2019 Acura RDX Compact Luxury SUV: More Features for Less Money

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When SUV and Luxury met, they got married and gave birth to the Acura RDX. Planning the wedding and preparing for the birth required lots of time, money and people, but the baby is very gifted and talented. Acura invested a lot into redesigning the award-winning all-new third-generation 2019 Acura RDX.

The 2019 Acura RDX, a leader in the compact luxury SUV class, now has a sportier turbocharged engine, superior road handing, luxurious features and advanced technology all in one. And it comes at a price that is significantly less than other compact luxury SUVs.

Starting at a base MSRP of $37,400, the RDX is about $2,500 below other compact luxury SUVs in the segment. The base RDX also includes many standard safety features that are optional in competing brands. Some of the features include automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping and road departure assist.

Since it was first introduced in 2007, the Acura RDX has been one of the top selling compact luxury SUVs in the class. The 3rd-generation RDX, introduced last year, has increased its sales 24% over the previous year. It helps when a fully loaded RDX is about $10,000 lower than similarly equipped competitors.

The RDX comes in four trim levels: RDX Base for $37,400, RDX Technology for $40,600, A-Spec for $43,600, and the RDX Advanced for $45,500 MSRP.  All models are available with either Front or All-Wheel Drive (AWD).

The 2019 RDX is built on an all-new platform in Ohio and comes with an exclusive body and chassis, and a more powerful 2.0 4-cylinder VTEC turbo that delivers 272 horsepower at 280 pound-feet of torque, which has 40% more low-end torque. All models are paired with a 10-spreed transmission. The new engine and transmission replace the previous V6 and six-speed transmission.

When compared to competitors, the RDX delivers a lot more power for much less money. The Acura RDX Advance delivers 272 horsepower at a starting price of $47,400 MSRP. Comparable luxury SUVs like the BMW X3 produce 248 horsepower for $56,075; the Infiniti Q5 generates 252 horsepower for $55,550; the Mercedes GL300 goes for $58,285 with 241 horsepower, while the Volvo XC60 Inscription sells for $54,700 and generates 250 horsepower.

The RDX has earned numerous awards, including U.S. News 2019 Best Luxury Compact SUV for the Money and the 2019 Best Luxury Compact SUV for Families.

I tested a Red 2019 RDX SH-AWD A-SPEC, which averaged 23 combined MPG, and handled well on highway and taking on sharp corners. The interior cabin was spacey, and fully loaded with features, including a panoramic moonroof, full-grain leather, metal and wood trim materials; heated and ventilated front seats; and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The downside was the new touchpad that operated the 10.2-inch HD display. It took me some time to figure how to use it. But that’s what the owner’s manual is for.