2017 Acura RDX Review

Ever since the first MDX when Acura virtually pioneered the luxury crossover segment, they have been constantly innovating. The 2017 Acura RDX is a prime example showcasing Acura’s innovation.

Introduced back in 2004, Acura’s compact SUV received a lot of praise and attention from the media. Customers adored its amazing capabilities, with some even calling it the best car of all time. Then Acura decided to shock its rivals once again, this time with the completely revamped second generation RDX launched in 2012. For years manufacturers were struggling to keep up, but Acura always remained one step ahead. The 2016 facelift brought a lot of changes, including a different exterior, an updated V6 engine and, incredibly, even more gadgets onboard. The 2017 RDX carries over essentially unchanged, but with such a large facelift just last year, it’s still well ahead of its competitors.


Visually, the 2017 Acura RDX looks like it could have been released only yesterday. There’s nothing old-fashioned or outdated in its design. It’s fresh and modern, everything a small crossover needs to be to succeed.

The new Jewel Eye LED headlights are immediately apparent, as is the entire revised front fascia. There’s a new 3D grille, overhauled intakes on the edges of the bumper which are now far sportier-looking, and a single angular air vent which also carries a small splitter. The 2017 RDX’s overall exterior design is just right – not over the top, but not understated or dull either.

While the rear is a lot closer in design to the previous year 2016 RDX, Acura has still modernized it for 2017 and kept the design in line with the front end. The taillights get the light-pipe design which makes them appear more modern, but our favorite part lies just below them. The angular bumper (and accompanying insert) is a sight to behold, especially when viewed from the rear dead on, providing a sporty and aggressive look.


The cabin of the 2017 Acura RDX exudes luxury and sportiness, showing that even small, sporty SUVs can and should prioritize cabin comfort and quality over most things. Just like its bigger brother, the 2017 MDX, the RDX practically leads the luxury compact crossover segment with a number of innovative features and designs. The 2016 RDX received numerous upgrades carried over to the 2017 model, with Acura constantly striving for perfection. The two-tone color scheme has been reworked, the black tones come further down the dash, and the chrome accents give the entire cabin a different flare. The center stack in the middle received a different color, and is now suspended right above the console (it’s no longer integrated inside of the console).

As far as comfort, technology and features go, the 2017 Acura RDX is loaded! Heated front seats are now standard, as are second-row air conditioned vents. The driver’s seat is eight-way adjustable, there’s an On Demand display, HD radio, and a revised Technology package. In addition to its standard array of safety systems, you now get blind-spot information and rear cross-traffic alert. The Advance package, which was introduced in 2016, offers rain-sensing wipers, front/rear parking sensors, fog lights, keyless remote engine start and the famous AcuraWatch.

There’s plenty of room in both rows, so it’s practical as well. You can definitely tell the main focus was emphasizing the RDX’s luxury and comfort, as everything you see and touch feels expensive. Acura spared no expense when it came to the cabin, which is immediately apparent when you first step inside.


The 2017 Acura RDX’s 3.5L SOHC i-VTEC V6 received a slight tune-up back in 2016, to the extent that it now produces 279 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque. That’s 6 horsepower and 1 lb-ft more than the previous model year. As always though, it’s the way in which the power is delivered that’s really impressive. The broader power band means you can use more of the torque low down, putting even less strain on the engine and transmission. It’s a great cruiser, but put your foot to the floor and the 2017 RDX will throw you back in your seat! With a relatively light chassis, the RDX is no slouch. It likes to pull hard, even on the highway at cruising speeds.

The 2017 RDX is a driver’s car and the performance was exceptional, taking its raw power and harnessing it into quick accelerations, precise handling and an overall smooth and refined drive.

While the fuel economy does suffer a little, it’s to be expected with such a high powered engine. Rated at 8.7 L/100km on the highway and 12.4 L/100km in the city, our combined 100km test drive yielded a 10.5 L/100km consumption. Not bad considering the number of spirited accelerations!


The 2017 Acura RDX is a luxurious compact SUV that keeps its focus on performance and comfort. Drivers are rewarded with an exhilarating and responsive drive, while passengers are rewarded with a luxurious cabin adorned with exquisite materials. Take an RDX for a test drive to see for yourself!

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About Sean Mackay

Sean writes about cars, golf and events going on in British Columbia, Canada. He is also the editor for The Automotive Review - an automotive publication bringing a West Coast flavour to its editorials.
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