Performance » 8
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PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10
Everything that made the last RDX so fun to drive—the turbocharged four-cylinder engine, torque-vectoring “Super Handling” all-wheel drive, and excellent steering—has either been tweaked or replaced.
Car and Driver
The V-6 delivers brisk acceleration, although the shift quality from the six-speed automatic is occasionally a little jarring.
The ride is smoother and softened thanks in part to a longer wheelbase, with a suspension that feels far more predictable and controlled, while the steering is weightier and more precise.
Lacking in that turbo thrust, it’s still more than enough power for a vehicle like this.
Acura's new "Motion-Adaptive" electric power steering system provides quick response to steering inputs and works with the RDX's traction-and-stability system to prompt — yes, prompt — the driver to correct his steering in order to successfully negotiate a turn, say, on a slippery road.
Kelley Blue Book
The Acura RDX was once way ahead of the game in the trend for crossovers to go to turbochargers and downsized engines. Yet with this latest version--continued for 2014--it's moved to a 3.5-liter V-6.
The big V-6 in the 2014 RDX gives up some of the surge and urge of the previous turbo engine, but it's much smoother, quieter, and fitting of its luxury badge. We found the six-speed automatic transmission to be frustrating at times, with delays and indecision when multiple-gear downshifts are demanded, yet the engine's flexibility allows confident passing, and the rest of the time the automatic shifts smoothly and unobtrusively.
Compared to other luxurious crossovers its size, the RDX still ranks on the sporty side. it's not as crisp as the pre-2013 model, but it's not as brittle either. The RDX leans a bit in hard corners; then an ingenious new double-piston design engages, increasing damping force and making for a surprisingly capable crossover. Steering feel is a little too light and vague at lower speeds, but the system has a nice weighting at the speeds you'd drive on highways or two-laners.
Brakes are very strong, with a strong capable feel in around-town drivine--although modulation isn't great in sportier driving and harder stops.
The all-wheel drive system is no longer of the SH-AWD variety (that's left to the MDX), but as the angle of ascent changes or wheel slip in front is sensed, more torque is delivered to the rear wheels.
The smooth, strong V-6 in the RDX highlights excellent handling and a really well-tuned chassis.