The 2020 Acura RDX is just all kinds of good

There are very few vehicles that provide an overall feeling of sheer gratification but the 2020 Acura RDX manages to do so and very well. The crossover blends luxury and bespoke tailoring with very capable driving dynamics; it’s just all kinds of good!

Since the RDX was revised last year for its second-gen, there were only a few tweaks this current model year. On the exterior, the RDX is nicely sculpted. It has a bold, yet artfully elegant design, and is guaranteed to snatch looks every which way. The visuals on this latest Acura scream sporty and includes a taut grille with an affixed, front and center, supersized brand logo that surprisingly, does not look gaudy. The RDX also sports jewel-eyed headlamps, body sharp lines/angles, and lobster claw taillights.

With plenty of passenger space and an accommodating cargo hold (29.5 cubes), the RDX broadens its family-friendly appeal. On top of it all, the crossover comes with one of the nicest and well-executed interiors of its class, with all of the available features typical of the luxury segment. Acura continues a tradition of top-notch interior craftsmanship, which is evident in the RDX’s fit and finish. There is nothing overdone in the cockpit of the compact vehicle; it offers plenty of soft touches, plush and comfy leather seating for a wide range of body sizes, and spaciousness galore in both the front and rear. You’ll definitely find no legroom crunch in the rear!

The superb sound system is a 16-speaker 710-watt Acura/ELS Studio 3D (an A-Spec package upgrade). Apple CarPlay is standard. There is a 10.2-inch infotainment screen with graphics that are crisp enough for aging eyes. The informational screen in the RDX can be controlled by using a touchpad that some claim to be a mixed bag, but in my case, it did not frustrate. There is also an app button on the tilt/telescopic steering wheel that controls apps.

The test vehicle was an RDX SH-AWD, and its performance was just exhilarating and extremely responsive in a straight line, around corners, and on dry or wet pavement. The SH-AWD option adds better traction and handling capability. The A-Spec option adds bigger wheels, wider tires and a smidge of visual bling but is not a performance upgrade. The RDX is up for any task and is supremely in command on the road! The crossover which is clearly oriented around its capabilities and not watered down, is powered by a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine with 272 horses and 280 lb-ft of torque. At the pumps, the RDX SH-AWD is not a lush, 22 city/27 highway and 24 combined.

As far as safety goes, according to Acura, the RDX features the newest generation of its Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure, plus new high-strength steel door stiffener rings and eight airbags. The AcuraWatch suite of safety technologies includes standard forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and road departure mitigation. NHTSA gave the 2019 RDX an overall rating of five stars, its highest rating.

For a vehicle with a compact footprint, the 2020 Acura RDX distills much of the appeal of its larger, costlier stablemates into a more economical package. You can really have it all with the RDX. From exciting performance to excellent comfort and convenience, this compact crossover certainly has broad appeal. The RDX is an all-around small luxury crossover that does everything well; you’d be hard-pressed to find better!

Prices start at $37,600 for the base and $43,800 for the SH-AWD A-Spec. Need more info? The 2020 Acura RDX is just all kinds of good