The 2023 Acura RDX Is A Timeless Beauty

2023 Acura RDX A-Spec

Price: $60,600 CAD

Colour: Liquid Carbon Metallic

The Acura RDX has been around since the 2007 model year. When it debuted I wasn’t thrilled with how it looked. It felt squished and not pretty enough. Like a fine wine however, the RDX has aged beautifully and the current generation (introduced in 2019 and facelifted in 2022) is an absolute stunner. I drive new cars all the time and it’s rare for people to have any kind of reaction at all to a car out in the real world. The RDX was the exception to this as it prompted lots of people to approach me over the week I had it and comment on just how pretty this car is. That’s a rare thing.

Power & Performance

The RDX has one engine on offer. The 2.0L turbocharged 4 cylinder gives you 272hp and 280 lb/ft of torque. It’s a pretty potent combination. In sport mode you get a throaty rumble, lots of get up and go and brutal fuel consumption to match. All this grunt goes through a 10-speed automatic transmission that feeds it to the superb SH-AWD system that has become an Acura staple. It’s a fun driving experience that most SUV’s aren’t capable of delivering.

Exterior

My primary takeaway from my time with the RDX is how beautiful a vehicle it is. Mazda has a way of designing cars that endure from an aesthetic perspective (the 3 and CX-5 spring to mind) and it’s no easy feat. Acura has done the same thing with the RDX. Not only did they vastly improve the looks of this car over the generations but this current design wins on every count. The proportions and lines are perfect and it has a face that rivals the looks of Priyanka Chopra or Halle Berry. This thing is truly incredible. 

Interior

I have expressed my admiration for the look of the exterior of the RDX. Those feelings extend to the interior. The look and feel of the test model reminds me of a fever dream I once had during the swine flu epidemic of 2009. The mad swathes of red Ultrasuede (Alcantara) all over the interior of this car are fantastic. It’s not what you’d call subtle and it comes as a surprise from a Japanese manufacturer. They typically prize build quality and durability over flashy design choices.  I personally love what they’ve done with the RDX and they should do more of it.

The center console adds to the dynamic design as it utilizes a cockpit sort of feel. It features buttons and knobs for all the essential controls with cup holders at resting position. It looks great and is very functional. The only issue I have with the entire design is the location of the wireless charging pad. It sits in one of those pass-thru deals you see in a lot of consoles. There’s nothing wrong with that on principle but given the orientation it’s very difficult to get your phone on and off the charge pad while sitting in the driver’s seat. So difficult in fact that the feature is largely useless. A slot somewhere else in the console would have made more sense.

The infotainment system in the RDX features a 10.2” screen. It’s decent resolution and looks good enough. The curious part of the whole thing is the “True Touch Pad” functionality. My assumption was that this was one of those holdover pieces of technology from past generations they couldn’t be bothered to update. Incredibly though, this was introduced in 2019 when this was a whole new model. Why a manufacturer would use a touchpad in a world dominated by touch screens and functional dials is beyond me. In fairness the touchpad works well enough with the native media system in the RDX but fails hard when you try to use Android Auto or CarPlay. It can’t swipe well enough to navigate the screens or even answer a phone call without hanging up. It was so bad I disconnected Android Auto and stuck with the built-in system for fear of tearing what’s left of my hair out.

Interior cargo space is crucial in SUV’s. It’s also something they sometimes struggle with by the very nature of their design. The RDX has plenty of space in the back so you can handle the weekly shop with ease. One of the best parts of the rear cargo area is the covered storage space under the floor. It’s actually quite useful as it’s secure and hidden so it’s perfect for storing your laptop or anything else of value.

Quality

The 2023 Acura RDX is well made. It feels solid and well made. You can feel the Honda build quality with a smattering of the additional Acura magic. I really appreciate the feel of this car.

CQI – 9. Great carpet.

Value

I expected the RDX to ring in at $70k plus, but was surprised (pleasantly) that it starts at around $57,000 and tops out at just under $61,000 for this top shelf trim. Yes, it’s a lot of money but it’s well priced versus its competitors. The Lexus RX 350 is equally well priced and I think it’s the primary competitor to the RDX. It lacks the flash and sizzle of the RDX and isn’t anywhere near as good looking but is just as well built (if not better) and is always a good choice.

Final Thoughts

I was very pleasantly surprised by the 2023 Acura RDX. I love the way it looks – inside and out. It’s well priced and very well made. The design will continue to age well and that’s good for residual value and maintaining your love affair with your purchase for years to come. A timeless beauty is to be appreciated and coveted as they are rare and don’t come by everyday.

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