2010 Acura RDX: Family Nose and Front Drive0
While you might not know it from some of the creepy ad shots initially floating around on the ‘net, in the tin, the updated RDX is an improvement. The 2010 RDX takes its midpoint change with nips and tucks inside and out.
Looking like it stopped off at the tailor’s on the way to our drive event, the exterior changes involve typical revisions to headlights, taillights, fascias, and grilles, and the unloved Acura beak is now firmly in place. Despite the family grille, this is a nice example of minor changes, a tuck and crease here and there, that refine the overall look. With that nose, we may not call the new RDX beautiful, but it does look more refined and expensive than the outgoing car.
The new hood and grille add up to a stronger and more substantial presence, and even the updated fog lights and new ten-spoke wheels give the RDX more elegance. The changes guide your eye away from the ground, making the RDX look taller and heftier, both elements that help it look like more SUV than tall wagon. The same is true of the revised rear fascia and rectangular exhaust finishers.
Along with improved looks comes a new base front-drive model, for better or worse. While Acura says the FWD model expands choice for buyers in warmer climates, but it also diminishes the luxury image Acura tries to cultivate. Fuel economy is improved by 2mpg city/highway with the weight reduction, which might be an improvement for the brochure wars.
The 2010 RDX starts at $32,520, while the SH-AWD model starts at $34,520; by comparison, the 2009 SH-AWD RDX started at about $33,500. In introducing the front-drive variant, Acura reduced the cost of entry to RDX, but increased the cost for AWD.
The revised RDX is a bit smoother and quieter to drive, though only by a slim margin. The engine has no changes, but a new inlet pipe for the turbo and a dual-stage radiator fan reduce noise. Brake pedal feel was improved with a changed brake pedal ratio, booster, and servo. All of the changes improve the RDX’s driving characteristics, but not so dramatically most buyers will notice.
Technology upgrades help the RDX keep up, but do not quite reach the Advance tagline. They include a standard USB port, XM Notes feature, and a parking camera in the rear-view mirror became standard. The center stack was slightly revised for more intuitive HVAC controls, and there are more ambient light sources.
Acura gave the RDX a nice spiffing up, all in all. The company expects 30% of buyers to take the front-drive option; AutoPacific expects they will find that more of this is cannibalization of AWD sales than incremental.