The 2022 Acura RDX is bold and tough to ignore. A 10.2-inch HD screen is the entertainment center of the SUV, delivering Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™, and an optional ELS Studio 3D® Premium Audio tech that can ensure drivers are entertained. Those seeking a compact SUV with a premium badge and an athletic chassis will find the 2022 Acura RDX fits that brief and doesn’t require Porsche Macan or Mercedes-Benz GLC-class money. Sure, it’s not as deluxe as those German nameplates—nor does it carry the same cachet among the one percent—but the RDX’s perky turbocharged four-cylinder is similarly perky and similarly tech-heavy.
ENGINE AND IMPLEMENTATION
Every 2022 Acura RDX is powered by a 272-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that pairs with a 10-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive (or “SH-AWD” in Acura-speak). The A-Spec version we tested had a responsive gas pedal at low speeds, and it pulled away from stoplights with authority. The transmission could be quicker to downshift, especially when the driver uses the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
The turbocharged engine makes the RDX sound a bit like the NSX, with a high-pitched roar during hard acceleration, but much of that noise is artificial and piped into the cabin through the audio system’s speakers. The RDX we drove had large 20-inch wheels that are included with the A-Spec package and the standard suspension setup. Models with the Advance package have adaptive dampers that allow you to adjust the ride quality.
While our test vehicle failed to isolate the cabin from harsh impacts on the roughest roads, it was never punishing or noisy. The torque-vectoring SH-AWD system also helped the RDX change directions quickly and was backed by precise-feeling steering. The RDX leaned only when we attacked a highway on-ramp, but otherwise, it was wonderfully balanced. Unfortunately, the brake pedal diminished the experience, due to its inconsistent firmness and responsiveness.
ENERGY AND REAL WORLD-MPG
The 2022 Acura RDX has competitive EPA fuel-economy ratings that approach the mid-20s, with the front-drive model getting slightly higher city and highway estimates than the all-wheel-drive one. The former is rated at 22 mpg city and 28 mpg highway; both those numbers drop by 1 mpg when you select the all-wheel drive. Opting for the A-Spec package will reduce both highway estimates by 1 mpg, for 27 mpg with the front driver and 26 mpg for the SH-AWD car. We tested an RDX A-Spec SH-AWD on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, and achieved 25 mpg—1 mpg shy of its EPA rating. For more information about the RDX’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
INTERIOR, CONVENIENCE, AND BOOTH
The version we tested had the A-Spec package’s flashy red seats and several other exclusive styling bits. While the cabin’s notable build quality and desirable standard features (ambient lighting; power-adjustable, heated front seats; dual-zone climate control) were appreciated, the RDX fails to feel luxurious. The Acura delivers a sportier experience than something like the Honda CR-V could ever provide. Nothing feels cheap or chintzy, and the driving position is high enough to satisfy SUV fans and flexible enough to appease driving enthusiasts. A handle on the outboard seats will release the back row so you can fold it flat. Or you can lower the seatbacks from the cargo hold using the secondary releases. We managed to fit eight carry-on bags with the seats up and 22 with them folded.
IN-VEHICLE INFOTAINMENT AND INTERCONNECTIONS
Every 2022 Acura RDX has a 10.2-inch touchscreen perched high on the dashboard. It can also be operated via a touchpad on the center console. Acura calls the controller intuitive, but it took us a while to get accustomed to it. The RDX comes standard with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability and a Wi-Fi hotspot. The optional Technology package adds built-in navigation, rear-seat USB ports, a 12-speaker ELS Studio audio system, and more.
PROTECTION AND DRIVER-ASSISTANCE ASPECTS
Every model includes a host of standard driver-assistance technology, but several other assists are available with the Technology package. These include front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, and rear-cross-traffic alert. For more information about the RDX’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites.
VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback
PRICE AS TESTED: $46,495 (base price: $46,495)
ENGINE TYPE: turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 122 cu in, 1996 cc
Power: 272 hp @ 6500 rpm
Torque: 280 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 10-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
Suspension (F/R): struts/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 12.4-in vented disc/12.2-in disc
Tires: Goodyear Eagle RS-A, 255/45R-20 101V M+S
Wheelbase: 108.3 in
Length: 186.8 in
Width: 74.8 in Height: 65.7 in
Passenger volume: 104 cu ft
Cargo volume: 30 cu ft
Curb weight: 3997 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS:
Zero to 60 mph: 6.6 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 18.1 sec
Zero to 110 mph: 23.3 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 7.0 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.9 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 5.2 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 15.2 sec @ 93 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 113 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 177 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad*: 0.81 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY:
Observed: 20 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY:
Combined/city/highway: 23/21/26 mpg