What happens when a company like Acura has a great sales year with a competitive luxury SUV like the Acura RDX? Why, it heads back to the lab and emerges with a fresh set of changes designed to make the popular people mover even more desirable, of course. In recognition of the fact that the luxury business is a moving target, the 2016 Acura RDX introduces a few cosmetic upgrades alongside a raft of new high tech features aimed at keeping its footing in the ferociously hard-fought entry-level premium SUV market.
Let's take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2016 Acura RDX.
1. The 2016 Acura RDX Offers A Gentle Facelift
From a distance the 2016 Acura RDX strongly resembles the previous year's model. It's not until you get close that you start to discover the changes that have been made to the compact crossover. The list of improvements includes more modern LED headlights up front with stylish running lights to go with them, additional details on both the front and rear bumpers, redesigned LED tail lights, and different wheels as compared to the 2015 edition of the Acura RDX. The 'shield' grille common to all Acuras has also been given a raised treatment to add more visual interest.
2. The 2016 Acura RDX Interior Simplifies Interfaces
While the 2016 Acura RDX's passenger compartment has been brightened through the additional use of chrome-look accents, the real story has to do with the vehicle's revised center stack. It wouldn't have been a stretch to call the 2015 RDX's climate, infotainment, and navigation controls 'confusing' due to the sheer number of buttons required to interact with them, but the new Acura RDX adopts the same available dual-LCD screen approach used by the TLX sedan. By grouping all of the vehicle's most important features across these two screens, the number of buttons used on the dash has been drastically reduced.
3. The 2016 Acura RDX Maintains The Same Interior Space And Comfort
Something that hasn't changed at all about the 2016 Acura RDX is the amount of room it has to offer on the inside. All versions of the Acura RDX are configured to haul up to five passengers across two rows, and not only does the crossover provide excellent room to stretch out for those riding in the front, its second set of accommodations trumps several of its closest rivals in terms of leg room. Cargo capacity for the RDX is listed at just a tick over 26 cubic feet, but fold down the back seat and you'll be able to access a full 61.3 cubes of storage space.
4. The 2016 Acura RDX Sees A Power Bump
The 2016 Acura RDX's 3.5-liter V-6 engine is the same size as it was the year before, but a new tune gifts it with a modest increase in overall output. The 279 horsepower it now produces checks in as six ponies more than the year before, and torque climbs a single lb-ft to 252 lb-ft in total. Each and every RDX motor is mated with a six-speed automatic transmission. Acura has also installed new 'active' engine mounts that are intended to help reduce the amount of vibration that is translated from the motor into the passenger compartment.
5. The 2016 Acura RDX Continues To Offer All-Wheel Drive
If you live in an area of the country where snowfall is a seasonal hazard - or if you simply want the extra security that four wheel grip can provide - then you'll be happy to know that you can order the 2016 Acura RDX with the option of all-wheel drive. The Acura RDX's all-wheel drive system has been designed to send more engine torque to the rear wheels for the current model year in a bid to improve handling. It also offers the ability to shuttle power fore and aft should a loss of traction be detected, ensuring that the wheels that have the most grip are those being motivated by the SUV's V-6.
6. The 2016 Acura RDX Delivers Improved Fuel Economy
The 2016 Acura RDX posts an improved highway fuel economy rating, which stands at 29-mpg. Around town, the Acura RDX sticks with last year's mark of 20-mpg, with both of these figures applying to front-wheel drive models (all-wheel drive saps a single mile per gallon from each respective measure). The reason for the highway increase? A new cylinder deactivation system that can drop the RDX's V-6 to three-cylinder operation during steady-state cruising. It's also the reason for the installation of the active engine mounts, because three-cylinder operation isn't quite as smooth as when all six are firing.
7. The 2016 Acura RDX Adds A Host Of New Safety Gear
The 2016 Acura RDX has taken a big step forward into the future of advanced safety equipment. New for 2016 in the Acura RDX is the availability of an automatic braking system tied in to a forward collision detection system, blind spot monitoring, and a lane departure warning and lane keeping assistance system. This is on top of new crash structure improvements that have been made to the crossover in order to improve its scores in both NHTSA and IIHS testing, and better protect those riding along should the active safety gear not be enough to prevent an accident.
8. The 2016 Acura RDX Comes In A Single Trim Level
The 2016 Acura RDX is sold as a single trim level vehicle that can be further customized through the selection of options packages. Standard equipment for the Acura RDX includes leatherette seating surfaces with heaters up front, a leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel, power adjustments for the two front positions, keyless entry and ignition, a noise cancellation system, a seven-speaker sound system with USB and Bluetooth connectivity, 18-inchwheels, a power liftgate, tinted windows, cruise control, and a hill start assist system. The vehicle can also be ordered with a long list of accessories that can be installed at the dealer to take care of specific owner wants and desires such as additional storage, interior and exterior styling tweaks, and a few electronic goodies.
9. The 2016 Acura RDX Offers Three Options Packages
The 2015 Acura RDX provides a trio of options packages that can be ordered with the SUV. The first is the AcuraWatch Plus package, which grants the Acura RDX access to almost all of the advanced safety gear mentioned earlier - forward collision warning and mitigation, lane departure warning, and lane keeping assist - plus active cruise control and a color multifunction display to go with the five-inch unit that is standard with the SUV.
Next up is the Technology package, which adds additional power adjustments for the front passenger, perforated leather sport seats all around, an additional vehicle information display, an automatic climate control system that links to the sun's position relative to the RDX's interior, a navigation system, surround sound audio, the AcuraLink telematics system, and a blind spot monitoring system. Finally, the Advance package provides all of the above plus fog lights, parking assistance, rain-sensitive windshield wipers, a remote starter, nicer rims, and ventilated seats up front.
10. The 2016 Acura RDX Is Priced Aggressively.
- The 2016 Acura RDX Is Priced Aggressively.
The 2016 Acura RDX starts at an MSRP of $35,270, which places it squarely in the conversation with other luxury SUV options like the Lexus NX, the Lincoln MKC, and the Audi Q3, each of which is within a few thousand dollars of the other. At the top of the range is the Advance Package model, which sees the Acura RDX check in with a window sticker of $43,420 (including the $1,500 surcharge for all-wheel drive that holds true across the board). Although not the least expensive option in its class, the Acura RDX provides strong value when examining the list of safety equipment and high tech gear it offers over and above several of its more modestly-priced rivals, along with one of the most powerful engines to be found amongst premium compact crossovers.