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2007 Crossover Buyer's Guide: Acrua RDX

by Martha Hindes

2007 Acura RDX
Acura MDX  Interior

If every automaker has a competitor in its sights when developing a new vehicle, Acura must have gone to Germany for its inspiration. Company officials freely admit they thoroughly examined BMW's spunky X3 sports activity vehicle when developing the new Acura RDX. In the confusing profusion of crossovers, the RDX functions as a luxury one in intent and style, despite a light truck-based foundation according to company lit. In hunger, RDX is aimed at the same consumers who might consider an X3 in their vehicle stables but would prefer to go down a bit in price to the RDX's $33,000 entry fee.

So intent was Acura in achieving its goal, it added something never before available on it vehicles, a turbo charged engine mated to a five-speed automatic transmission, with instantly responsive paddle shifters mounted to the wheel. Despite the automatic-only trans, it gives a full sense of manual mode play and driving authority that can only translate into taming mountainous switchbacks with crisp cornering and tires glued to the road.

Despite the implications of all-wheel-drive (standard on RDX) and its sort-of truck credentials, don't consider this low clearance vehicle an off-roader. Its pavement-only reality is what lands it in the crossover column. Function does count when crossing "T's" and dotting "I's." But function in an Acura sense also is practical, such as a deep well center console bin that should swallow a laptop with ease while leaving room for more.

RDX is powered by parent company Honda's 2.3-liter turbo-charged four generating 240-horspower. Inside, its materials make it class leading, with leather trim, heated front seats, power glass sunroof, XM Satellite radio plus extensive safety features including front and rear head airbags. Amenities go up with trim level and options, and include voice-activated DVD-based navigation system, traffic monitoring via real-time "AcuraLink," wireless telephone interface, premium sound and solar sensing dual-zone climate control. Premium fuel is recommended, and careful driving could eke out a best 19/24 mileage.

Click Here to Read RTM's 2007 Acura RDX Road Test