We recently called on the 2013 Acura RDX AWD for a winter-time trip to the Rocky Mountains. While the weather cooperated for nearly the entire trip, the added ride height and all-wheel drive came in handy in a few off-beaten snow-covered roadways during the 1700-mile five-day trip.
With a new 273-hp 3.5-liter V-6 under the hood, the 2013 RDX has plenty of power for onramp merging and passing at highway speeds. On the highway, the RDX rode smooth and tackled curves well despite vague steering feel. In our 2013 Acura RDX AWD Arrival, we noted that the new V-6 engine outshined the previous 240-hp turbocharged 2.3-liter I-4 at the drag strip with 0-60 mph arriving in 6.3 seconds. While the RDX handles highway curves well, the new model's basic all-wheel-drive system gives up cornering prowess compared to the previous model's SH-AWD system.
The heated (front) leather seats are comfortable and soothed during the 10-hour, 700-mile trip out of Los Angeles, though we wouldn't mind if the door and center console armrest were positioned higher. Inside, the RDX proved roomy when filled with four adults on a 200-mile round trip to and from our destination to just south of the Utah-Idaho border. While the weather cooperated for most of the trip, the ground clearance and all-wheel drive performed well while other cars spun out on the 210 highway in Southern California during an unexpected downpour.
Over the course of the trip and 1700 miles, the 2013 RDX averaged 23.8 mpg including stop-and-go driving and city driving as well as highway speeds when traffic and weather allowed. The worst leg of the trip was 21.3 mpg and the best leg averaged 26.2 mpg with variations due to elevation changes. On average, the RDX traveled 242 miles between fill ups on about three-quarters of a tank. The 2013 Acura RDX with all-wheel drive is EPA-rated at 19/27 mpg.
Overall, we liked the RDX on the road trip and grew to admire its subdued styling, though we wonder whether more expensive alternatives like the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLK350 might perform a bit better on a similar trip. The RDX competes in a crowded class, but our road trip experience and recent sales suggest Acura may have moved the entry-level premium crossover in the right direction with its second generation.
Written by: Jason Udy
Images from Motor Trend and Acura.