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Acura gets it right with RDX

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2015 Acura RDX

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Acura redesigned its RDX crossover for the 2013 model year and basically has left it alone ever since.

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Hey. When you get it pretty much right the first time, you don't have to keep fiddling with it.

With good power, fuel economy in the 20 miles-per-gallon range, an attractive cabin and technology that is user-friendly, there isn’t a whole lot else to ask for in a vehicle of this class.

The Japanese automaker brought the RDX to market for the 2007 model year when its predecessor, the MDX, grew out of its britches and moved up into the midsize segment. The first generation featured a 2.3-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine matched with a five-speed automatic transmission.

That drivetrain was replaced six years later by the current six-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission that shifts so smoothly you’d swear it was a CVT.

The 3.5-liter V6 is rated at 273 horsepower at 6200 rpm and 251 pound-feet of torque at 5000 rpm and drinks the recommended premium fuel at a rate of 20 miles-per-gallon city, 28 highway, which is right at what its competitors offer.

Pricing, too, is competitive in its class with a starting MSRP of $35,790 (including the $895 destination and delivery charge) for the front-wheel-drive base model. The all-wheel-drive version starts at $37,190.

A tech package also is available in both the FWD and AWD models that, for an added cost of $3,700, adds such niceties as an easy-to-use and view navigation system, a voice recognition system for various functions such as audio and nav, a rearview camera, AcuraLink Communication System for real-time traffic and weather, premium sound system, dual-zone climate control, and a power liftgate.

The one downside is that the RDX does not offer such safety technology as blind-spot or lane departure warning systems or adaptive cruise control. The answer to that is to adjust your side-view mirrors correctly, keep the vehicle between the lines, and pay attention when cruising on cruise control!

The RDX’s cabin features nice appointments with comfortable seating. As with the exterior, the two-tone interior styling is somewhat understated, which makes for a bolder appearance.

And it’s roomy inside. Even with the front seats pulled back, there is significant legroom in the rear for three adults.

As a compact SUV, there is no third-row seating, but there is a nice 26.1 cubic feet of stowage space behind the second row and more than double that with those seats flipped down.

Passengers, then, get the benefit of a smooth, comfortable ride while the driver has the pleasure of being behind the wheel of a family hauler that responds nicely when the throttle is punched.

For a quick look at the RDX and more features and specs, check the accompanying slide show.

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