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  • Writer's pictureAlain Kuhn Von Kuhnenfeld

2020 Acura RDX A-Spec

This week we are reviewing the Acura RDX A-Spec. Our vehicle was assembled at the East Liberty plant in Ohio and has an MSRP of 51290.00 CAD.

Fun Factor: 7

Can it Family: 8

Fuel-Friendly: 5

HWY-warrior: 7

Karaoke-Friendly: 6

Baby-Friendly: 9

City Cruising: 5

The Acura RDX has a dual personality depending on the dynamic mode you select. You can either have a relaxing vehicle almost to the point that it lacks excitement, then with the flip of a switch, it wakes up and becomes sporty.

The RDX is equipped with a 2.0L turbocharged VTEV engine that produces 272hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. Acura chose a 10-speed automatic transmission for the RDX; it can feel hesitant in certain instances. In our real-life acceleration test, the RDX pushed to 100km/h in 7.95 seconds, while on paper, it's capable of doing this in the mid 6 seconds. The transmission tends to shifts awkwardly through each gear during quick maneuvers or overtaking.

Inside the spacious cabin, you'll find flashy red seats that could come out of a race car. Yet, even with their flashy aspect, they offer a comfortable, almost sofa-like experience. Front passengers have the luxury of heated and ventilated seats. The materials used inside the cabin provide a premium feel. The large panoramic roof lets in a lot of light, giving the cabin a welcoming vibe. The vehicle can seat 5 without any hassle, and the trunk has plenty of space for strollers, or if you have older kids, the trunk can haul sports bags with ease.

The average fuel economy observed with the Acura RDX was 12.1L/100km. In the city, we averaged 14.1L/100km, and on the Hwy, we observed an average of 9.3L/100km. Since we were driving the A-Spec variant, we had to drive it in a spirited manner. Acura announces a combined fuel economy of 10.3L/100km, 11.3L/100km in the city and 9.1L/100km on the Hwy.

On the Hwy, the RDX feels planted on the road and will provide an enjoyable family experience on road trips. Acura offers quite the peace of mind with their suite of driver assistance services that come standard on the A-spec variant, such as the Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) and Blind-spot monitoring; both work effectively.

Acura offers the ELS Studio 3D Premium Audio system with 16 Speakers. It's okay if you haven't heard of ELS. It's not a no-name brand; it's a partnership between Acura and Panasonic to create rich sound systems. The system sounded pretty good for most music styles, and it really delivered exciting reproduction when it comes to acoustic music. The 10.2-inch infotainment offers Apple Car Play and Android Auto and an LTE hotspot on a screen controlled via a touchpad, yes a touchpad, and this might be the biggest grief with this vehicle as it's hard to operate while driving. It may require a longer learning curve to get adapted to its functions. The touchpad is placed just below the center console and is mounted ergonomically to support the wrist; however, its placement is too low to support it properly. The vehicle offers plenty of USB ports for everyone. The driver can store their phone securely in the central console so that it will not be a hazard while driving.

Acura has found an ingenious way to hide the ISOFIX ports by hiding them behind a cushion that peels off the seat. This makes for easy access to the ports while maintaining comfort for rear passengers. Additionally, it will keep this area fresher by not damaging the leather compared to what other systems offer. Kids will find themselves at home; the belt buckles are easy to access. Entering and exiting the vehicle may require some assistance from an adult; in our case, our little one had no issues entering the vehicle.

Moving on to the Acura RDX's driving aspect in the city, you'll immediately notice that the vehicle was made to eat up road imperfections. Its light steering in comfort mode made maneuverability enjoyable in the city; as a result, parallel parking or parking in tight spots was possible without any difficulty. The only aspect we disliked was its transmission in the city. It would upshift to the highest gear in the fast possible timing, which resulted in an unrefined acceleration in traffic.

Why would we buy the Acura RDX A-Spec, or what we liked about it? Comfortable seating and plenty of rear legroom for rear passengers, easy to install car seats, sporty looks.

Why would we not buy the Acura RDX A-Spec, or what we did not like about it? 10-Speed Automatic, infotainment's touchpad, high fuel economy for a 2.0L turbo engine.

Acura has lent us this vehicle one week as a press vehicle. We have no affiliation with Acura Canada. The above is a recollection of our personal opinion of the car referred above.

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