TORRANCE, Calif., April 16, 2015 — It was just two months ago at the Chicago Auto Show that we got a look at the refreshed 2016 Acura RDX. Acura is wasting no time in getting updates out on what is already a solid entry in the compact luxury SUV market, by launching today.
After a record sales year in 2014, the refreshed five-passenger RDX looks to continued success with a bevy of tweaks and bonuses. The luxury division of Honda has given the 3.5-liter V-6 engine more power, improved the ride and handling, polished the exterior and interior, as well as thrown in additional AcuraWatch safety technologies.
In the area of performance, engineers at Acura have bumped horsepower by 6 (279 total), and torque by 1 lb.-ft (252 total). That does not represent the whole picture, as that power and torque curve is more usable over a broader range on the tachometer. The addition of cylinder deactivation for half the cylinders has brought with it an improvement of 1 mile per gallon on the highway. The FWD model will breeze between gas stations with 20/29mpg city/highway, while the AWD model gets 19/28mpg city/highway.
Handling dynamics are enhanced by focusing on the details that add up to a cohesive whole. This includes new active engine mounts, updated steering control and stiffened suspension mounts. The item most likely to bring sparkle to the eyes of potential buyers is a change to the all-wheel-drive (AWD) with intelligent control. Now with greater rear torque bias, enthusiasts hope to see Acura gravitate toward the sporty side of SUV that has gotten them so many sales.
Acura’s designers could not keep their hands off the already handsome design, leaving it even better looking. For that added modern flair, they have added the JewelEye LED headlights, much like what is already found on big brother, the MDX. Its taillights receive a light-pipe LED design and finally, the grill receives a three-dimensional treatment. The overall look slims the design and adds to the sporty, yet luxurious appearance.
The 2016 RDX now has a top-of-the-line advance package. This features unique 18″ wheels, rain-sensing wipers, front fog lights, bi-directional keyless remote engine start, front/rear parking sensors, ventilated front seats, auto-dimming driver’s side mirror, and the full AcuraWatch safety technology suite. Now found in the technology package are an 8-way adjustable power front seat, the dual-screen on-demand multi-Information display, HD radio, multi-rear view camera, and blind spot information, and multi-view rear camera with dynamic guidelines and rear cross traffic monitor. Both packages come with the Acura navigation system with voice recognition.
Acura has really focused on safety. The AcuraWatch system technology suite offers adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking system and forward collision warning. Finally, lane keeping assist, land departure warning and a driver’s side mirror with greater visibility rounds out list of safety features. All models containing this system get a new 4.2-inch display with customizable readouts. Hidden within the vehicle are changes to improve frontal crash protection. All put together, this leads to a 5-star National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) safety rating, and the top safety pick+rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The best part of all of these improvements is a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) increase of just $175, to $35,270. Acura is hoping those with a tax refund will celebrate with the purchase of a new RDX. Acura already does well in the hot cross-over SUV market. The new RDX should cement its status.