Expert Reviews

2024 Acura RDX Review

8.1
10
AutoTrader SCORE
This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car
  • STYLING
    7/10
  • Safety
    9/10
  • PRACTICALITY
    9/10
  • USER-FRIENDLINESS
    8/10
  • FEATURES
    9/10
  • POWER
    8/10
  • COMFORT
    8/10
  • DRIVING FEEL
    8/10
  • FUEL ECONOMY
    6/10
  • VALUE
    9/10

Ferrying a busy family with just a single vehicle on hand demands it tick multiple boxes.

Be gentle on the throttle and you have an excellent option in the 2024 Acura RDX. Tested here living its best life – that would be the range-topping Platinum Elite A-Spec – it can be reconfigured multifold to the vehicle you need: your safe conveyance between your innumerable activities; a fully stocked rolling supply kit for a weekend’s in- or out-of-town activities; floating office space to maximize your commuting time; or maybe even Mother Confessor, given the intelligence of the voice navigation.

Fuel Economy: 6.5/10

With a combined highway and city fuel consumption average of 10.3 L/100 km, the RDX isn’t especially great on gas. Moreover, it has expensive tastes, requiring 91-octane stuff.

Power: 8/10

The RDX features a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine that achieves 272 hp and a maximum 280-lb-ft of torque. That’s not exceptional in its segment, where higher performers make more. Then again, you’re not taking the RDX to the track, while its reasonable 680 kg (1,500 lb) of towing capacity leaves room to dream of hauling a second vehicle to the lake.
The turbo lag is noticeable at first – then the zoom kicks in like some high striker hammer at the county fair. Bing! Maybe the engine isn’t huge, but it wrings itself out nicely, supplying more than enough guts for traffic.

User-Friendliness: 8/10

At your fingertips, or within close reach, you enjoy multiple routes to configure most RDX features to your taste. The smartphone functionality with corresponding steering wheel controls is nice, although some may find the lack of a central touchscreen to be an annoyance.

Practicality 9/10

Got lots of stuff? The RDX has got you covered – capaciously, given its size. There isn’t a cubic inch – er, litre – wasted here, although the numbers don’t do it justice. There’s 835 L with the rear seats upright, while there’s room for more stuff under the floor. Flatten that second row with its 60/40 split and that space expands to a maximum of 1,668 L.

Driving Feel: 8/10

For years, crossovers sacrificed the feeling of a car to deliver the multiple other benefits so many of us modern drivers demand. But gradually, automakers have crafted vehicles that more truly delivered the crossover promise. That is, a mondo vehicle for the family that doesn’t hurt a parent’s back getting in or putting the kids in their seats, and – more importantly to some of us – drives like a car.

In short, the RDX feels good to drive. Its curb weight is only 1,817 kg (4,006 lb). Even with the aforementioned touch of lag, the turbo engine jumps to a comfortable pace soon enough. The RDX’s steering provides balletic balance. It feels as natural and easy as a day in short pants. And the sightlines are great.

Comfort: 8/10

If you’re not comfortable, you’re not trying. With this top trim, the power driver’s seat is 16-way adjustable, while the headrest moves four way.s The steering column can be tilted, extended, or shortened as needed. It’s a soft cushion of a ride unless in sport mode, although the adaptive damper system supplies more comfort if you want it.

Many of the comforts are so subtle they’ve spread into other parts of this review. Example? The panoramic moonroof multiplies the feeling of space within the RDX, relaxing some occupants. Is that a bauble, a comfort feature, a design quirk or all of the above? It sure is nice.

And the capless fuel system is just one more little thing you don’t have to worry about – keys, phone, gloves, wallet – in the middle of a frigid February trip through the gas station while late for work.

Styling: 7.5/10

Crossovers are like shopping malls: not meant to be viewed from outside but, instead, experienced from within. However, given the many other reasons you buy a vehicle of any sort, does that matter? Again, it’s a conveyance, movable storage facility, and temporary play space for your family, not your prom date.

The RDX’s Platinum Elite A-Spec trim modifies the outer design for a sportier look. Sportier, yes, but it still looks like a crossover. Imagine a neanderthal with a good haircut and orthodontics.

Then again, the top trim endows some hard-to-surrender niceties: the funky, flat-bottomed steering wheel is heated; soft leather trimming decorates the plush seats; and metal sport pedals match the trim exterior’s more muscular stance.

Features: 9/10

This top-level package ticks more boxes than a political surveyor: dual-zone automatic climate control, a heated steering wheel and front and back seats, a power sunroof, subscription-based satellite radio, wireless Apple CarPlay, and so on.

Again, there’s an abundance of ways for drivers to accomplish tasks without stretching or taking their eyes off the road for long. A seven-inch driver information display accompanies my favourite feature, the 10.2-inch centre display with touchpad interface. Slide your fingers as though it were your laptop. Perfect. [Steven might be the only person on the planet who enjoys this feature.–Ed.]

Safety: 9/10

A blind-spot monitor works with rear cross-traffic monitoring. There’s even traffic sign recognition. There’s also adaptive cruise control with low speed follow, which easily maintains a consistent distance from the vehicle ahead of you. And between the collision warning system and collision mitigation braking system, what’s in front of your windshield ought to stay there.

9/10 Value

What am I missing? All in with this ultimate trim, you’re still only paying $64,000 before tax. Given the litany of extras and carefully thought-through basics, that’s a good price. Acura’s brand may not share the cachet of something German or Italian, but if you can live with that, you’ll live well.

Final Thoughts

Acura seems to have packed it all in. What every automaker wants to do is supply a single vehicle that can do it all: soccer team shuttle; commuter; weekend adventurer; rolling spa. The 2024 Acura RDX does all that and seems to anticipate what you haven’t: it’s a mother and father’s little helper.

Competitors
Specifications
Engine Displacement 2.0L
Engine Cylinders Turbo I4
Peak Horsepower 272 @ 6,500 rpm
Peak Torque 280 lb-ft @ 1,600-4,500 rpm
Fuel Economy 11.3 / 9.1 / 10.3 L/100 km cty/hwy/cmb
Cargo Space 835 / 1,668 L seats up/down
Model Tested 2024 Acura RDX
Base Price $61,430
A/C Tax $100
Destination Fee $2,595
Price as Tested $64,125