Projected to be one of the largest growth segments in the auto industry, Acura is looking to go from a back marker to a major player with the launch of its second-generation RDX.
A solid offering, how does it stack up against stalwart German competition like the Audi Q5?
Always one of the sporty players in the segment, the RDX was perhaps too athletic for its own good, with not enough focus on luxury and too much on sporty driving dynamics. It’s now quite the opposite and is completely reengineered, starting under the hood.
Powering the new Acura is a 3.5-liter V6 which delivers 23-hp more than the old turbocharged 4-cylinder at 273-hp, though is down 29 lb-ft of torque for a new total of 251.
Audi offers a choice of a turbocharged 4-cylinder or a V6 engine and while the 3.2-liter six might seem like the obvious choice for a fair match-up, it’s not. Instead it’s prohibitively priced, with the 2.0T is a closer competitor, though it is down on power at 211-hp but with superior torque at 258 lb-ft.
Formerly a fuel-thirsty machine, the RDX is now more efficient, due in part to a six-speed automatic transmission, with fuel economy officially rated at 20-mpg city and 28-mpg highway for a combined 23-mpg. Our test model being equipped with AWD, however, the numbers read: 19/27/22.
Audi has followed the same philosophy of adding gears, and has taken it to the next-level, offering two more than the Acura. The 8-speed auto-box helps the German crossover earn a nearly identical 20/27/22 rating. Had we opted for the V6, the fuel economy section of this comparo would have been a no contest win for the Acura...