It all started out so simple. Take the Honda CR-V platform, adjust both the chassis and powertrain and encase it within on-brand design and badging. First introduced for the 2007 model year, the RDX was really no different than any other Acura. Simply put, it was another Honda offering redressed under the upmarket Acura name.
When the Acura brand first emerged in the early nineties, it made an immediate impact by introducing several enticing models to carve a niche out of the luxury and performance segments. Unfortunately, in recent years, it often felt as though Acura had lost some sense of identity. Uninspired design and subpar grille designs left them feeling more lackluster than blockbuster. In fact, if I hadn’t been employed within this industry, I might have lost sight of Acura altogether (and frankly, I would have been perfectly fine with it).
But 2016 marked a turning point for Acura (due, in large part, to their Precision initiative) and the introduction of the third-generation RDX (to be released this summer) is a bit of a game-changer. Not only is it a welcome redesign that infuses the RDX with aggressive sportiness and an almost luxuriously rugged (is that a thing?) aesthetic, but its re-engineering does it a great service by significantly enhancing its performance over that of its predecessor.
With a new 2.0-liter VTEC turbocharged I4 engine mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, the RDX shares the same engine spec as Honda’s Accord and the Civic Type R. In the latter, that equates to approx. 306 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, implying an increase in low-end thrust. That said, no hard numbers have been offered up.
But most importantly, the RDX will finally exist as its own entity, apart from the CR-V platform. It marks an ambitious departure, and a reassuring indication of where Acura is taking their lineup, fueled by the momentum of the Precision concept. Frankly, it’s most exciting that Acura has felt in a long time.
If you’re interested in taking a closer look at the 2019 Acura RDX, this 5:12 tour courtesy of YouTube channel Redline Reviews is well worth a watch.