Last year I reviewed the new third generation Acura RDX, a vehicle I liked a lot; it seems like consumers are big fans as well, because I see a lot of the 2019/2020 Acura RDX(es) where I live. Do I still like the Acura RD-X as much as I liked it last year? To find out, I spent a week with the 2020 Acura RDX A-Spec, which is the middle trim.
Like last year, the 2020 RDX is offered in five trims, the base is called RDX, starting at $43,990. The next trim up is Tech, with a starting price of $47,290, which sees a price increase of $800. The middle trim is the A-Spec, starting at $50,790, this trim sees an increase in price of $500. The Elite trim has a starting price of $50,490, this trim also costs $500 more than last year. The top of the line Platinum Elite starts at $54,990, which does not see a price increase.
The A-Spec trim is the sporty trim in the RDX lineup, it comes with an appearance packages which includes blacked-out chrome, slightly different air intakes in the front bumper, and 20-inch wheels, and can be equipped with a red interior.
There are no changes in the engine department from last year, the 3rd generation RDX did see a major upgrade to the engine. Starting in 2019, the Acura RDX is only available with a 2.0 liter 4-cylinder engine with direct injection. The turbocharged engine produces 272 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 280 pound-feet of torque between 1,600 – 4,500 rpm. Power is sent to all four wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission, with Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD).
The 2.0 liter 4-cylinder is quite a peppy engine and makes driving the RDX fun, the low-end torque makes the drive quite lively and it has a good amount of power for highway driving. In city driving, the RDX accelerates quickly even in the Comfort mode, in the Sport and Sport+ mode, it almost feels like a sports car. The 10-speed automatic transmission is smooth and seems to be in the right gear at the right time. There are four driving modes in the Integrated Dynamics System (IDS): “Snow”, “Comfort”, “Sport”, and “Sport+”. I mostly drove the RDX in “Comfort” mode, as my drives are usually short and in city driving.
The 2020 Acura RDX is available with an adaptive damper system, however, that’s only offered on the top trim. I would’ve liked to see that system on the sporty A-Spec, as it’s the sportiest RDX.
According to Natural Resources Canada/Acura, the 2019 Acura RDX should consume 11.0/8.6/9.9 L/100 km in city/highway/combined driving on premium fuel. For our review, which took place in December, the on-board computer showed 13.5 liter/100 km in city driving and 8.5 L/100 km on the highway. My fuel consumption did increase over the last time I drove the RDX, but during my current review, I had the heated steering, heated seats, and defrost on most of the time and our car was equipped with winter tires.
The biggest difference between the 2019 and 2020 Acura RDX we reviewed, other than trims, is the inclusion of the red interior on the RDX A-Spec. I’m a huge fan of red interiors, if they’re done tastefully. I the use of red leather on the interior on the A-Spec is done quite tastefully; the seats are mostly covered with red leather with black (or dark grey) Alcantara strips in the middle of the seats. The seats also come with red pipping. The use of red gives the interior a very sporty look, but it’s not overwhelming. I think Acura could’ve gone a step or two further, by including some of this red leather on the doors, especially the panel behind the door handle.
Other than the color change, the interior remains the same, minus a few features not offered on our lower trim review vehicle this time. I’m still a fan of the new infotainment system, which is controlled with the touchpad on the center console, I think it’s very easy to use and is very intuitive. However, I’m still not a fan of having to scribble letters on the trackpad, 50% of the time I couldn’t get the right letter to show up on the screen.
I asked at the begging if I still like the Acura RDX after it has been out for two years, my answer is yes. I think the 2020 Acura RDX is a great looking vehicle, with a very attractive interior (especially in red), and it is a lot of fun to drive. The interior is roomy enough for a small family, and can carry a lot of cargo with the seats folded down. There’s a reason there are so many of these vehicles on the road where I live, the RDX is a great little CUV.