Car Tech - 2015 Acura RDX AWD Tech

by: CNET

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sometimes the car is a lot like a Snickers bar nothing too surprising inside it just satisfies and a few things about it are nuts let's try the 2015 Acura RDX all-wheel drive loaded up with the tech package check that nutty jacket now if you haven't driven RDX in a while you might notice the lines have been a little cleaned up and streamlined it's got less of an overt kind of a sporting look and more of what most degree is in mature look whether you like that or not that's a big change under the hood in the last few years I'll tell you about the moment and overall this remains a compact premium SUV not quite in the full luxury category and two rows no 3rd available just no place for it now the first thing I notice when we get into our RDX is our old friend from back when Nixon was in office this is one of the oldest dated head units in auto dumb right now doesn't mean it's not functional but while it is not exciting anymore the maps I've always thought looks just kind of crunchy and juvenile the audio system and other menus have kind of a strange way that they arrange things with the control knob rolling you through a rectangular square of menus it's just not great UI and it isn't pleasing to the eye the rest of the cabinet is so that's why it bothers me as well as the fact that Acura is supposed to be a tech forward brand and this is tech backward it doesn't have any live search 3d building representations that are sophisticated ways of showing the map it doesn't have any live Google Earth none of the things we're seeing in other brands out there that would be tech forward in this car specifically you've got am/fm radio but no HD radio on this car that's a little frustrating satellite radios in there with pretty decent metatags although a lot of things get truncated even though it's a huge screen like a title of that song right now is that really what it's called under your special medium in you've got bluetooth streaming on this guy then you're gonna get into your hard drive 15 gigabytes that I'll never use cuz I don't get those kind of things you've got a USB jack for your iPod what have you there's no app support except Pandora and even that's only if you have an iOS device there is no Pandora support for Android you just go through bluetooth streaming like I'm doing here which is okay but again not tech forward now one interesting tech trick on here that notable is song by voice which is more than just song the music on your iPod or iOS device and/or what's ripped to the harddrive is searched by the car and indexed by all of its meta information then you can call things out by artist by genre by song title works like this iPod search please say the music play song green green that's pretty cool lot of cars can't do that now entering destinations you have this menu here much of which gets locked out when you're driving so you drop back to voice command let's see how well that works good you're gonna need it this is not a touchscreen would you like to set your destination after the beep please say one of the highlighted options address Street I got to push the button I guess again to get the next thing said even though it doesn't tell me that it should be listening and notice when I want to turn up her voice this knob doesn't do it it's buried in a menu somewhere I hate that address like City fourth Street that should be please say one of the highlighted option City push the button again after the beep please say the city name or if they wanna cup San Francisco after the beep please say the three listen you've verbose pain in the ass cancel basically after you enter an address once by voice you're gonna want to do it a little differently you're gonna want to put your fist through the screen which is my inclination or better yet I got up my windshield mount and went back to my phone oddly tied to the GPS in this car is the climate control system this is an old Acura thing from years ago supposedly it monitors what side of the car the Sun is on and then will adjust the climate control to make up for that sun intensity but shouldn't you just monitor the temperature and it doesn't really matter where the Sun is I've never quite understood that mumbo-jumbo but it's in here if you want to impress your friends rear view camera is standard on these RDX's and the nice thing is you've got several views as you can see here you've got a sort of a main wide view hit the button again and you're getting a little more of a close in focus and then if you hit it again you get a trailer view basically if you got a hitch on this guy that lets you match up the hitch and the tongue real easily so that's very functional and it's actually great that it's included now under the hood is a big story a few years ago they moved away from a highly regarded turbocharged for in these RDX's to a more garden-variety three and a half liter v6 those who are kind of enthusiasts are not pleased about it but I think for everyday driving this may be the better choice we're gonna find out three and a half liters I mentioned sitting sidesaddle front-wheel drive by default all wheel drive is optional like we have here the numbers 273 horsepower 251 pound feet of torque zero to sixteen about six and a half seconds for a car that weighs about 38 50 and delivering MPG of 1927 which is dramatically better than that little turbo for used to do Mama's not stupid part of how they're getting good mpg out of this is cylinder management iller one is a three four or six cylinder engine depending on the load but by the way it does not use the latest direct injection which tends to help mpg it's still using older style multi-port now all that power goes out to a single choice transmission setup which is a six-speed automatic which goes straight back from reverse to drive and then an additional notchback to get into sport mode and then your shifting is accomplished by the paddles here on the wheel when you really want to get engaged when you're in the sport mode it's going to hold gears longer hold revs higher shift into a next gear a downshift more aggressively a basic sport profile I think let on to accurate made the right choice and going with a v6 you're first of all because they raise the mpg by two on the city and five on the highway if I recall correctly that's a significant jump with more cylinders except when it runs on fewer with that cylinder management so overall you've got an engine that's got plenty of guts when you want it you just have to unbundle a couple of top gears from time to time to get to that power but the paddles and the sport mode help you do that now the all-wheel drive rig in this car is interesting it biases or defaults to front-wheel drive but then when it finds it it has too much power for the front wheel grip to handle or you're getting some kind of a bad road condition that's when it'll send the power out to the back 25 up to 50% front rear but it's not a handling all-wheel drive as much as a traction and bad surface all-wheel drive no buttons or controls for it as you may notice no drive mode controls at all just gathering sport or you're in Drive the suspension is not terribly sporty I've got some pretty good body roll here and over a really choppy bad tarmac like I'm going around this corner right here it's hopping and losing traction it kind of an unnerving way whoa it's a little bit on the taut side without being all that compliance so the ride quality can be annoying at times not bad but it's not gonna impress you in that respect now a lot of you asked about space inside of compact SUVs I'm six-two and there's plenty of room in this vehicle this is a well proportioned interior on this car nothing about it feels tight in fact nothing about it feels as small as it seems from the outside that's a nice trick so as I mentioned nothing really excites me about the RDX but it's satisfies on many levels at a pretty good price in the market by the way it's chasing the Cadillac SRX it's been a big hit in sales so far in 2014 and kind of neck and neck with a bmw x3 now let's talk about pricing this car you're gonna start off at about thirty five eight for an RDX base front-wheel drive 1400 more gets you all wheel drive 3,700 more gets you into the tech package and that it leads quite a bit GPS and a half with voice recognition the rear camera power liftgate enhanced surround sound with more speakers and power that GPS climate control I'm a little dubious of xenon high-intensity discharge front headlights and fog lights as well all in here a little



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Brian Cooley takes the newest Acura RDX for a ride and finds an evergreen power plant, but also cabin tech that is rather dated.
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