Test Drive: 2013 Acura RDX Review

The first Acura RDX I ever reviewed was back around 2007. I was not a fan at all. I did not like the engine, the dash, the exterior looks, and I thought the controls that operate the features were very cumbersome. I assume others thought the same thing, the RDX has never been a very good seller. I think that is about to change.
For 2013, Honda has ditched the 2.3-liter 4-cylinder turbo in favor of their tried-and- true 3.5-liter V6. It comes with a six-speed automatic, and the combination produces 273-horses. My tester is an all-wheel drive version and although I always liked the old Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) RDX, this one rides smoother-yet still has that Acura tight, sports car-like handling.
The 2013 Acura RDX is larger outside and inside, and is a 5-passenger with a very nice amount of back seat and cargo room. The interior is beautiful with just the right amount of accents. The dash layout is much better than previous versions, is easier to see and touch, and features an 8 ½” color LCD screen that is built into the dash with a baseball cap-style bill to keep any sunlight from hitting the screen.
The 2013 comes fully loaded with leather, heated, power seats in the front, and a sliding power moonroof. You get pushbutton start, rearview camera, Bluetooth, and steering wheel controls. The black press vehicle I am reviewing has the Tech Package which gives you the navigation system with voice recognition, real-time traffic and weather, surround sound, power liftgate, Xenon headlights, and automatic temperature controlled air conditioning.
Acura softened the exterior too, with a different grill, new headlights and taillights, and different placement for the fog lights. It is a much more appealing SUV with all the changes Honda made for 2013, and they priced it right.
The RDX will go from being a slow seller to a great seller.

What I liked most: The changes-from the powertrain to the interior.

What I would change: Would wish for better looking wheels.

MSRP: $40,315.

Fuel Economy: 22 city /28 out on the highway.

Warranty: 4 year/50,000 on everything, 6 year/70,000 mile powertrain coverage.

2013 Acura RDX AWD in a few words: Much improved SUV, a contender.

  1. Bill Redman 6 years ago

    I have a 2011 Hyundai Tucson Limited which I enjoy driving , however, the ride is rather harsh. I changed out the standard tires for Michelins Integrity tires which did help to some extent.
    Most likely the 2013 , Honda CRV has a better ride, however, I do know if Honda has ever solved their road noise issues. I know, as a small SUV, the Tucson will never ride like my wife’s RX350, but then the 350 is not as much fun to drive.
    Appreciate your thoughts on the subject.

    ea 60,000 mile tire which should have a better ride based on a n oreed22

    • Jerry 6 years ago

      Bill, good to hear from you. I have not driven the 2013 CRV, so I can’t tell you if the road noise is better or not for sure. The 2012 was improved from previous models, but still had some road noise. They seem to get better every year, I’m sure I’ll have a 2013 to drive sometime during the year.

      Thanks for listening to the show.

      Jerry Reynolds “The Car Pro”
      President, Car Pro Radio Networks

  2. ROBERT 6 years ago


    My wife has a Murano and is thinking of the 2013 Acura RDX. I know you are big on road noise reduction and the Murano is noisy in my estimation.. What is your assessment of the RDX in that road noise regard? Do you carry Acura dealers in the Austin area? Thanks!

    • Jerry 6 years ago

      Good to hear from you! The RDX is really quiet, I was impressed, the older ones were nearly as quiet inside as this one.

      I have a great Acura dealers in DFW and Houston, but not Austin. If you don’t find a great deal locally, let me know and I’ll help!

      Jerry Reynolds “The Car Pro”
      President, Car Pro Radio Networks

  3. Susan Swain 6 years ago

    Jerry, am I wrong or do I hear road noise as you drive and review the RDX? I cannot abide by road noise/wind noise, etc. Within the next year I will be asking you about the Q5.
    Susan (Sacramento)

    • Jerry 6 years ago

      Susan, actually no, it’s very quiet inside. The microphone picks up air conditioning noise. I usually turn the air down, but it was 108 in Dallas that day!

      Let me know how I can help on the Q5!

      Jerry Reynolds “The Car Pro”
      President, Car Pro Radio Networks

  4. John 6 years ago

    Liked your review of the RDX. I have a 2008 which I love. Consumer reports also liked the car, bit they did not like the handling, especially on wet roads. This is important to me and my 2008 handles well. In your opinion, does the 2013 handle as well as the older model with super handling AWD, especially on wet roads?

    • Jerry 6 years ago

      It was super dry in Dallas this week, and for the last few weeks. I can’t say for sure to be honest. On dry pavement, it handles great and has a better ride than the old SH AWD, which I liked actually. Acura’s are known for handling, I can’t imagine it’s not great under all conditions.

      THANKS for listening to the show!

      Jerry Reynolds “The Car Pro”
      President, Car Pro Radio Networks

  5. Bob 6 years ago

    I really liked your review of the 2013 RDX. We have a 2004 MDX that my wife really loves. But the better mileage on the RDX sounds enticing and we rarely use the third row seats on the MDX – so . . .
    We now live in the Corpus Christi area but take our MDX back to the dealer in San Antonio. Where would you recommend seeking a new Acura? We are 170 miles from San Antonio, 200 or so from Houston and between those two from Austin.
    There was a pop up add at the end of your review for a $69.oo power chip that claims a 7mpg boost in fuel economy. Are you familiar with this product? Does it really work?

    • Jerry 6 years ago

      Bob, good to hear from you. My closest dealer ins in Houston, but they are awesome! Shelby will take super care of you. Just let him know I sent you.

      And SORRY about those ads, we have no control of the youtube popups. And NONE of those kinds of gadgets actually work!

      THANKS for listening to the show.

      Sterling McCall Acura
      10455 Southwest Freeway
      Houston TX 77074
      Shelby Eastin: Car Pro Specialist
      713 596-2306 Direct

      Jerry Reynolds “The Car Pro”
      President, Car Pro Radio Networks

  6. Don 6 years ago

    We test drove both CR-V and 2013 RDX last week…….if you can justify the $ difference go w/ RDX……
    Many options, much less road noise, more room (front n back), great handling, seats have more comfort and great finish/details.

  7. Uday 6 years ago

    I test drove the 2103 RDX, GLK and the XC60 back to back and the road noise in the RDX is significantly higher than the other two. when you say the RDX is really quiet, are you comparing it to the Murano and the Tucson like the viewers here are suggesting or are you comparing it to the other small luxury SUVs.

    My wife really likes the RDX as it is an Acura and she is a huge acura fan, but we are not buying due to the road noise after the test drive. Are we missing something here?

    Please help but putting things in perspective


    • Jerry 6 years ago

      Good to hear from you. I am in an out of a LOT of cars, and seldom review similar segments back to back. I either note nothing, that a vehicle has too much interior noise, and I note when I notice the quietness.

      I would test drive a different RDX, sometimes times can make a HUGE difference in road noise. I would try it again, it might make a difference.

      GOOD LUCK.
      Jerry Reynolds “The Car Pro”
      President, Car Pro Radio Networks

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