While the RDX doesn't push the envelope in styling, handling or interior quality, it is benign, comfortable and easy to live with. One high point is its smooth and powerful V6, which, when combined with the six-speed automatic transmission, manages a very respectable 22 mpg overall. Handling is sound, but not especially agile and the ride is a little stiff. Controls are unusually simple, but interior ambiance is rather plain-Jane for a supposedly luxury-class vehicle. Further, not many upscale comfort and technology features were available for this version. Nevertheless, the RDX proved competent all around and came well equipped for the money.
Navigating the trim lines
Choosing RDX is simplicity itself. First you select between front- or all-wheel-drive. Then you add the Technology package, which includes navigation, HID headlights, power tailgate and an upgraded stereo. Finally, choose a color. This makes them pretty easy to figure out on the used market.
Changes from the previous version
The first-generation RDX, sold from 2007-2012, featured Honda's first turbocharged car engine in North America. This four-cylinder wasn't a great effort. Fuel economy was gluttonous and power delivery was all-or-nothing, robbing refinement. Gobot-like styling was a love-it or leave-it affair and the stiff ride could be teeth-rattling.
Redesigned for 2013, the second-generation RDX became much more mainstream and refined. Moving to a V6 engine improved both acceleration and fuel economy. Ride comfort also got better, although the handling lost most of its sporty feel.