Consider the 2018 Acura RDX if you’re after a budget-conscious crossover that rides and drives well.
The 2018 Acura RDX is a compact crossover SUV that's an equal blend of value and sophistication. As a result, it's relatively understated among competitors, and a new version is on the way soon.
Accordingly, this semi-luxury crossover scores a 6.7 out of 10 on our scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
This RDX dates back to the 2013 model year, albeit with a few updates to keep it fresh. Today’s RDX is available in three basic flavors—base, Technology, and Advance—with further choices in terms of front- or all-wheel drive and the brand’s AcuraWatch collision avoidance tech. All in, the spendiest RDX still runs under $45,000, which is about where some of its rivals like the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class start. True, the RDX doesn’t match them in terms of features, style, or refinement, but its value is noteworthy.
Acura bucks the turbo-4 trend by fitting a 3.5-liter, naturally aspirated V-6 to all RDXs. At 279 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque, the V-6 is no slouch and it returns fuel economy figures that aren’t far off of less-powerful turbo-4s. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is $1,500 extra for those who need more grip.
Though the RDX isn’t the sexiest thing on the market—it’s far from it—the crossover’s basic two-box shape wears the brand’s beak nose better than its sedans. Its interior is busy and not quite as upmarket feeling as some swankier rivals—but, again, there’s that low price. Considered as the bridge between mainstream crossovers like the Honda CR-V and true luxury models from German competitors, the RDX begins to make sense.
Those buyers looking for a semi-luxury ride will find that RDX’s interior is spacious and well-packaged, at least for front-seat occupants. Rear seat riders will find a low bench and limited room, but the cargo area is shaped nicely for larger objects.
Despite its age, the RDX performs well in crash tests. The IIHS and the NHTSA give it high marks and Acura offers features such as adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warnings for a reasonable $1,300 on base and Technology models (the tech is standard on the range-topping, $43,495 RDX Advance).