2013 Acura RDX at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show

  • Competes with: Infiniti EX35, Land Rover LR2, Volvo XC60
  • Looks like: A sleeker, more wagon-like RDX with a longer hood and more raked windshield 
  • Drivetrain: 273-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6; six-speed automatic 
  • Hits dealerships: Spring 2012  

The RDX grows up for model-year 2013, trading its sporty exterior styling cues and turbo four-cylinder for a more polished profile and a new V-6 engine.

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The second generation of the automaker’s compact SUV rides on a longer wheelbase than the previous version. At 183.5 inches long and 64.2 inches high, it’s about 1 inch longer than the previous version, but loses an inch in height. It also gets a sleeker look outside and more leather inside.

At a time when most automakers are downsizing in the cylinder department, Acura is dropping the previous RDX’s 240-horsepower, turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine. Instead, the new one borrows a version of the 3.5-liter V-6 found in the TL. In the 2013 RDX, it makes 273 hp. The sole transmission is a six-speed automatic with a new torque converter. Acura anticipates that the RDX will see 20/28 mpg city/highway.

New features include a revised all-wheel-drive system, a power tailgate, a Pandora internet radio interface, SMS texting functionality, keyless access and push-button starting, a tri-view camera and a new navigation system with 60 gigabytes of storage.

No word on pricing, but the redesigned RDX should go on sale this spring.

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