Thursday, December 11, 2014


The Acura RDX is Acura’s first compact luxury crossover SUV, taking over from the MDX as Acura's entry-level crossover SUV, as the MDX grew in size and price. 

The 2015 RDX gets a lot of things right where the fundamentals of going, stopping, and turning are concerned, but this is a car that gets the dashboard tech all wrong.

The 2015 Acura RDX is powered by a V6 engine that test drivers think provides good power off the line and for highway passing. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard and earns praise for its timely, seamless shifts. The EPA reports that the Acura RDX gets up to 20/28 mpg city/highway, which is competitive within the class. Critics note that some competitors offer sportier handling, but overall remain pleased with RDX's composed handling, comfortable ride and strong brakes.

Starting at the top of the dashboard's center stack, there's the 8-inch display that is the home for the optional GPS navigation system. Below that is the rotary controller for interacting with the map and destination input, but the controller is separated from the color screen by another single-line monochrome LCD for the audio system and its controls.

The driver must manage three different control schemes on the Acura's dashboard. You've got buttons and knobs for audio, a rotary controller and its own set of buttons for the sat-nav, and yet a third bank of knobs in a different configuration for the climate controls below. The competition have managed to do all of this often with one unified controller, which makes interacting easier for a person doing 75 mph.

There are voice commands for destination input and song selection, if you've connected an iPod, but the system is annoyingly slow. The map's graphics just look crunchy and low-resolution, and the knob-based control scheme feels simultaneously old and unfinished. For example, when inputting an address, the system will gray-out unusable letters as it attempts to autocomplete the street name you're entering, but it won't skip over them when you twist the knob. You'll still have to scroll over every invalid selection on your way to the next letter.

The secondary monochrome display isn't much better, cramming the audio source info, climate control info, and the time into a single line that's difficult to read at a glance. In this configuration, the audio and navigation systems don't seem integrated via software although their hardware controls are intermingled on the dash. more on RDX

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