- Tossable handling
- Right-sized for the city
- Light, direct steering
- Strong brakes
- Taut -- sometimes harsh -- ride
- Turbo four can seem jittery
The 2008 Acura RDX gets its edge from turbo power and crisp handling, but it can feel a little nervous and cramped.
We studied online reviews from respected Web resources to produce this comprehensive review of the 2008 Acura RDX. TheCarConnection.com's editors have driven the Acura RDX, so that we can deliver you the best information on Acura's new crossover, on its competition, and help you figure out which reviews to believe when road testers have different opinions.
The new RDX is a smaller, five-passenger alternative to Acura's MDX. It is based on Honda's CR-V platform and features the same Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system offered in the larger MDX crossover. It rides on a fully independent suspension for better handling than a traditional, truck-based SUV.
The standard engine is a 240-hp turbo-4. It's the first turbo in an Acura vehicle ever, and here, it's coupled with a 5-speed, paddle-shifted automatic. The engine has lots of energy--sometimes it feels nervous, since strong turbo impulses kick in even when you need just a little power. The sole gearbox is a paddle-shifted five-speed automatic--and together with the occasionally frenetic four, it helps deliver 19 mpg city, 24 mpg highway.
The AWD setup works in concert with a typical Honda front MacPherson suspension and multilink rear. The ride isn't as harsh as the BMW X3, despite the big 18-inch tires that come standard. But it is pretty taut, and anyone used to the plush response of a big American-style ute might be turned off by the RDX's disdain for lots of ride motions. The RDX's brakes are anti-lock controlled and quick to bite. Add in steering control that's quick and light and this is one of the more carlike crossovers in the segment.
The exterior style is a little more angular than a traditional SUV, but pleasing. Inside, the Acura RDX pushes the envelope more with a high-tech look, lots of metallic trim, and in our test car, black leather. The front seats are the place to ride; the rears don't have a lot of extra knee room for adults. Along with satellite radio hardware, the Acura RDX also has standard Bluetooth, a power driver seat, and an iPod input. Real-time traffic information through XM and DVD-Audio are options.
The 2008 Acura RDX gets five-star ratings from the feds, save for a four-star rollover resistance rating.