Just a month ago, the 2013 Acura RDX Concept
was unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show. Today, ahead of its official debut at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show, Acura has lifted the veil on the production version.
As you might expect, it is very similar to the concept. As the second generation of Acura's compact five-passenger crossover, the RDX carries forward its predecessor's basic size and demeanor, but with some important changes to powertrain, suspension, and design.
The design changes aren't dramatic, however. In fact, there's nothing dramatic about the 2013 RDX; quite the opposite. Conservatively styled even for a brand known for conservative styling (the Iron Beak aside), the 2013 RDX may put off some of its former fans: those that appreciated the sporty look.
As for the powertrains, there's still some sport to be found. There's no turbocharged engine in the 2013 RDX, replaced by a standard 3.5-liter V-6 generating 273 horsepower. Available in either front- or all-wheel drive, the RDX gets a new six-speed automatic transmissions handles gear shifts, mated to a new lock-up torque converter to help get the most out of its gas mileage.
It does pretty well, too, scoring an EPA estimated 19 mpg city and 27 mpg highway in all-wheel drive guise and 20/28 mpg with FWD. Acura says that's the best of any gasoline-powered V-6 luxury crossover in its class. We say that's an awful lot of qualifiers on the "best in class" statement, but still respectable.
The exterior design of the RDX is "more formal," according to Acura, with a longer hood, simpler surfaces, and tidy details. Inside, it's a bit less conservative, with matte trim, contoured surfaces, and ample leather. Acura's Active Sound Control system pairs with sound-damping materials to enhance quiet, and there's a healthy stash of available technology to enjoy in the silence, including: Acura ELS Surround sound audio, Pandora Internet radio, built-in text messaging, navigation with real-time traffic/weather/radar maps/rerouting, and a 60-GB hard-disk-based infotainment system.
Under the body there's a new set of chassis technologies, too, with Amplitude Reactive Dampers and Motion Adaptive Electric Power Steering. The dampers smooth out the ride based on the size of the road's irregularities, while the steering system improves efficiency by ditching the previous hydraulic pump. A new braking system reduces drag to improve gas mileage even further.
We'll have live photos and more on the 2013 RDX from the floor of the Chicago Auto Show. For all of our live Chicago coverage, click here