2020 Acura RDX Offers Good Value For Luxury SUV Shoppers
The Acura RDX was all-new last year and the 2020 model change brings no significant changes but the luxury SUV offers plenty of value for SUV shoppers. For less than $50,000 Honda’s premium division brings an SUV that is easy to live with and not so hard on your wallet.
This week we drive the sporty 2020 Acura RDX A-Spec SH-AWD trim. The all-new Acura RDX gets a new infotainment interface that will become what all new Acuras will use going forward. It features a new touchpad-based interface that is supposed to limit the time it takes to operate compared to touchscreens. We found the response times are quicker and the new display has sharp graphics.
The RDX also brings new wheels and bigger tires and new blacked-out trim inside and out. The A-Spec is visually appealing even though it doesn’t offer any performance advantage.
2020 Acura RDX
Features & Options
The 2020 Acura RDX A-Spec SH-AWD ($45,800) features include LED headlights, a panoramic sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power liftgate, keyless ignition and entry, leather sport seats with suede inserts, and 12-way power-adjustable and heated and ventilated front seats.
Also standard is the AcuraWatch safety feature that includes forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control, and an infotainment system that includes the new True Touchpad Interface, a 10.2-inch central display, two USB ports, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay.
The Tech Package added navigation, parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, two rear-seat USB ports, and an upgraded 12-speaker sound system.
The A-Spec package adds 20-inch wheels and wider tires, blacked-out trim inside and out, and unique cabin treatment. The A-Spec also gets a sweet-sounding 16-speaker ELS Studio 3D surround-sound system. Total MSRP including destination ($995): $46,795.
Interior Highlights of the 2020 Acura RDX
We liked the contemporary look of the RDX A-Spec cabin. It comes with attractive high-tech metal trim and a sporty two-tone black and red upholstery. The front seats are extra comfortable and ready to take you on a long trip without feeling tired and stressed when you get to your destination. We’re not completely sold on the push-button gear shifter, although it saves space and provides extra storage in the console.
The cabin feels roomy and airy thanks to the panoramic sunroof, and there’s a lot of space for passengers in the front and rear. The controls are logically placed and the new touchpad-based interface offered quick response times and the new display has sharper graphics than the old touchscreen.
In the back, passengers don’t get as much comfort as the front, but it’s a comfortable place to spend time with plenty of leg and shoulder room. The new in-floor storage in the amply-sized cargo area is a nice feature for storing valuables you need to keep out of sight while on a shopping trip.
The rear seats fold flat to expand the 29.5-cubic-foot cargo area to 58.9 cubes. The new-generation RDX moved the spare tire under the rear, so the SUV has an additional 1.7-cubic-foot compartment below its carpeted deck.
2020 Acura RDX Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs
All RDX trims are powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 272 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. It comes mated with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, but our RDX tester came with Acura's SH-AWD option for added traction and handling capability.
The all-wheel-drive system can route 70 percent of the torque to the rear improving fuel mileage. The “torque vectoring” comes in how the system splits power left to right, up to 100 percent, to improve handling in bad weather.
EPA fuel mileage estimates come in at 21/26 city/highway mpg and 23 combined mpg.
The 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder RDX engine has plenty of power for all driving situations, and it brings a sporty feeling to the newly-remodeled SUV. Its low-end torque gives the SUV a quick jump from a standing start, and it has plenty of power for getting past slower traffic even at high altitudes west of Denver.
We chucked the RDX around tight mountain curves, as we do with every vehicle we review. It has quick steering and handling and we like the liveliness and sporty feeling when behind the wheel. Sharper steering and handling make it one of the more engaging crossovers in its class. Its driving dynamics compares favorably with the BMW X3 and Audi Q5.
Steering wheel paddle shifters ramp up the driving experience and kept us interested in pushing the SUV a little harder than normal. The A-Spec trim level looks sporty, but the suspension is the same as that of lesser RDX models, so the larger wheels and wider tires are the only differentiation.
The RDX with “Super Handling” all-wheel-drive makes the RDX an all-weather capable family hauler, suitable for winter ski trips to the high country. Its ability to route torque across the rear axle (which is itself overdriven compared to the front axle) provides a significant edge in influencing the car's ability to turn into and out of a corner.
Overall, the 2020 Acura RDX offers sharp steering and excellent handling in the corners for an SUV. The cabin is quiet and roomy, plus the A-spec adds an extra level of sportiness with its two-tone black and red upholstery. The RDX brings the styling, performance, and prestige to compete in its pricey segment. Add in the SH-AWD system and you’ve got a capable all-weather family hauler.
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Photo credit: Acura USA