the crossover equation, the company has elected to keep thing simple with the current car, which feels like a smaller version of the MDX. Acura loads up the RDX with lots of standard equipment, including leather, heated seats, a moonroof, keyless entry, and a multi-angle rear camera, offering consumers a value proposition with a starting price of $35,415.
The 2014 Acura RDX is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 engine -- rated at 273 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque -- paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. It marks a philosophical change for Acura, which ditched a turbocharged four-cylinder that made less power (240 hp) and slightly more torque (260 lb-ft) in favor of this normally aspirated six. The move goes against what has become a trend in the auto industry, namely downsizing engine options in advance of tightening CAFE standards. Acura can buck that trend because the RDX actually gets better fuel economy with the V-6, which achieves 20 mpg in city driving and 28 mpg on the highway in front-wheel guise. The all-wheel-drive model returns a respectable 19/27 mpg city/highway. In addition, the V-6 operates more smoothly than the peaky turbo four. The 2014 Acura RDX handles very well, and the ride is composed even on rough road surfaces.
The all-wheel option (Acura ditched its SH-AWD system in the RDX for a simpler part-time AWD system) is one of just two significant choices buyers must make, as Acura has not larded up the RDX with a long list of options. The only other real decision is whether to take the technology upgrade, which costs $3700 extra and adds navigation with voice recognition, a 60-gig hard drive, real-time traffic and weather updates, and HID headlights.
The cabin has room for five and can be trimmed in simple black or tan color schemes. The materials are a refreshing departure from the last RDX, whose interior was covered with dark, hard plastics across the instrument and door panels. Most of the plastic surfaces are made of nicely grained, soft-touch materials, and Acura dresses things up by inserting a sizable amount of leatherette-trimmed accents into the front and rear door panels. The rear cargo hold has ample room for suitcases and sporting goods. When the 60/40-split second row is folded, there is a cavernous 76.9 cubic feet of cargo space.
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