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2021 Acura RDX SH-AWD A-Spec Offers Good Value For Luxury SUV Shoppers

The Acura RDX proves you don't have to spend a ton of money to get a well-rounded small luxury SUV. Check out the full review here.

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The 2021 Acura RDX is one of the least expensive models in its class, yet it comes with more features than base versions of competitors. Even a fully loaded RDX is reasonably priced. This week we drive the near top trim 2021 Acura RDX SH-AWD A-Spec.

What's new for 2021?

There are no significant changes for the 2021 model year.

Features & Options

2021 Acura RDX SH-AWD A-Spec

The 2021 Acura RDX SH-AWD A-Spec ($46,100) comes equipped with a 10.2-inch center screen, automatic climate control, Apple CarPlay, keyless ignition, and a panoramic sunroof. There's also a power height-adjustable tailgate, and Jewel Eye LED headlights and LED taillights. The nine-speaker infotainment system comes with USB ports, Bluetooth audio streaming, and satellite and HD radio.

The A-Spec also comes with a panoramic sunroof, heated power mirrors, heated front seats, a rearview camera, and push-button start.

The RDX A-Spec comes with the Technology Package with navigation, blind-spot information, rear cross-traffic monitor, and front and rear parking sensors. Convenience and safety features include a surround-view camera, cross-traffic monitor, and blind-spot information system.

The A-Spec package includes 20-inch wheels and low-profile 245/45R20 tires, gloss black exterior accents, and larger exhaust finishers. An available red or black leather interior with black Ultrasuede inserts are among the treatments inside for the 2021 RDX A-Spec. It also features a 16-speaker premium sound system.

Total MSRP, including destination, for our 2021 Acura RDX A-Spec tester: $47,625.

Interior Highlights

Stepping into the new RDX, A-Spec reveals a contemporary cabin with high-tech metal trim and a racy two-tone black and red upholstery. We could get used to these supportive front seats on longer trips in the RDX. It took a little while to get used to the push-button gear shifter, but it does save space upfront and provides extra storage in the console.

2021 Acura RDX SH-AWD A-Spec

The cabin feels roomy and provides a lot of space for occupants in the front and rear. Taller passengers have plenty of headroom even with the standard panoramic sunroof. Like most crossovers its size, the RDX provides easy access and exit. Backseat passengers enjoy solid seat comfort even though the rear seats aren't adjustable.

The cargo space is amply sized, and there's handy in-floor storage back there now. The rear seats fold flat to expand the 29.5-cubic-foot cargo hold to 58.9 cubic feet. Acura moved the spare tire under the rear, so the RDX has an additional 1.7-cubic-foot compartment below its carpeted deck. That's enough for a backpack of valuable supplies that should remain hidden from public view.
Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs

The 2021 Acura RDX is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, producing 272 horsepower and 280 lb-ft. of torque. It comes mated to a new 10-speed automatic featuring steering wheel paddle shifters. This tester came with all-wheel-drive.

EPA fuel mileage estimates come in at 21/26 city/highway and 23 combined mpg.

Driving Dynamics

The 2.0-liter turbo engine has the power, and it brings a sporty feeling to the recently-remodeled RDX. 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.

2021 Acura RDX SH-AWD A-Spec

We pushed the RDX around tight mountain curves, as we do with every vehicle we review. It has quicker steering and handling improves over the outgoing model. Driving enthusiasts will 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. It easily keeps up with the BMW X3 and Audi Q5 when it comes to driving dynamics.

Steering wheel paddle shifters ramped up the driving experience and kept us interested in pushing the SUV a little farther than usual.

This RDX tester came with the optional Super Handling (SH) all-wheel drive. Coupled with the torque-vectoring system, the RDX is an all-weather capable vehicle, suitable for winter ski trips to the high country. The system can route 70 percent of the torque to the rear improving fuel mileage. The "torque vectoring" system splits power left to right, up to 100 percent, to improve lousy weather handling.


Overall, we like the 2021 Acura RDX A-Spec for its sharp steering and handling in the corners. 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 has 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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