Monday, June 13, 2011

2011 Acura RDX

2011 Acura RDX

After a small facelift in 2010, the Acura RDX is due for a major design overhaul in 2011. Drivers can expect major changes to the styling of the RDX, both inside and out. Although Acura has not confirmed anything officially yet, there is also a strong possibility that the automaker will add a hybrid RDX to the lineup for 2011. Closer to model year 2012, an RDX with a turbodiesel engine may also debut. The new RDX’s release is set for late fall 2010. Read on for our initial car review of the 2011 Acura RDX.


As the smallest compact crossover that’s offered by Acura, the RDX is just right for those who want ample interior space in a nice, neat package. With a starting MSRP of $32,500, the 2011 Acura RDX boasts an extraordinary amount of features for a middle-of-the-road price. Front-wheel drive is still standard, but Acura’s topnotch Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive – SH-AWD – is also available. The 2.3-liter DOHC 16-valve in-line 4-cylinder engine is masterfully designed, ensuring that drivers always have plenty of pep at their disposal. When you throw in an exquisite interior and ample cargo space, the 2011 Acura RDX is a bona fide winner. What we know about the 2011 Acura RDX’s specs is summarized below.

* Pricing: the 2011 RDX should start at about $33,000 MSRP, but Acura has not released retail or invoice pricing data yet

* Fuel economy: traditional RDX should have city/highway car ratings comparable to that of current model (19/24 mpg). No information available yet on the hybrid RDX.

* Engine: turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder with 240 horsepower; no data on turbodiesel or hybrid engines yet

* Drivetrain: five-speed automatic with manual shift control

* Acceleration: all-wheel drive 2010 RDX completes 0-60 mph in 6.8 seconds; 2011 model will likely have similar numbers

* Car safety features: brake assist, anti-lock brakes, front-seat side airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability control, active front head restraints, and side-curtain airbags

* Suspension: no suspension changes planned as of this writing

* Warranty: four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty; six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty

Exterior Features

Acura hasn’t said much about the new styling of the 2011 RDX, but you can expect major changes. The hybrid version, if offered, will likely have slightly different styling and badges from the traditional gas-powered RDX. We will know more when Acura releases preliminary photos of the 2011 RDX later in the year.

Interior Features

While the inner workings of the 2011 Acura RDX are undeniably exciting, its interior is sure to produce gasps of appreciation, too. Updated and enhanced leather upholstery kicks up the quality inside the RDX, while ambient footwell lighting helps bring it roaring into the 21st century with aplomb. Nifty technological features, like a rearview camera system, further enhance the car’s interior. A pull handle makes closing the rear hatch a snap, while improved cupholders ensure that there’s plenty of space for beverages. Dual-level heated front seats are just one more way that the 2011 RDX shines.

On the Road

Several tweaks have been made with the 2011 Acura RDX, and many of them have very positive impacts on its handling and driving capabilities. The variable-flow turbocharged engine and i-VTEC ensure exceptional performance. Quick, seamless gear changes are par for the course. Those who prefer having more control will appreciate the steering-wheel-mounted paddles that allow for manual shifting. Finally, a revised brake system produces a sturdier, more responsive feel – it’s a lot more durable, too. All told, slipping behind the wheel of the 2011 Acura RDX is a genuine delight.


The shining star of the 2011 Acura RDX is, undoubtedly, its first-rate engine. The turbocharged DOHC 16-valve in-line 4-cylinder engine boasts i-VTEC control, creating more responsive and engaging performance. The five-speed automatic transmission is equipped with Sequential SportShift, which is standard; this further increases the power and capabilities of the RDX. Acura’s compelling SH-AWD system not only distributes torque evenly between the rear and front axles, but it distributes it between the right and left rear wheels, too. When paired with an engine that produces 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, it’s plain to see why car enthusiasts give this configuration two thumbs up.

Although we won’t know until we perform an official road test, Acura has not announced any plans to change the 2011 RDX substantially under the hood. The biggest development in the performance area will probably be the hybrid RDX’s engine, which will offer lower horsepower but higher fuel economy ratings. The traditional gas-powered RDX will likely have 0-60 times, power outputs, and powertrain options similar to those of the 2010 model. Braking and handling will probably also remain the same, as Acura just revised the brakes on the RDX in 2010.


Those who are concerned about safety will be reassured to know that the 2011 Acura RDX boasts it in spades. One of the most notable things about the RDX, in terms of safety, is its Advanced Compatibility Engineering, or ACE, body structure. More than anything, this design enhances the safety of passengers in the RDX. Another key perk is cargo space. When its rear seats are folded down, the 2011 RDX boasts 61 cubic feet of it. Combine that with the improved fuel economy of front-wheel drive models, and you have yourself a winner.


With so many thoughtful touches – and such a masterfully engineered powertrain and engine – there’s little to complain about when it comes to the 2011 Acura RDX. That said, a few minor beefs can still be found. All-wheel drive models have lackluster fuel economy – it’s a trade-off that some drivers won’t want to make. Despite all of the refined features, the RDX tends to ride too firmly for most drivers. Finally, its updated corporate grille – which is now in its second year – will continue to be a divisive aesthetic feature; some people love it, some people can’t stand it.

2011 Acura RDX

2011 Acura RDX
2011 Acura RDX