2016 Acura RDX [REVIEW]

Here’s our review of the refreshed 2016 RDX crossover! Does it have what it takes to keep it ahead of rivals, like the Audi Q5 and BMW X3?

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While Acura’s sedan lineup has had its ups and downs over the years, one part of its lineup has remained the shinning star – its SUV lineup. The MDX continues to be the best-selling luxury three-row crossover and the smaller RDX has managed to outgun rivals, like the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. For 2016 Acura gave the RDX a nice update that adds a little more styling pizzaz, a little more fun under the hood and some small interior updates. Will the updates keep the RDX out front, or is there a chance now that others may catch up? Read on to find out.
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2014 was the best year yet for RDX sales, with Acura managing to sell almost 45k units, compared to Audi who was running close behind at just over 42k units sold. Now you can see why Acura needs to keep the RDX fresh. On the outside the front and rear of the 2016 RDX has been updated with many of the same styling cues as the rest of the Acura lineup, which includes the addition of the Jewel Eye headlights, an updated version of Acura’s controversial grille and more aggressive bumpers. Over the updates give the RDX a slightly more aggressive look, which is a good thing, since the 2015 model did start to look a little bland.

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Inside the updates are smaller with some color updates and new second-row air-conditioning vents. The new Advance Package adds rain-sensing wipers, remote engine start, front and rear parking sensors, ventilated front seats and the AcuraWatch safety tech.

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Under the hood the 2016 RDX continues to only offer one engine, a 3.5L V6, but it does get some tweaks to give it 279 horsepower (up 6) and 252 lb-ft. of torque (up 1). Acura also says the updates give the engine a broader torque curve. You’d think that extra power would hurt the mpg ratings, but it’s the opposite here with the 2016 RDX getting an extra 1 mpg on the highway at 20/28 with FWD and 19/28 with AWD. Acura also updated the engine mounts, tweaked the steering system and made some small updates to the RDX’s suspension.

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Related: 2015 Acura TLX V6 SH-AWD [REVIEW]

Around town it’s easy to see why the RDX continues to win over so many buyers. It’s interior is comfortable and spacious. On top of that the standard 3.5L V6 provides the acceleration that most buyers in this class will be happy with. It’s not overly sporty, but the steering is nicely weighted and its suspension manages to keep everything under control without being too stiff. It should only be a matter of time until the RDX gets Acura’s new nine-speed transmission, which should help with the fuel economy specs.

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We’re there any negatives? Well the navigation system is not entirely intuitive and every time that I tried to enter an address, I ended up giving up and just using my iPhone to guide me. It would also be nice if the RDX had a panoramic sunroof. Other than that I enjoyed the RDX for what it is. A comfortable, luxury crossover. Pricing for the 2016 RDX starts at $35,270, my fully loaded RDX with all-wheel-drive and the Tech, Advance and AcuraWatch Plus packages was priced at $44,340.