Test Drive Review: 2014 Acura RDX – Part 1 (Exterior)

2014 Acura RDX Test Drive Review: Part 1 

Review Index

2014 Acura RDX – Part 1 (Exterior)
2014 Acura RDX – Part 2 (Interior)
2014 Acura RDX – Part 3 (Interior – Gauges/Seats/Capacity)
2014 Acura RDX – Part 4 (Powertrain)
2014 Acura RDX – Part 5 (Suspension and Chassis)



Test Car Information:

2014 Acura RDX with Technology Package
3.5L i-VTEC naturally aspirated V6, 273 hp @ 6,200 RPM, 251 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm
6-speed automatic transmission, front-wheel-drive
Options: Technology Package
MSRP as tested: $39,115 (including $895 S&H charge)


Before we go into our discussion of the Acura RDX, I would like to talk about who is a potential buyer for this compact SUV.

One thing we can NOT deny is most of the popular compact SUVs (or CUVs) on the market at this moment, they are not for serious off-roading. Many people who buy BMW X1/X3, Mercedes GLK-class, Audi Q5, Volvo XC90, are intended to drive those cars only on paved city roads, more specifically for their daily commute to work or weekend grocery shopping. Since these compact SUV/CUVs only have two rows of seats, the possible reasons that a buyer buys compact SUV/CUV rather than a sedan are in:

1. Needs extra cargo volume in the trunk (which a typical sedan is not enough)
2. Wants to sit higher when driving
3. Likes the look of the SUV (although it is actually a sedan-based, slightly raised vehicle with a wagon-like trunk)


For the Acura RDX we are going to talk about in this review, if you want something reliable, practical with decent degree of luxury features, has good resale value, and you need to go to Costco and load up on groceries on the weekend, the RDX is a good choice for you.

We had a chance to sample the 2014 RDX equipped with the technology package. This is the FWD trim, which is very common in places that doesn’t see much snow (or no snow at all). Let’s take a look at the exterior first.

The exterior design of the RDX is conservative, sometimes  it’s hard to distinguish it from Honda brand vehicles. But please make no mistake that the RDX is not for showing off; people buy it for their daily commute.


The RDX is so conservative that it even hides the exhaust pipes behind the rear bumper, so from the outside it looks like the SUV does not has any exhaust pipes at all. This is a sharp contrast to some sports oriented cars that try to expose as many exhaust pipes as possible out from the bumper (and even create some fake ones, in some models)


The below photo shows detail of the exhaust pipes that hidden behind the rear bumper.


Unlike some other Acura products (for example the TLX, MDX, TSX) which have HID or LED headlights as standard, the RDX base model only has the normal halogen headlights; if you want the HID headlight, you need to opt for the technology package, as the one on our test car. With the technology package, you also get the fog light.


The front of the RDX is a typical Acura family face, with the “Acura” badge in front of the grille.


The RDX comes with P235/60 R18 tires as standard across all trims, and it is the only choice too. Considering the RDX’s weight (around 3,700 lbs) and its powertrain output.


In next section, we will take a look at the RDX’s interior and its related features.



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