The all-new third generation (2019-20) Acura RDX crossover SUV is the first to be designed, engineered and built in America. Everything is new – and better. In fact, so much better that Acura reports RDX is shattering sales records as the new 2020 models are arriving in dealerships.
Significantly, says Acura, new RDX buyers are younger, more diverse, more highly educated and more affluent than those having purchased the previous generation model. Particularly they single out the new RDX A-Spec as the key in attracting that younger demographic. In fact, more than double the number of under-45-year-olds are buying RDX A-Spec than the rest of the RDX line.
We are not sure how, at near 74 years old, we fit their demographic, but we do know we like the fit of the RDX A-Spec crossover.
2020 Acura RDX SH-AWD A-Spec
After spending a week last month behind the wheel of a 2020 Acura RDX A-Spec we say – if you liked RDX before, you will love it now – especially the A-SPEC. If you were just ‘so-so’ (like we were) – you will be a newest fan – no matter the trim level.
Acura sent us a knockdown beautiful new Platinum White Acura RDX A-SPEC SH-AWD our weeklong road test. Standing still in our drive, it was beyond impressive in the White with its finely crafted Gloss Black trim accents, Shark Gray 20-inch alloy wheels clad with low profile 255/45R20 Goodyear tires, ultra-wide Panoramic Moonroof, next generation “Jewel Eye” LED headlights and Black interior with Madder Red Milano leather sport seating.
Hitting the road, the new longer and wider Acura platform set the stage for new performance features to impress us even more.
A completely new and more powerful 2.0L direct injection turbocharged engine nests under the hood. A new Sequential SportShift 10-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters seamlessly delivers the horsepower and torque to the latest generation Acura Super Handling AWD (SH-AWD) system.
Equipped with the Integrated Dynamics Drive System (Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Snow modes) to adjust for terrain and weather challenges, and the Acura RDX SH-AWD easily rules the road.
Other notable features making the RDX A-Spec a superb ride and drive includes top of class interior space, redesigned 16-way adjustable seating, NSX inspired ‘high-deck’ floating console controls and an All-new ‘TrueTouchpad Interface’ w/Android based operating system.
And, if premium audio is your thing, our 2020 Acura RDX A-Spec featured the new Acura/ELS Studio 3D Premium Audio with 710-watts of power and 16 discrete sound channels and 16 precision crafted speakers.
Four of the speakers are mounted in the ceiling, so suffice it to say this audio system presents new definition to the words ‘surround sound’.
2020 Acura RDX SH-AWD
The 2020 Acura RDX SH-AWD A-SPEC has an MSRP of $45,800. Our test A-Spec delivered fully equipped with no options or extras for just $46,795.
Powertrain and Mechanical
The new direct-injected turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine puts out 272 horsepower with 280 lb.-ft. of torque. It is integrated with an also new 10-speed Sequential Sport Shift automatic transmission with available 4-gear direct downshifts.
The SH-AWD on the 2020 RDX allows enables up to 70 percent of engine torque to be distributed to the rear wheels in normal drive situations. With its Active Torque Vectoring, up to 100 percent can be directed to either rear wheel as needed for increased handling performance in weather situations.
Fuel economy for the RDX SH-AWD A-Spec is rated at 21/26 mpg city/highway and 23 mpg combined. We spent quite a bit of time driving in Sport and Sport + modes (seems we have an affinity for those settings) – lowering our combined average to just over 20 mpg.
Precise steering is delivered by a new Dual-Pinion Variable-Ration Electric Power Steering system. Sure- footed braking is delivered by a 4-wheel disc set up with Electronic Brake Force Distribution. The reengineered suspension features a sport-tuned MacPherson strut front set up and all-new five-link rear design to handle the road.
The Acura RDX comes standard with Acura’s Integrated Dynamics System with the four drive modes. A center console-mounted drive mode dial (like the NSX) allows the drive to select the desired mode. The mode interacts with the throttle, transmission, SH-AWD torque vectoring, traction control and Active Damper System to optimize the drive experience on any road in any condition.
All 2020 Acura RDX models feature a wide Panoramic Power Roof and Power Operated Tailgate.
A-Spec unique exterior elements add the 20-inch Shark Gray Split Five-Spoke Wheels, Jewel Eye LED Headlights, new exclusive A-Spec Front and Rear Bumpers, Signature diamond pentagon grille in Gloss Black with Gloss Black Exterior Trims, Dark Internal Headlights and Taillights, LED Fog Lights, , Dual Exhaust Outlets and ‘A-Spec’ badging front fenders and rear hatch.
The cabin features new performance engineered A-Spec seating. Seats are heated and ventilated in Perforated Milano Premium Leather. Both front seats are 16-way power for added comfort.
Taking a cue from the NSX, our RDX A-Spec featured the new high-deck ‘floating console’ design that delivers more utility and functionality for driver and passenger.
Interior trims unique to the A-Spec are in Ultrasuede with contrast stitching and piping. Other elements include Sport Pedals, Dark Brushed Aluminum accent trims, Ebony Headliner, brushed metal-look meters with red accents, a Red on Silver Gauge Cluster, Red Ambient Cabin Lighting and A-Spec Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel.
Of particular note beyond the generous passenger spaces is the just over 31 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row – that includes a below the floor cargo box.
The RDX features and high-mounted 10.2-inch full-HD wide display with the all-new Android-based Acura TrueTouchpad Interface. A first-time application in a driving environment, it can be a mild put-off to start, but is easily mastered – even for old folks like us.
As noted earlier, our RDC A-Spec came equipped with the new Acura/Els Studio 3D premium audio system. In a word ‘WOW’.
Some of the other technology elements included the full suite of AccuraLink cloud-based services, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, 4G LTE in-car Wi-Fi, Navigation, Bluetooth Hands-Free, SiriusXM and HD radio plus a lot more.
The 2020 Acura RDX tops the Motor Trend list of safest luxury SUV’s in 2019.
The Acura RDX for 2020 is 5-Star National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rated.
More importantly, the RDX SH-AWD A-Spec earned the coveted Top Safety Pick + rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Particularly notable was the ‘Good’ rating for its next gen Jewel Eye LED headlight system.
All Acura vehicles for 2020 are equipped with the AccuraWatch suite of advanced safety and driver-assistance technologies. Features include Adaptive Cruise Control w/Low Speed Follow, Collision Mitigation Braking, Lane Keeping Assist and Road Departure Mitigation.
2020 Acura RDX Lineup
Acura RDX for 2020 comes in four trim levels Base, Technology, A-Spec and Advance. All trims come standard as FWD or are available as AWD.
Explore the 2020 Acura RDX further at https://www.acura.com/rdx.
Segment: Premium SUV
As Tested: $46,795
Powertrain: 2.0L Direct Injection Turbocharged I4
Horsepower: 272 @ 6500 rpm
Torque: 280 lb.-ft. @ 1600-4500 rpm
Transmission: 10-speed w/Sequential Sport Shift & Paddle Shifter
Drive System: Acura SH-AWD
Drive Modes: Comfort, Sport, Sport +, Snow
Fuel Economy 21/26 mpg City/Highway 23 mpg combined