Auto review by Veeno Dewan.

Consistently seen as one of the world’s best compact luxuries CUVs, the 2023 Acura RDX expands on its promise of delivering excellent performance, outstanding value and a comprehensive menu of luxury and safety as befits its standing in this class.

As Acura’s best-selling model, the RDX compact crossover gets a makeover for 2023, featuring refined styling, and a much quieter cabin, plus a  retuned suspension system. First up, externally there is a revised grille, with larger air intakes on the front bumper, and a revised rear bumper with rectangular exhaust tips. The RDX is one of the better-looking compact SUVs in the market and the latest changes add to its appeal.

The RDX’s interior is also improved with new standard and optional tech features. The RDX is powered by a sole 272-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, producing 280 lb-ft of torque, mated with a 10-speed automatic transmission and arrives in either front- or Acura’s wonderfully named  “SH-AWD” (Super Handling All Wheel Drive version. The as standard torque-vectoring SH-AWD system aid in quicker more responsive turning and sharper steering.

For 2023, new Tech updates on the RDX include: enhanced Active Sound Control, which reduces ambient road noise and increases cabin quietness. There is also  standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration and Amazon Alexa built-in, and available Qi-compatible wireless charging. The available Acura Iconic Drive, (part of the Technology Package), offers 27 unique interior lighting colour combinations. The RDX offers  comprehensive technology with a  10.2-inch touchscreen operated via a touchpad on the center console. Also, as standard is a Wi-Fi hotspot. The optional Technology package adds built-in navigation, rear-seat USB ports, a premium 12-speaker ELS Studio audio system, and more.

For  2023 — there are tow models; The A-Spec ($54,700) and Platinum Elite (   the RDX A-Spec is $54,975; and the fully loaded RDX A-Spec Platinum Elite is $60,100. The premium Elite includes,  Infotainment System comprising of 10.20-inch display screen, 16-speaker, ELS, Surround Sound, Voice acting System, , Satellite Radio, Hard Drive, In-car WiFi Network, Standard Wireless Charging Pad, Standard Head-up Display, and navigation. Also included is: A/C, Auto, 3 Zones, Leather seats and much more.

Interior wise the RDX offers a sporty cabin with atypically busy Acura  dash and center stack with a multitude of  buttons, a touchpad, and a rotary drive-mode selector. Not much to complain about – the  touchpad interface has a bit of learning curve but that is about it. The front seats are amazingly comfortable and snazzy if you go for  the red trimmed perches. Head and legroom is good and the  fit finish and build quality is exceedingly high. Features such as ambient lighting; power-adjustable heated front seats; and triple-zone climate control all add to the luxury feel and experience. The rear cabin is well executed with roomy back seats that fold flat from the rear cargo hatch. The trunk offers  835 litres with the rear seats in place. The large hold also has hidden underfloor  storage compartments.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features are numerous and there is:   Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and Standard adaptive cruise control. The Technology package includes front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, and rear-cross-traffic alert plus more.

On the road, there are four drive modes with the Sport+ mode the most entertaining. Comfort is for a more relaxing drive, Sport for added thrills and there is a Snow mode for slippery surfaces. . An updated Integrated Dynamics System now delivers a more distinct driving feel between the RDX’s four driving modes Like other all-wheel drive (AWD) systems, SH-AWD transfer’s power from the front axle to the rear to increase traction as needed and can also vary the power on the left and right rear wheels to boost cornering ability on dry ground and traction on wet surfaces. In slippery road conditions we encountered the SH-AWD made a stark difference. Acura made some changes for 2022 to improve sound dampening, and the result is a quieter ride overall

Official fuel consumption figures for the 2023 RDX are 11.3L/100 km, 9.1L/100 km and 10.3L/100 km (city/highway/combined).

Main highlights include the excellent SH-AWD system, a roomy cabin and large cargo area. Downsides are few- the multimedia screen needs to be touch operated and there is no hybrid or EV options in the model range. The RDX is firmly in entry-level Mercedes and BMW territory with its level of engineering, luxury interior and performance.

2023 Acura RDX: Priced from:  $54,700 – $60,100.

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