The Weeklong Test Drive: 2010 Acura RDX

January 19, 2010

Although it isn't the newest vehicle in Acura's ever expanding fleet that isn't to say that the 2010 Acura RDX isn't full of its own unique delights. Powered by a turbocharged 2.3 liter 240 horsepower 4 cylinder engine, the RDX is punchy and powerful at all speeds yet the powertrain always remains as silky smooth as your finest piece of New York Cheesecake. A far as pricing goes, this compact luxury SUV is also quite a tasty deal as well.

Available in front wheel drive or with Acuras Super Handling All-Wheel Drive, the RDX is also never left wanting for grip. My test model for the week is a front wheel drive version (this option is new for 2010) with the Technology Package. Would I rather have four wheel drive over the superb Acura Nav/ELS Audio system package? Absolutely not. The sound from the audio is possibly the best I have ever heard from a mainstream manufacturer and even with just front wheel drive the Acura RDX grips with a tenacity that can easily trick you into believing this SUV has claws and not tires.

Although the compact luxury SUV segment has exploded in just the past year with competing new entries from Lexus, Mercedes and Audi the RDX is now my unquestioned favorite. Although the Audi Q5 has a neat, pert stance and a punchy 6 cylinder, the RDX has it licked for character.

Dare I say that the interior of the RDX even has the Q5 licked for interior quality? Yes, I dare say it. The inside of the Q5 looks like a slightly cost-cut copy of an A4s interior and has none of the RDXs design bravura. Angular and with every control within easy reach, the RDX has an interior that you could really see yourself spending ten years in.

Not only is the interior of the RDX a joy to look at it is also chock full of clever storage spots for all the things a family can acquire over the years. The lockable, lidded cubby underneath the front seat armrest is so deep and cavernous I fear that if I dropped my wallet to the bottom I would have to go spelunking to retrieve it.

There are also neat lidded storage units built into the armrests in the doors that are the perfect size for cell phones, gum or an iPod. There is standard iPod integration but you need to put it somewhere when it isnt in use right?

There is also a conundrum you face when purchasing an SUV with room enough for your family. What you usually wind up sacrificing in that elusive fun to drive characteristic is made up for in cupholders and legroom. But you don't have to make any such concessions in the 2010 Acura RDX. This car steers and handles like a sports car yet has plenty of room for the kids and your dog. The cupholders are nicely sized and are also perfectly placed for easy access.

Would I Buy One Myself?

The compact luxury SUV market is predicted to become one of the quickest growing segments in new car sales over the next 5 years. Having driven a number of its competitors I can now without question name the 2010 Acura RDX the best compact luxury SUV in its class. Now, if you dont want to have any fun behind the wheel of your luxury SUV I have plenty of recommendations I could make. Just know that the Acura RDX would not be one of them.

Starting at $32,250

Engine: (2.3 liter 240 horsepower 4 cylinder)

Economy: (19/24)

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