The prototype version of the 2019 Acura RDX first appeared in Detroit earlier this year, but here at the 2018 New York International Auto Show, Acura was finally ready to show off three versions of the production RDX. No more caveats attached: What you see here is what the 2019 RDX will look like when it hits the road.
The only notable styling changes are larger side mirrors to meet safety standards, different paint and more conventional wheels. The same “True Touchpad Interface” and 10.2-inch display that I enjoyed on the prototype thankfully made it through into the production vehicle unchanged.
Acura also introduced a few new elements of the RDX that weren’t on the prototype, starting with an A-Spec trim level that has more-aggressive styling. A-Spec models add Shark Gray 20-inch alloy wheels, gloss-black accents and a unique lower front fascia to spruce up the exterior. Inside, the A-Spec has black- or red-leather sport seats, metal-plated paddle shifters and a stitched-leather sport steering wheel.
We also get official engine specs: The RDX features the same engine found in the Honda Civic Type R (which we very much enjoyed in that application). The turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder makes 272 horsepower and 280 pounds-feet of torque. It’s mated to a new 10-speed automatic transmission that Honda developed in-house (no more problematic ZF-produced nine-speeds to be seen here) and on some models, a torque-vectoring Super-Handling all-wheel-drive system. It can send up to 70 percent of the power to the rear wheels and shift it right or left depending on the situation.
One final feature of the production RDX bears note: an available ELS 16-channel system, found in Advance and A-Spec trim levels. It includes four speakers that have been mounted in the ceiling and can support true 5.1 surround sound. I’m not a big audiophile, so stereo systems usually sound roughly the same to me – but this one blew me away.
No pricing details are available yet on the 2019 RDX; those will come closer to the SUV’s on-sale date in mid-2018.
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