Posts Tagged ‘road noise’

2013 Acura RDX at The Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona

With Acura’s introduction of the 2013 RDX, it would be safe to say that the Japanese manufacturer’s latest and improved version of their popular entry-level crossover SUV will be a consistent performer. In every meaning of the phrase. In fact, at a recent unveiling inScottsdale,Arizona, company spokespeople went out of their way to tell the world that they are very optimistic about the 2013 model. In fact, they anticipate selling 4,500 vehicles which represents 500 more than the RDX’s previous best sales numbers back in 2008, two years after its introduction to the buying public in 2006.

And there is much to suggest that this target could well be achieved – easily. Think of the all new Honda CR-V but with more power, features and cache. Truthfully, what’s not to like in this 2013 RDX package – especially if you have never been exposed to the slightly more spirited 2012 model with its turbo-charged four cylinder engine? A feature which some drivers seemed to prefer – but were often vocal in their complaints since many felt it lacked some of the expected refinement associated with a premium brand. But if you were only using it to shuttle your kids to school and sundry practices on city roads, it likely never really had any negative impact.

Available in dealerships across the country at the beginning of April 2013, the MSRP for the 2013 will start at CAD $40,990 and the model with the Technology Package which we test drove on terrific roads north and east of Phoenix through seemingly endless scrub lands, desert and mountains, for CAD $43,900. It should be noted that for 2013, Acura has added significant additional features worth about $3,400 and some major engineering refinements – yet the price is only around $500 more than 2012.

So, as stated, it’s safe to say that the 2013 RDX has managed to significantly up its game with all new looks, increased comfort and new technology. The RDX features a new 3.5L V-6 engine with 33 more horsepower than the outgoing model, mated to a new 6-speed automatic transmission and a new, all-wheel-drive system.  Alexandre Roger, VP of Acura Canada enthuses, “It’s more powerful, roomier, quieter and has improved fuel efficiency. In short, it’s everything we know customers in the luxury SUV market expect – and more.”

Interestingly enough, the 2013 RDX with a bigger, more powerful engine also manages, according to the manufacturers, to achieve superior fuel economy than before. While we road-tested the vehicle over the better part of a day, we were not looking for numbers that would cause excitement in the hypermiling community. We were driving. Often hard. Especially when the opportunity presented itself on the spirited jaunt onArizona’s Hwy. 87 into Payson. Here, the vehicle felt most comfortable and that gas consumption willing, might have cruised forever. The 2013 model is also significantly quieter and smoother (some might say too much so) than previous iterations thanks to a longer wheelbase and all-new Amplitude Reactive Dampers and a new motion adaptive electronic power steering system. No compromise in the audio level of conversation in this luxury; most occupants will likely appreciate the new interior design with increased utility, rich interior materials and the generous use of noise insulation throughout.

Standard features on the RDX include leather seating surfaces, heated power front seats, a power moon roof and a 360-watt audio system. New technologies such as an SMS text messaging function (which this writer has difficulty comprehending given many provinces new distracted driving laws), a keyless access system with the convenience of pushbutton start, an active noise control system and the most welcome addition of a rear view camera system with three unique viewing angles are also standard on all RDX models. This latter feature is also now standard on all levels of the all new Honda CR-V.

The RDX tech package adds Acura navigation system with (bi-lingual) voice recognition; a hard disk drive (HDD) system with 60 GB of storage capacity; GPS-linked solar-sensing, dual-zone automatic climate control system; power rear tailgate; and an Acura/ELS surround premium sound system with 10 speakers, DVD-audio, multi-format CD player, AM/FM tuner and XM radio.

The 2013 RDX is then, in its competitive category with Audi Q5, MB GLK and Infiniti EX35 and BMW X1, in pretty good company. With its expected Acura-styling, room and highway driving comfort and handling, the future should auger well. Acura hopes to appeal to more women drivers – without producing an overtly feminine vehicle – whatever that might be. Will they succeed? We’ll leave that to the buying public at large. However, nothing has been done to deliberately alienate any demographic with the introduction of this safe – in all respects, CUV.