2014 Acura RDX Expert Review

3.8 Overall Score
Performance 3.9 Comfort 3.8 Styling 3.5 Value 4.0

Editor's Overview

A complete overhaul for the 2013 model year established the Acura RDX as a major player in the hotly-contested luxury-SUV segment. Beyond Acura’s reputation for reliability and resale value, the 2014 RDX offers comfortable accommodations for five, a powerful-yet-fuel-efficient V6, and a large helping of standard features.

You'll Like The 2014 Acura RDX If...

The 2014 Acura RDX is the clear choice for those who have grown weary of the complex ordering guides, pricey options and questionable reliability associated with many of today’s luxury SUVs. Exceptional resale value combined with Acura’s well-established reputation for quality offers prospective RDX owners an added measure of peace of mind.

You May Not Like The 2014 Acura RDX If...

If you desire a compact SUV with the athleticism of a sports sedan, the BMW X3 or Infiniti EX might be a better fit. On the opposite end of the performance spectrum, off-road types should take a closer look at the stylish and highly-capable Range Rover Evoque.

What's New

In the wake of last year’s complete revamp, the Acura RDX sees no changes of note for 2014.

Interior Features

The cabin of the 2014 Acura RDX is a classic representation of form meeting function. Yet the RDX still boasts a commendable amount of soft-touch materials, giving this SUV the premium feel (literally) its price warrants. Numerous buttons populate the dash and steering wheel, but they are relatively easy to use and identify, and are more straightforward than the center-console-mounted rotary dials used in the Mercedes GLK, BMW X3 and Audi Q5. In terms of hauling power, the RDX offers an expansive 76.9 cubic feet of maximum cargo space, topping virtually all compact competitors. Although the rear seats lack fold-flat capability, they do feature a 60/40 split to accommodate larger items. Furthermore, the RDX has more rear legroom than even the mid-size Cadillac SRX.

Exterior Features

Acura learned from some of its past, shall we say, design controversies with the ZDX and TL, opting to play it safe with the 2nd-generation RDX. On the whole it works, though with its sloping rear roof and teardrop windows, you wouldn’t be blamed for confusing the RDX with the CR-V if glancing at the Acura from the side or rear. Thankfully, the RDX’s nose signals a different, classier car, as do its prominent fender arches and more aggressive stance.

Driving Impressions

To our welcome surprise, the 2014 RDX delivers above and beyond the expected level of dynamism, proving itself a capable performer in initial acceleration and passing power. The standard V6 idles smoother and pulls harder than the 4-cylinder turbocharged engines found in the Audi Q5 and Land Rover LR2. For those times when more oomph is required, the RDX has a sport mode for speedier gear changes and enhanced control over the paddle shifters. It doesn’t take a whole lot of work to get comfortable in the 10-way power driver’s seat, but front passengers might feel like they’re riding low, as that seat does not adjust for height.

Pricing Notes

In base attire, the 2014 Acura RDX carries a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of around $34,500. Opting for all-wheel drive will set you back an additional $1,400. Top-of-the-line versions equipped with the Technology Package and AWD come in just north of the $40,000 mark. Save for the Volvo XC60, the RDX’s sub-$36K starting price undercuts the base and fully-loaded sticker prices of every small luxury SUV. Before heading to the dealership, take a look at KBB.com’s Fair Purchase Price at the bottom of this page to see what others in your area are paying for the Acura RDX. When it comes time to sell, the 2014 RDX is expected to hold some of the strongest residual values in its class, surpassed only by the Mercedes-Benz GLK and Infiniti EX.

Notable Equipment

As a value-based proposition, the 2014 RDX offers the longest list of standard equipment in the category. Key features consist of a Multi-view backup camera, heated front seats with a 10-way power driver’s seat, and a 7-speaker audio system with a 5-inch LCD display, voice-activated text messaging (not compatible with iPhone) and Pandora Internet radio. And unlike its German-built rivals, the RDX includes keyless entry and start as standard fare. On the safety front, the RDX comes with six airbags and a full suite of electronic stability aids.

Notable Options

Apart from all-wheel-drive and a handful of dealer-installed accessories, optional features for the 2014 RDX are grouped together in the $3,700 Technology Package. Package highlights include a navigation system with traffic overlays, high-intensity-discharge headlights that significantly improve nighttime visibility, the above-mentioned Acura/ELS audio system, and an AcuraLink application hub with Zagat ratings, weather forecasts and dealer appointment reminders. On a sour note, the voice recognition’s primitive software platform makes for frustrating and overly complicated hands-free communication. If you own a smartphone, we suggest using the native voice assistant software (i.e. Siri or Google Voice Search) for phone and audio commands.

Favorite Features

ACURA/ELS SURROUND SOUND

While it’s comprised of a comparatively low speaker count, the available Acura/ELS sound system is one of the best factory-installed sound systems money can buy. Speaking of which, the Acura/ELS setup is also remarkably affordable for a system of this caliber.


MULTI-VIEW CAMERA

Unlike traditional backup cameras, the RDX employs a versatile Multi-view camera system for a more comprehensive view from behind the vehicle. Choose from the basic default mode, a wide angle 170 degree setting, or a unique top-down view, which comes in handy when parallel parking or lining up a trailer.

Under the Hood

In addition to being the first V6 offered in an RDX, the standard 3.5-liter, naturally aspirated engine boasts another first for Acura: Variable Cylinder Management. The purpose of this system is to save fuel by deactivating cylinders when they’re not needed. A V6 uses six of them – hence the name – but this system enables the engine to run on four or even three, essentially making it a smaller, more fuel-efficient power plant. Cylinder-deactivation systems have had a rather tainted past, but today’s computer-assisted engine management systems make for a smoother application. How smooth? You probably won’t even be aware that cylinder deactivation is taking place while behind the wheel of a 2014 RDX. The sole transmission choice is a 6-speed automatic linked to a set of steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.


3.5-liter V6

273 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm

251 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/28 mpg (FWD), 19/27 mpg (AWD)

Editors' Notes

Fresh off last year’s full redesign, the 2nd-generation Acura RDX is a rare example of an SUV that does almost everything right. Its no-frills character, strong-yet-fuel-efficient V6, and expansive list of standard equipment make the 2014 Acura RDX a serious contender in the small luxury SUV segment. Available in front-wheel drive (FWD) or-all-wheel drive (AWD), the RDX further impresses with one of the best optional audio systems on the market and top-notch ergonomics. But, despite Acura’s best efforts to promote the RDX as a tech-laden wonderland, rivals like the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLK Class and Audi Q5 offer significantly more in the way of advanced in-vehicle technology. On the other hand, the 2014 RDX nonetheless remains an attractive package for value-seeking luxury car shoppers. That's why we named it one of the 10 Best Luxury Cars Under $40,000 for 2014.

Road Test Video Reviews

2014 Acura RDX Owner Reviews

4.37
51 Reviews
51% 37% 10% 2% 1 star 0%
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I personally like and enjoy the brand, but even the favorite has its lack.

It is great. I like Acura brand and like the design both exterior and interior. I've always enjoyed Honda brand; therefore, I really enjoy Acura as well. However, it seems like the brand itself is losing it reputation due to lack of creativity, lack of innovation on design, and lack of promotions or special deal for the consumers. Since the gas price continues to increase, it is important for the consumer to have deals or promotions on a new vehicle, which Acura does not have. They should do better with the car design and promotions.

- Michael C

Keeping the driving experience simple yet enjoyable.

Very reliable, no complaints. Only problem encountered so far is trouble shifting gears but nothing major. Seats are comfortable but can start to feel kind of hard if driving for extended periods of time. Technology is enough for me but it is not up to date and the technology is not very fancy if you are looking for something with good built in technology. It is simple on the inside and out but that is good enough for me.

- Caroline C

Acura: it�s Not for the young

I've had more service issues on this car is three years then previous cars in 10 to 15 years. Within the first six months I had to take the car in for two minor issues. Repair costs are very high for this vehicle The GPS is high-quality. I find the console buttons hard to use and hard to find. The car sits low to the ground on like SUVs which should sit higher. Overall it is not a fun or young feeling car

- Andrea S

2014 Acura rdx all wheel drive is a great drive!

I especially like the quality and performance, plus dealership service. I have never had a problem with this SUV. It has enough power to climb the mountains even when the ac is on. The SUV is well made, with no rattles. Every time I go in for service, they explain what needs to be done in plain language and tell me the costs before the service is rendered. Nothing is ever unexpected.

- Ray F

Rdx is the best car to own!

The car runs very well. Maintenance is easy and not costly at all. Rdx is very nimble and quick on the turns. Even though it is a smaller than mdx it has plenty of space inside. Like all Acura, the 2014 model rdx definitely feels luxurious. Gray color is preferred for this type of car and the alloy one piece low-profile wheels definitely make a difference in the ride.

- Steve D

Roomy and acceptable gas mileage. Great car other than a somewhat bouncy ride.

I love the look of my Acura RDX. My past cars were sedans. The only thing I don't like is the bouncy feel which I've noticed a lot more lately. I don't recall it being like that when it was first purchased but my husband insists it was always like that. I would give it 5 stars if the ride was smoother. That is my only complaint, but I still really love the car.

- Suzette K

Good mileage, smooth ride and upgradable GPS.

Very comfortable, smooth ride and quiet. On highway rides the car uses one gallon of supreme gas for more than thirty miles. In the city I get about twenty miles per gallon. The fully electronic and technical controls in the car perform very well and its GPS is upgradable, even though it took four hours to update from twenty fourteen to twenty eighteen.

- Miguel E

Rdx . Love the look, great looking car even after 5 years still seems brand new.

Love the size. Not too big and sits up a little higher but not like a full size SUV. Great stereo sound, nice smooth ride and quiet. Plenty of room for 4b people and still rom in the rear for cargo. Wish it had heated steering which I believe newer models have. I own a black rdx and the finish is amazing super shiny almost a lacquered look.

- Karen B

Making everyone happy with my 2014 Acura rdx

I have not had any major problems yet. The only minor problem is that the seat positions are limited. Everything else is great the backseat has an awesome entertainment center where my kids watch movies. Everyone has their own controls to make them comfortable. The acceleration is nice and am very happy with the car.

- Kevin K

The car has sun screen roof which can be opened and closed during the ride.

There are no big problems in my car. Even though its 2004 model, it is an awesome car. It is the best year end model. This car has a sunscreen roof on top of the car so that we can open the sunroof and get the air. The seat is plastic seat so that no dust will get settled so the washing can be done easily.

- New B

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