• Sign in
  • |
  • Sign up

New Car Review

2018 Acura RDX: New Car Review

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2018 Acura RDX AWD w/ Technology Package
New 2018 Acura RDX
MSRP $41,975
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2018 Acura RDX AWD w/ Technology Package
New 2018 Acura RDX
MSRP $41,975
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2018 Acura RDX AWD
New 2018 Acura RDX
MSRP $38,275
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2018 Acura RDX AWD w/ Technology Package
New 2018 Acura RDX
MSRP $41,975
RELATED READING
See all Acura RDX articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader August 2017

There's a slew of new luxury compact SUVs on the market, but only a handful have the durable reputation and enviable quality of the 2018 Acura RDX. While not as new as the Mercedes-Benz CLC Coupe, Infiniti QX30 or Jaguar F-Pace, Acura's RDX for 2018 has the distinct advantage of being a known and proven commodity, having retained the same body, engine and option list for the last few years. Fortunately, it's a look that has stood the test of time, as has the RDX's excellent reliability and resale record. The RDX is powered solely by a 3.5-liter V6, which we find ironic, since many of its closest competitors have now moved to smaller 4-cylinder turbocharged engines similar to what came in the RDX when it first debuted. The RDX also offers the option of all-wheel drive, plus an available advanced driver safety system dubbed AcuraWatch.

But with styling similar to the popular MDX crossover, a long list of standard and available equipment and a renewed commitment to its core audience, the 2018 Acura RDX shouldn't be overlooked.

What's New for 2018?

Once again, the Acura RDX carries over with no major changes.

What We Like

Plush cabin; smooth power; quiet at highway speeds; slightly sporty edge

What We Don't

Missing some key features, such as a panoramic sunroof and heated rear seats; no high-mileage hybrid or diesel option

How Much?

$36,775-$45,500

Fuel Economy

The 2018 Acura RDX is powered by a 279-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 teamed with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Acura's Active Cylinder Management system lets this engine run on six, four or three cylinders, depending on the need for power. The 6-speed automatic transmission goes about its business without notice, but if you're so inclined, you can shift gears yourself with the steering wheel mounted shift paddles.

Fuel economy for the front-wheel-drive RDX is a modest 20 miles per gallon in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, while the all-wheel-drive version earns 19 mpg city/27 mpg hwy.

Standard Features & Options

The 2018 Acura RDX comes in one trim, with no stand-alone options but a number of packages.

The front-wheel-drive RDX ($36,775) includes a power moonroof, 18-inch alloy wheels, heated outside mirrors, auto on/off headlights, an 8-way power front driver's seat with power lumbar support, a 4-way power passenger seat, leather seat trim, heated front seats, LED headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, Hill-start Assist, cruise control, keyless access with push-button start, a tilt-telescopic steering column, a 360-watt 7-speaker sound system, Bluetooth, a rear backup camera and the Active Noise Cancellation system.

The RDX with the Technology package ($40,475) brings a blind spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert, the AcuraLink satellite communications system, voice-activated navigation with real-time traffic and weather updates, SMS text messaging, GPS-linked climate control and the ELS premium sound system with 410 watts, 10 speakers, DVD audio, Dolby Pro Logic II and 15 gigabytes of hard drive music storage.

The AcuraWatch Plus Package can be added to the base RDX or the RDX with the Technology package. It includes adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, collision-mitigation braking, lane-keep assist and lane-departure warning.

The RDX with the Advance package ($43,475) adds unique 18-in machine alloy wheels, rain-sensing wipers, bi-directional keyless remote engine starting, fog lights, ventilated front seats and the AcuraWatch system.

All-wheel drive adds another $1,400 to the bottom line of each version.

Safety

The availability of the AcuraWatch Plus Package of safety and driver-assistive technologies includes adaptive cruise control, which keeps a safe distance from the traffic ahead, while systems such as lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist help keep drowsy or distracted drivers safe. Collision-avoidance and mitigation braking also help avoid accidents by alerting the driver to an impending accident. Although the AcuraWatch system won't always bring the car to a full stop as some other systems do, it will slow the vehicle while simultaneously tightening the seat belts and preparing the safety systems for impact.

In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests, the 2018 Acura RDX performed near the top of its class, earning five out of five stars in the front-end and side-impact tests and four stars in the rollover test. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also thinks highly of the RDX, handing it a Top Safety Pick rating in 2017.

Behind the Wheel

It's often a knock to say that a car feels bigger than it is, because this usually implies that it feels clumsy and ponderous. In the case of the RDX, however, it means the car has the steady smoothness you'd find in a bigger class of vehicle, such as the MDX. Too often, small SUVs feel bouncy and rough, so this is a nice exception.

The taut, accurate steering provides uncommon feel and feedback for a luxury-class vehicle, especially one that isn't German. Acceleration from the V6 is quiet and strong, with the 6-speed automatic transmission gliding smoothly through its gears.

Lexus established itself as the player to beat in the premium compact SUV market with its slick, quiet, luxurious RX 350. The RDX now enjoys all the same attributes, so it should be very appealing to customers who want to be bathed in an atmosphere of luxury while driving a smaller SUV. The RDX adds the benefit of responsive handling and a communicative steering feel, so the driver feels not only coddled but also involved with the activity of driving rather than disconnected from it.

Other Cars to Consider

2018 BMW X3 -- The X3 is all-new this year, offering a range of powerful turbocharged engines, including 355-hp M version. Checking off options on the X3 can push the price well beyond the most expensive RDX trim, but you'll get many more features when doing so.

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC -- The GLC offers a bit more sophistication and there's a sporty 4-door Coupe version as well. The GLC's turbocharged 4-cylinder engine gets better fuel economy than the RDX, while the sporty V6-powered AMG offers better performance.

2018 Audi Q5 -- Also new this year, the Audi Q5 has quickly made itself the understated favorite in many categories. It has the curb presence and visible quality to state its case.

Used Lexus RX 350 -- A 2012-2016 Lexus RX offers a more luxurious ride and more interior room, plus the option of a hybrid model.

Autotrader's Advice

Although SUVs are thought of as 4-wheel-drive off-roaders, most of us do fine with the cheaper, more fuel-efficient front-wheel-drive versions, especially when they're equipped with modern traction and stability control systems. It therefore makes sense to save money on the purchase and save gas during ownership by choosing the front-wheel-drive version. Unless you're all about premium audio and factory navigation, we'd say to skip the Technology package and go for the base trim with AcuraWatch.

Find an Acura RDX for sale

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2018 Acura RDX AWD w/ Technology Package
New 2018 Acura RDX
MSRP $41,975
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2018 Acura RDX AWD w/ Technology Package
New 2018 Acura RDX
MSRP $41,975
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2018 Acura RDX AWD
New 2018 Acura RDX
MSRP $38,275
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2018 Acura RDX AWD w/ Technology Package
New 2018 Acura RDX
MSRP $41,975
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.
2018 Acura RDX: New Car Review - Autotrader