The Acura RDX aims to be more than just another compact-luxury crossover vehicle. The engineers at Acura made the RDX more than that. It’s a sporty crossover that’s peppy and fun to drive. While the Acura brand may not carry the heft of an Audi or BMW nameplate, the RDX should not be viewed as inferior to its rivals. On the contrary, the RDX provides the same level of quality but at a lower price. Plus, the 2020 RDX is loaded with an abundance of features and a dynamic all-wheel-drive system that can be considered “best-in-class.” Here’s a look inside the 2020 Acura RDX.
Visually, the RDX is as handsome as any compact crossover in its category. The vehicle’s angular bodywork and striking front-end stand out in the crowd. Since the RDX was completely redesigned in 2019, Acura only made one minor change to the exterior of its best-selling model for 2020. The RDX’s sheet metal can now be coated in an all-new exterior paint color called “Platinum White.” The rest of this sporty crossover is pretty much the same as the 2019 model when it comes to the exterior. However, that’s not really a bad thing. The RDX has consistently looked over the years, so it didn’t exactly need an overhaul. Any driver would be proud to display the 2020 RDX in their driveway.
Engine and Performance
The Acura’s turbocharged engine is a little on the small side compared to its rivals. It doesn’t deliver the fastest acceleration in the world, but it’s responsive is still impressive. The sharp steering and playful driving attributes are what help give the 2020 RDX its sporty driving feel. Every RDX is powered by a 272-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. It’s mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission with either front- or all-wheel drive. The A-Spec model RDX has a responsive gas pedal at low speeds. It can hit 60 mph from a standing start in just 6.6 seconds.
Reviews claim that the transmission could be a tad quicker to downshift, especially when using the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. However, there are many other things to admire about the 2020 RDX — like the 20-inch wheels that are included with the A-Spec package. It’s also relatively quiet, with a reputation for not being nearly as noisy as its compact crossover peers. Overall, the Acura RDX is an enjoyable vehicle for anyone who like driving quickly and appreciates a responsive, nimble engine.
Trimlines and Prices
The 2020 RDX comes in only two available trimlines. There’s the regular RDX model, which has a base price of $38,200. And then the upgraded A-Spec edition that starts at $44,100. That’s it in terms of options. Essentially, the newest RDX is a single model that can be equipped with a distinct package. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is available for an extra $2,000.
The most recognizable RDX models have the A-Spec package, which adds exclusive upgrades inside and out. You’ll get those 20-inch wheels and some red interior accents. While these visual enhancements look cool, the A-Spec setup is more expensive and lacks any legitimate performance improvements.
There’s also an available Technology Package upgrade, which offers a better audio system, built-in GPS navigation, fancier leather-trimmed seats, and a few other bells and whistles. It also includes front and rear parking sensors, as well as blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. The Technology Package will set you back an additional $3,200. But it might be worth it for people who appreciate those types of enhancements.
An additional Advanced Package adds a few more luxuries like an adaptive damper system, rain-sensing windshield wipers, sport seats, a 10.5″ heads-up display, a 16-way power adjustable front seats, and heated rear seats. It will set you back another $1,900.
Inside, the RDX’s dashboard is a wonder to behold. It’s dominated by a rotary drive-mode selector that flows into a floating center console. Standard interior features include ambient lighting, power-adjustable and heated front seats, and dual-zone climate control. The driving position has been praised for being high enough for crossover fans and flexible enough to appease driving enthusiasts who buy the RDX for the sporty experience.
Each RDX also comes equipped with a standard 10.2-inch touchscreen console that’s placed in the center of the dashboard. It can be operated with a touchpad that sits comfortably where the driver’s right-hand rests on the center console. Standard technology features include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a 4G LTE mobile hotspot.
The optional technology package provides built-in navigation, rear-seat USB ports, and a 12-speaker ELS Studio audio system. Additionally, the RDX’s back seats fold flat via a handle on the upper outboard side of the seats or from release handles in the cargo area. Reviews claim you can fit eight carry-on bags with the seats up, and 22 when the seats are folded down.
Technology and Safety Features
The 2019 RDX was named a “Top Safety Pick+” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The 2020 RDX also earned a perfect five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Every model includes a host of standard driver-assistance technology.
Unfortunately, several other assists are available with the upgraded technology package. These include front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. Other standard safety features include forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control.
Acura covers the RDX with a warranty plan that is comparable to its competitors. However, it doesn’t include complimentary scheduled maintenance like some of its luxury rivals. Details of the warranty include a limited warranty that covers four years or 50,000 miles. There’s also a powertrain warranty that covers six years or 70,000 miles. The RDX comes with fairly standard warranty coverage.
The RDX has impressive fuel-economy ratings, with front-drive models naturally getting slightly higher city and highway estimates. The FWD is rated at 22 miles per gallon of city driving and 28 MPG when driven on a highway. Both those numbers drop by one MPG when driven in all-wheel drive mode. The A-Spec package reduces each of those ratings by another one mile per gallon. Not a huge difference, but worth noting.
- Offers a sporty driving experience with a quick and responsive engine.
- Impressive technology and spacious interior.
- All-wheel-drive system is best-in-class.
- No real changes or enhancements to the exterior compared to the 2019 model.
- Engine is not as powerful as some other compact luxury crossovers.
- Warranty coverage and complimentary maintenance is lacking compared to its peers.
The Last Word
While it doesn’t knock it out of the park in every category, the 2020 RDX has a lot of impressive features to recommend it. If you want a luxury compact crossover for less money, you should definitely give the RDX a look. It’s sporty and responsive drive, spacious interior, ample technology, and plentiful safety features make the RDX competitive with other crossovers in the same category. Yes, that’s including those manufactured by BMW, Audi, or Jaguar. The 2020 Acura RDX could be just what you’re looking for.