$22,700 - $27,577

2017 Acura RDX Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Acura RDX was new.


Performance: 8.1

Reviewers say that while the 2017 Acura RDX isn’t as sporty or fun to drive as some competitors (especially German ones), you should remember that this SUV is all about comfort. The V6 provides good power for day-to-day driving, and riders and drivers alike will find a smooth and quiet experience in the cabin.

  • "Indeed, with its luxurious yet responsive character and standard V6 power, the RDX isn't just a top compact crossover. It can also be viewed as a more affordable alternative to midsize models like the Lexus RX." -- Edmunds
  • "Part of acknowledging the general goodness of the RDX is divorcing it from the increasingly popular idea of the sporty crossover, like the German set. Following this mid-cycle revision, the RDX leans much more closely towards the crossover example set by the Lexus RX - that of the comfortable, relaxed, and finely appointed five-passenger cruiser.” -- Autoblog (2016)
  • "If you want a sportier drive, something like the BMW X3 or Infiniti QX50 might be better. There's no high-fuel-economy option, so fuel misers might look to its diesel-powered German rivals. Finally, off-road enthusiasts should just head to a Land Rover or Jeep dealership." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)

Acceleration and Power

The 2017 RDX is powered by a 279-horsepower V6 engine, coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is average for the class, with EPA estimates of 20 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway for the front-wheel drive model. All-wheel drive gets 19/27, and reviewers report that actual road tests achieve these estimates.

Automotive journalists agree that the V6 is plenty powerful for spirited highway cruising, providing smooth acceleration and throttle response. The cabin remains quiet, however, shielding passengers from most exterior noise.

  • “A turbocharged four-cylinder is increasingly the engine of choice for small luxury crossovers these days, but the V6 in the 2017 Acura RDX is so good that you might just wonder what all the fuss is about. Step on the gas pedal and the RDX scoots ahead quickly and quietly, though there's also a nice V6 snarl at high rpm that sounds better than a lot of those four-cylinder engines.” -- Edmunds
  • “Acceleration from the V6 is quiet and strong, with the 6-speed automatic transmission gliding smoothly through its gears.” -- Autotrader (2016)
  • “On the highway, the ride is fairly smooth and very quiet overall, with good isolation from wind and road noise.” -- Cars.com (2016)

Handling and Braking

Reviewers generally agree that the RDX’s ride quality is calm, and the handling is nimble and engaging. Some, however, find that the steering doesn’t provide adequate feedback to the driver. The RDX handles most bumps easily.

  • "Though it's not quite as sporty as some rivals, the RDX still changes direction with poise and confidence. Its steering feels light but precise, and overall handling is composed and secure when driving through turns." -- Edmunds
  • "Much like the CR-V on which it's based, the RDX feels very disconnected, both through the steering and the chassis. We aren't asking for low-profile rubber or anything like that, but something to better communicate road feel to the driver would be nice." -- Autoblog (2016)
  • "Bumps are handled by a MacPherson strut setup in front and a multilink design in back. Front and rear stabilizer bars keep everything planted. Most potholes arrive with a muffled thud in the cabin and can throw the car off its course a bit, but they have to be big, and the RDX has to be going slow. Bumps at speed on the highway are mostly absorbed." -- AutoWeek (2016)

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