Breaking conventions can sometimes yield interesting results, even spectacular. The reverse may also be true. The best example of a success is probably the Autobeaucoup of Chrysler. Although minivans currently live their last days, history will remember always this new means of revolutionary transport by Lee Iaccoca. On the other hand, everyone would like to forget the Pontiac Aztek.
Acura, driven by Honda, started its own activities 25 years ago. In a short time, it has established as alternative cool in American and German luxury brands. The glory smiled, its originality it was large.
Then, things are complicated…
The mixture of genres
Acura resisted as long as it was able to wave of sport utilities become crossover. By launching the Acura MDX, it cut the grass under the foot of its rivals. Logically, a more compact version called Acura RDX has followed suit. However, if the MDX was directed to the general public, the Acura RDX remained stuck in its niche.
Powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and promoting sports handling, the small utility of Acura suffered from an offset of the turbo and a hard bearing. As a result, sales were not up to the expectations. Ads like the one where the RDX is anchored to a beam with a hook to better negotiate a turn made bewildered consumers. Automotive journalists, they quickly fell in love with his inspiring conduct.
Five years ago, potential buyers did not really understand the underlying idea: the Acura RDX comes out first of the curve. Outlines its future ironically, while competitors of the older generation are in the process of the catch, the new Acura RDX 2013 has plans in another direction.
For better and for worse, in its attempt to impose more, RDX target now the general public.
In the image of its big brother
The new model looks like a small MDX much more than his predecessor. What is this proven formula will result in his case? Let’s hope so.
Acura, the best-selling Japanese luxury brand (you know?), provides for an increase of its North American sales by 50% in 2012. Surely well it duties with RDX 2013, not to mention the new sedan ILX 2013 (a test to read April 20), to make such a prediction.
By the turn of the vehicle and by studying its lines, I had no doubt that Acura sought to create a more mature RDX. Clean style rejects any artifice and any extravagance, but it works. I admit that I I used more and more to the particular design of Acura.
Similarly, Acura fans will feel terrain in the passenger compartment, which remains dark, austere, exceptionally well assembled and very focused on technology. Personally, I like the decor all in black, but I know that others have the impression of entering a funeral.
Unsurprisingly, the seats are excellent, and this, in two rows. Acura has already caused controversy with its exterior designs, she has always known offer attractive, comfortable and luxurious interiors. The Acura RDX 2013 evidenced and adds a large chest top.
Finale the turbo!
While several automakers are looking to turbocharged four-cylinder engines, Honda prestige division has chosen to abandon his own. Strange, because BMW and Audi have clearly adopted the mode. My little finger tells me that Acura 2.3 L turbo engine was much too expensive to produce for a single vehicle. The new V6, in return, is used in all sauces.
This beast of 3.5 L, who made the rain and weather with the Honda Accord and Pilot before jumping in the Acura TL, is a safe value. Its power of 273 horsepower mark an increase of 33 horsepower over the outgoing four-cylinder. On the other hand, the couple fell nine pounds-foot to $ 251. Result: the new 2013 Acura RDX is meant slightly faster in most situations.
Bonus, the imposing Cavalry consumes less fuel. With the second generation of variable management system, cylinder and a new six-speed automatic box RDX now displays dimensions of 10.7 L / 100 km (-1) in the city and 7.3 L / 100 km (1.4) on the highway. No, you do not dream: the V6 burns less fuel than the turbocharged four-cylinder.
It must be said that the vehicle is supported in its environmental mission by low rolling resistance tires, enhanced braking system that reduces the drag of the platelets and disks, a power steering and an optimized aerodynamics.
Regarding the brakes, their reaction time and the pedal feel have impressed me greatly, especially since they preserve the smoothness of the system. The management shows as accurate, although it breaks any link between the driver and the road.
Without a doubt, the main difference between the Acura RDX 2013 and former comes in a word: refinement. Ride comfort is now worthy of a sedan, including through the active damping system that relaxes the suspension without compromising handling. The springs have lost 15% of firmness, which generates more than roll than before, but nothing to worry about.
The new RDX is based on wider tracks and a longer wheelbase. Some parts of the chassis have been strengthened and additional layers of acoustic materials make the passenger compartment quieter. In short, passengers can relax and enjoy the road in comfort.
What competitor the Acura RDX 2013 tackles mainly? The representatives have referred me the Audi Q5. Tried it, I can tell you that Acura appears to be on the right track but, in reality, the RDX is rather the Lexus RX. Eager to attract a younger clientele (at least, this is what we suggest its marketing efforts), the company gives the impression to apply rather to consumers in their late forties, i.e. the second public targeted by the new RDX.
Farewell, full transmission!
Definitely, good sportsmanship and performance are more important than they were for Acura. The system deemed all wheel drive to super (SH – AWD) handling is now place to a more conventional full transmission system.
The RDX is doing very well. My test partner and I left the beaten a few times to see that the new system reached a good balance between agility, robustness and adhesion. It can transport up to 50% of the torque to the rear wheels, amply suited to a family utility of urban type.
The Acura RDX 2013 wants to offer more and sweep more broadly. It presents a nice design, a good economy of gasoline and a density of equipment, in the words of Acura.
The problem is that, despite the willingness to Acura become an object of desire, the new RDX raises no passion. It is nothing spectacular, does not love at first sight cause at first glance and provides no real excitement to the driver. He had the chance to take advantage of the media Vortex generated by the NSX prototype, which the official version arrives on the market within three years.
I like the Acura RDX 2013, but I do the choose not an Audi Q5 or BMW X 3. However, if I buy for a Lexus RX, I it would certainly do it because of the young nature associated with Acura and historically absent at Lexus.
Prices have increased for 2013, but not as the levels of equipment. No base version appears in the menu. Available starting today, April 2, RDX sold $ 40,990 and the technology package (which should represent 60% of sales) requires a surcharge of $3,000. Acura Canada expects to find 4500 licensees in the coming year for this vehicle assembled in East Liberty, Ohio.