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2016 Acura RDX: Chicago Auto Show


author photo by Doug DeMuro February 2015

What Is It?

The 2016 Acura RDX is a 5-passenger luxury crossover that straddles the border between compact and midsize. On sale in its current form since 2012, the RDX is getting a significant facelift at this year's Chicago Auto Show that includes updates to its interior, exterior, and standard and optional equipment levels.

On the outside, the 2016 RDX's look doesn't change too dramatically, though it adds updated wheels, a new front fascia with Acura's signature LED headlights and new rear styling with revised lines and updated taillights. Inside, cosmetic changes are limited to some new trim, heated front seats added as standard and rear-seat air conditioning vents.

The most important changes to the 2016 RDX, however, come to its equipment list. That's where the latest model adds several safety features that the outgoing version sorely lacks, such as a blind spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, a forward-collision mitigation system and lane-keeping assist. The new features, all of which are optional, bring the RDX back to the front of the pack in terms of safety equipment and gadgets.

The RDX also receives some powertrain changes for the latest model year. A revised version of the SUV's 3.5-liter V6 adds 6 horsepower (bringing the new total to 279 horses) and 1 lb-ft of torque, for a total of 252 lb-ft. Fuel economy also jumps by 1 mile per gallon on the highway, bringing the new figure to 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway with all-wheel drive or 20 mpg city/29 mpg hwy with front-wheel drive.

How Much?

Although Acura hasn't yet announced official pricing, we wouldn't expect a huge deviation from today's base MSRP of around $36,000 with shipping.

When Can You Get It?

This year

Add It to Your Shopping List Because...

Even before its latest round of updates, the 2016 Acura RDX was already one of the most competent luxury crossovers on the market. But by addressing our largest complaint with the outgoing model, namely the lack of modern safety technology, Acura has returned the RDX to the front of the compact-luxury-crossover segment. Other changes for 2016 are mostly cosmetic, but they don't need to be significant. We don't think that the outgoing RDX needed any substantial updates to remain a top contender in this segment.

Other Cars to Consider

2015 Lexus NX -- The all-new Lexus NX offers hybrid and turbocharged 4-cylinder variants, along with a wide range of luxurious features and equipment. Pricing is reasonable, too. Unfortunately, its unusual styling may put off some shoppers who prefer the RDX's cleaner look.

2015 Lincoln MKC -- The new MKC is one of our favorite compact crossovers, thanks to its impressive combination of standard and optional equipment, reasonable pricing, strong fuel economy, and high-end ride comfort and quality.

Used Acura MDX -- Acura's recently redesigned MDX crossover is also a highly competent luxury SUV. It's larger than the RDX, boasting 3-row seating and more power, which makes it more expensive, too. If you want more space without paying more money, consider a lightly used example.

Used Range Rover Evoque -- If you're focused on style rather than all-out practicality, the Evoque offers sizing that's similar to the RDX but with an eye to stylish modern design. Surprisingly fuel efficient and well equipped, the Evoque's only problem is its high price, but a used model may offset some of the Land Rover pricing premium.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2016 Acura RDX: Chicago Auto Show - Autotrader