Close to Being a Perfect Compact Luxury SUV--Not T
January 7, 2019
After months of researching and shopping, pulled the trigger on new RDX w/Tech... After driving it for 3k mi in 2 mo, here are my impressions.
1. The leather seats are very soft and comfortable. Beats any latest model Nissan, Volvo or BMW. The real leather is exquisite.
Acura makes the best leather seats, period. Better than the latest Volvo XC90 or XC60, BMW X3 or 3 series, Nissans and even Hondas and Audi Q5... The only seat that is better is the one in Volkswagen Passat, but these are synthetic leatherette... The seat is 16-way power adjustable, and on Advance trim it has power thigh extension as well...
Love the seats.
2. The ELS 3D Studio premium audio system is sublime. The surround sound is fantastic, and is second only to Volvo's latest Bowers & Wilkins audio system.
3. The style. I really, really love the body styling if the new RDX. It is elegant, agresive, sporty, modern. I really love the 19" shark gray wheels. The cabin is modern, luxurious and I would say, elegant. Love panorama sunroof.
4. Comfort and ride. Very quiet cabin, supple ride. Good rear legroom and headroom
5. Cargo capacity. Is on par with any compact SUV, and is better than almost all luxury compact SUVs.
6. Price point. Very competitive guven the amount of features.
7. Engine power and torque. With 272 hp on tap and low-RPM 280 lb-ft of torque, this SUV has a pick-up of a sporty sedan or a hatchback.
8. Handling. With its wide stance and low profile, coupled with torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, this SUV corners flat, and can handle any curve confidently, feeling sure-footed on any type of pavement.
1. Transmission. Acura keeps telling us (since the crappy 6-speed in 2013 RDX and 8, and then 9-speed ZF transmission in Acura MDX 2013-2015, 2016-2019) that they are going to finally fix the rough and jerky gear shifts, especially at low speeds and going uphill, and finally they claimed that they did it with the Honda-engineered 10-speed transmission, debuted in the 2018 Honda Odyssey, and now in 2019 RDX...
But let me tell you, this tranny, although much better than 9-speed German-made ZF and the 6-speed in old RDX, still has some serious issues: at low speeds it tends to keep in the middle gears (3-6), instead of downshifting to 2, perhaps--I don't know, but the effect is as if it is in higher gear at lower speeds than it should be, preventing acceleration at speeds at around 25-30 mph, or when coasting to a stop light or parking... This is very annoying, since the vehicle feels underpowered for simple maneuvers, like coasting to a stop light or driving in a parking lot. Pushing the throttle, simply jerks the vehicle forward, as if accelerating from dead stop, which is not what one wants, and is dangerous in traffic or parking garages... Disappointing.
2. Fuel economy on premium 92 grade gas. In the mixed mostly city driving I average only 21 mpg on premium gas. Very disappointing. On regular 87 octane gas, the fuel economy drops to 20 mpg. Disappointing...
3. Small fuel tank, short driving range on a full tank. With only 17 gallon tank, maximum I can drive on premium gas on a full tank is 300 miles, before the fuel gauge light up. Very, very disappointing... My Nissan Rogue would go 359 miles before I had to stop for refueling...
4. Infotainment system. Very, very glitchy and underbaked. Using the precision touch mouse pad is awkward; using navigation is clunky. Voice recognition barely works. The loading of contacts takes a very, very long time... Calls are driooed every now and then; the system hangs intermittently... Nissan's simple Bosch-designed infotainment puts Acura to shame... Android auto is not supported as of yet... No way to look up point of interest phones; no Pandora or Google integration. My Nissan had all that. I miss Nissan's infotainment system.
1. The brake pads already squeal on all 4 as if completely worn out on a brand-new vehicle with less than 3k miles!
2. Passenger wiper is not retracting completely. This is a calibration issue, which Acura is looking into.
3. The hatch back-door creaks and moans on opening and closing, just like a whale.
4. Driver vanity mirror cover squeaks when opening.
5. The cargo area liftable cover does not stay open, and needs to be held while accessing the underfloor storage compartment.
6. To put in roof-rails and crossbars, Acura is asking for $1,200. Very expensive for almost a necessity on a SUV.
Do not recommend buying.