The RDX is Acura’s entry into the highly competitive Mid Size Luxury CUV segment. Acura didn’t seem to hit the mark on the last generation RDX, but I think this version could be a lot more successful.

For 2013, the RDX receives its first full redesign since its debut in 2007. The New RDX is bigger outside, roomier inside, quieter, has much more useable power, and best of all, better fuel economy.

Outside, the new RDX receives a “beak” trim for 2013. While some say it makes it look more conservative, I say it is time to go completely “beakless.” Eighteen-inch alloy wheels are standard for this year.

Inside, the RDX has a new dash and much appreciated added interior space from last generation. Seats are comfortable and provide good support on a trip. Rear seat legroom is surprisingly good. Cargo capacity is over 26 cu. ft. behind the rear seats. The only negative is that the rear seats do not recline or slide. The dash is new and a big improvement. Soft touch materials are used and the trim looks more upscale than before. Acura’s multifunction controller has been updated and the control panel layout has been improved. The RDX is loaded with standard goodies such as: Leather upholstery, heated front seats, push button start, backup camera, iPod and USB inputs, Bluetooth connectivity, 5-inch color display, and a 360-watt audio system.

Safetywise, the RDX is loaded with airbags, stability control, anti lock brakes with brakeforce distribution, TPMS, and daytime running lights. There is no crash rating as of yet, but I bet it is a good one.

Under the hood, the RDSX has Honda’s great 273hp 3.5-liter V-6, replacing the turbo four-cyl that I didn’t like. Acura replaced the old five speed automatic with a six speed mated to a new all-wheel-drive system. These welcome changes give the RDX an EPA rating of 20/28 mpg city/highway with front-wheel drive and 19/27 mpg with all-wheel drive. Dramatically better than last years numbers. Better yet, the V6’s good mid range power makes the RDX much more fun to drive.

On the road, the RDX is quiet, comfortable, fuel efficient and fun to drive. The engine -transmission combination provides good power for either spirited driving or traffic conditions.

The RDX remains one of the better priced entries in the Mid Sized Luxury CUV segment with a base price in the mid $30k range. My test AWD Tech model was priced at $40,315, not bad either when compared to BMW, M-B, or Infiniti.

With the right marketing and promotion, I think that the 2013 Acura RDX could become a player in its segment. It certainly compares well to the competition and is overall a good choice for anyone wanting a reliable, comfortable fun to drive CUV. – Mike Herzing

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