Acura RDX A-Spec: test drive…

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The current-generation Acura RDX has been around since 2018 and got a few changes for the 2022 model year.
The revised front end now looks a bit more like the larger MDX. 
The big change is the new “A-Spec + Advance Package” version. Which now offers sport and luxury in the same model. 
On top of the Advance package, the A-spec adds these dark 20-inch wheels, unique leather/ultra Suede seats, aluminum sports pedals, and a flat-bottom steering wheel.

The new Orchid interior color available with the A-Spec package looks great. (It also means you don’t have to get red seats in the A-spec model anymore)
While they are very comfortable, they might be a bit narrow for larger humans. As the side bolters are pretty aggressive.
The best part, at least to me, is the 4-way adjustable headrests. Something you almost never see anymore. A detail that makes long trips so much more comfortable…

The materials specific to the A-spec look and feel fantastic. Like the metal trim everywhere and the great-looking suede trim on the dash.
The interior is mostly the same it has been for the past 4 years and it aged very well.

The worst part of the RDX interior is still the trackpad controller for the infotainment.
It is mostly extremely distracting snd frustrating to use.
You have to go through a few menus just to adjust the sound setting for instance.
Scrolling through all your playlists in CarPlay takes forever. (A scroll wheel would be 100 times better)
I’m not sure why Acura refused to acknowledge this is a big mistake. Although they’re not alone. It took Lexus many years to fix theirs. And Mazda is still not using a full touch screen for some reason (Although I hear it is a touchscreen when using car play. So weird)
This is really too bad since the fantastic 16 speaker ELS sound system is as amazing as ever. One of the very best available at this price.
I have always loved the current RDX driving characteristics, but Acura has found a few ways to improve things for 2022.
Now there is a really big difference between the various driving modes.
“Normal” is about perfect for me. But I noticed how super comfortable the ride was in the “Comfort” mode.
Which is quite amazing with the sporty 20-inch wheels. (I can only imagine how smooth the ride is with the other versions’ smaller wheels)
While the “Sport” is now really sporty. It’s actually like driving 2 different cars.
Which is exactly how it should be.
Acura has also made the already quiet crossover even quieter. And you can actually tell the difference. Even in the morning when the engine is cold, it is just extremely smooth and quiet.
And almost always silent in the “Comfort” mode.
An Individual mode option would make things perfect…
The 2022 Acura RDX A-Spec is rated at 21/26MPG.
I wasn’t able to get 21 around town. Although not far at around 19. But I never got less than 32/33 MPG on the freeway. 
On a side note, the stop/start system in the RDX is still pretty rough. But at least it is easy to turn it off with a switch on the console.
That console also includes a wireless phone charger. Which is fine but it is located way under everything and makes it very easy to forget your phone in the car. 

In my opinion, the RDX is still one of the best choices out there if you’re in the market for a luxurious crossover between around $40 000 to a bit over $50 000.

I would personally skip the A-Spec model since it is mostly just a visual package (that and my intense dislike of dark wheels). 

The already loaded Advance package has all the good stuff for $2000 less. For 2022, Acura made the RDX even better. More luxurious and even sportier at the same time. 


Conversation 3 comments

  1. Just to point out, there is basically no mention of the powertrain in your review – I have no idea that is even powering this, let alone how it performs other than the stop start

  2. I had a 2019, and while everything Vince said about the nice materials and driving dynamics is correct, it is all outweighed by the AWFUL infotainment system. And I'm not just talking about using the trackpad; the system itself is buggy, LAGGY, prone to lockup, weird buzzes and pops from the speakers when switching between audio apps, and did I mention LAGGY? Even though it now has wireless charging, I believe CarPlay still requires a wired connection. Multiple updates to the firmware have made incremental improvements, but the underlying chipset is woefully underpowered and the screen never scrolls smoothly. So much fun to be using the navigation (CarPlay or Acura native app) and have the screen freeze during a critical exit or intersection!

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