2017 Acura RDX Review

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The Car Connection Expert Rating Breakdown?

7.2
on a scale of 1 to 10
Styling
7.0
Expert Rating
Performance
8.0
Expert Rating
Comfort & Quality
7.0
Expert Rating
Safety
9.0
Expert Rating
Features
6.0
Expert Rating
Fuel Economy
6.0
Expert Rating
Consumer Reviews
3 Reviews
2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

The 2017 Acura RDX is one of the smoothest, most responsive-driving compact crossover SUVs—even though it prioritizes practicality.

Acura may be the underdog today in luxury sedans, yet it's giving shoppers exactly what they want with the 2017 Acura RDX and the larger MDX.

That includes strong powertrains, quiet cabins, and impressive safety—as well as just the right amount of versatility and practicality to make it one of the best-balanced picks in the segment, for those who are balancing the usual mix of sometimes-conflicting priorities.

The RDX was designed as a more pragmatic model for 2013, then refreshed just last year with a few new features and some styling nips and tucks, and we rate it a 7.2 overall. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Style and performance

Overall, the styling is sleek, with an attractive profile and pronounced fender arches. The headlights are now a string of five LEDs, lined up in a row like diamonds on a wedding ring. The front-end appearance has become a little less beak-like, and LED front and rear lighting help give this design the right finer touches. For 2017, a couple of new colors are the most significant change in the lineup.

Last year, the 3.5-liter V-6 engine in the RDX got a slight power boost—to 279 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque—and tuning for more immediate response at all engine speeds and better drivability around town. Most of the RDX's rivals now come with a turbocharged inline-4, and versus those models the RDX's V-6 is strong and responsive. It's great for cruising around town, and works well in stop-and-go traffic. Strong torque from the V-6 means it doesn't have to downshift to accelerate.

The RDX handles like a well-tuned sedan; its small size makes it maneuverable in tight quarters and easy to park. Handling on winding roads is balanced, and the RDX enjoyable to drive, though it isn't sporty in the German-'ute vein. The optional all-wheel-drive system, called AWD with Intelligent Control, can send more power to the rear wheels under acceleration for improved stability, and in some situations it can add to the balanced handling characteristics of this model.

Comfort, safety, and features

The cabin is comfortable, handsome, and controls and features are easy to find and operate. In terms of space, the RDX is best for a pair of adults and another pair of smaller passengers. The RDX shares its basic structure with the Honda CR-V, which means it’s a compact by the EPA definition. To big adults, it's really a compact—especially if they’re seated in the second row.

The cabin of the 2017 RDX is just the right mix of elegant and formal fused with sporty; and that pretty much describes the mixed priorities you'll find in this crossover. Seats are comfortable, and the cabin is generally very quiet—although a somewhat tight back seat and rear seats that don't quite fold flat add up to a vehicle that definitely makes some compromises for its compact footprint and arching roofline. And the low cargo floor allows easier loading of cargo into the RDX. Hidden, underfloor storage accepts an additional 15 cubic feet of cargo.

In safety, the 2017 Acura RDX continues to be one of the best-performing models in this class. Front, side-impact, and side-curtain airbags come standard, along with anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control and traction control, a rearview camera, and a rollover sensor to trigger the curtain airbags.

The IIHS called the 2017 RDX a Top Safety Pick+.

The 2017 Acura RDX comes in ten different builds, yet few other options. Base, Technology, and Advance models set the stage for increasing levels of luxury and tech features, while a suite of AcuraWatch active-safety items are included at the Advance level but optional on other models. At the top Advance level, the RDX includes special 18-inch alloy wheels; remote start; front and rear parking sensors; and ventilated front seats.

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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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December 7, 2016
For 2017 Acura RDX

Great fit and finish.

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Replaced a 2015 Lexus RX with the Acura RDX because my wife felt the Lexus was a tad to big. The Acura RDX is the perfect size and she loves it. Great safety features (we have the Advance package) above... + More »
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September 26, 2016
2017 Acura RDX AWD w/Technology Pkg

Excellent automobile

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A great bargain for the money.Great luxury car at a reasonable price.
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July 29, 2016
2017 Acura RDX AWD w/Technology Pkg

Fantastic Vehicle- Very Satisfied

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This vehicle is fantastic! I test drove a Ford Explorer, Nissan Murano, Hyundai Santa Fe and I bought the RDX with the tech package. The reliability reviews over the others was one of the main points but after... + More »
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August 27, 2015
For 2016 Acura RDX

Excellent value. Best riding car I ever owned

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Had the RDX for almost 3 months and love it. I did have one issue at 1,1oo miles, the air conditioner froze and the whole ac system had to be replaced. Dealer said it was very rare and couldn't apologize more... + More »
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July 17, 2015
2016 Acura RDX AWD 4-Door Advance Pkg

This is our 7th Acura since 1987! I think that says it all!

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It is the right size for an SUV, it has a 279 hp, SOC V6, yet it can get near 30 mpg with DFI and cylinder management. The advanced AWD system reduces the mpg by only 1. It has all the advanced options and... + More »
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September 26, 2016
2015 Acura RDX AWD 4-Door Tech Pkg

FANTASTIC choice.....SUPER FAMILY CAR!

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WE LOVE our RDX.....it's made for a small family as an EVERY-DAY CAR! We love the RIDE.....GAS MILEAGE.....APPOINTMENTS both IN and OUT...the SIZE....the QUICK ACCELERATION......oh, it is QUITE AFFORDABLE!
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August 25, 2015
For 2015 Acura RDX

amazing suv with amazing value

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it has the most comfort and style of any vehicle I have ever owned, and that is saying something. Acura is the sleeping giant of value in my book.
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June 4, 2015
2015 Acura RDX AWD 4-Door Tech Pkg

First luxury vehicle

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While looking for a new vehicle, I test drove several and really fell in love with the style and immunities of the Acura RDX. Because of price, I was torn between the Honda CR-V and the RDX, but luxury won out... + More »
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February 8, 2016
For 2014 Acura RDX

Several problems with the 2014 RDX

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I bought my 2014 RDX Oct 2013. In less than 2 months, shock absorbers has to be replaced. After that a pressure switch has to be re-installed because theAWD alarm keeps coming off. Recently the shark fin... + More »
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April 14, 2015
For 2014 Acura RDX

Like the car, but the transmission performance is not acceptable and the suspension is noisy.

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The transmission in my 2014 RDX lurches on acceleration when starting out cold from a stop sign or light. I took it to the dealer but they didn't get it to act up which surprises me since it is the top item... + More »
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