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2015 Acura RDX Performance

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Call it a mystery. With the last redesign given to the Acura RDX, the brand decided to buck the trend toward turbocharging and downsizing in favor of a large, 3.5-liter V-6.That might come as an odd decision from a company that's known for technology and efficiency, although the V-6 does return a decent 28 mpg highway.

The benefit of going with a big engine is readily apparent from the driver's seat; the RDX feels peppy, smooth, and strong for everything from urban stop-and-go to rural high-speed passing. Under full throttle, the RDX willingly moves quickly without requiring dramatic multi-gear downshifts from the six-speed automatic (good, because the automatic can be hesitant when you really need it)

With a strong V-6, responsive handling, and a very well-tuned chassis, the 2015 RDX feels very confident, if not sporty.

The 2015 RDX also handles the road well, and thanks to two-stage dampers it stays composed on twisty sections yet easily absorbs potholes and general harshness. It still ranks on the sporty side. but 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.

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