We live in a world of crossovers, which means you have lots of choices. That’s good for you, but challenging for automakers struggling to make their latest offerings stand out from the rest. The all-new 2019 Acura RDX received a thorough facelift along with updated features to catch your attention and keeps your attention with plenty of power.
Crossovers started out as more utilitarian choices. They combined the utility of an SUV with the smaller footprint of a sedan. This makes them more affordable, easy to drive and park in urban areas, and more fuel efficient.
The drawback is reduced capability, notably when it comes to towing, but there are lots of people who don’t need the capability of full-size SUVs. They simply want a vehicle that offers the flexibility to carry cargo, better performance off-road and in the snow, and plenty of room for passengers.
That’s exactly what the 2019 Acura RDX delivers, but with something extra that wasn’t originally part of the package – performance.
As the number of crossovers out there increased, automakers started making their crossovers more fun. Yes, they’re practical vehicles, but that doesn’t mean they need to be boring. Today’s crossovers offer plenty of horsepower so you can be practical and have fun at the same time.
Power for the RDX comes from a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder with 272 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission. It’s a responsive engine that quickly gets the RDX up to highway speed. Merging into heavy traffic is easy and a burst of power for high-speed passing is no problem.
That strong performance is matched by impressive handling. This is not a sports car, but it has a more sedan-like feel than other crossovers. Steering is tight and responsive with minimal body roll, even on winding highway off-ramps. The RDX stays controlled so the driver can relax and enjoy the trip.
There’s the option for all-wheel drive, which we had ample time to test in messy winter weather. Unplowed roads, packed snow, and ice were no challenge to the RDX. Its torque vectoring all-wheel drive, which can send 70 percent of torque to the rear and split that by sending 100 percent to the left or right rear wheel, kept the RDX confidently under control.
Adding to the appeal of the RDX is its interior. This is a luxury crossover with high-quality materials throughout and comfortable seating for everyone. Three adults can fit in the rear seats and there’s still room for up to 29.5 cubic feet of cargo. Flip the rear seats down and cargo capacity expands to 58.9 cubic feet.
The infotainment system includes a 10.2-inch screen with a unique True Touchpad interface. Although touchpads are challenging in cars with bumps in the road making them hard to control, the one in the RDX makes things a bit easier.
Rather than a cursor that you drag across the screen, you simply touch the spot on the touchpad that corresponds with the spot on the screen you want to select. This one-to-one mapping makes the touchpad more useable, especially on rough road surfaces. There’s a learning curve, but once you get the hang of things, it’s easy.
Standard safety includes AcuraWatch on every trim. It includes collision mitigation braking with forward collision warning, lane keep assist, road departure mitigation, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control, even on the base model.
The four-trim lineup is priced from $37,400 to $45,500 with front-wheel drive or add all-wheel drive to any trim for an additional $2,000. The all-new 2019 Acura RDX delivers a luxury car experience in crossover form with a dose of performance that makes this crossover one you’ll be happy to drive.