$10,211 - $10,991

2011 Acura RDX Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2011 Acura RDX was new.


Performance: 8.5

Most reviewers enjoy driving the Acura RDX, which is adept at handling corners and ideal for in-town driving. While test drivers praise its turbocharged engine, several of them also complain about turbo lag.

  • "Well, after a first spin in the new front-driver -- with an all-wheel-drive model on hand for comparison -- we came away convinced that Acura has been able to preserve the delicate balance of technology, value, and dynamic prowess offered by its little ute." -- Car and Driver
  • "The RDX uses a turbocharged, four-cylinder that provides strong acceleration, but lacks the refinement of a six-cylinder. Handling is agile and secure, but the ride is stiff." -- MSN
  • "The pewter, dark metallic gray, test truck was handsome enough, and it drove fairly well. It comes with what Acura calls Super Handling-All-Wheel Drive, SH-AWD for short." -- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • "In road tests, we've found that the Acura RDX drives like a sport sedan. It's quick and extremely nimble through corners." -- Edmunds

Acceleration and Power

The 2011 RDX comes with a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 240 horsepower. While test drivers find the engine plenty powerful, several complain about turbo lag. According to the EPA, the all-wheel drive models achieve 17/22 mpg city/highway, while the new FWD model achieves a slightly improved 19/24 mpg.

If you want a more powerful engine, consider the Audi Q5. It has a higher starting price than the RDX but has better fuel economy. 

  • "Acceleration isn't neck snapping but is more than adequate in most situations, especially once the turbo kicks in. A test RDX did 6.8 seconds 0-60 mph. Throttle response suffers from some turbo lag." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The turbocharged engine is a thrill and makes the RDX exciting to drive, providing 0-60-mph times in the high-6-second range. On the downside, the RDX's EPA fuel estimates are barely average for this segment, and the turbocharged engine requires 91-octane fuel." -- Edmunds
  • "I thought the RDX's acceleration was pretty strong but nothing special for a V-6-powered crossover, then I remembered that under the hood resided a 'puffed' four cylinder." -- Chicago Sun-Times
  • "Power is good from the 240-horsepower, 2.3-liter, turbo 4-cylinder engine. There is a slight turbo lag when you gun it, and a bit of hesitation when you coast and try to accelerate again." -- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Handling and Braking

The 2011 RDX receives considerable praise for its handling, which is sporty and sedan-like. Reviewers haven't yet had a chance to test the new FWD model, so make sure to test drive one yourself to see how it might change the driving experience and fuel economy.

  • "Acura has also made some changes to the brake actuation hardware with a new pedal ratio, vacuum booster and servo. The front brakes are unchanged and we didn't notice any significant difference in feel. The stoppers apply smoothly and were easy to modulate during our brief drive, although the changes should be more apparent when the CUV is driven hard and temperatures rise." -- Autoblog
  • "In addition to comparable performance for less coin, the most troublesome of the RDX's earlier issues also has been rectified, that being a painfully brittle ride. Today's RDX offers an excellent balance of feel and composure while keeping body roll in check." -- Car and Driver
  • "Steering was fairly quick and there was only modest lean in tight turns. Yet the steering was heavy and the truck felt heavier than its 3,942 pounds." -- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • "The ride was very good gliding through the air at highway speeds. The around town ride was uneventful, well-dampened and the body stays inline with the chassis during unplanned emergency avoidance maneuvers and brisk cornering." -- Chicago Sun-Times
  • "Firm-ride suspension makes for an agile little SUV. ... Body lean is modest in fast turns. Steering has solid road feel, but some testers find effort too heavy at low speeds." -- Consumer Guide

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