2022 Acura RDX
2022 Acura RDX
The 2022 Acura RDX is a five-seat luxury crossover SUV with edgy and athletic styling, a gutsy turbo-4 engine, polite road manners, a roomy cabin and excellent safety features. It’s Acura’s most polished crossover.
Changes for 2022 include a touched-up nose, cabin sound improvements, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless smartphone charging, and new drive modes to improve the ride.
The 272-hp turbo-4 is mated to a 10-speed automatic with standard front-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive that can move power between the rear wheels. The RDX’s handling is crisp and forgiving, the steering is sharp, and the ride firm but comfortable, especially on models with adaptive damping.
The RDX is EPA rated at 22 mpg city, 28 highway, 24 combined with front-wheel drive; with all-wheel drive it’s 1 mpg less, at 21/27/23 mpg.
The NHTSA gives it five stars overall for safety, despite four stars in all the frontal crash tests. The IIHS calls it a Top Safety Pick+ across the board. Every RDX has automatic emergency braking.
Made in Ohio, the RDX comes in base, Technology, A-Spec, and Advance trims.
For $40,345 the base RDX comes with front-wheel drive, leather upholstery, power front seats, 19-inch wheels, a 10.2-inch infotainment display, and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. All-wheel drive is $2,200, and a $2,650 Technology Package adds parking sensors, blind-spot monitors, navigation, and premium audio.
Only the costly Advance edition gets a surround-view camera system.
The $55,295 PMC Edition heaps on luxury features, from a head-up display to ELS audio, cooled front seats, and adaptive dampers.
The warranty is 4 years or 50,000 miles, but doesn’t include maintenance as some rivals do.
The styling is muscular, chiseled, expressive and cohesive. Its fine details pull a decade’s worth of styling cues into a coherent form.
The Acura badge is fastened across the grille like a belt buckle, framed by thinly sliced LED headlights. The corners flow into fenders that bulge over 19- or 20-inch wheels.
The sailing roofline arcs gracefully toward rear roof pillars cinched together with black and metallic trim. It’s a styling device that works well to make the SUV look smaller.
The interior comes in shades of gray and beige, made to feel opulent by wood or aluminum trim and synthetic or real leather. The A-Spec feels sporty with its black leather upholstery, red accents, and torso-gripping bolsters.
There’s a 10.2-inch screen that takes its orders from a touch-sensitive console pad. The Android-based interface takes some use to learn; the screen doesn’t accept touch inputs like a tablet device would.
The standard seats, front and back, could use better padding, but head room doesn’t suffer for the swoopy roofline. Neither does cargo space, with 29.5 cubic feet behind the rear seat and 58.9 cubic feet with the rear seatbacks folded. Add a couple of cubic feet under the cargo floor for flat objects like laptops.
With a wheelbase of 108.3 inches, there’s decent room for five, including 38 inches of rear leg room, although with all mid-size SUVS, three in the back can get a bit cozy.
The RDX gets active noise cancellation for 2022, while Advance editions get thicker glass to further mute cabin noise.
Rearward vision presents big challenges in the RDX, because of the swoop at the tail. Blind-spot monitors are available.
The 272-hp 2.0-liter turbo-4 engine has a very healthy 280 lb-ft of torque, giving the RDX brisk acceleration. The engine is shared with the Honda Civic Type R, but in the RDX it’s not so raucous; its muted turbo burble hits its peak torque at a very low 1,600 rpm and flips neatly through the 10-speed automatic to reach 70 mph quickly and sweetly. Drive modes for the transmission make the shifts easy or quick, at Sport+. They also sharpen the throttle response.
With its quick steering and firm grip of the road, it’s satisfying to drive. With 19-inch wheels and all-season tires it feels fluid as it threads through esses with ease. The A-Spec’s 20-inch wheels make it less absorbent, but the Advance model with adaptive dampers bring compliance back to the ride. The RDX has more than eight inches of ground clearance and a fairly wide track.
The RDX is far more common with all-wheel drive; Acura’s torque-splitting system can send 70 percent of the power to the rear and then divide it between the left and right as needed for traction.
This does more than help traction in slippery conditions; it sharpens the handling.
The 2022 Acura RDX has strong turbo-4 power and lots of space. We’d pick the all-wheel-drive model with the Technology Package for a safe, entertaining SUV with a premium look and feel.
—by Sam Moses with driving impressions by The Car Connection