$11,073 - $12,550

2012 Acura RDX Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2012 Acura RDX was new.


Performance: 8.3

Most reviewers enjoy driving the nimble Acura RDX after they get past the engine’s initial hesitation, or turbo lag.

  • "Some testers notice turbo whine during acceleration, while others cite an elevated engine note at idle. Wind rush is not an issue. The tires are noisy even on smooth asphalt." -- Consumer Guide

Acceleration and Power

The 2012 RDX comes with a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 240 horsepower. While test drivers find the engine plenty powerful and the standard five-speed automatic transmission smooth, several complain about turbo lag, which is when the engine pauses before power kicks in. But after its initial hesitation, test drivers say the RDX is speedy.

The RDX is available with front- and all-wheel drive, but neither powertrain is fuel-efficient for the class. Front-wheel drive models average 19/24 mpg city/highway, according to the EPA, while all-wheel drive models average 17/22 mpg.

If you want a luxury compact SUV that’s more powerful and more fuel-efficient, test the Audi Q5. It comes standard with all-wheel drive and has higher fuel economy ratings than the front-wheel drive RDX.

  • "The 240-hp turbo-four is a bit laggy, but strong once the boost arrives." -- Car and Driver
  • "Acceleration is quite snappy once the turbo kicks in, but there is quite a bit of lag before that happens. A test AWD RDX did 0-60 mph in 6.8 seconds. The transmission is smooth and responsive." -- Consumer Guide

Handling and Braking

The 2012 RDX receives considerable praise for its handling, which is sporty and nimble, but its harsh ride and wide turning radius get a lot of complaints. Most test drivers like the RDX’s brakes, but one says they are a bit spongy.

  • "Firm-ride suspension makes for an agile little SUV. Available AWD furnishes secure grip on wet or dry surfaces. Front-drive models suffer from tire squeal, even with judicious throttle application. Body lean is modest in fast turns. Steering has solid road feel, but some testers find effort too heavy at low speeds. RDX's turning circle is rather wide, too. The brakes provide good stopping control, but some test models suffered from spongy pedal action." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The handling is secure and sporty, but the ride is a bit too firm." -- Car and Driver
  • "Nearly 40-foot turning circle." -- Cars.com

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