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2019 Acura RDX: New York Auto Show

What Is It?

In its ongoing mission to redefine itself, Acura presented its completely redesigned 2019 Acura RDX at the New York Auto Show. It’s a redefinition that includes getting back into motorsports, introducing more hybrids and now, it would seem, pushing its products upmarket as demonstrated by the newest RDX. It, Acura says, is the beginning of a new era.

New York was the first official look at the third-generation RDX, but Acura unveiled what was essentially the same vehicle in Detroit as the RDX Prototype. Additionally, Acura took the wraps off its gussied-up RDX A-Spec in New York, as well. A low, wide design gives this crossover a sense of being stable and well-planted. Elegant and head turning, the exterior styling sports new jewel-eye headlights with more LED light elements. In profile, the RDX is sleeker with a roofline sloping down toward the rear lift gate.

Replacing the current 3.5-liter V6 is a version of the 272-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo found in the Honda Civic Type R. It delivers fewer ponies than the V6, but boosts torque by 28 lb-ft to 280 lb-ft. A first-in-class 10-speed automatic transmission hustles turbo output to the wheels. Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) with torque vectoring returns as the AWD option in 2019. Up to 70 percent of torque can be transferred to the rear wheels with 100 percent of that torque directed to either the right or left rear wheel.

Introduced for the first time in the 2019 RDX, Acura’s next-generation front sport seats feature an ultra-high-strength steel frame for improved lateral support and 16-way power adjustments. A power panoramic roof is standard on every RDX grade. At the core of connectivity is a 10.2-inch touchscreen located high up in the center of the instrument panel, interfacing with what Acura calls its True Touchpad at the driver’s fingertips. System operation is done by either using the touchscreen or the touch pad, which is mapped to coincide exactly with images on the touchscreen.

Other available tech includes the ELS Studio 3D audio system with 16 speakers, four of which are mounted in the ceiling, and a head-up display. All RDX models and grades come standard with the full suite of driver-assist/safety systems offered by AcuraWatch. These include front-collision emergency braking, forward-collision warning, lane-keep assist, road-departure mitigation, lane-departure warning and adaptive cruise control with low-speed following.

An appearance package, the RDX A-Spec, delivers a high-end performance look with 20-in Shark Gray alloy wheels, LED fog lights, lower front fascia and special black accents for the grille, headlights, side sills and taillights. A-Spec enhancements inside feature special sport seats with Ultrasuede inserts and contrasting stitching, real aluminum accents and Ultrasuede on the dashboard.

How Much?

No pricing yet.

When Can I Get It?

Manufactured in the U.S., the 2019 Acura RDX will arrive in showrooms in the summer of 2018.

Add It to Your Shopping List Because …

 

Judging from recent Acura redesigns, the next RDX will be head and shoulders better than the current one. And, it was no slouch.

Other Cars to Consider

 Lexus NX — Peppy turbo, available hybrid, smooth ride and lots of high-tech features.

 Audi Q5 — AWD is standard, well-crafted interior, wide range of driver-assist features and pliant ride.

 Infiniti QX50 — Variable-compression turbo, plenty of second-row space, ProPILOT assist and Nissan zero-gravity front seats.

Volvo XC60 — Plenty of engine options including hybrid, high-end cabin and loads of driver-assist features.

See all 2018 New York Auto Show articles

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Russ Heaps
Russ Heaps is an author specializing in automotive, financial and travel news. For nearly 35 years he has covered the automotive industry for newspapers, magazines and internet websites. His resume includes The Palm Beach Post, Miami Herald, The Washington Times and numerous other daily newspapers through syndication. He edited Auto World magazine, and helped create and edit NOPI Street Performance Compact magazines. He supplied financial content and automotive-industry analysis to Bankrate.com and Interest.com.

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