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TOV Forums > RDX > > Re: My weekend with a 2013 Acura RDX Tech FWD

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CivicB18
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My weekend with a 2013 Acura RDX Tech FWD    (Score: 1, Normal) 07-29-2012 16:00
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* Note: this isn't a direct apples to apples comparison as the vehicles I'm comparing are my own 2008 TL base and a 2013 RDX Tech FWD in graphite luster metallic over black.

I had to take my 2008 TL in Friday for a recall of a power steering hose and I received a 2013 RDX Tech FWD as a loaner. It has about 600 miles currently. I was supposed to return it yesterday but I was advised by my service advisor to keep it until Monday.

~ Exterior styling: the RDX isnt a bad looking vehicle but it's a bit too anonymous. I don't mind conservative styling but it didn't have to be this conservative. My TL styling is conservative yet very interesting at the same time. I think Acura designers should return to that balance of conservative yet unique styling cues the 04-08 TL posesses. Perhaps some 19's or 20's and more agressively styled front/rear facias would make the design more attractive.

~ Interior styling: I really like the interior of the RDX as it's much better than the previous. The materials are pretty good except for the lower door panels of which the graining and greasy sheen cause a sense of cheapness. I also didnt care for the grade of leather on the seats. I'd also like to see more detailing on the door panels as my TL has much better detailing and material quality overall is better. I love the RDX's dash layout however.

~ Ride/handling: the ride is glass smooth and the suspension feels buttoned down but it's still a bit soft for my tastes. I'm sure this calibration is fine for the RDX's intended audience but perhaps a Sport version would better suit those who desire a more tactile road feel. BMW, Audi, Mercedes and now even Lexus have sport packages available so Acura should follow suit to attract even a larger customer pool.

My TL by comparison is softer especially in the front as in spirited driving the front end has much more unnecessary movements vs the RDX. The RDX soaks up minor and medium road imperfections nicely but larger imperfections are better handled by my TL.

~ Steering: the RDX has a much tighter turning radius but the steering effort is way too light compared to my TL. However, the RDX's steering is faster and more accurate.

~ Drivetrain performance: hands down the RDX blows my TL away in all areas of drivetrain performance. The VCM J35 in this application is very strong at any RPM and the 6AT is much smoother yet much more responsive vs the 5AT. The throttle programming is also much much much much much better as I don't get any of that DBW surging as I do in my TL. Acceleration is also another win for the RDX as it blows my TL away at any speed. Fuel economy is also (surprisingly) much much better in the RDX vs my TL. Overall the RDX continues to impress me with its brisk acceleration while still being able to return great fuel economy.

The only advantages my J32 has over the J35 in the RDX is engine tone as the J32 has a nice intake snarl and has that heavy hum at low speeds. The J35 sounds a bit too gritty when revved and is actually too quiet in operation. The J32 is more refined in terms of smoothness.

~ Braking: unsure of stopping distances but the RDX's brakes are superior vs my TL's although I prefer the TL's brake feel and modulation as like many new Honda products, the RDX's pedal is a bit abrupt in initial operation.


Overall the RDX is a nice blend of performance, technology, styling, features and efficiency but a few items need to be addressed for me to consider an RDX.

My recommendations are:

- more available high end features such as power folding mirrors, panoramic roof, LED tails/turn indicators/DRL's, adaptive HID BI xenon lighting and a better ELS system as it's clarity is good but it bass performance is lacking. Of course the addition of Pandora and/or related infotainment technologies would be welcome. I'd also like to see lane departure, apaptive cruise and ventilated seating.

- a sport package with sportier feel, heavier/more communicative steering, larger wheel/tire combo and more aggressive styling cues.


~Patrick
according2kev
Profile for according2kev
Re: My weekend with a 2013 Acura RDX Tech FWD    (Score: 1, Normal) 07-29-2012 16:37
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Nice review Patrick, thanks. Your impressions seem to fall in line with many of the reviews I've read so far.

Very glad to hear about the drivetrain performance. I'm really hoping Honda gets it right in the Accord. Anyone know if this will be the same V6 used in the '13 Accord? If so, it may feel even more spritely considering the Accord will lighter and may have a few more hp than the RDX.
CivicB18
Profile for CivicB18
Re: My weekend with a 2013 Acura RDX Tech FWD    (Score: 1, Normal) 07-29-2012 20:20
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according2kev wrote:
Nice review Patrick, thanks. Your impressions seem to fall in line with many of the reviews I've read so far.

Very glad to hear about the drivetrain performance. I'm really hoping Honda gets it right in the Accord. Anyone know if this will be the same V6 used in the '13 Accord? If so, it may feel even more spritely considering the Accord will lighter and may have a few more hp than the RDX.




Given the RDX accelerates like it does if the Accord uses the exact same V6/6AT combo there would be no need for a horsepower increase as the Accord will be lighter vs the current Accord and RDX. Unfortunately Honda concentrates more on fuel economy (vs Acura) and I'm sure the Accord will have less aggressive throttle/tranny mapping.

~Patrick
soniccar
Profile for soniccar
Re: My weekend with a 2013 Acura RDX Tech FWD    (Score: 1, Normal) 07-30-2012 22:09
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Very nice write up. Thanks.
mobis21
Profile for mobis21
Re: My weekend with a 2013 Acura RDX Tech FWD    (Score: 1, Normal) 07-30-2012 22:13
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I would vote for the panoramic roof. Even if it's a fixed panel only.
owequitit
Profile for owequitit
Re: My weekend with a 2013 Acura RDX Tech FWD    (Score: 1, Normal) 07-31-2012 02:34
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CivicB18 wrote:
* Note: this isn't a direct apples to apples comparison as the vehicles I'm comparing are my own 2008 TL base and a 2013 RDX Tech FWD in graphite luster metallic over black.

I had to take my 2008 TL in Friday for a recall of a power steering hose and I received a 2013 RDX Tech FWD as a loaner. It has about 600 miles currently. I was supposed to return it yesterday but I was advised by my service advisor to keep it until Monday.

~ Exterior styling: the RDX isnt a bad looking vehicle but it's a bit too anonymous. I don't mind conservative styling but it didn't have to be this conservative. My TL styling is conservative yet very interesting at the same time. I think Acura designers should return to that balance of conservative yet unique styling cues the 04-08 TL posesses. Perhaps some 19's or 20's and more agressively styled front/rear facias would make the design more attractive.

~ Interior styling: I really like the interior of the RDX as it's much better than the previous. The materials are pretty good except for the lower door panels of which the graining and greasy sheen cause a sense of cheapness. I also didnt care for the grade of leather on the seats. I'd also like to see more detailing on the door panels as my TL has much better detailing and material quality overall is better. I love the RDX's dash layout however.

~ Ride/handling: the ride is glass smooth and the suspension feels buttoned down but it's still a bit soft for my tastes. I'm sure this calibration is fine for the RDX's intended audience but perhaps a Sport version would better suit those who desire a more tactile road feel. BMW, Audi, Mercedes and now even Lexus have sport packages available so Acura should follow suit to attract even a larger customer pool.

My TL by comparison is softer especially in the front as in spirited driving the front end has much more unnecessary movements vs the RDX. The RDX soaks up minor and medium road imperfections nicely but larger imperfections are better handled by my TL.

~ Steering: the RDX has a much tighter turning radius but the steering effort is way too light compared to my TL. However, the RDX's steering is faster and more accurate.

~ Drivetrain performance: hands down the RDX blows my TL away in all areas of drivetrain performance. The VCM J35 in this application is very strong at any RPM and the 6AT is much smoother yet much more responsive vs the 5AT. The throttle programming is also much much much much much better as I don't get any of that DBW surging as I do in my TL. Acceleration is also another win for the RDX as it blows my TL away at any speed. Fuel economy is also (surprisingly) much much better in the RDX vs my TL. Overall the RDX continues to impress me with its brisk acceleration while still being able to return great fuel economy.

The only advantages my J32 has over the J35 in the RDX is engine tone as the J32 has a nice intake snarl and has that heavy hum at low speeds. The J35 sounds a bit too gritty when revved and is actually too quiet in operation. The J32 is more refined in terms of smoothness.

~ Braking: unsure of stopping distances but the RDX's brakes are superior vs my TL's although I prefer the TL's brake feel and modulation as like many new Honda products, the RDX's pedal is a bit abrupt in initial operation.


Overall the RDX is a nice blend of performance, technology, styling, features and efficiency but a few items need to be addressed for me to consider an RDX.

My recommendations are:

- more available high end features such as power folding mirrors, panoramic roof, LED tails/turn indicators/DRL's, adaptive HID BI xenon lighting and a better ELS system as it's clarity is good but it bass performance is lacking. Of course the addition of Pandora and/or related infotainment technologies would be welcome. I'd also like to see lane departure, apaptive cruise and ventilated seating.

- a sport package with sportier feel, heavier/more communicative steering, larger wheel/tire combo and more aggressive styling cues.


~Patrick


I hope the power train is as good as everyone says since we will likely be seeing it in the next Accord. I also agree with the desire for most of the other features. However, I really don't understand the clamoring for panoramic sunroofs these days. They allow more heat in the cabin, add a lot of weight to the worst possible spot, reduce safety and structural rigidity. I haven't been in any cars where I thought the panoramic sunroofs were worth those trade offs.
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notyper
Profile for notyper
Re: My weekend with a 2013 Acura RDX Tech FWD    (Score: 1, Normal) 07-31-2012 11:04
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Are you just following owequitit around and posting one line off-topic, no value added b.s.?

SC


Last edited by notyper on 07-31-2012 11:06
CivicB18
Profile for CivicB18
Re: My weekend with a 2013 Acura RDX Tech FWD    (Score: 1, Normal) 07-31-2012 12:23
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owequitit wrote:
CivicB18 wrote:
* Note: this isn't a direct apples to apples comparison as the vehicles I'm comparing are my own 2008 TL base and a 2013 RDX Tech FWD in graphite luster metallic over black.

I had to take my 2008 TL in Friday for a recall of a power steering hose and I received a 2013 RDX Tech FWD as a loaner. It has about 600 miles currently. I was supposed to return it yesterday but I was advised by my service advisor to keep it until Monday.

~ Exterior styling: the RDX isnt a bad looking vehicle but it's a bit too anonymous. I don't mind conservative styling but it didn't have to be this conservative. My TL styling is conservative yet very interesting at the same time. I think Acura designers should return to that balance of conservative yet unique styling cues the 04-08 TL posesses. Perhaps some 19's or 20's and more agressively styled front/rear facias would make the design more attractive.

~ Interior styling: I really like the interior of the RDX as it's much better than the previous. The materials are pretty good except for the lower door panels of which the graining and greasy sheen cause a sense of cheapness. I also didnt care for the grade of leather on the seats. I'd also like to see more detailing on the door panels as my TL has much better detailing and material quality overall is better. I love the RDX's dash layout however.

~ Ride/handling: the ride is glass smooth and the suspension feels buttoned down but it's still a bit soft for my tastes. I'm sure this calibration is fine for the RDX's intended audience but perhaps a Sport version would better suit those who desire a more tactile road feel. BMW, Audi, Mercedes and now even Lexus have sport packages available so Acura should follow suit to attract even a larger customer pool.

My TL by comparison is softer especially in the front as in spirited driving the front end has much more unnecessary movements vs the RDX. The RDX soaks up minor and medium road imperfections nicely but larger imperfections are better handled by my TL.

~ Steering: the RDX has a much tighter turning radius but the steering effort is way too light compared to my TL. However, the RDX's steering is faster and more accurate.

~ Drivetrain performance: hands down the RDX blows my TL away in all areas of drivetrain performance. The VCM J35 in this application is very strong at any RPM and the 6AT is much smoother yet much more responsive vs the 5AT. The throttle programming is also much much much much much better as I don't get any of that DBW surging as I do in my TL. Acceleration is also another win for the RDX as it blows my TL away at any speed. Fuel economy is also (surprisingly) much much better in the RDX vs my TL. Overall the RDX continues to impress me with its brisk acceleration while still being able to return great fuel economy.

The only advantages my J32 has over the J35 in the RDX is engine tone as the J32 has a nice intake snarl and has that heavy hum at low speeds. The J35 sounds a bit too gritty when revved and is actually too quiet in operation. The J32 is more refined in terms of smoothness.

~ Braking: unsure of stopping distances but the RDX's brakes are superior vs my TL's although I prefer the TL's brake feel and modulation as like many new Honda products, the RDX's pedal is a bit abrupt in initial operation.


Overall the RDX is a nice blend of performance, technology, styling, features and efficiency but a few items need to be addressed for me to consider an RDX.

My recommendations are:

- more available high end features such as power folding mirrors, panoramic roof, LED tails/turn indicators/DRL's, adaptive HID BI xenon lighting and a better ELS system as it's clarity is good but it bass performance is lacking. Of course the addition of Pandora and/or related infotainment technologies would be welcome. I'd also like to see lane departure, apaptive cruise and ventilated seating.

- a sport package with sportier feel, heavier/more communicative steering, larger wheel/tire combo and more aggressive styling cues.


~Patrick


I hope the power train is as good as everyone says since we will likely be seeing it in the next Accord. I also agree with the desire for most of the other features. However, I really don't understand the clamoring for panoramic sunroofs these days. They allow more heat in the cabin, add a lot of weight to the worst possible spot, reduce safety and structural rigidity. I haven't been in any cars where I thought the panoramic sunroofs were worth those trade offs.



I was really impressed with the powertrain as any and all throttle inputs were met with instant momentum. It's not touchy but feels more natural vs other Honda/Acura applications. The 6AT is lightyears ahead of the 5AT as the 6AT is just that much more refined. It's much smoother, more refined and much more responsive. The combination of the 3.5 and the new 6AT also allows better than expected fuel economy.

In terms of features, I know that panoramic roofs have their compromises but they are available by every other competitor in the RDX's segment. I'd also love to see that aforementioned sport package as again, the RDX's main competitors all offer a sportier version.


~Patrick
98EX4cyl
Profile for 98EX4cyl
Re: My weekend with a 2013 Acura RDX Tech FWD    (Score: 1, Normal) 07-31-2012 14:07
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soniccar wrote:
Very nice write up. Thanks.


+1 Appreciate your review.
CivicB18
Profile for CivicB18
Re: My weekend with a 2013 Acura RDX Tech FWD    (Score: 1, Normal) 11-16-2012 13:59
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It seems I'll have another weekend with a 2013 RDX although this time it's a base FWD, not a tech. My 08 TL is at the dealer getting a transmission shudder addressed, a drivers side wheel bearing replaced and a new A/C condensor clutch replaced.

As noted in my previous review of the RDX FWD TECH, I highly favored the V6/6AT combo as it was quite responsive, refined and surprisingly efficient. It had around 400 miles on it when I left the dealer so it wasnt fully broke in. The FWD base I have now has 4300 miles and is almost too responsive as I guess the V6 is fully broken in.

The throttle is natural in its reaction yet even in light throttle situations the front wheels are easily overpowered especially coming out of a curve. On a steep grade near my house, I made the front tires spin at 50mph!! This thing moves. With that said, if I was going to buy an RDX I'd have to get the AWD model.

I still can't get used to the styling as it reminds me of the previous generation Accord and current TSX in execution, meaning that it's not particularly ugly but it's boring, too anonymous and all the design details/elements don't really mesh well together. Plus, my grandmother said it's ugly! It slightly resembles the MDX in profile yet it doesn't have the MDX wide/wedge stance or the MDX's positive design execution.

Things I'd still like to see:

- Sport or Type-S model with firmer suspension tuning, SH-AWD, larger brakes, more aggressive bumpers and larger/wider wheel/tire combo.

- Advance package which would include a panoramic roof, LED headlights, adaptive lighting, LED tail lights/blinkers which would simply add to everything already found in the Tech package and also some safety features found in the new Accord LaneWatch etc etc.

- A hybrid model. Yes I know but that's where Acura is going and the Lexus RX hybrid is really popular in my area. However, I don't think it needs to go as far as the upcoming SH SH-AWD system as that may be overkill and too expensive or maybe use it and combine the Sport and Hybrid into one model like the upcoming RLX and NSX. If Acura could keep a fully loaded Advance SH-SH-AWD model under $50k I say make it.

- Upgraded and consistent use of high grade materials and redesigned door panels as I absolutely HATE the plastics used on the bottom half. Cheap hollow plastic isn't acceptable in a $35k+ luxury vehicle and the design makes it look that much cheaper. My old 2008 TL has more consistent use of higher grade/richer materials and the door panels look and feel substantial. However, the RDX's buttons feel better and the build quality seems to be better as everything seems to be screwed together better vs my TL.

I know the RDX is cheaper than pretty much all its direct competition however that high value equation makes those compromises surface fairly quickly. I think Acura could easily implement my suggestions/ideas and expand the RDX's range while remaining less expensive than its European rivals.



~Patrick
Double J
Profile for Double J
Re: My weekend with a 2013 Acura RDX Tech FWD    (Score: 1, Normal) 11-16-2012 14:46
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I got my parents to purchase a '13 RDX Tech AWD about a month ago. They love it. I really appreciate how it drives for it's intended audience which I believe is empty nesters. After I test drove the CRV I wasn't nearly as impressed as it seemed to me that there was lack of visibility in the back two windows when I was shoulder checking. Also the drivetrain in the CRV was not that big of a change from the 02 CRV they upgraded from. Now that they are retired they were complaining about passing power in the mountains on long trips. The updated V6 in the RDX is more that adequate for them now. I believe they could benefit from a sportier version as Patrick points out but also I think they could grab some more sales from young families if they offered a rear entertainment unit from the Odyssey and rear seat vents. It's a bit barren in the back seat.
Hondu
Profile for Hondu
Re: My weekend with a 2013 Acura RDX Tech FWD    (Score: 1, Normal) 11-16-2012 16:36
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Double J wrote:
I got my parents to purchase a '13 RDX Tech AWD about a month ago. They love it. I really appreciate how it drives for it's intended audience which I believe is empty nesters. After I test drove the CRV I wasn't nearly as impressed as it seemed to me that there was lack of visibility in the back two windows when I was shoulder checking. Also the drivetrain in the CRV was not that big of a change from the 02 CRV they upgraded from. Now that they are retired they were complaining about passing power in the mountains on long trips. The updated V6 in the RDX is more that adequate for them now. I believe they could benefit from a sportier version as Patrick points out but also I think they could grab some more sales from young families if they offered a rear entertainment unit from the Odyssey and rear seat vents. It's a bit barren in the back seat.


My wife used to say a RES was a "must have" for our road trips, but now I see no need. You can get the kids iPads or iPod Touch's for a lot less and get even more flexibility when it comes to entertainment during our trips.
Double J
Profile for Double J
Re: My weekend with a 2013 Acura RDX Tech FWD    (Score: 1, Normal) 11-16-2012 18:34
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Hondu wrote:
Double J wrote:
I got my parents to purchase a '13 RDX Tech AWD about a month ago. They love it. I really appreciate how it drives for it's intended audience which I believe is empty nesters. After I test drove the CRV I wasn't nearly as impressed as it seemed to me that there was lack of visibility in the back two windows when I was shoulder checking. Also the drivetrain in the CRV was not that big of a change from the 02 CRV they upgraded from. Now that they are retired they were complaining about passing power in the mountains on long trips. The updated V6 in the RDX is more that adequate for them now. I believe they could benefit from a sportier version as Patrick points out but also I think they could grab some more sales from young families if they offered a rear entertainment unit from the Odyssey and rear seat vents. It's a bit barren in the back seat.


My wife used to say a RES was a "must have" for our road trips, but now I see no need. You can get the kids iPads or iPod Touch's for a lot less and get even more flexibility when it comes to entertainment during our trips.


That's a good point...I just heard that it would be nice from a friend that has a young family that likes the RDX as a potential next vehicle. I do think though that if the new Accord has so many features that an Acura SUV should get at least the same treatment.
wooderson79
Profile for wooderson79
Re: My weekend with a 2013 Acura RDX Tech FWD    (Score: 1, Normal) 11-16-2012 19:55
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I completely agree with your comments on the styling. I am coming from an '08 TL Type S. I love the detail in the interior of my TL - Subtle but classy. I really wanted to love the RDX. The drive train is great but the styling is just too boring. The interior has no style at all. In Canada, this is a $45K vehicle. There is no way I can convince myself to spend that much money on a vehicle that is so non-descript no matter how good the mechanical aspects are. The technology in the 2013 Accord isn't doing the RDX any favors either.
MalcolmR
Profile for MalcolmR
Re: My weekend with a 2013 Acura RDX Tech FWD    (Score: 1, Normal) 11-16-2012 19:57
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.
Appreciating your review, Patrick.

Thank you.

Malcolm

:)
MGP999
Profile for MGP999
Re: My weekend with a 2013 Acura RDX Tech FWD    (Score: 1, Normal) 11-17-2012 04:06
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I had both the RDX and Accord and the tech in the new Accord really outshines most of the Acura lineup currently. The RDX just was not sporty enough for my tastes along with gas mileage that was rather disappointing for my daily commute. I can definitely recommend the RDX for anyone looking for a reliable, good quality and balanced crossover but it just wasn't the type of vehicle for me.
Grace141
Profile for Grace141
Re: My weekend with a 2013 Acura RDX Tech FWD    (Score: 1, Normal) 11-17-2012 08:34
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I took our '09 RDX in for service this past week and was given a new RDX base 2wd for a loaner for the day. I stepped out of our car and right into the new one and liked it very much. Everything luxurious about the 1st gen is dialed up several clicks in the 2nd. I thought the gauge cluster looked great and was easy to read. The display for the radio/HVAC looked nice. The style factor is certainly increased with more curved surfaces and such but it seemed to come together in a well thought out interior. I have never understood the point of keyless entry and push button start but I found both to be rather cool tech. I guess I was expecting this new RDX to feel more cheaply made but I didn't and perhaps that was due to our '09 not really feeling like a true luxury car but rather a sensible Honda with a lot of features tacked on. An Acura in other words.

Replacing the K23T with the J35 makes the 2nd gen a completely different car and I wouldn't have been surprised if Acura had changed it's NASA designator to SDX or something similar. It had a similar acceleration feel to that of my '04 Accord V6 with very smooth power delivery and a great engine/exhaust sound. The car is well balanced and can easily be shifted with the right foot so the paddle shifters make little sense here. The one problem I experienced was the initial bite for the brakes was pretty harsh so it took several stops to acclimate to it. One surprise was the average MPG on the clock was 17.9mpg which is more than 10% less than we regularly see with our '09, which has the supposedly heavier, costlier, less efficient SH-AWD. No doubt the loaner had seen some hammer time from previous customers.

I think the 2nd gen RDX is the right car for the segment at the moment. I have two co-workers who have now bought RDXs, one of whom wanted to buy an RX until I asked if he had checked out the new RDX, so I think it's obviously as popular as we have been hearing. I did get the feeling I was driving a CUV version of the current TL (the last loaner car I was given was a base TL) which is great but it also felt a good bit closer to the premium German brands which is what Acura needed. I came away thinking I would wait though because once the 1st gen RDX is gone I doubt we will see an Acura with such manic personality again. I suspect even the NSX will be more Honda-like than manic.

 
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