The RDX, Acura’s most reliable new model in Consumer Reports’ reliability survey—and the only Acura that CR currently recommends—is undergoing a full redesign for the 2019 model year. Acura unveiled a near-production-ready prototype of the 2019 Acura RDX at the 2018 North American International Auto Show, highlighting the new two-row SUV’s updated styling, roomier interior, and advanced technology, both inside and out.

Acura has given the 2019 RDX an all-new powertrain: a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which is paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Horsepower and fuel-economy figures were not announced during the RDX’s introduction. Acura did say that this new four-cylinder turbo will deliver more power—40 percent more low-end torque—than the 3.5-liter V6 engine generates in the current RDX.


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2019 Acura RDX front
More SUVs from the Detroit Auto Show

Unfortunately, the RDX is the latest model to get Acura’s push-button gear selector. In our tests of other Acuras, we’ve found the push-button shifter to be cumbersome and unintuitive to use. However, Acura has built in comprehensive safeguards to prevent the vehicle from an accidental rollaway if drivers fail to put it in Park or if they open the door while in gear.

The RDX will be available with Acura’s Super-Handling All Wheel Drive system, which splits power between the front and rear wheels as well as from side to side. We haven’t seen any significant handling differences or improvements during testing of other Acuras with SH-AWD. Front-wheel drive is likely to be standard on the new RDX.

An active suspension will be available, giving the driver the ability to choose among four driving modes: Sport, Sport+, Comfort, and Snow.

All 2019 Acura RDX’s will come with the AcuraWatch safety system as standard equipment, a move that we applaud. The AcuraWatch suite includes forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and lane-keeping assist, among other technologies. Unfortunately, blind-spot warning is an optional feature.

This third-generation RDX has a wheelbase that is 2.5 inches longer than its predecessor’s. Acura says this translates into a larger cabin with “class-leading cabin space, rear legroom, and rear cargo space.” In our tests of the current RDX we found the front seats to be supportive and well-shaped, and the rear seat was ample for adults. The 16-way power-adjustable sport seats, which are both heated and cooled, will be available for the driver and passenger.

2019 Acura RDX interior.

One of the first things you notice about the 2019 Acura RDX cabin is the 10.2-inch display touch screen mounted above the center console. Users can access the infotainment system by using the touch screen or the Acura True Touchpad Interface in the console between the driver and passenger seats. Acura claims its touchpad does not operate like a mouse; rather, it is “mapped precisely—one-to-one—with the corresponding action on the center display.” This sounds as if Acura is saying its system is easier to use than the one in Lexus models, which can be challenging to operate.

The all-new 2019 Acura RDX goes on sale in summer 2018, and pricing is expected to be announced closer to the on-sale date.

2019 Acura RDX rear.