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2015 Acura RDX Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2015 Acura RDX was new.


Performance: 8.1

Most reviewers agree that the 2015 Acura RDX accelerates quickly and its V6 engine delivers plenty of power. Though some rivals offer more engine options, reviewers say the RDX's V6 performs as well as many turbocharged four-cylinder engines and matches their fuel economy. Test drivers also appreciate the 2015 RDX's strong brakes and comfortable ride.

  • "Turbocharged four-cylinder engines and seven- or eight-speed automatics seem to be the powertrain of choice for most automakers offering small luxury crossovers these days, but the V6 in the 2015 Acura RDX is so good that you might just wonder what all the fuss is about." -- Edmunds
  • "To our welcome surprise, the 2014 RDX delivers above and beyond the expected level of dynamism, proving itself a capable performer in initial acceleration and passing power." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)
  • "I've tested every player in this segment many times, including a new high-performance version of the XC60 the week prior to test-driving the RDX, and the Acura doesn't fall behind any of them as an overall performer." -- Cars.com (2013)
  • "On balance, what emerges is a driving experience that is pleasant, comfortable, competent, and as memorable as a bowl of oatmeal.” -- Popular Mechanics. (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The 2015 Acura RDX is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 273 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. The RDX achieves up to an EPA-estimated 20/28 mpg city/highway, which is on par for the class.

Auto writers report that the RDX has a refined engine that delivers seamless acceleration off the line and ample power for highway passing. They also note that its six-cylinder engine performs better than some rivals' turbocharged four-cylinder engines.

  • "True to its modest nature, the 2015 Acura RDX doesn't exactly position itself as a rocket. Yet it exceeded our expectations in terms of initial acceleration and passing power. The standard V6 idles smoother and pulls harder than the 4-cylinder turbocharged engines found in the Audi Q5 and Land Rover LR2, and there's a sport mode when more oomph is needed." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The RDX is motivated by a 3.5-liter V6 that's smooth and refined in its power delivery." -- Left Lane News
  • "It isn't a powerhouse at 273 horsepower, but it's stout enough to get the RDX from zero to 60 mph in a plenty agreeable 6.5 seconds. The other upside is reasonable fuel economy that's in the same ballpark as those turbocharged four-cylinder competitors." -- Edmunds

Handling and Braking

The 2015 Acura RDX comes standard with front-wheel drive, while all-wheel drive is optional. Though some say that a few luxury compact SUVs are more athletic, test drivers agree that the 2015 RDX offers stable handling in turns, strong brakes and a comfortable, quiet ride. However, some reviewers wish the RDX's steering provided more feedback.

  • "Though it's not quite as overtly sporty as some rivals, the RDX still changes direction in fine fashion. Its steering feels light but precise, and overall handling is composed and secure when driving through turns. On the open highway, the RDX boasts low levels of road and wind noise, plus an impressively comfortable ride." -- Edmunds
  • "Just as impressive is this 2-row SUV's solid and secure ride quality. Combined with its easy maneuverability, quiet cabin and comfortable driver's seat, the RDX is an exceptional partner for trips long or short." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The suspension is rigid enough that the car can be put through high-speed antics in corners. Taking turns at speed, the car's tires made tortured sounds indicating the loss of a tread layer, but the body remained flat, with no wallow and not much lean." -- CNET (2013)
  • “Acura engineers obsessed over brake tuning, and it shows: the RDX has a surprising amount of bite coupled with firm, linear pedal travel." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)
  • "Electric power steering is becoming universal, thanks to the fuel-economy benefits, and some carmakers have built systems that provide road feel comparable to traditional hydraulic setups. Mazda's new CX-5 is a good example of this. The RDX is not. The Acura requires more effort to steer as your speed increases, but tactile information is vague." -- Popular Mechanics (2013) 

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