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Acura Going Small in the SUV Business with RD-X

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Acura Couldn't Get More Vague with its RD-X Announcement Leading to Speculation

For Acura to not have a compact SUV in its arsenal is puzzling. (Photo: Acura Canada)

Some things just make sense, and when those things that just make sense don't yet exist it's a challenge to fully understand why not.

Take the sport utility segment for a moment. Why hasn't Volkswagen, the automaker that once stood as the proud standard of every persons' economy car, come to market with an affordable compact SUV? Pretty well every other automaker on the planet has, and VW being one of the world's largest should offer one.

For Acura, considered to be a premium brand, to not have a compact SUV in its arsenal is slightly more acceptable, but not necessarily very smart. After all, Honda's sport/luxury division is as revered for fuel efficiency and low emissions as it is for sporty styling and entertaining driving dynamics, therefore a smaller, lighter, more efficient yet more agile sport utility just seems right for the Japanese marque.

The first RD-X concept was too radically styled to be considered anything more than a designers flight of fancy. (Photo: Acura Canada)

Acura has teased us previously, with the RD-X concept that debuted at the 2002 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Despite being based on the bread and butter CR-V it featured a unique adjustable instrument panel, rear seats that converted to form a cargo floor, and a 200-horsepower hybrid powertrain with with a 4-cylinder engine. While it's not too much of a stretch to believe Honda would integrate its hybrid powertrain into a next-generation Acura, the first RD-X was too radically styled to be considered anything more than a designers flight of fancy.