Essentially a sport sedan cleverly disguised as an all-out SUV, the 2008 Acura RDX is a compact premium crossover vehicle introduced by Acura during the 2007 model year. Typical of most other small crossover SUV’s, the 2008 Acura RDX is based around more of a car-like body structure matched with an independent suspension, high seating position, and all-wheel-drive functionality. It packs a powerful punch under the hood, offers solid road handling capability thanks to its all-wheel-drive system, comes standard with a host of interior amenities, earns excellent safety scores, and provides adequate cabin space.
With a bit more ""S"" than a ""U"" in its SUV label, the 2008 Acura RDX is good to go when it comes to sportiness and engine power, despite the car chassis that will turn a lot of people off. As is fairly common with many smaller SUVs, inadequate ground clearance, a less than smooth ride, a lack of interior space, and fewer passenger amenities all contribute to the vehicle’s downside.
Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 2.3-liter 16-valve four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed shiftable automatic
Brand new for the 2007 model year, the 2008 Acura RDX receives few minor updates: formerly-optional Bluetooth capability is now standard, an auto-dimming rear view mirror, two-position memory seat for the driver and the mirror, and lastly, a new exterior color is added to the lineup: polished metal metallic.
There is not a lot to get excited over for the 2008 Acura RDX’s exterior. Looking like most small SUV’s on the market, the Acura’s saving grace is its unique and familiar Acura five-point grille. Eighteen-inch wheels, dual outlet exhaust, a rear-end ""turbo"" badge, HID headlamps, and an unconventional tailgate design along its rear bumper all contribute somewhat to setting the 2008 Acura RDX’s look apart from its competitors.
The 2008 Acura RDX’s interior wins more high marks than its exterior, thanks to its perforated leather seats, triple-spoke sculpted steering wheel, metallic highlights throughout, and striking blue illumination on the front dashboard gauges. With a large center console area that’s big enough to fit the average laptop computer, there’s an equal amount of front-seat head and legroom. The back seat area is somewhat cramped with seats that neither fold nor slide for more passenger space and maneuverability.
Performance & Handling
Delivering 240 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque, the 2008 Acura RDX’s 2.3-liter, turbocharged engine was one of the quickest zero-to-60-mph rates in its class with 6.8 seconds. Not bad for an SUV whose curb weight is just shy of 4000 pounds. Quick to respond, with a minimal amount of lag time usually associated with smaller turbocharged engines, the Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive system ensures a solid performance by transferring torque not just between the front and back wheels, but between the rear wheels as well. Unfortunately, the 2008 Acura RDX’s towing capacity is low for its touted SUV capabilities. At a mere 1500 pounds, other compact class SUV’s are usually able to tow at least double.
There’s a long list of standard safety featured throughout the 2008 Acura RDX: anti-lock braking system, front and rear head airbags, dual front side-mounted airbags, child seat anchors, emergency brake assist, traction/stability control, rear door child safety locks, remote anti-theft alarm system, and both driver/passenger whiplash protection. Overall, the 2008 Acura RDX received five stars in government testing.
EPA Fuel Economy
RDX: 17/22 mpg city/highway
- Solid suspension and road grip
- Powerful turbo-charged engine
- Quick to respond
- Better than average zero to 60 mph rate
- Excellent safety scores
- Most of the best features come standard
You Won't Like
- Poor fuel economy rating
- Poor towing capability
- Rear seats don’t recline
- Small cargo space
- Quality of ride may be a bit rocky or uncomfortable
- Low ground clearance: 6.3 inches
Strikes an even balance between a sedan and an SUV.
If You Like This Vehicle
- BMW X3
- Mazda CX-7
- Toyota RAV4 V6