2017 Acura RDX

Starting MSRP: $35,570 - $43,720

Estimated MPG: 20 city / 28 hwy

2017 Acura RDX Review

With attractive styling, a roomy, feature-laden cabin and excellent performance, the 2017 Acura RDX provides plenty of family-friendly luxury and convenience.

By Chris Brewer
Last Updated 03/24/2017

The 2017 Acura RDX is a compact luxury SUV with seating for five passengers. The RDX is powered by a V6 engine, and a six-speed automatic transmission with a manual shifting mode changes the gears. The 2017 RDX is available in a single trim with various option packages. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available as an option.

For 2017, the RDX adds two new exterior colors: Lunar Silver Metallic (replacing Slate Silver Metallic) and Modern Steel Metallic (replacing Graphite Luster Metallic). Also, the Ebony interior is now available with the White Diamond Pearl exterior.

Exterior

Exterior
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Thanks to updates on the 2016 model, the RDX incorporates Acura’s latest design language, including the now-signature jewel headlights and three-dimensional grille design. Some of the model's direct competitors have seen dramatic and polarizing redesigns in recent years. To its credit, the RDX’s exterior styling has remained contemporary without becoming so edgy that it alienates the crossover’s core audience.

Acura’s RDX luxury crossover features LED headlights and taillights. The side mirrors are heated and include integrated LED turn signals, and the mirrors fold down when the transmission is placed in reverse. All RDX models include a power sunroof and a feature that allows the windows and sunroof to be opened and closed remotely. Eighteen-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass and a power-operated tailgate add to the luxury appeal of this SUV.

Our test vehicle was equipped with the Advance package, which adds fog lights, rain-sensing windshield wipers and auto-dimming side mirrors.

Interior

Interior
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Thanks to Acura’s clean design and excellent fit and finish, the RDX’s interior is inviting and comfortable. Luxury touches abound, including standard leatherette-trimmed sport seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. The 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat and tilt-and-telescoping steering column make finding a comfortable driving position a painless task.

The dual-zone automatic climate control, rear ventilation and standard heated front seats provide year-round comfort. Convenience features, including keyless access and push-button ignition, add a premium feel to the driving experience. The cabin is quiet, and ambient lighting works to provide a calm motoring environment.

Our test vehicle included the Advance package, and this adds perforated leather-trimmed seats. This package also includes a GPS-linked climate control system, which uses satellites to determine the position of the sun and regulate cabin temperatures accordingly.

Rear-seat passengers are provided with ample leg- and headroom. Space is plentiful, even with three rear-seat occupants. Additionally, the RDX provides plenty of cargo space. With all the seats in place, the rear cargo area offers 26.1 cubic feet. Folding the second row expands the space to 61.3 cubic feet.

Performance

Performance
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The 2017 Acura RDX is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Acura’s V6 engine is smooth and strong, delivering 279 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel-drive is available as an option.

Fuel economy is EPA rated at 20/28 mpg city/highway with front-wheel drive and 19/27 when equipped with all-wheel drive. The RDX’s fuel efficiency ratings are good for the compact luxury crossover segment, but shoppers should keep in mind that Acura recommends premium fuel for maximum performance.

On the road, the RDX is a capable crossover with plenty of power for easy highway passing and traffic maneuvers. The suspension is comfortable and forgiving on rougher roads. Like many compact crossovers, the RDX was never intended to be an off-road vehicle, and its ride height makes the RDX a better choice for real-life everyday roads and the challenges that they produce.

Braking is excellent, and handling is more similar to that of a full-size sedan than that of a typical SUV. Even crowded parking lots are easily accessible thanks to the RDX’s onboard technology, sharp turning radius and large windows that contribute to good outward visibility.

Much like the RDX’s styling, Acura’s crossover favors real-world usability over drama and driving excitement. We’ve often compared Acura’s 3.5-liter V6 to a sewing machine: silky-smooth, dependable and honest.

Technology

Technology
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The 2017 RDX includes a long list of standard technology features, including a seven-speaker 360-watt AM/FM/CD audio system, satellite radio, an auxiliary input jack and USB and Bluetooth connectivity. Additionally, base models include Siri Eyes Free along with SMS text message functions, a compass and a HomeLink system.

The Technology package adds navigation, real time traffic and a host of apps, along with an upgraded 10-speaker premium audio system with HD radio.

The Advance package includes all of the Technology package upgrades and adds a color multi-information display.

Acura’s infotainment technology is powerful and easy to use. The dual-screen system provides plenty of on-screen real estate for navigation maps and audio functions. The system takes a few minutes to get used to, but it is hard to deny the convenience of technology that allows the passenger to control the radio while the driver’s navigation view is uninterrupted.

Safety

Safety
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The 2017 Acura RDX was awarded a perfect five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA). Additionally, the RDX was given a Top Safety Pick+ designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Standard safety features include a rearview camera, an expanded-view driver's side mirror and a tire-pressure monitoring system.

The optional AcuraWatch Plus package enhances the RDX's safety with a comprehensive bundle of collision-avoidance technologies, including adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning with lane-keep assist and a collision-mitigation braking system.

Cost-Effectiveness

Cost-Effectiveness
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The base front-wheel-drive 2017 Acura RDX starts at $35,670, not including the $975 destination charge. Acura’s base pricing represents excellent value in the segment, undercutting many competitively equipped compact luxury crossovers by thousands of dollars. Adding all-wheel drive raises the price by $1,500.

Our all-wheel-drive 2017 RDX with the Advance package retails for $43,820 plus destination. Even fully loaded, the RDX is a value leader. When you consider its all-wheel-drive capability and high level of standard features, the RDX is tough to beat when it comes to value.

Overall

Overall
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With compelling performance and fuel efficiency, excellent curb appeal and a refined interior, the 2017 Acura RDX is a luxury compact crossover that checks many of the boxes on the shopping lists of today’s consumers. Enthusiasts will likely want a crossover with more horsepower, and those looking for maximum luxury may find the RDX’s styling and interior a bit restrained. Still, for many, the 2017 Acura RDX will be an ideal fit, thanks to its agreeable blend of comfort, convenience and performance.