The 2022 Acura RDX is a compact SUV that features a premium badge, an athletic chassis and a premium price. It doesn’t cost Porsche Macan nor Mercedes-Benz GLC-class. It’s not as luxurious as the German namesplates, nor does it have the same prestige among the one percent. However, the RDX’s turbocharged four-cylinder engine is equally tech-heavy and perky. We have complaints about the RDX’s lackluster cabin environment and a slow 10-speed auto that can sometimes be frustrating to shift down to spool the turbo up to its boiling point. The RDX is a spacious, practical, well-equipped compact SUV that is largely satisfied.
What’s new for 2022?
2022 will see a slight facelift to the RDX, including tweaks to the grille and larger air intakes at the front bumper. The rear bumper also gets a new rectangular exhaust tip design. The RDX is now available in two new colors, Liquid Carbon Metallic or Phantom Violet Pearl. Additionally, the interior of the RDX has been enhanced with standard and optional tech features. All models come with wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto connectivity and Amazon Alexa integration. A wireless charging pad for smartphones is also available. Technology models have an interior ambient-lighting system that can be set up in 27 colors. This year, a limited-production PMC Edition model is available. It will only be 200 units. The exterior color is Long Beach Blue Pearl with an Orchid interior.
Pricing and Which One To Buy
Acura offers the RDX as a single trim, but it also offers several packages that can be customized to make it even more special. All-wheel drive is optional, but front-wheel drive is the standard. We would not recommend the A-Spec model as it is expensive and does not offer any performance improvements. We recommend the Technology package, which includes a better audio system and navigation, leather-trimmed seats, and more. Advance is for those who need adaptive dampers and a heads-up display. However, this significantly increases the bottom line.
Engine, Transmission, & Performance
Each RDX comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four cylinder that produces 272 horsepower. It pairs with a 10-speed auto transmission and front- or all-wheel drive. We tested the A-Spec version. It had a responsive pedal and pulled away with authority from stoplights. The transmission could be quicker to downshift, especially when the driver uses the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The turbocharged engine sounds a lot like the NSX. It produces a loud, high-pitched roar when the vehicle is under hard acceleration. However, most of this noise is artificial and piped into cabin via the speakers. We drove the RDX with large 20-inch wheels. This is included in the A-Spec package as well as the standard suspension setup. Advance packages include adaptive dampers, which allow you to adjust your ride quality. Although the cabin was not isolated from the harshest impacts of rough roads, our test vehicle was neither noisy nor punishing. The RDX’s torque-vectoring SH -AWD system was also able to change direction quickly, and was backed up by precise-feeling steering. Although the RDX leaned when we approached a highway ramp, the rest of it was perfectly balanced. The brake pedal was inconsistently firm and responsive, which made it less enjoyable.
Fuel Economy and Real World MPG
The RDX is competitive in EPA fuel economy ratings, which approach the mid-20s. However, the front-drive model gets slightly higher estimates for city and highway than the all-wheel drive one. The former is rated at 22 MPG city and 28 MPG highway. Both those numbers decrease by 1 MPG when you choose all-wheel drive. The A-Spec package will decrease both highway estimates by 1 mpg. This means that the front-driver gets 27 mpg and the SH-AWD car gets 26 mpg. On our 75-mph highway fuel economy route, we tested the RDX ASpec SH-AWD and it achieved 25 mpg, just 1 mpg below its EPA rating. Visit the EPA website for more information on the RDX’s fuel economy.
Interior, Comfort, & Cargo
The center stack inside is quite busy. It has a lot buttons and a touchpad. There’s also a large rotary selector that sits front and center. We tested the A-Spec package, which featured flashy red seats and other unique styling elements. The cabin’s excellent build quality and desirable standard features (ambient light; power-adjustable heated front seats; dual zone climate control) were well received. However, the RDX does not feel luxurious. Acura offers a more sporty experience than the Honda CR-V. The driving position is comfortable and supportive, but not too shabby. The handle at the outboard seats can release the back row, allowing you to fold it flat. You can also lower the seatbacks by using the secondary release. Eight carry-on bags were able to be carried with the seats up, and 22 when they are folded. The RDX also has a large, passthrough storage tray underneath its floating center console.
Connectivity and Infotainment
The dashboard of every RDX is equipped with a 10.2-inch touchscreen. You can also use the touchpad on your center console to operate it. Acura describes the controller as intuitive but it took us some time to get used to it. The RDX is equipped with Wi-Fi hotspot, Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay. Technology packages add navigation, rear-seat USB ports and a 12-speaker ELS Studio sound system to the RDX.