The new-generation RDX remains a five-passenger entry-luxe crossover aimed at such rivals as the BMW X3, Audi Q5 and Cadillac SRX.
Under its restyled hood is a 3.5-liter V6 that puts out 273 horsepower, a 33 pony climb over the outgoing 2.3-liter turbo four. While the old engine wasn’t noted for its smoothness, the new engine is a version of the veritable V6 that does duty in everything from Honda Accords to Acura TLs. A six-speed automatic transmission with a new lock-up torque converter sends power to either the front or all four wheels.
The front-wheel drive version of the RDX is rated at 20/28 mpg, good enough for a best in-class claim. All-wheel drive models carry a 19/27 mpg rating.
Of course, a new engine isn’t the only news for 2013. Inside and out, the crossover is all-new. As expected, the exterior production RDX differs from the concept in very small details – in fact, the only change we can see is more modest wheels. Otherwise, as with the concept, a longer hood and cleaner angles give the RDX a more finished look than its predecessor, while its side profile is very close to the MDX big brother.
Inside, the luxury level is ratcheted up thanks to additional sound deadening and Active Sound Control, which cancels out ambient noise. The dashboard is more shapely than the somewhat squared-off unit in the outgoing model, while old three-binnacle instrument cluster is replaced by a cleaner setup with large, legible speedometer and tachometer readouts.
New features include Pandora Internet radio, SMS text messaging, a smart key entry system with push-button start and a tri-view rear camera. An optional Technology Package adds navigation and a 60 GB hard drive for audio storage.
The East Liberty, Ohio-built 2013 RDX is set to arrive on dealer lots this spring.