Acura's compact crossover gets SH-AWD back
The 2019 Acura RDX arrives in production form at the 2018 New York auto show packing turbocharged power and a new, more aggressive look. Gone is the old 3.5-liter V-6, replaced by a version of the 2.0-liter turbo-four found in the 2018 Honda Accord and Civic Type R. In this application, it makes 272 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, or 7 hp less than the previous six-cylinder RDX but up 28 lb-ft. The engine comes paired exclusively to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive comes standard but for improved handling and all-weather traction, the 2019 RDX gets Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) back as an option, allowing it to send 70 percent of torque to the rear wheels. This new-generation system can also send 100 percent of that torque to either the left or right rear wheel.
Riding on a new platform exclusive to the Acura brand, the 2019 RDX has a wheelbase that’s 2.6 inches longer, giving it more cargo and passenger space, and a flat floor for the second row. The 2019 RDX’s body is composed of 50 percent high strength steel for improved rigidity, handling, and NVH. It also has a new suspension layout with a five-link independent rear setup.
Inside, the 2019 RDX features new 16-way adjustable sport seats designed specifically for Acura. All 2019 RDX models come with a panoramic moonroof. Acura’s new Android-based infotainment system, called the True Touchpad Interface, makes its debut in the 2019 RDX with a 10.2-inch screen and a console-mounted touchpad. Higher trim models come with Acura’s ELS Studio 3D audio system, which have speakers mounted on the ceiling. Other available features include a head-up display, full LED headlights, adaptive dampers, and leather upholstery.
Like the recently refreshed TLX sedan, the 2019 RDX will be available as an A-Spec model with 20-inch alloy wheels, a unique lower front fascia, gloss black accents on the headlights, side sills, upper window trim, and taillights, LED fog lights, larger dual exhaust tips, and A-Spec badges on the front quarter panel and tailgate. Inside, the RDX A-Spec can be had in red or black leather upholstery with Ultrasuede inserts, aluminum trim, metal-plated paddle shifters, a special gauge cluster and a steering wheel with an A-Spec badge.
All models will come standard with the AcuraWatch active driver assistance suite, which includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, and lane departure warning.
The 2019 Acura RDX will be manufactured at Honda’s East Liberty, Ohio, plant, with the engine coming from its Anna, Ohio, engine plant and the transmission from its Tallapoosa, Georgia, plant. The 2019 RDX rolls out to Acura dealers nationwide in mid-2018.