PAS S ING LANE I CHARL E S DONALDSON 2016 ACURA RDX A Responsive Crossover! Lately, my weekly test vehicles have been a string of good looking and well-performing crossover SUVs. The popularity of the crossover is attributed to their high seating which creates a better birds-eye view, plus the storage flexibility and overall seating convenience. Crossovers come in all sizes and shapes and are available from nearly every manufacturer. Needless to say, competition has become fierce and car companies are doing everything they can to get interested parties into dealerships to see their offerings. This review features the luxury compact submission from Acura – the 2016 RDX. The RDX entered the field with the 2013 model and has received an update for 2016 including a new, V-6 motor and subtle styling improvements. The front and rear fascias have been reshaped and the back now includes LED taillights. The headlamps display a level of luxury with a string of five LED lights strung like a row of diamonds on a bracelet. The upside down, pentagon-shaped center grille creates a look of movement even while standing still. The fender arches are pronounced with flattened half circles that surround 18-inch wheels. The 2016 Acura RDX is available as one trim level in both frontwheel drive and all-wheel drive, along with three packages: AcuraWatch Plus ($1300), Technology ($3,700), and Advance ($6,650). The standard FWD base model has an MSRP of $36,310, while the AWD is $37,810. You can order the AcuraWatch Plus and the technology packages together if your wallet will allow! The AWD with intelligent control, as termed by Acura, has been returned in the 2016 24 A L I V E E A S T B A Y a u g u s t 2 0 1 6 models, sending more power to the rear wheels under acceleration for improved stability. The cabin is comfortable and designed with a rich feel for both the eyes and touch. The left and right sides of the dash are arched like bird wings with the center body housing having one large screen for the entertainment center and one for the operational controls. The front seats conform to eight-way adjustability, while the rear seats are snug and more suitable for smaller people. Don’t forget, the RDX is a compact crossover. The rear cargo compartment delivers 26.1 cubic feet with the rear seat up. Levers on both sides of the rear cargo compartment allow for easy flattening of the 60/40 split-second row seats to expand the rear storage area to 61.3 cubic feet. Four tie-downs placed at each corner allow you to securely anchor your contents in place. A large speaker provides great sound for those fun tailgate parties. Power is generated from a 3.5-liter V-6 that generates 279 horsepower at 6,200 rpms and 252 foot pounds of torque at 4,900 rpms. The 3.5-L produces plenty of muscle both off the line and on the freeway. To improve fuel economy, three of the six cylinders smoothly deactivate under lighter loads without the drive ever knowing of the transition. The fuel economy ratings are 20/city and 29/highway for the FWD and 19/18 for the AWD. The V-6 is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission with sequential SportShift paddle shifters just in case you feel sporty.
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