In order to give people a higher end selection of cars, Honda decided to start the Acura brand. This moved allowed them to focus on more luxurious cars without having to share the showroom floor with the cheaper Honda models. This was a successful move which has also been used by other US manufacturers. One of the cars sold by Acura is the RDX, a medium size five seats crossover based on the CRV. It is slightly larger, more powerful and more luxurious with the current model being available since 2012.
Despite basically being a CRV, the car has been quite successful thanks to its great ride quality and refined engine. In order to stay above the competition, a new model is going to be released shortly. The upcoming 2018 Acura RDX will also be based on the CRV. However, this time around the car will use Honda’s brand new modular architecture which debuted on the latest Civic, and it is also in use on the new CRV.
The new platform should allow the new CRV to be significantly lighter, more comfortable and better to drive than before. Like before, the new platform will also use a completely independent suspension system which should give the RDX an edge over some of its rivals. Despite the platform being used in the Civic, this doesn’t mean a smaller crossover. In fact, the new CRV is larger, and this should also be the case with the RDX.
The new car will likely be able to offer more room inside the cabin, and it should be even more imposing on the road than it used to be. All of these will come at roughly the same price as before meaning that the base car will still not cost over $36,500 which is very good for a class where some of its rivals start at well over $40,000.
2018 Acura RDX
So far this is the largest unknown factor about the future 2018 Acura RDX. The current model is following Acura’s corporate design scheme from when it was launched, and this should also be the case with the upcoming model. Acura’s latest updated model is the MDX as well as the future Precision Concept. It is quite safe to assume that the upcoming RDX will follow these closely. Expect it to feature a similar pentagonal grille up front with the “jewel” LED headlights and a rather aggressive style for its class. The car will likely get a raked roof in order to give it a slightly sportier character.
People buying these cars are usually not as interested in the size of the rear seats as those who buy and MDX so that it might be a good move offering a nicer looking car with some trade-offs when it comes to the interior space.
Inside the cabin
At this point, most of Acura’s lineup is still using the dual-LCD infotainment system which has been voted as some of the worst out there. The upcoming 2018 Acura RDX will very likely have little in common with their current cars. Instead, we expect it to go on an entirely different route. The latest CRV is a very good example with a much nicer infotainment system, fewer buttons than before and a more ergonomic driving position. The RDX should carry over the driving position, some design cues and buttons but most of the actual design will definitely be new.
Under the hood
The CRV went to turbocharged power for some of its versions, and this might happen with the 2018 Acura RDX as well. While Honda would more than likely love to keep their 3.5-liter offering in the RDX, its class is a bit too competitive for that engine. Because of that, the upcoming RDX might be one of Acura’s first model to receive Honda’s new 2 liters turbocharged inline four engines. This debuted on the European Type R a while ago, and it should be a really interesting upgrade to the old V6.
Some rumors suggest that the RDX will receive as much as 300 horsepower and more than 280 lb-ft of torque from it. Just like before, front wheel drive will be standard with an optional all-wheel drive system. With the new engine, we might also see a new automatic transmission, likely derived from that of the TLX.
Although I love my 2016 RDX – ‘Tech’ I understand that it does have to be updated if they want to maintain their share of sales in this class of vehicle. There have been numerous complaints about the infotainment system, however I took to it like a duck to water (and I certainly am not the ‘techiest’ person around!) Although I plan on buying the new model when it comes out, that will depend on whether or not they put the ZF 9 speed transmission in it. Honda (Pilot)/ Acura (MDX)/ Chrysler have had problems with this unit and they just seem unable to rectify them. That transmission will be a deal breaker and I most likely will have to move on to the competition.
Acura has to get this right, the first time. JD Power is one of the “Go To” sources for people who are researching vehicles when buying. JD Power has not been kind to Acura giving it less than desirable ratings. It will be interesting to see if the 2018 Acura RDX will remain a “near-luxury” vehicle or if will move a bit upscale to compete with and attempt to win over sales from the likes of the BMW X3, Audi Q5. If the 2018 RDX is a lower vehicle with a 2 litre turbocharged engine Acura may lose repeat customers and need to find new buyers who are looking for more of an AWD car similar to the Toyota Venza. One of the things that I like about my RDX is how high I sit in the seat. Should the new RDX be a lower vehicle, perhaps one of my next options would be the Toyota HIghlander.