2019 Acura RDX Prototype

In terms of volume, the RDX was pretty low on the list of Detroit Auto Show reveals this year, after all the Chevrolet Silverado, Ram 1500, and Ford Ranger were announced earlier in the day, but in terms of importance to a brand, the RDX may well be at the top of the list.  Acura unveiled their first ground-up redesign in years… for any of their models… today at the show.  After showing the Precision Concept off at the same show a couple of years ago and the Precision Cockpit last year, Acura has finally put the two together in an all-new vehicle. They have slowly been supplanting the new Diamond Pentagon grille across the lineup in light refreshes, but the RDX will be the first to benefit from the whole package and set the tone for future Acuras to come.

Riding on an Acura-exclusive platform, the five-passenger crossover will be powered by a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission that will vector the torque through Acura’s advanced Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system.  The platform provides a lighter and stiffer base with 1.2″ of additional wheel track (width) and 2.5″ of additional wheelbase (length) that Acura claims will allow for class-leading cabin, rear leg, and rear cargo space.

Gone is the busy two-screen setup in favor of a single 10.2″ full-HD display mounted high on the center stack.  This new system also ditches a traditional touchscreen to go instead with a touchpad (called Acura True Touchpad) interface.  The system will also incorporate a natural language voice recognition system that allows occupants to talk as they normally would instead of following clunky prompts (think about it like talking to Siri or Alexa).  A 16-channel 710-watt stereo pumps the tunes through an interior with upscale, natural, and authentic materials (i.e. if it looks like metal, it is; if it looks like wood, it is; etc).  New heated and ventilated Napa leather sport seats and matching steering wheel sit next to a floating console that houses the dynamic drive mode selector.  All models of RDX will include the AcuraWatch suite of safety technology as well as a panoramic moonroof; a Wi-Fi hotspot is available.

When the RDX launches later this year it will also be available in an A-spec trim, something Acura made clear will be coming to all of their core models.  In addition, Acura made the announcement that the Type-S moniker would make its way back into the lineup in the coming years, though on what models remains unclear.  Acura has been in desperate need of direction for the past decade, and the RDX finally appears to have them back on the right path.

Randy Milanowski

Randy Milanowski

Randy has had a passion for the automobile for as long as he can remember. He lives in the Chicagoland area with his wife, pets, and project cars.

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