2016 Acura RDX Elite SUV
By Rae Borci
The original RDX by Acura was shown to the public as the brand’s flagship, featuring the highest level of technology available from the builder. Initially, a line-4 turbocharged engine and a tricky all-wheel drive system were to be found on the SUV. Since it didn’t sell as expected, the RDX was redesigned and sold as a small luxury crossover SUV, this time winning the hearts of a large number of consumers. The Elite version of the RDX is available for those who require the extra comfort and even more technology boost.
Body styles and options
There is a single trim level currently available for the 2016 Acura RDX featuring three optional packages. The SUV comes with standard front-wheel drive, but you can opt for the optional all-wheel drive system. The Elite comes with 18-inch wheels just like the standard RDX but with a modified design. One of the elements solely available on the RDX Elite is the front fog lights, placed low in the front bumper.
Some other features include heated side mirrors, sunroof, rear glass with privacy coating, a rearview camera, dual zone climate control with automatic mode. The driver and front passenger are welcomed with heated seats. Also, the driver seat benefits from 8-way customization, including two-way power lumbar modes; the passenger seat offers only a 4-way customization. Unlike the standard version, Acura RDX Elite boasts leather seats and leather covering for the wheel, while the cheaper package comes with leatherette (vinyl) upholstery.
Performance and Drivetrain
A turbo-charged 4 cylinder engine wasn’t something out of the ordinary for soccer’s mom SUV, but when Acura swapped it for a 3.5-liter V6, things got pretty serious. While everyone was concerned by the fuel economy of such a large engine, tests have revealed that the 279 hp, 252 lb/ft V6 goes from 0 to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds and gives a fuel economy value of 23 mpg combined, without zipping in the AWD system. Even then, economy values drop so little is barely noticeable.
No high-tech components are to be found on the safety systems, as the RDX Elite comes with standard anti-lock braking system, frontal and curtain airbags. Optionally, one can choose extras such as collision warning and forward collision mitigation with automatic braking. Even so, RDX Elite received a 6 star safety rating for total impact and 5 star collision rating for front and side impact.
When taken for a drive, the V6 works incredibly smooth, putting regular turbocharged line 4 engines to shame. It is silent on regular trips but shows off its roaring at higher RPM values. A light but precise steering compliments the secure handling behavior of the SUV. Shifting is done smooth and fast by the 6-speed gearbox, without hanging. At high speeds, little to now wind and road noise finds way to the inside, making highway trips pleasant.
While not just a great SUV, maybe top of its class, the Acura RDX Elite may very well be the affordable alternative to any midsize model, such as the Lexus RX. It drives smoothly, provides decent fuel economy and takes care of its passengers.
- Vehicle : 2016 Acura RDX
- Model : RDX Elite
- Vehicle Type : SUV
- Seating Capacity : 2+3
- Powertrain Configuration : AWD with 60/40 front/rear split ratio
- Engine : 3.5L 24V iVTech V6
- Transmission : 6 Speed Automatic
- Fuel Economy: 21/27 MPG city/highway
- Smooth ride quality with capable handling
- Excellent quality of materials used in cabin space
- Quiet interior and rugged design
- Subtle; yet beautiful design inside out while retaining luxury quality traits
- 6 Speed automatic transmission is a bit dated in the modern automotive era
- Sound system along with tech ergonomics can be improved
- More performance capable alternatives including BMW X1 rivals the RDX