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Test Drive: 2022 Acura RDX A-Spec Review

2022 Acura RDX A-Spec
Credit: Acura

A-Spec Trim Doesn’t Add Performance to the Already-Lively RDX

  • Trim Tested: RDX SH-AWD A-Spec Advance
  • Price as Tested: $54,295 (estimated including destination charge)
  • What We Like: Agile; well-priced
  • What We Don’t: Overwhelming dashboard controls; less luxurious than rivals

The 2-row, compact RDX is Acura’s smallest SUV, and it’s cheaper than rivals by a few thousand dollars. The 2022 model gets lightly refreshed exterior styling and more tech.

Over the past week, we test drove the top-of-the-line version of the RDX, the A-Spec sport model with the Advance technology package. These are our impressions.

How It Drives

Every RDX trim has the same engine: a 272-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder. That’s more base horsepower than the BMW X3 or Mercedes GLC and it costs less. The engine feels strong, although the 10-speed automatic transmission has 4 more speeds than it needs, resulting in some slow shifts. We award additional demerits to Acura for playing fake engine noises through the speakers.

The A-Spec is a performance trim in name only, but the Advance trim does add adaptive dampers, allowing the driver to change the stiffness of the suspension for more comfort or performance. Regardless of the setting, the RDX has a firm but comfortable ride and feels more nimble than most compact SUVs, especially the key rival Lexus NX.

Interior Comfort & Quality

The Acura RDX has a modern cabin that feels well-built, but there’s a lot going on in there, with different shapes and materials everywhere you look and countless tiny buttons cluttering the dashboard. 

2022 Acura RDX Interior
RDX Center Console and Touchpad / Credit: Acura

Up front, the seats are comfortable and supportive, and the rear seats and cargo area offer enough space for a four-person weekend trip to the beach. Our range-topping A-Spec Advance trim added 16-way power-adjustable sport seats up front with heating and ventilation. The rear seats are heated. Leather and faux suede combine for an upscale look, and the faux suede holds you in place during cornering. 

Technology & Usability

The RDX gains more tech for 2022, including wireless versions of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and built-in Amazon Alexa. The A-Spec Advance trim adds wireless charging (also new for 2023), ELS 3D premium audio, a surround-view parking camera system, and a head-up display.

All of that tech is presented in a somewhat disorganized way, with lots of little buttons that could overwhelm a driver. The main touchscreen is wide, short, and mounted high on the dashboard. It’s a reach, so there’s a controller closer at hand on the center console. Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to use, operating like a laptop’s mouse. If you can imagine trying to use a laptop on a highway at 70 mph, you can see how this setup is not ideal.

Read our full 2022 Acura RDX review for more specs and information about the entire RDX lineup. Carfax vehicle reviews let shoppers compare a vehicle’s specs against its competitors. However, some aspects of a vehicle – performance, comfort, usability – can only be evaluated through actual driving. That’s why we evaluate as many vehicles as we can, so you’ll know what to expect.

If you have questions about this story, please contact us at Editors@carfax.com