Los Angeles, California — Acura’s latest brand new models — TLX and MDX — surprised us and let us know that Acura, as a luxury and high-performance brand, has truly returned to good shape. The redesigned RDX tried to do the same thing in 2019. Although this was an above-average overhaul, it did not impress us as strongly as TLX and MDX.
Now, the 2022 Acura RDX is here. It has made a series of improvements to try to enhance the driving experience and ensure that it does not lag behind other Acura products in terms of technology or luxury. One omission, and also a big omission, is the continued lack of S variants. Both TLX and MDX offer high-performance Type S versions with turbocharged V6 engines, and RDX will continue to have no such models in 2022. This is a pity, because the smaller size of the RDX means that it can compete with other models such as BMW X3 M40i, Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 and Audi SQ5 as a quality platform performance crossover.
This is not to say that Acura has ignored the driving experience in 2022. A performance improvement comes from the adaptive damper that has been retuned in the premium trim, which is harder in sports mode and softer in comfort mode. In addition, the cabin is much quieter than before due to additional sound insulation materials and an enhanced active sound control system. Acura said that the NVH of the standard car has been increased by 20%, while the sound insulation effect of the premium package car is better, which is 30% higher than that of the 2021 model.
By looking at the new grill pattern and thinner chrome grille surround, you will be able to distinguish the updated RDX from the pre-refreshed version. Looking further down, you will notice larger side air intakes and a new fog lamp design. It’s hard to tell from the back that anything is new, but if you look closely, you’ll see that every model except A-Spec has a redone lower bumper and rectangular exhaust vent-it hangs on it. On the round double exhaust pipe. Some new wheel designs complete the exterior update, while the interior sees a new bronze finish with aluminum trim in the lower trim.
Perhaps one of the most important changes Acura has made to RDX this year was done in terms of equipment, because it solves one of our complaints about Acura in the past few years. You can finally equip the premium kit to the A-Spec decorated car. This is crucial because Acura has long dedicated its adaptive shock absorbers to Advance Package cars, which means that the most sporty A-Spec trim car can never be equipped with the best suspension components. This is still the case with TLX, but now we hope that Acura can correct this error in its sedan, just as it did with RDX.
Some of the in-vehicle technologies that we have become accustomed to in other new Acuras have joined RDX this year. This means it can now support wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto, Amazon Alexa voice service, USB-C charging port, wireless phone charging, customizable ambient lighting (27 different themes), power folding mirrors and remote The extended range of the engine start function is up to a quarter mile. The frustrating lack of digital speedometer readings in the 7-inch digital instrument cluster has also been fixed, as you can now choose to view the large Speedo in this area.
All of the above was added for us to drive through Los Angeles and some adjacent canyon roads. After setting off, we immediately noticed—or more accurately, did not notice—the noise in the cabin. Our test car is the A-Spec Advance Package model, which has the highest sound insulation effect. Compared with the old RDX, the road and engine noise levels are significantly reduced. Acura’s typical rude and grumpy 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine gradually disappears into the background, and the roar of tires is at a level that is perfectly acceptable for highway cruising. The newly softened shock absorber-Acura says it is the same as the previous shock absorber, but with a new zero sum telling them what to do-designed for riding on harsh roads. However, if you do not drive the crossover on a familiar road, it is difficult to compare this with the ride before the refresh to reach a final conclusion.
The canyon carving in RDX is very good, but not very good. The turbocharged four-cylinder engine outputs the same 272 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque as before, which is enough to make you feel powerful, but not enough to accelerate you like the 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine in the TLX Type S. RDX also continues to use the same 10-speed automatic transmission to output power to the true star of the powertrain show: Acura’s SH-AWD system. This genius torque vectoring all-wheel drive system will not change in 2022, but it is not necessary. The system still skillfully adjusts the power (torque vectoring position) front and rear, and overdrives the rear outer wheels to bend you around corners in a fun and fascinating way.
I believe that the AWD system is the reason why RDX is so willing to dance as a partner, too. Before you turn the steering wheel, Acura’s increased aggression in its damper adjustment is already obvious, because rotating the central drive mode dial to sport mode will bring an instant posture change during RDX riding. It is far less rigid than AMG or M cars, but “sports” riding is much more pronounced than before. However, this did not turn the RDX into a physical challenge crossover like the Porsche Macan or BMW X3 M. Its weight-only 11 pounds more than last year’s Advance model-is obvious when you start pushing, and low-grip all-season tires are good for this kind of crossover. The newly tuned brakes give it a beautiful, hard pedal, and a redesigned sound control system (fake engine noise) means it sounds important. Nevertheless, it is still possible to create something more powerful, such as the hypothetical RDX Type S, even if this current top-level handling performance is much better than similar products.
If you just use RDX for ordinary SUV missions, it is a cute cruiser, and you can look more stylish this year. The sweet phantom violet pearl (purple) paint that debuted on TLX will be added to the RDX palette this year, and the black/white two-color orchid Milanese leather interior seen on NSX is also available as an option. Those seeking to add safety features will be happy to hear that Acura is adding low-speed front and rear emergency braking, new traffic sign reading cameras and a wider range of enhanced blind spot warning systems. Acura said that by adding door structure and new seat belts, it should be able to collide better.
The updated RDX comes with a premium, but it is only $900 higher than before. The basic price of the front-wheel drive model is $40,345. However, this is one of the vehicles that we strongly recommend for all-wheel drive, because it completely changes the handling of the car. The AWD surcharge brings you $42,545, but Acura can hardly stop there. It is tempting to be able to combine the appearance of A-Spec with the technical and performance characteristics of Advance, but you will pay for it because this model is a high-end RDX model, priced at $52,345. We will also notice that the A-Spec car achieved the worst fuel economy with a total fuel economy of 26 mpg.
If you really want to have the most special RDX, Acura is making a PMC version painted with NSX Long Beach Blue Pearl (pictured above). It is limited to 200 units, uses Berlina Black wheels (also NSX colors), has an orchid leather interior with blue stitching, and is handmade at the NSX factory in Marysville, Ohio. All other RDXs are built in the East Free Zone, 8 miles away. The price of PMC is $55,295, but there is no doubt that you will have the coolest looking 2022 RDX.
Even if you do fully load RDX like a PMC model, compared to similarly loaded German compact crossovers, this SUV still has a value proposition, which can easily cost you more than $60,000. At the same time, Acura is able to use high-quality materials to provide a truly luxurious interior and provide a competitive driving experience. The 2022 update makes RDX more noticeable than before and continues to consolidate Acura’s continued operating position in the performance luxury sector. Now, about the S-type.