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Acura’s RDX A-Spec: Vision Improved to 2020

Car Reviews

Acura’s RDX A-Spec: Vision Improved to 2020

In the 2019 model year, Acura introduced an all-new version of their best-selling compact luxury crossover, and the company pretty much hit a grand slam out of the box. The RDX is a stylish, sporty, fun-to-drive everyday kind of crossover.  Luckily for us, Acura didn’t mess with success and the 2020 Acura RDX remains relatively unchanged since the 2019 model was introduced.  

The 2020 RDX combines high-end materials and sports car performance, tying it all together in an elegant and sophisticated package.  From this viewpoint, this third-generation RDX looks more than likely to keep its position at the top of its segment.

The first-generation RDX debuted in 2006, quickly setting itself apart by emphasizing the performance benefit of its Super Handling- All-Wheel-Drive (SH-AWD) drivetrain.  Most luxury crossovers at the time concentrated on the fit and finish of the vehicle and ignored the desire of drivers to push its limits. The first RDX models caught on with owners who wanted a high-end vehicle that could excite, and Acura delivered.

The newest RDX is the first to be designed and engineered in America, with styling design conducted in the Acura Design Studio in Los Angeles.  It features a new turbocharged engine, a 10-speed transmission and the newest generation of SH-AWD, making the new RDX also the quickest, best-handling one ever.  

The Platinum White 2020 RDX SH-AWD A-Spec I drove was delivered with a window sticker of $46,795, about $9,000 above the base MSRP of $37,600.  The A-Spec Appearance package includes loads of A-Spec badging both inside and outside, but it doesn’t improve the handling or the performance of the RDX.  

The only available engine choice is a 272 hp, 2.0 liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder mated to the ten-speed transmission. The combo delivers an estimated fuel economy number of 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.  This powertrain gives the new RDX the highest power output among its closest peers. Only super-luxury SUVs can deliver more oomph under the hood. The RDX is available in a front-wheel-drive configuration, but the SH-AWD is clearly the way to go if you truly want to experience everything this new Acura delivers on the road.  

The exterior is highlighted by a front fascia that takes inspiration from Acura’s iconic supercar, the NSX; it’s sharp, distributive and muscular.  The grill features a large Acura badge that seems to emanate beams. Very superhero-ish.

The interior is more spacious than the previous model. And true to Acura’s nature, the driver has even more technology available to make driving safer.  The cockpit design is all about giving the driver the ability to keep eyes on the road while making for a safer drive. For instance, the True Touchpad Interface, which is standard across all trims, allows the driver to control media, navigation and climate without looking down.  A Heads-Up Display (HUD) is also an option.

This newest Acura RDX is sure to impress the luxury crossover buyer who is looking for more than just cushy leather seats, and that SH-AWD powertrain is sure to hook you if you’re looking to really move.

Steve Kursar

Steve is a veteran automotive journalist and former head of Ford Public Relations in its South Central region. He’s a native New Yorker who fell in love with a Texan (and Texas) over 20 years ago. Steve’s been living here happily ever since. His current automotive ‘want’ is an early 3-Series convertible, while his daily driver is a 2006 Toyota Tacoma.

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