As we wrote in our 2019 Acura RDX first drive review, this completely redesigned compact luxury crossover is intended to provide a greater emotional connection with owners than its predecessors. While still addressing key rational buying decisions — value, reliability and safety — it features a more striking design, a higher end interior and a more engaging driving experience.
While this applies to every RDX, the new RDX A-Spec trim is meant to up the emotional content even further. In this video, we show you the many visual differences between the regular RDX trims and the A-Spec, as well as those changes made to the interior.
For the most part, the exterior gets darkened trim in place of the regular car’s chrome. The 19-inch wheels are also black. At the rear, there are enlarged tailpipes, a diffuser-like bumper piece and, of course, A-Spec badging.
There are greater differences inside, where wood trim gives way to real metal and Ultrasuede, and the standard instruments are replaced by snazzy silver-ringed gauges with red lighting. You can also spice things up with red leather seating, which is only available on the A-Spec (you can also get black). Black leather is also available, but you can’t get the softer earth tones offered in the regular RDX. The A-Spec is meant to be cooler, and its color palette reflects that.
You’ll notice we haven’t mentioned any mechanical changes, and that’s because there aren’t any. The 2019 Acura RDX A-Spec has the same engine, suspension and steering as every other RDX, although its wheels are at least larger than what you’d get on the base trim. This makes the A-Spec akin to the appearance packages offered by other compact luxury crossovers. That may not satisfy those looking for an even more emotional driving experience, but it’s hard to argue with extra choices, especially when it comes to selecting the style that works best for you.