2022 Acura RDX

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2021
The Car Connection
2021
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director
November 15, 2021

Buying tip

For about $45,000, the all-wheel-drive RDX with Technology Package add-ons delivers lots of driving goodness and safety for a price not far off today’s super-high average transaction prices.

features & specs

FWD
FWD w/A-Spec Package
FWD w/Technology Package
MPG
22 city / 28 hwy
MPG
22 city / 27 hwy
MPG
22 city / 28 hwy
MSRP
$39,300
MSRP
$44,950
MSRP
$41,950

The 2022 Acura RDX sports scads of space and strong turbo-4 power to please wagon fans and sport-sedan drivers equally well.

What kind of car is the 2022 Acura RDX? What does it compare to?

It’s a five-seat luxury crossover SUV that rocks a strong turbo-4 and edgy looks. It rivals vehicles like the BMW X3, Audi Q5, and Mercedes-Benz GLC.

Is the 2022 Acura RDX a good car?

Review continues below

We like its space, its performance, and its safety, but we could do without its kludgy infotainment system. Sold in base, Technology, A-Spec, and Advance trims, the 2022 RDX earns a TCC Rating of 6.7 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What’s new for the 2022 Acura RDX?

Lots of little changes crop up this year, with a revamped front end, active noise cancellation, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, available wireless smartphone charging, and remapped drive modes that are said to offer a more comfortable ride and firmer responses.

The RDX is Acura’s most polished crossover SUV yet, with an athletic and muscular look that captures all its brand styling cues in a cohesive way. The cockpit drapes high-quality trim over subtle lines; A-Spec versions wear black with red piping, but other models can have metallic or wood trim.

A 272-hp turbo-4 ushers the RDX along through a 10-speed automatic and either front-wheel drive or a savvy all-wheel-drive system with the ability to shift power across its rear wheels. Handling is crisp and forgiving, steering is sharp, and the RDX rides firmly but comfortably, especially on models with adaptive damping.

Five people can fit in the RDX, and the front seats get torso-gripping bolsters in the A-Spec version, as well as leather. The standard seats, front and back, could use better padding, but leg and head room don’t suffer for the swoopy roofline. Neither does cargo space, which maxes out at about 59 cubic feet behind the front seats.

Crash-test scores have been good, and the RDX has lots of safety technology. We wish the surround-view camera system was more widely available, and that blind-spot monitors were standard.

How much does the 2022 Acura RDX cost?

Prices start at $40,345 for the base RDX with 19-inch wheels, leather upholstery, and a 10.2-inch infotainment screen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Our pick adds on all-wheel drive and a Technology Package, all for about $45,000.

Where is the 2022 Acura RDX made?

In Ohio.

7

2022 Acura RDX

Styling

With the RDX, Acura hides the fat and shows off its styling muscle.

Is the Acura RDX a good-looking car?

We give it a point above average for the exterior and for the interior, for a 7 here.

It’s expressive and well-chiseled, and the RDX has finely tuned details that pull a decade’s worth of styling cues (finally) into coherent form. 

Acura fastens its caliper badge across the RDX’s grille like a belt buckle, frames it with thinly sliced LED headlights, and flows that into bulging fenders that cap 19-inch or 20-inch wheels. From there, the sailing roofline arcs gracefully toward rear roof pillars that cinch together with a belt of black and metallic trim. It’s a styling trick used by many SUVs to shrink their visual mass, and it works particularly well here.

Acura wraps the RDX interior in sober shades of gray and beige, but buffs it with wood or aluminum trim and synthetic or real leather. A 10.2-inch display studs the dash, but it’s not a touchscreen, and that’s a key reason the RDX’s console bristles with buttons and switches, from the saddle-backed transmission controller to the touchpad that governs said display. Most versions tend toward opulence, but A-Spec RDXs get black upholstery and red accents.

Review continues below
7

2022 Acura RDX

Performance

The RDX rises above the crossover fray with gutsy turbo power and polite road manners.

Wedded to the pavement, not the trail, the RDX crossover has brisk acceleration, quick steering, and a firm grip on the road. It’s a 7 here, with an extra point each for ride and handling and for its powertrain.

Is the Acura RDX 4WD?

Most versions have all-wheel drive.

How fast is the Acura RDX?

It’s quick off the line, thanks to a 272-hp 2.0-liter turbo-4 with 280 lb-ft of torque. On loan from the buzzy, blitzy Honda Civic Type R, the powertrain’s more muted turbo burble hits its torque peak at 1,600 rpm and flips neatly through its 10-speed automatic to usher in highway speeds with polite urgency. A drive-mode selector toggles from Comfort to Sport or Sport+ to speed up shifts, hang in gears, and melt the little fat from the throttle’s response.

Fluent in power, the RDX is fluid on the street. With 19-inch wheels, all-season tires, and a steady composure, it threads through esses with ease and without pistoning or jarring ride motions. With the A-Spec’s 20-inch wheels it’s less absorbent and generates more rear-seat passenger gripes, but Advance versions with their adaptive dampers filter off the big-wheel penalty and render the ride compliant once more. 

Front-drive RDXs will be more rare than those with all-wheel drive; Acura’s torque-splitting system can ship 70 percent of its power to the back wheels, then split it again across the rear axle to liven up handling in a wagon that sports 8.2 inches of ground clearance and a relatively wide track. The RDX would be low on our list for weekend exploring, though—unless that exploring has valet parking.

Review continues below
7

2022 Acura RDX

Comfort & Quality

The RDX has the space, but needs plusher padding.

We give the RDX a 7 for comfort and utility. It’s spaced out in the right ways and finished with even-handed refinement, but the seats need work.

Acura carves out room for five people from the RDX. It rides on a 108.3-inch wheelbase, so there’s room for all, plus a generous amount of cargo. Still, the front passengers get the best of things, with synthetic or real leather covering power-adjustable seats, and heating and cooling on higher-spec cars. Head and leg room are fine, but the bolsters could be bolder—which they are on the Advance edition.

In back, the RDX can sit three across, though two will be on better speaking terms after the trip. With about 38 inches of leg room and a high roofline the RDX doesn’t leave 6-footers with chafed scalps or knees; again, the seats themselves could be angled better.

Fold the rear seatbacks down and the RDX’s 29.5 cubic feet of space expands to 58.9 cubic feet; add on a couple of cubic feet under the cargo floor for flatter objects, like laptop bags.

The RDX has active noise cancellation this year, and Advance editions get thicker glass to mute cabin noise. The classy cabin wears slivers of wood trim at the Advance level, too. Other models have a crowded dash with lots of controls, but there’s noticeable improvement over the cluttered Acura dashes of the recent past.

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8

2022 Acura RDX

Safety

The RDX earns top safety ratings, with an asterisk.

How safe is the Acura RDX?

It’s safe enough to earn an 8 here, but the NHTSA says its five-star overall rating includes four-star ratings in all front-impact tests. The IIHS dubs it a Top Safety Pick+ across the board, with no marks against it.

Rearward vision presents big challenges in the RDX; it’s the swoop at its tail. Blind-spot monitors cost extra on the base model, but we’d take them. Only the costly Advance edition gets a surround-view camera system, but all RDXs have automatic emergency braking.

Review continues below
7

2022 Acura RDX

Features

Base RDX crossovers have most of what we need.

The RDX earns a 7 for features, thanks to generous standard equipment and lots of options. It’s outfitted with balky infotainment and its warranty doesn’t include free service, though.

Which Acura RDX should I buy?

The $40,345 RDX suits us well with its standard leather upholstery, power front seats, 19-inch wheels, 10.2-inch infotainment display, and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. For another $2,200 Acura powers the rear wheels, too. But we would add the $2,650 Technology Package, which fluffs the list with parking sensors, blind-spot monitors, navigation, and premium audio.

How much is a fully loaded Acura RDX?

The $55,295 RDX PMC Edition heaps on luxury gear, from a head-up display to ELS audio, cooled front seats, and adaptive dampers.

We’re no fans of Acura’s Android-based, menu-happy infotainment system. More specifically, the touchpad interface drives us bonkers. The screen doesn’t accept touch inputs, and the pad’s disconnect with onscreen motions becomes distracting quickly. 

Acura covers all RDXs for 4 years or 50,000 miles, but doesn’t throw in free maintenance as competitors do.

Review continues below
4

2022 Acura RDX

Fuel Economy

Even with turbo power, the RDX has decent fuel economy.

Is the Acura RDX good on gas?

It’s OK though it lacks any electrification. We give it a 4 based on EPA ratings of 22 mpg city, 28 highway, 24 combined for front-drive models. Those in A-Spec trim have slightly lower highway economy; with all-wheel drive, the crossover’s ratings dip to 21/27/23 mpg, with a similar slight drop for the A-Spec. 

Review continues below
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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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$39,300
MSRP based on FWD
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6.7
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 7
Performance 7
Comfort & Quality 7
Safety 8
Features 7
Fuel Economy 4
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2022 Acura RDX Pricing Insights

  • 2022 Acura RDX is here
  • Lease: From $409/mo. for 36 mo. (2021)
  • Finance: From 1.9% APR or $1,500 off (2021)
  • Rebate: Up to $1,500 off (2021)
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