Blending in

2014 Acura RDX Review

By Miranda Lightstone
2014 Acura RDX Review

Summary Rating: 71%


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Space and Access

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Driving Dynamics

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General Appreciation

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While some companies pride themselves on standing out from the crowd, drawing attention (not always in a good way) and going against the grain, others are content in doing what they do best and flying under the radar while they do it.

Acura is just such a company, and as they float silently through the years on the wings of good transmissions and engine performance, their latest RDX crossover is no exception.

The Acura RDX is everything you’d hope a higher-end crossover to be, and that’s just what the Japanese company wants you to experience.

What is an Acura RDX?
Only in its second generation, the RDX was introduced to step into the MDX’s shoes as it grew to a larger size. Offering a touch of luxury other Asian companies just don’t offer, the Acura RDX also promised an exciting ride and (what used to be) a turbocharged engine.

As the RDX just went through a redesign in 2013, the latest model is essentially the same save for a few engine tweaks.

2014 Acura RDX Price and Specs
As mentioned above, the Acura RDX offers a modicum of high-end some buyers may be looking for but may not be willing to shell out that much to own. And so, the 2014 Acura RDX starts just over the $41k mark very well equipped with all the amenities that make an Acura and Acura, as well as the drive to go with it.

Only one engine and gearbox are available: a 3.5L SOHC i-VTEC V6 good for 273 horsepower and 251 lb-ft of torque coupled with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Acura’s well-known Drive-by-Wire Throttle system is also in place to ensure smooth power delivery (which it very much does).

What’s more, the Acura RDX comes standard with Acura’s AWD and Intelligent Control System to give you the confidence you need in all weather conditions and on any surface.

Driving the 2014 Acura RDX
Honestly, it’s perfectly fine. Normal, even. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. The beauty of Honda/Acura products is that that is always the case. You get behind the wheel of either brand and you know you’re going to enjoy driving it because it’s a Honda/Acura.

Throttle response is fabulous, steering is precise and spot on, and engine play is fantastic. Not once did the 6-speed transmission feel sluggish or confused as to which gear it should be in. It just did precisely what I wanted it to do when I wanted to.

The sound of the V6 was also quite pleasant. Honda/Acuras have a distinctive whine, and the tone of the Acura RDX is smile-inducing and made for right-foot depression often.

Another pleasant aspect with Acura products: Even their SUVs drive like cars. The RDX is no exception.

Inside and Out of the 2014 Acura RDX
I feel like I could go on for quite some time about the blandness that is the exterior of the 2014 Acura RDX, but instead I’ll just say this: I walked past it on multiple occasions in parking lots, and not on purpose. It blends in that well, especially in the mocha brown colour of my tester. I’ll leave it at that.

Inside, Acura loaded up the RDX with all the latest in tech gadgets and doodads. I’ve never really been a fan of Acura interiors (way too much going on, hate the split level, etc.), but they appeal to most, especially passengers who like to push buttons. Same goes for the steering wheel: There is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

Some may find the Acura to look modern and futuristic, but I find it quite the opposite. The design is dated, old even, like it’s trying too hard. It’s not unattractive, it’s just bland, which is rather sad because Acura has the potential to be so much more.

However, storage, seating space, and comfort are mint in the 2014 Acura RDX. My son had plenty of room in the back in his child seat, and the trunk offered up plenty of space as well.

Comparing the 2014 Acura RDX
When it comes to sizing up the competition, the RDX falls a bit behind in terms of design and interior. The Audi Q5 looks stunning from the outside, while the interior of the Infiniti QX50 far outshines that of the RDX. The engine and drive of the RDX truly are its saving grace.

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