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2020 Acura RDX Performance Review


Performance: 8.5

The 2020 Acura RDX's balanced ride, ample engine power, and good fuel efficiency make it a well-rounded option for most shoppers. Some folks may wish for a more powerful engine option though.

  • It doesn't offer quite the performance of competitors, but it compensates with a price that's thousands less when fully loaded. Overall, the RDX is a solid performer. Its turbocharged engine provides strong power at low rpm to get you away from stoplights quickly, and the transmission is adept at picking the right gear for the situation." -- Edmunds
  • "From a driver's perspective, the new RDX is quite good. Most recent Acura models have left me wanting in some way, but I found the RDX very satisfying to drive." -- Automobile Magazine (2019)
  • "Jumping into a 2019 RDX for the first time, our main powertrain concern was that the 10-speed automatic would generate a ton of unnecessary, and distracting, shifts. This proved to be an unfounded fear. The gearbox does shift quite often under hard acceleration, but does so quickly and without any undue jerkiness." -- Autoblog (2019)

Acceleration and Power

The RDX's 272-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine provides plenty of muscle to get this little SUV moving. It's paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission that produces quick shifts. This setup gives the RDX solid acceleration, but some reviewers long for a more potent powertrain option. Nonetheless, the RDX's lone engine is more fuel-efficient than most of its competitors. It gets 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.

  • Its turbocharged four-cylinder engine provides decent power, but there isn't an optional engine upgrade for buyers looking for more power or a hybrid option." -- Edmunds
  • "Power comes from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 272 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque paired to the segment's first 10-speed automatic transmission. It's more powerful than competitors like the BMW X3 and Audi Q5 and it brings genuine excitement to this vehicle. This is the quickest RDX ever with strong acceleration and a throaty exhaust note that adds to the fun." -- Boston Globe (2019)
  • "The engine in this 3rd-gen Acura RDX is a sophisticated little powerhouse. While only 2.0 liters in displacement, it makes 272 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque, nearly tops in its class. The engine is connected to a new-to-the-RDX transmission, a 10-speed automatic made in-house by Honda and also used in the Accord sedan. The vast number of gears is meant for higher fuel efficiency, returning up to 28 mpg in front-drive models and 27 mpg for AWD versions." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)

Handling and Braking

You won’t be zipping around corners, but this Acura’s comfortable ride, minimal body lean, and responsive handling make for an enjoyable drive. It also features powerful brakes that may require more initial force on the pedal than what you’re used to. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive – which Acura calls the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system, or SH-AWD – is available. Reviewers praise the all-wheel-drive system for maintaining excellent traction in various weather conditions.

  • "The suspension does a respectable job of keeping you comfortable when driving over a variety of surfaces. The RDX shrugs off potholes and is well-controlled over highway undulations." -- Edmunds
  • "The new Acura RDX exhibits a very well-done balance between ride and handling. Steering feel is solid, with just the right combination of boost and feedback. The SUV stays level and doesn't dip in tight corners, showing some excellent body control." -- (2019)
  • The brakes have a firm feel and plenty of stopping power, but initial application takes more pedal force than one might otherwise expect." -- New York Daily News (2019)
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2020 Acura RDX

MSRP: $37,800 - $47,900

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