You’ve come to accept that each time you drive a crossover, you die a little inside.
But NOT in the new Acura RDX ASPEC. This is a different kind of grocery-getter. And it’s WAAAAAY, WAAAAAAAY more than I expected. I’m telling you now, upfront & unsponsored lol… it’s SOOO GOOD!!!
The Acura RDX ASPEC is a total 180-degree flip on the flaccid, overly-sanitized RDX of the previous generation… which was like… the car that nobody interesting drove. Basically a Walgreens. Haha I’m sorry if you own one, and I’m totally just kidding. Unless you don’t own one… and then we all know I’m not. But don’t stress the past, because Acura is 100% re-engaged.
First things first… under the hood is a turbocharged K-series engine! C’mon – right off the rip you know something’s different with this car… because who ever started a crossover review ‘under the hood’. But Honda’s new turbo K-series engine is special & very well R&D’d… this one is a derivative of the Type-R. And for anyone reading who doesn’t name their children after engine codes, just know & trust that this turbo-K engine from Honda is a trifecta of potency… PLUS reliability & sensibility. But more than that, it’s engaging & FUN to drive! It doesn’t lay down the biggest numbers on the block… but driving a car is more than reading its stats online. Honda/Acura has a proven history of outrunning AND outlasting cars that have more impressive numbers.
THE SPORT BUTTON
The RDX has the typical luxury-crossover SPORT BUTTON on the center console, right? You know the one… it’s the one that no one uses ever. Because the basic rule of thumb is: If you buy an SUV and actually use the SPORT button, you bought the wrong car. And you’re a dork. So when I selected SPORT+ in the RDX, I expected… “not much”… as per usual expectations lol. But what I GOT – was a surprise snowball of cocaine to the face! Uhhh that might be an inappropriate analogy, but its ok because I’m trying to get the point across that the engine & throttle response… are AMPED! The shift-points & shift-time on the 10-speed transmission, become wowingly sharp & precise. Steering gives you more resistance/weight. The all-wheel-drive chassis & suspension… is rooted to the ground like an oak tree. The body roll… WHAT body roll??? The RDX ASPEC feels SOOO GOOD. It honest-to-God feels like the businessman’s Type-R in SPORT+. And it hits the mark dead-on! I’m not embellishing the story… go drive one, and tell me it’s not more that you expected.
The Acura RDX ASPEC is not, I repeat NOT, another cream puff crossover with a over-designed front grille. It’s honestly a wolf in half-wolf & half-sheep’s clothing…….. in a pretty much all-sheep segment. The only other crossover on my radar with this much amusement: Is the SRT & Trackhawk Grand Cherokees. Those have more punch, but to be fair, they also have a lot more price tag. But at 44k, the ASPEC RDX gives you an eyebrow-raising amount of appeal, performance, luxury, & versatility… at a real sweet-spot price point. It honestly feels underpriced, and I don’t find myself saying that much in the automotive world these days.
PRICE – from $43,000
ENGINE – 2-liter turbo
HP – 272hp / 280tq
MPG – mid 20’s… lower 20’s the way you’re going to be driving it.