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Highlights: The Acura RDX went through a major overhaul during the 2013 model year.

Test vehicle’s MSRP: $40,515 (Base model starts at $35,415)

Seating Capacity:  5

Standard Safety Features: airbags (driver, passenger, side, curtain); rollover sensors; vehicle stability assist; a tire pressure monitoring system; and daytime running lights

Standard Equipment: 18-inch wheels; leather seats; push-button keyless starter; power front seats; heated front seats; auto dimming rearview mirror; and a power moonroof

Standard Audio: a 7-speaker 360-watt, AM/FM/CD with XM satellite

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty:  6 years or 70,000 miles

Bluetooth Compatibility: Yes

Test Vehicle Standard Engine/Horsepower: 3.5-liter, 6-cylinder/273-horsepower

Recommended Fuel: Premium

Standard Fuel Mileage: 19-city/27-hwy

Trim Levels:

Base (front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive)

Tech (front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive)

What’s New: Acura’s entry-level RDX was redesign during the 2013 model year.

Pros: The RDX is available in either a front-wheel drive or a all-wheel drive configuration. By adding the all-wheel drive configuration, the price rises by approximately $1,400. The second-generation RDX is also larger than the previous generation RDX, which translates into more interior room for both the occupants and the cargo area, too. The RDX is also the perfect size, making it nimble and easier to navigate the roads, as opposed to some of the seven-passenger vehicles.The well-equipped and well-built RDX is priced lower than the other 5-passenger luxury compact crossovers in its class.  Like Honda, Acura, the  luxury sibling to the mass market brand, has a simple ordering process, meaning their vehicles are only available with a few trim package.

In the case of the RDX, its available with or without a Tech package, which consists of a voice-activated nav system, a rearview camera, real-time traffic (real-time weather updates), a 10-speaker surround/sound system, a power tailgate, Xenon headlights and foglights.

Occupants will also find that once inside the cabin the nav and the audio system are relatively easy to use. Unlike some of today’s vehicles, no extensive training is needed to figure out how to use the high-tech infotainment systems.

Cons: Acura’s are known for having a stiff suspension, the MDX continues the tradition. Those seeking a luxury-oriented suspension should look elsewhere. The well-equipped RDX lacks a few luxury feature found in some of the non premium crossovers, an oversize sunroof, heated rear seats and ventilated front seats.

And while we like Acura’s simple-ordering packaging system, a rearview camera should be standard on all RDX. This should not be an item folded into the high-dollar Tech package.

Verdict: Ironically, the current-generation Acura RDX is nearly about the same size as the first-generation MDX, the brand’s flagship crossover. The stylish and roomy RDX offers a number of amenities, making this a competitive player in the compact crossover segment. Acura manages to do this and more in the RDX at a lower price point, too than many of its competitors.

Competition: Audi Q5, BMW X3, Cadillac SRX, Land Rover Evoque, and Mercedes GLK


Jeff Fortson is an auto analyst and editor of a car-buying website for women and minorities. To learn more about his popular car-buying workshop and/or to price a new-vehicle, drive on over to Follow him @ Twitter/JeffCars.

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