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Redesigned 2019 Acura RDX packs sex appeal and innovative tech into midsize SUV package

2019 Acura RDX_19

Acura’s RDX is one of the company’s best-selling models. It makes practical sense for families offering plenty of cargo space and passenger space. The kicker is that the RDX also offers an engaging drive. Granted, there’s no question it’s not from a German manufacturer but still, its connected drive makes maneuvering it in the city and suburban parking lots easy.

To make the RDX even better, Acura has updated its exterior to show off the car’s more performance-focused powertrain and tuning in the new model. If it gets you thinking about the Jaguar F-Pace, that’s not by accident. A new A-Spec variant takes the look to another level adding black accents to the interior and exterior.

The 2019 RDX is powered by a direct-injected and turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission to deliver 40 percent quicker acceleration than the outgoing model thanks to the addition of 28 lb.-ft. of torque. The powertrain achieves 272 horsepower.

The company’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) makes its return to the RDX for 2019, bringing with it a more engaging drive than many all-wheel drive SUVs offer.

The car’s dynamic drive settings are controlled by a large knob below the 10.2-inch high-definition center display screen. Four drive modes are available: Snow, Comfort, Sport and Sport+.

Seating capacity remains the same in the 2019 model, but the wheelbase of the SUV is longer, allowing for expanded cargo space- and additional 3.4-cubic feet behind the rear seats plus 1.7 cubic-feet of compartmented underfloor storage. In the RDX you’ll find the next-gen of Acura’s sport seats featuring 16-way power adjustability, which will expand to other models as redesigns are implemented.

The vehicle features a True Touchpad Interface rather than a remote control or knob to control the infotainment system. Working similarly to mirroring functions on a smartphone, the user need only press their finger on the touchpad where the button correspondingly appears on the screen ahead of them to select an option. There is no cursor.

Luxury level materials abound throughout the cabin and include aluminum, stainless steel, open pore Olive Ash wood trim, Ultrasuede and Milano leather.

The RDX’s head-up display is a large 10.5-inch field of information projected beyond the windscreen into a driver’s line of sight. Able to be displayed are audio system settings, phone activity, AcuraWatch alerts, turn-by-turn navigation directions.

Acura is known for their well-equipped base models and the 2019 RDX will be no exception. Its list of standard equipment includes Acura Jewel Eye LED headlights, an ultra-wide panoramic moonroof, a power operated and height adjustable tailgate, Acura True Touchpad Interface with 10.2-inch HD Display, Apple CarPlay compatibility, Smart Entry and Smart Start, AcuraLink Connected Services with 4G LTE in-car Wi-Fi1, 12-way heated driver and passenger sport seats,  four-mode Integrated Dynamics System and AcuraWatch safety and driver-assistive technology.

As part of the AcuraWatch suite of safety technologies buyers will get the Collision Mitigation Braking System with Forward Collision Warning, Road Departure Mitigation with Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and Lane Keeping Assist.

Pricing for the 2019 Acura RDX has not yet been announced. It will go on sale this summer.

2019 Acura RDX photo gallery

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Written by Eileen Falkenberg-Hull

Eileen is the writer of the nationally syndicated column Automotive Minute in The Business Journals, which explores the automotive industry focusing on news, reviews, and interviews. She loves finding out about the business strategy, design, and drivability of vehicles. Eileen is a contributor to U.S. News & World Report Best Cars.

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