New 2023 Acura RDX Review, Interior and Safety

New 2023 Acura RDX is a first-rate value among luxury SUVs, both fun to drive and handsomely styled—provided you can live without the badge envy that BMWs and Porsches offer as standard. The RDX’s turbocharged four-cylinder engine is plenty powerful, and its sharp handling is enjoyable on twisty roads, but its 10-speed automatic transmission and brake pedal feel could be improved.

The Acura isn’t as swanky on the inside as the Genesis GV70 or the Volvo XC60, but it does come standard with a comparable level of technology and convenience features. Even with its flaws, the RDX’s practicality, pleasant road manners, and value-oriented pricing make it a good—if somewhat unusual—compact SUV choice.

New 2023 Acura RDX
New 2023 Acura RDX

What’s New for 2023 Acura RDX ?

The RDX enters the 2023 model year with no changes to its styling, features, or powertrain, aside from a new two-year/24,000-mile complimentary scheduled maintenance plan and three years of free access to the AcuraLink connectivity plan.

New 2023 Acura RDX Pricing and Which One to Buy

Base                       $42,545

Technology             $45,195

A-Spec                   $48,195

Advance                 $52,545

Acura offers the RDX in a single trim but offers a number of unique packages to dress it up. All-wheel drive is an option for $2,000 but front-wheel drive is the default. We’d avoid that since the A-Spec version is expensive and offers no real performance enhancements. However, we advise purchasing the Technology package, which also includes a better audio system, navigation, and fanciest leather-trimmed seats. The Advance package is required for those who want adaptive dampers and a head-up display, but it significantly raises the price.

New 2023 Acura RDX Engine, Transmission, and Performance

New 2023 Acura RDX
New 2023 Acura RDX Engine

A 272-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine powers every RDX, and it is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive (or “SH-AWD” in Acura-speak). At our test track, the A-Spec version we tested needed 6.2 seconds to reach 60 mph, placing it in the middle of the pack among compact luxury SUVs.

The RDX pulls away from stoplights with enough oomph for the majority of drivers, and its throttle is responsive at low speeds. When the driver uses the paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel, the transmission could downshift more quickly. The RDX’s turbocharged engine produces a high-pitched roar similar to the NSX’s during hard acceleration, but much of that noise is made artificially and piped into the cabin via the speakers of the audio system.

The RDX we drove had substantial 20-inch wheels and an available adaptive damper system that lets you change the ride comfort. Despite not being able to protect the cabin from harsh impacts on the roughest roads, our test vehicle was never harsh or noisy. The RDX’s torque-vectoring SH-AWD system and precise-feeling steering also aided in quick direction changes.

Only when we attacked a highway on-ramp did the RDX lean; otherwise, it was superbly balanced. Unfortunately, the brake pedal, with its inconsistent firmness and responsiveness, made the experience less enjoyable.

New 2023 Acura RDX Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

The EPA gives the RDX competitive fuel-economy ratings that are close to the mid-20s, with the front-drive model receiving slightly higher city and highway estimates than the all-wheel-drive model. When you choose all-wheel drive, the former’s city and highway mileage ratings fall to 22 mpg and 28 mpg, respectively. The front-highway driver’s estimates will drop to 27 mpg and the SH-AWD vehicle’s to 26 mpg if the A-Spec package is chosen.

During our extensive testing, we tested an RDX A-Spec SH-AWD on a 75 mph highway fuel economy route and got 26 mpg, which is exactly the EPA rating. Visit the EPA website for more details about the RDX’s fuel efficiency.

New 2023 Acura RDX Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

New 2023 Acura RDX Interior
New 2023 Acura RDX Interior

The center stack is a little crowded inside, with many buttons, a touchpad, and a sizable rotary drive-mode selector occupying the top and center positions. The model we tested included several special styling features as well as the flashy red seats from the A-Spec package. The RDX lacks a luxurious feel despite the impressive build quality and desirable standard features (ambient lighting, power-adjustable, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control).

Compared to vehicles like the Honda CR-V, the Acura offers a sportier driving experience. The driving position is high enough to please SUV fans and flexible enough to please driving enthusiasts, and nothing feels cheap or chintzy. The back row can be folded flat by pulling a handle on the outermost seats.

Alternately, you can use the secondary releases to lower the seatbacks from the cargo hold. With the seats up, we were able to fit eight carry-on bags and 22 when the seats were folded. The RDX’s floating center console also conceals a sizable passthrough storage tray.

New 2023 Acura RDX Infotainment and Connectivity

New 2023 Acura RDX Infotaiment
New 2023 Acura RDX Infotaiment

A 10.2-inch touchscreen is mounted prominently on the dashboard of every RDX. A touchpad on the center console can also be used to control it. Although Acura claims the controller is intuitive, it took us some time to get used to it. A Wi-Fi hotspot, wireless Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto functionality are all standard on the RDX. A 12-speaker ELS Studio audio system, rear-seat USB ports, and more are included in the optional Technology package.

New 2023 Acura RDX Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

Every model comes with a ton of driver-assistance technology as standard, but the Technology package also makes several other aids available. These include rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, and front and rear parking sensors. Visit the websites of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for more details about the RDX’s crash test results. Important safety elements include:

  • standard automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning
  • Lane-keeping assistance and the common lane-departure warning
  • Adaptive cruise control as standard

New 2023 Acura RDX Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Acura offers a warranty on the RDX that is comparable to that of its luxury competitors. However, its complimentary scheduled maintenance plan is one year less than that of the BMW X3 and three years less than that of the Jaguar F-Pace.

The limited warranty period is four years or 50,000 miles.

The powertrain warranty is valid for six years or 70,000 miles.

Free scheduled maintenance is provided for two years or 24,000 miles.

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