The Acura RDX is Acura’s first compact luxury crossover SUV. Originally previewed as the Acura RD-X concept car, the production RDX had its debut at the 2006 New York Auto Show and went on sale on August 11, 2006.
The RDX takes over from the MDX as Acura's entry-level crossover SUV, as the MDX continues to grow in size and price. The RDX competes with other compact SUVs such as the BMW X3, Mazda CX-7, and Land Rover LR2; other competitors include slightly larger crossovers such as the Lexus RX, Lincoln MKX, and Volvo XC90 as well as luxury-option versions of vehicles such as the Subaru B9 Tribeca and Mazda CX-7. The RDX is assembled in Marysville, Ohio. Although the dimensions of the vehicle are similar to that of the Honda CR-V, Acura claims the RDX uses a unique platform developed to handle the vehicle's advanced all-wheel drive system. Sales have been slow. 3832 units have been sold in the first two months of 2007 which is below forecast. Incentives will be offered to help sales.
The RDX is powered by Acura's first turbocharged gasoline engine. The 2.3-liter I4 K23A1 engine has all-aluminum construction, an i-VTEC head, and dual balance shafts. Acura's variable flow turbocharger reduces turbo lag by using a valve to narrow the exhaust passage at low rpm, increasing the velocity of the exhaust flow and keeping the turbine spinning rapidly. At higher rpm, the valve opens to allow more exhaust flow for increased boost. The engine also features a top-mounted intercooler which receives air from the grille, channeled by ducting under the hood. The Acura RDX engine is rated at 240 bhp (179 kW) @ 6000 rpm with a torque peak of 260 ft·lbf (353 N·m). @ 4500. The EPA estimated fuel mileage is 19 city and 23 highway miles per gallon. New more realistic EPA mileage estimates as of February 2007 are 17 city and 22 highway. With a heavy foot, one tester got 11 mpg in the city.