Flash Drive: 2010 Acura RDX AWD
This 2010 review is representative of model years 2007 to 2012.
By Staff of MSN Autos
The Acura RDX is a 5-passenger premium compact crossover that delivers a nice balance of style, performance and luxury. The crisp steering and balanced chassis give the RDX a sporty, nimble feel, and the SH-AWD is well-suited to control the powerful 4-cylinder turbo engine. Without it, torque steer and wheel spin would detract from the otherwise good driving dynamics unless the driver is gentle with the throttle. The turbo engine delivers good power across a broad rpm range but isn't so great on gas. Fuel economy around town is only 17 mpg at best. Inside, the RDX is much like its TSX sibling, with sport seats, a nice leather-wrapped wheel and a sporty elegance to the design and materials that reflects the personality of the RDX. –Mike Meredith
The Acura RDX is like a Honda CR-V on steroids. The turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is quick, and you need all-wheel drive to keep the torque steer and wheel spin under control. MSN Autos reviewed both FWD and AWD versions of the RDX. The FWD is lighter and feels quicker than the AWD. However, the FWD is more difficult to control under hard acceleration. The FWD version averages 1 mpg better, at 20 mpg versus 19 mpg in mixed driving. The Acura RDX is equipped with a great interior and a high-tech navigation package. The back seat is also fine for two adults. However, the rear seats are on the firm side and might be a tad uncomfortable on long drives. –Joe Chulick
The RDX has the most attractive dashboard of any current Acura. Though that black plastic leather-looking stuff that usually covers an Acura dashboard is still there, it's much less obvious, and that's a good thing. Yes, that is meant to be damning with faint praise. The four-banger under the hood is an example of a good, low-pressure turbo engine — it feels like a larger, normally aspirated engine. Sadly, the fuel cap says that only high-octane fuel is appropriate, so perhaps a larger engine would have been a more frugal idea overall. The front-wheel drive RDX suffers from poor traction and frequent wheel spin, while the AWD RDX I drove had a mushy brake pedal that eroded driver confidence. And there's a ridge that crosses from left to right across the trunk, making it a real hassle to load suitcases. Both RDXs I drove were disappointments. –Paul Hagger