What is the ultimate roadtrip vehicle? When you are spending 12 hour days cruising along I-90 binge listening to Serial Podcast, what’s the most important component of the vessel that you rely on to get you there? You need comfort, luxury, tech savvy, space efficiency, and generally something that looks and feels good but makes it that much easier to weather whatever storm you may pass…or collide with.
Well, the 2016 Acura RDX embodies all that and so much more. It’s a luxury crossover SUV for those who value comfort, safety, and technology with real gratifying driving dynamics. We decided to test drive it from NYC to San Francisco, coming across everything from bizarre spring blizzards in Nebraska to the vast California mountains to roller coaster roads outside Vegas, and it never steered us wrong. Even when I-80 shut down and the hotels were all booked (catastrophe!) we just pushed those seats down, broke out our sleeping bags and had a slumber party—in actual comfort, not crazy cramped quarters. Pretty impressive for a ‘small’ SUV.
The original RDX bounded onto the scene as Acura’s high-tech wonder, boasting a turbocharged four-cylinder engine (Acura’s first) and a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system. It was a great first attempt, but needed some more ‘je ne sais quoi’. In 2012 the company redesigned it as a more conventional small luxury crossover SUV with a traditional V6 engine, with even more high-tech wonders. The new RDX quickly became a favorite for commuters and adventurers alike.
Part of that is due to the changes Acura made this year. High-tech driving aids have become standard fare in luxury-branded vehicles and can even be found in some compact economy cars, but the RDX was previously lacking in this regard. The new ride offers a blind-spot monitoring system, adaptive cruise control (which slows the RDX to match the speed of the vehicle ahead of it), a forward collision mitigation system (which can detect slow-moving or stopped objects ahead and warn the driver or apply the brakes) and a lane-departure intervention system (which applies a little steering to help guide the RDX back into its lane should it start to drift).
From the studio to the test track to the streets, this car has been meticulously crafted to move with purpose. Strong acceleration and fuel economy from standard V6 engine, the high-mounted rear seat provides generous legroom and a commanding view and it comes with more standard features than most competitors…along with generous cargo capacity. The adaptive cruise control can be a blessing on those long flat stretches but it’s best to take over for yourself once you hit the adventurous roads.