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#2

in 2009 Luxury Compact SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $16,167 - $18,235
Original MSRP: $33,895 - $37,195
MPG: 17 City / 22 Hwy
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2009 Acura RDX Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Most reviewers enjoy driving the Acura RDX, which is perfectly adept at handling corners and ideal for in-town driving. While test drivers praise its turbocharged engine, several of them also complain about turbo lag -- and even more complain about the SUV's poor fuel economy.

  • "Quick and agile, it's the perfect cute ute for a land of glass-smooth roads (Germany, in other words)." -- Car and Driver
  • "The RDX uses a turbocharged, four-cylinder that provides strong acceleration, but lacks the refinement of a six-cylinder. Handling is agile and secure, but the ride is stiff." -- MSN
  • "Other journalists have opined that the vehicle handles like a sports sedan, and I agree. It drives like a sports sedan or hatchback -- that's been lifted six inches. That's not a good thing, however. The omnipresent rollover warnings, including one particularly worrying note on the driver's sun-visor discourage truly vigorous driving." -- Motor Authority
  • "The Acura RDX is a small crossover that's designed for performance, of all things. Who knew, right? Apparently crossovers can kick butt, too, and the RDX does just that. Its all-wheel-drive system is built for serious driving, and I'm not talking about the offroad kind. All its gearing and suspension stuff is about going fast, handling curves and getting me into trouble." -- Mother Proof

Acceleration and Power

The 2009 RDX comes with a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. While test drivers find the engine plenty powerful, several complain about turbo lag. And poor fuel economy doesn't help  matters -- according to the EPA, the 2009 RDX achieves 17/22 mpg city/highway.

  • "Acceleration isn't neck snapping but is more than adequate in most situations, especially once the turbo kicks in. A test RDX did 6.8 seconds 0-60 mph. Throttle response suffers from some turbo lag." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The turbocharged engine is a thrill and makes the RDX exciting to drive, providing 0-60-mph times in the high-6-second range. On the downside, the RDX's EPA fuel estimates are barely average for this segment, and the turbocharged engine requires 91-octane fuel." -- Edmunds
  • "I thought the RDX's acceleration was pretty strong but nothing special for a V-6-powered crossover, then I remembered that under the hood resided a 'puffed' four cylinder." -- Chicago Sun-Times
  • "Turbo lag is noticeable, and kills off-the-line acceleration until about 3,000rpm when driving in automatic mode. Once it spools, the power surge makes for jerky driving, which you have to compensate for with your foot, especially if it hits mid-turn." -- Motor Authority

Handling and Braking

The 2009 RDX receives considerable praise for its handling, which is sporty and sedan-like.

  • "[T]he RDX can be fun to drive. Broad sweepers and the occasional moderately-paced tight corner are treats, handled with relative ease by sport sedan standards and with athletic aplomb by almost any SUV's measure." -- Motor Authority
  • "The ride was very good gliding through the air at highway speeds. The around town ride was uneventful, well-dampened and the body stays inline with the chassis during unplanned emergency avoidance maneuvers and brisk cornering." -- Chicago Sun-Times
  • "Firm-ride suspension makes for an agile little SUV. Standard AWD furnishes secure grip on wet or dry surfaces. Body lean is modest in fast turns. Steering has solid road feel, but some testers find effort too heavy at low speeds." -- Consumer Guide