Big S, little U, big V. The 2008 Acura RDX goes all-in for sport but comes up short when it comes to real-world utility.
If the 2008 Acura RDX participated in a round of speed dating, it'd probably say this: "Hi, I'm RDX. I'm young and active. I'm into high-tech gear and fashion. In my spare time, I like working out and going for long drives in the rain. My family is well-known and famous. I'm ready for a long-term commitment; but first, is your credit score above 780?" Time's up. Interested?
If you are, read on, you hopeless romantic. Introduced last year as an all-new model, the Acura RDX follows the typical small crossover SUV plan by having a car-based body structure, a fully independent suspension and seating for four adults. It's about the same size as a Honda CR-V, but there are many upgrades that make it a more premium (and more expensive) selection. Acura's baby SUV comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, an advanced all-wheel-drive system and the upscale interior features and ambiance typical of an Acura product.
As SUVs go, the RDX is all-in on the "S" part. The turbo four is potent and spreads its power evenly throughout the rev range. That power is sent through Acura's "Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive" (SH-AWD) system that can adjust torque output to individual wheels to maximize handling and traction. Handling is furthered by a firmly tuned suspension and big wheels and tires. However, the capital S comes at the expense of some "U." Ground clearance is hardly better than a regular sedan's, the ride quality can occasionally be harsh and the interior lacks the space and versatility one can typically expect from this type of vehicle.