For people who want a prestigious compact-luxury SUV, the 2024 Acura RDX likely isn’t at the top of their list. While the Acura badge on its distinctive snout doesn’t carry the same weight as those on flashier alternatives such as the BMW X3, the Porsche Macan, or the Mercedes-Benz GLC, the RDX’s considerably lower price tag and abundant standard features make it a compelling choice for folks who want a ritzier Honda CR-V. Despite a nonlinear brake pedal and some clumsy transmission behavior, the RDX—with its 272-hp turbo four—is entertaining to drive, especially when optioned with Acura’s dynamic all-wheel-drive system. For those who can look past its interior, which is missing the upscale materials found in competitors and is marred by an unintuitive infotainment touchpad, they’ll find comfortable seats and practical storage space. The lineup also lacks the high-performance Type S model available on other Acuras, but the A-Spec trim provides extra personality, albeit only visually. That’s why we think the 2024 RDX is best suited for people who prioritize strong value versus superficial prestige.
What’s New for 2024?
For 2024, the RDX lineup doesn’t receive any significant changes. Those looking for an Acura SUV with an electric powertrain should turn their attention to the new ZDX, which was recently revealed with up to 325 miles of estimated range and a 500-hp Type S variant.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Acura offers the RDX in one trim but provides several distinct packages to jazz it up. Front-wheel drive is standard but all-wheel drive is available. Since the A-Spec version is pricey and lacks any real performance improvements, we’d forgo that. But we would recommend adding the Technology package that brings a better audio system, navigation, fancier leather-trimmed seats, and more. Those who want adaptive dampers and a head-up display will have to spring for the Advance package, but that significantly increases the bottom line.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Every RDX is powered by a 272-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that pairs with a 10-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive (or “SH-AWD” in Acura-speak). The A-Spec version we tested needed 6.2 seconds to hit 60 mph at our test track, which places it mid-pack among compact luxury SUVs. The RDX’s throttle is responsive at low speeds, and it pulls away from stoplights with enough pep for most drivers. The transmission could be quicker to downshift, especially when the driver uses the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The turbocharged engine makes the RDX sound a bit like the NSX, with a high-pitched roar during hard acceleration, but much of that noise is artificial and piped into the cabin through the audio system’s speakers. The RDX we drove had large 20-inch wheels and optional adaptive dampers that allow you to adjust the ride quality. While our test vehicle failed to isolate the cabin from harsh impacts on the roughest roads, it was never punishing or noisy. The torque-vectoring SH-AWD system also helped the RDX change directions quickly and was backed by precise-feeling steering. The RDX leaned only when we attacked a highway on-ramp, but otherwise, it was wonderfully balanced. Unfortunately, the brake pedal diminished the experience, due to its inconsistent firmness and responsiveness.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The RDX has competitive EPA fuel-economy ratings that approach the mid-20s, with the front-drive model getting slightly higher city and highway estimates than the all-wheel-drive one. The former is rated at 22 mpg city and 28 mpg highway; both those numbers drop by 1 mpg when you select all-wheel drive. Opting for the A-Spec package will reduce both highway estimates by 1 mpg, to 27 mpg with the front-driver and 26 mpg for the SH-AWD car. We tested an RDX A-Spec SH-AWD on our 75-mph highway fuel economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, and achieved 26 mpg—exactly its EPA rating. For more information about the RDX’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Inside, the center stack is a little busy, with a lot of buttons, a touchpad, and a large rotary drive-mode selector sitting front and center. The version we tested had the A-Spec package’s flashy red seats and several other exclusive styling bits. While the cabin’s notable build quality and desirable standard features (ambient lighting; power-adjustable, heated front seats; dual-zone climate control) were appreciated, the RDX fails to feel luxurious. The Acura delivers a sportier experience than something like the Honda CR-V could ever provide. Nothing feels cheap or chintzy, and the driving position is high enough to satisfy SUV fans and flexible enough to appease driving enthusiasts. A handle on the outboard seats will release the back row so you can fold it flat. Or you can lower the seatbacks from the cargo hold using the secondary releases. We managed to fit eight carry-on bags with the seats up and 22 with them folded. The RDX has a large passthrough storage tray beneath its floating center console, too.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Every RDX has a 10.2-inch touchscreen perched high on the dashboard. It can also be operated via a touchpad on the center console. Acura calls the controller intuitive, but it took us a while to get accustomed to it. The RDX comes standard with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability and a Wi-Fi hotspot. The optional Technology package adds built-in navigation, rear-seat USB ports, and a 12-speaker ELS Studio audio system.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Every model includes a host of standard driver-assistance technology, but several other assists are available with the Technology package. These include front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. For more information about the RDX’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
- Standard adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Acura provides a warranty on the RDX that aligns with its luxury competitors. However, its complimentary scheduled maintenance plan is a year shorter than what you’ll get with the BMW X3 and three years shorter than the Jaguar F-Pace.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers six years or 70,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for two years or 24,000 miles
2022 Acura RDX SH-AWD A-Spec Advance
Vehicle Type: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
Base/As Tested: $53,795/$54,295
Options: Apex Blue Pearl paint, $500
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 122 in3, 1996 cm3
Power: 272 hp @ 6500 rpm
Torque: 280 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm
Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 12.4-in vented disc/12.2-in disc
Tires: Goodyear Eagle RS-A
255/45R-20 101V M+S
Wheelbase: 108.3 in
Length: 187.4 in
Width: 74.8 in
Height: 65.7 in
Passenger Volume: 104 ft3
Cargo Volume: 30 ft3
Curb Weight: 4057 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 6.2 sec
1/4-Mile: 14.9 sec @ 94 mph
100 mph: 16.9 sec
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 6.9 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 3.8 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 5.1 sec
Top Speed (gov ltd): 112 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 180 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.83 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 24 mpg
75-mph Highway Driving: 26 mpg
75-mph Highway Range: 440 mi
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 23/21/26 mpg
C/D TESTING EXPLAINED
More Features and Specs