The car experts at researched online reviews from respected Web resources to produce this comprehensive review of the 2008 Acura RDX.'s editors also drove the Acura RDX, so that we can deliver you the best information on Acura's new crossover, on its competition, and help you figure out which reviews to believe when road testers have different opinions.

The new RDX is a smaller, five-passenger alternative to Acura's MDX. It is based on the Honda CR-V platform and features the same Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system offered in the larger MDX crossover. It rides on a fully independent front and rear suspension for better handling than a traditional, truck-based SUV.

The standard engine is a turbocharged and intercooled 2.3-liter VTEC four-cylinder developing 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque; it's the first application of a turbocharged engine in an Acura vehicle. It is teamed with a five-speed automatic transmission with F1-style Sequential SportShift Paddle Shifters. The engine gives the crossover an energetic feel--sometimes even nervous, since strong turbo impulses kick in even when you need just a little power. The sole gearbox is a paddle-shifted five-speed automatic--and together with the occasionally frenetic four, it helps deliver 19 mpg city, 24 mpg highway.

The AWD setup works in concert with a typical Honda front MacPherson suspension and multilink rear. The ride isn't as harsh as the BMW X3, despite the big 18-inch tires that come standard. But it is pretty taut, and anyone used to the plush response of a big American-style ute might be turned off by the RDX's disdain for lots of ride motions. The RDX's strong brakes are anti-lock controlled and quick to bite. Add in steering control that's quick and light and this is one of the least SUV-like driving experiences in the class.

The exterior style is a little more angular than a traditional SUV, but pleasing. Inside, the Acura RDX pushes the envelope more with a high-tech look, lots of metallic trim, and in our test car, black leather. The front seats are the place to ride; the rears don't have a lot of extra knee room for adults. Along with standard CD changer and XM Satellite Radio hardware, the Acura RDX also has standard Bluetooth, a power driver seat, and an iPod input. DVD-Audio and real-time traffic information through XM are options.

Traction and stability control, anti-lock brakes, and side and curtain airbags are standard. The 2008 Acura RDX gets five-star ratings for front and side crash tests, as well as a four-star rating for rollover risk.

The Bottom Line:

The 2008 Acura RDX gets its edge from turbo power and crisp handling, but it can feel a little nervous and cramped.

The Car Connection

©2008 by The Car Connection™ All Rights Reserved—The Car Connection is a trademark of Car Advisory Network

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