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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    New York 2018: 2019 Acura RDX Brings Back the Turbo-Four

      First time that an RDX model has been fully developed in the U.S.


    Acura/Honda tend to push the definition of 'concept' to its limits. Case in point is the 2019 Acura RDX that debuted in production form today in New York. Compared to the concept shown at Detroit, the production model looks mostly the same. There is the large pentagonal grille, floating roof, and character line creases. An A-Spec variant adds gloss black trim and 20-inch wheels.

    Dimension-wise, the 2019 RDX is about 2.6-inches longer over the outgoing model. The wheelbase increases by 2.6-inches. This allows for more space for passengers (104 cubic feet) and cargo (29.5 cubic feet).

    For the interior, Acura's designers want to give off the impression of sport with the RDX. This shown by the dash design that seems envelop driver and passenger in their separate zone and a center stack design that features a knob to change the various drive modes. A 10.2-inch screen houses a new Acura infotainment system. Controlling this is Acura's new True Touchpad Interface which is said to provide a 1:1 correlation between the position you touch on the pad and the input on the screen. We're somewhat skeptical on this and need to spend some time with this system to if this works.

    Under the hood is something that hasn't been seen since the first-generation RDX - a turbocharged four-cylinder. The 2.0L engine is rated at 272 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Also making a return to the RDX is the SH-AWD system. Optional on the RDX, this version of SH-AWD can route up to 70 percent of the engine's torque to the rear-wheels. But the real trick is the system's ability to send 100 percent of that torque to either rear-wheel.

    For the chassis, the RDX uses struts up front and a multilink setup in the rear. Adaptive dampers will be available as an option.

    The 2019 Acura RDX goes on sale this summer.

    Source: Acura
    Press Release is on Page 2


    2019 Acura RDX Debuts in New York with Turbocharged, Torque Vectoring Powertrain and Onslaught of Premium Features

    Mar 28, 2018 - NEW YORK

    • Most extensive overhaul in a decade signals the beginning of a new era for Acura
    • Exclusive platform, VTEC® Turbo engine, 10-speed transmission, and available torque vectoring SH-AWD® yield the quickest, best-handling RDX yet
    • Dramatic A-Spec variant adds distinctive sport appearance detailing inside and out
    • New RDX set to arrive at Acura dealers nationwide mid-year

    The 2019 Acura RDX debuted today at the New York International Auto Show. As the first in a new generation of Acura products, the re-engineered 2019 RDX delivers top-of-class performance, a more spacious and luxurious cabin, and a host of premium technology and features. Designed, developed and manufactured in America, the new turbocharged RDX will launch mid-year as the quickest, best handling and most luxurious RDX yet.

    "The 2019 Acura RDX signals the start of a new era for the Acura brand by delivering design, performance and prestige that will elevate its position in the luxury market's fastest growing segment," said Henio Arcangeli, Jr., senior vice president of the Automobile Division of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "This RDX is our most extensive redesign in more than a decade, a truly ground up reimagining of the RDX around our Precision Crafted Performance brand direction."

    Acura also debuted the 2019 Acura RDX A-Spec sport appearance variant – distinguished by larger wheels, gloss black accents and unique interior treatment including an available two-tone red and black interior. With the addition of A-Spec to both the RDX and MDX, Acura has fulfilled its commitment to expand A-Spec to all core models.

    Sharp, Low and Wide Design

    The production 2019 RDX carries forward substantially all of the design cues that debuted with the Prototype RDX in January. In creating the new RDX, Acura designers worked from the foundations of the Acura Precision Concept, adapting its low and wide stance, sleek presence and wheels-out proportions to a five-passenger SUV.

    The 2019 RDX showcases Acura's signature Diamond Pentagon Grille flanked by all-new Jewel Eye™ headlights – now boasting seven LED light elements, up from the previous five. Below, wide air intakes include NSX-inspired air curtains feed air efficiently around the front wheels and down the body side. Prominent hood bulges are visible from inside the cabin, signaling the performance character of the third-generation RDX.

    Sharp character lines accentuate the front and rear fenders, with an aggressive "dropping" character line running the length of the RDX. A pen stroke of chrome (gloss-black on A-Spec) highlights the upper greenhouse and lower rocker. At the rear, the design of the 2019 RDX is capped off with a distinctive "dragon tail" LED light signature of the taillights.

    New Acura-Exclusive Body and Chassis Architecture

    The 2019 RDX sits atop an all-new body and chassis architecture designed to deliver a sophisticated and engaging driving experience. It starts with a 2.6 inch longer wheelbase, which aids both ride comfort and cabin space. The cargo area behind the rear seats has expanded 3.4-cubic feet with an additional 1.7 cubic-feet of compartmented underfloor storage. The new platform provides for a fully-flat rear floor, enabling first-class seating comfort in all three rear seating positions.

    The RDX's body structure is composed of over 50 percent high strength steel. It utilizes a new double-ring rear frame design and new two-piece ultra-high-strength steel front door rings, which significantly increase body rigidity, handling precision and cabin quietness.

    The body structure is mated to an all-new chassis design with variable ratio dual-pinion electric power steering, a sport-tuned Macpherson strut front suspension, an all-new five-link independent rear suspension and available adaptive dampers.

    VTEC Turbo Engine with Higher Performance and Efficiency

    The new RDX takes power from a direct-injected and turbocharged 2.0-liter, 16-valve powerplant with DOHC VTEC® valvetrain and Dual Variable Timing Cam (Dual VTC). Peak output is 272 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of torque. Compared to the previous model's V6, peak torque is up 28 lb.-ft. and available across a wider section of the power band, from 1,600 to 4,500 rpm (previously 252 lb.-ft. at 4,900 rpm) with low-RPM torque boosted by as much as 40 percent for quicker acceleration and sharper throttle response.

    Segment-first 10-Speed Transmission

    The RDX's turbocharged engine is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission (10AT) – the first and only 10AT in the class. With more closely spaced ratios and a 62 percent wider ratio range, Acura's 10AT takes full advantage of the turbo engine's bountiful low-end torque. Gear changes are quick and seamless, in both automatic mode and using steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

    Return of Torque Vectoring SH-AWD

    The third generation redesign also marks the return of torque-vectoring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) to RDX, in its most powerful and sophisticated form ever. In addition to improving all-wheel-drive performance, Acura's SH-AWD utilizes dynamic torque vectoring to sharpen handling response and deliver vivid, exhilarating and confidence-inspiring driving performance in virtually all weather and road conditions.

    With Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive, up to 70% of torque can be distributed to the rear wheels. And up to 100% of that torque can be distributed to either the right-rear or left-rear wheel, creating incredible control and agility. The 2019 RDX is the first model to utilize this new generation of Acura SH-AWD.

    Spacious, Luxurious and Tech-forward Cabin

    The 2019 RDX's sumptuously appointed, tech-forward and spacious new cabin features Acura's latest thinking for a more premium, personal and connected driving experience.

    Exceptional seating comfort is provided by next-generation Acura sport seats, designed exclusively for RDX and future Acura products. The new, more intricately sculpted sport seats feature a lightweight ultra-high-strength steel frame, with improved lateral support for spirited driving and up to 16-way power adjustability. In all grades, the RDX provides both the driver and front-seat passenger the same levels of seating adjustability and comfort.

    The RDX's new ultra-wide panoramic moonroof, standard on all grades, has power slide and tilt functions and a power sliding sunshade. It is among the largest and widest in the class providing an open and airy feeling throughout the cabin.

    Available authentic high-grade materials are featured throughout the cabin, including brushed aluminum, stainless steel, open pore Olive Ash wood trim, Ultrasuede® and rich Milano leather.

    Inspired by the NSX, a high-deck floating center console and prominent Integrated Dynamics System control knob allows drivers to quickly switch between four distinct drive modes (Snow, Comfort, Sport and Sport+).

    Intuitive True Touchpad Interface™

    Designed from a clean sheet and deployed for the first time in the automotive world in the third generation RDX, Acura's True Touchpad Interface is a holistic, system-level approach to in-car user interface that is optimized for the driver and the driving experience.

    The system is designed to combine the advantages of both conventional touchscreen and remote-based approaches. The True Touchpad Interface features a 10.2-inch full-HD center display mounted high atop the center console, close to the driver's natural line of sight, a center console-mounted touchpad and an all-new, Android-based operating system. 

    Unlike conventional touchpad designs, Acura's True Touchpad Interface does not require the user to locate a cursor on the screen while navigating the touchpad. To support intuitive and easy control, the touchpad is precisely mapped, one-to-one, with the action on the center display – the world's first application of absolute positioning in the driving environment.  Simply, a touch on any location of the touchpad corresponds directly with that same location on the display.

    Further supporting ease of use, the touchpad's surface is slightly concave, allowing the user to quickly identify the center of the touchpad without looking down. A padded wrist rest, integrated within the RDX's high-deck floating center console, provides a comfortable and stable platform for operating the touchpad.

    The operating system features simple, clean graphics and menu structures designed in concert with the touchpad. It features two zones, a larger primary zone, and smaller secondary zone, allowing for easy viewing and one-tap swapping of primary and secondary functions – navigation and music, for example.

    Click here for a brief video primer on the new True Touchpad Interface.

    Acura ELS Studio 3D™ Audio

    The new RDX also marks the debut of Acura ELS Studio 3D premium audio, a 16-channel, 710-watt system featuring four ultra-slim Highline™ ceiling-mounted speakers – available on high grades. Developed by Acura and Panasonic and tuned by Grammy-winning music producer, Elliot Schiener, Acura ELS Studio 3D audio delivers incredible fidelity and dynamic range while adding a new dimension of sound to the listening experience.

    Head-Up Display and Natural Language Voice Recognition

    Another Acura first is a new natural language voice recognition system, which allows for more intuitive voice control of major features and functions, including commands for the available embedded Acura Navigation System. Also new is an available 10.5-inch full-color interactive Head-Up Display, which puts customizable information displays, including audio, phone, AcuraWatch alerts, turn-by-turn navigation and more directly in the driver's line of sight.

    A-Spec Variant Boosts Sport Appearance

    The new RDX A-Spec, the first-ever Acura SUV with A-Spec treatment, adds distinctive sport appearance upgrades inside and out. Shark Gray 20-inch alloy wheels shod with low-profile 255/45R20 tires create a more athletic stance and are complemented by a unique lower front fascia and gloss-black accents for the front grille, Jewel Eye™ headlights, side sills, upper window sash and taillights. LED fog lights, large-diameter dual exhaust finishers and A-Spec badging on the front quarter panels and tailgate complete the exterior package. 

    Inside, the RDX A-Spec features exclusive sports seats wrapped in either black or red leather with black premium Ultrasuede® inserts and contrasting stitching. Real aluminum decorates the center-console, doors and instrument panel, with additional soft-touch Ultrasuede on the dash. The A-Spec's stitched leather sport steering wheel features gloss black trim, metal-plated paddle shifters and A-Spec badging. A unique driver's gauge cluster gets an A-Spec exclusive satin silver finish with red-illuminated nighttime readouts.

    Unparalleled Standard Features, Value

    The 2019 RDX boasts an extensive and class-leading array of premium features and technologies as standard equipment, including 19-inch alloy wheels, next-generation Acura Jewel Eye™ LED headlights, an ultra-wide panoramic moonroof, a power operated and height adjustable tailgate, Acura True Touchpad Interface™ with 10.2-inch HD Display, Apple CarPlay™ compatibility, Smart Entry and Smart Start, AcuraLink™ Connected Services with 4G LTE in-car Wi-Fi1, 12-way heated driver and passenger sport seats,  four-mode Integrated Dynamics System and AcuraWatch™ safety and driver-assistive technology.

    Top Active and Passive Safety Tech

    The 2019 RDX is designed to provide high levels of both active and passive safety. All models and grades come standard with the full suite of AcuraWatch safety and driver assist technologies, including Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) with Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow and Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS).

    Utilizing the latest generation of Acura's Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure along with advanced supplemental restraint systems, including front and front side airbags, front knee airbags, side curtain airbags, pretensioning seatbelts and Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) child-seat anchors, the 2019 RDX targets top NCAP 5-star Overall Vehicle Score and an IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating.

    Designed, Developed and Manufactured in America

    The third-generation RDX is the first RDX to be designed and developed in America. Styling design of the RDX was conducted by the Acura Design Studio in Los Angeles, California, with development undertaken by the company's North American R&D team, based in Raymond, Ohio. The new RDX will be manufactured in East Liberty, Ohio, with its 2.0-liter turbo engine produced in the company's Anna, Ohio engine plant and its 10-speed automatic transmission manufactured at the company's Tallapoosa, Georgia plant2.



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    Better engine than the XT4 or some others it competes with, looks the same as any Acura which Acura fans will like, but oh my god who threw up all the buttons on the dash?  Why are there so many angles, knobs, buttons and switches all over the place?

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    21 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    Where is the Acura version of the Honda CH-R?  They need that out stat!

    Did you have a stroke? The CH-R is a Toyota.

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    19 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Did you have a stroke? The CH-R is a Toyota.

    Oh right, the HR-V.  Same difference, all these alpha numerics are out of control.  And why do the people that make Camry, Highlander, Sienna, Tacoma, suddenly break form and make a CH-R?

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    7 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    Oh right, the HR-V.  Same difference, all these alpha numerics are out of control.  And why do the people that make Camry, Highlander, Sienna, Tacoma, suddenly break form and make a CH-R?

    Because it was built and designed to be a Scion.  It will probably be renamed Corolla SportCross or some BS during the next refresh.

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    The Acura CDX has been sold in China for over a year now, maybe they don't want to go that low end again in North America..

     

    • Upvote 1

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    They did the ILX for $26k or whatever it was, I could see that CDX coming here for $29,990 or something.  These mini crossovers seem to be a hot item, I bet the CDX comes here in time.

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    I like it, similar to MDX but better proporions.  

    Like the interior too.  Thank god they put buttons for AC control, in current MDX you have to go through screen menus for basic functions, so stupid.

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    Exterior isn't very distinctive but this could be a performance CUV bargain.  Interior is very "sporty" styled.

     

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    16 hours ago, smk4565 said:

     

    They did the ILX for $26k or whatever it was, I could see that CDX coming here for $29,990 or something.  These mini crossovers seem to be a hot item, I bet the CDX comes here in time.

    After noticing the Lexus UX I guess you are right.

     

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      Hyundai can’t seem to stop itself from tinkering with the Santa Fe crossover. This is apparent when you consider the nameplate first debuted on compact crossover in the early 2000s before growing into a two-model family up until last year. Hyundai has made another drastic change to the Santa Fe by making it a single model again - the three-row Santa Fe XL has been replaced by the Palisade. Does this re-focus make the model competitive?
      The overall shape of the 2019 Santa Fe is more upright than the outgoing Santa Fe Sport. This solves one of the biggest issues I had with the Sport, poor visibility. The upright shape and flatter belt line allowed Hyundai designers to increase the amount of glass used. Not only does this improve overall visibility. This also makes the interior feel more airy. Up front, Hyundai uses a hexagonal grille that is flanked by a split headlight layout. Slim LED daytime running lights sit on either side of the grille, while a pod housing the headlights sit underneath.
      Where the Santa Fe really shines is the interior. It’s a modern and clean design with a two-tone dashboard, unique fabric covering the pillars and headliner; and the use of polygons in the seat pattern and speaker grilles. Materials for the most part are soft-touch plastics and leather on my Ultimate tester. There are some hard plastics used here and there, but it will not detract from the premium feel Hyundai is going for. The layout for the controls is excellent with all in easy reach for driver or passenger. Also earning top marks is the eight-inch infotainment system which is simple to use, provides snappy performance, and allows a driver to use either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
      For those sitting up front, the Santa Fe Ultimate provides power adjustments, heat, and ventilation. Getting settled in and finding the correct position, I found the seats to be quite comfortable with enough padding to tackle any trip length. Back seat passengers will find plenty of leg and headroom. Those sitting in the back will also appreciate the rear seats can recline along with heat during the cold winter months. Cargo space is about average with 35.9 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 71.3 when folded.
      Most Santa Fes will come with the base 2.4L inline-four with 185 horsepower. My Ultimate AWD tester featured the optional turbocharged 2.0L inline-four with 235 horsepower. Both engines come paired with an eight-speed automatic. Whenever a Hyundai vehicle is equipped with a turbo-four, it falls into one of two camps - works perfectly or there is a performance issue. The Santa Fe falls into the latter. There is a noticeable amount of turbo-lag when leaving from a stop. Once up to speed, the engine can sometimes be a bit too responsive with a jumpiness that makes smooth acceleration a difficult task. Whether this is something with the programming of the engine, transmission, or throttle, I cannot say. I hope this gets fixed with the 2020 model.
      EPA fuel economy figures for the turbo-four with AWD are 19 City/24 Highway/21 Combined. I saw an average of 20.7 mpg during my week of testing. It should be noted this is the same as the Honda Passport with its slightly more powerful 3.5L V6 producing 280 horsepower.
      The Santa Fe’s ride is still smooth and relaxing over many of the bumps and imperfections that dot the roads of Metro Detroit. It is also surprisingly quiet with barely any wind or road noise coming inside. Handling is where the Santa Fe really surprised me as it felt agile when driven around a bend. There was barely any body roll and steering provided excellent response. 
      On the surface, the 2019 Santa Fe is an improvement over the Santa Fe Sport. It features a fetching design, comfortable ride, simple tech, and a lot of equipment for the money. My Ultimate tester came with an as-tested price of $39,905 and that includes adaptive cruise control with stop & go; blind spot monitoring, Infinity premium audio system, panoramic sunroof, and much more. Build up one of the Santa Fe’s competition to similar specs and you’re looking at spending on average around $5,000 more.
      But the Santa Fe is soured by the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine which appears to have two settings - slow off the line performance and unpredictable acceleration at higher speeds. Until Hyundai can figure out what is going on, stick with the base 2.4L four-cylinder. It may be a little bit underpowered, but at least it is more consistent in its power delivery.
      Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Santa Fe, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Santa Fe
      Trim: Ultimate
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L GDI 16-Valve DOHC CVVT Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 235 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 1,450 - 3,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/24/21
      Curb Weight: 4,085 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Montgomery, Alabama
      Base Price: $38,800
      As Tested Price: $39,905 (Includes $980.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $125.00
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