The RDX is currently Acura’s smallest crossover slotting before the three-row MDX. Price-wise, the RDX starts above the ILX and TLX sedan. The smaller CDX crossover might make its way to the U.S. in the next few years.
The 2021 RDX is the same height as the outgoing RDX but is longer and wider with a wheelbase lengthened by 2.5 inches and a 1.2-inch wider track, said engineer Steve Hansen. It also has a shorter overhang and long wheel-to-dash for more dramatic proportions, fronted by the signature diamond pentagon grille and next-gen LED headlights. In back is a “dragon tail” with LED lamps.
The only engine under the hood at launch is the new 2.0-liter VTEC turbocharged inline-four-cylinder engine that is shared with the Honda Civic Type R and Accord. The direct-injection engine—which generates 306 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque in the Type R and 252 hp and 273 lb-ft in the Accord—has 40 percent more low-end grunt than that of the outgoing RDX and is mapped to deliver more low-end thrust than the revvy Type R. We also expect a hybrid variant in the future.
The RDX’s 10-speed automatic transmission is shared with the Odyssey and Accord, but this is its first all-wheel-drive application.
The 2021 RDX was given the highest five-star rating for the crossover’s overall rating and is considered a 2021 Top Safety Pick+ (the highest possible rating) for scoring the highest rating of Good in all five test evaluations (small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraints and seats) and the highest rating of Superior in the front crash prevention evaluation. The RDX was able to reduce the speed of a 12 mph collision by 11 mph and a 25 mph collision by 16 mph thanks to the available Collision Mitigation Braking system in AcuraWatch Plus package. The package also consists of adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and a color multi-information display in the instrument panel. Other driver assist safety features include a forward collision warning system, lane departure warning, blind spot alert, and rear-cross traffic alert.