The Acura RDX was completely recast two model years ago as a far more conservative, straight-laced vehicle than its predecessor had been. With it, Acura is no longer seeking young professional males looking for sportiness; instead it's going for those with kids--and empty-nesters. That edge was tough to see go, and styling is part of it, for sure, as the current RDX is smart inside and out but hardly bold.
On the outside, the RDX is good looking, but it definitely looks less extroverted than it feels behind the wheel—and far more mature than the last-generation model, which is now fading to memory as a bold, original statement, but one that wasn't as popular as this current model. The shape of the RDX is smooth, and the profile is attractive, punctuated by pronounced fender arches. From the front, the new RDX is at its most muscular, but the somewhat controversial bright 'beak' grille is toned down here. More powerful fenders and a standard crossover ride height give a sense of off-road capability, though the RDX is no true SUV--its roofline is low and arched, really more like that of a wagon.
Inside, there's a characteristically Acura form and function, with a central pod of dash controls, plus lots of soft-touch materials and matte surfaces that bring an upscale look and feel. If we could point to a flaw, it's that for the dash it relies too much on bright finishes. It's more mature, and there's there's none of the claustrophobic wrap-around feeling you get in some sporty crossovers--even though the center controls are positioned out a bit toward the driver.