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2011 Acura RDX

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2011 Acura RDX Review

Not enough against fierce rivals

Reviewed by Automotive on

New for 2011
The 2011 Acura RDX is a compact sport utility vehicle (SUV) that was redesigned in 2010 to become lighter and more efficient. Now it is offered with either front-wheel drive or Super Handling All Wheel Drive (SHAWD) and is much more affordable, both in its off-the-lot price tag as well as fuel economy, if you choose the front-wheel drive, but both trims still require premium gas. The Acura RDX is equipped with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed automation transmission.

While the RDX's features have been toned down, it is still a luxury vehicle that offers the Technology package as an option. Similarly, it has top-notch safety equipment to protect up to five passengers. While the front wheel drive RDX gets 19/24 mpg city/highway, the SH-AWD is rated at 17/22 mpg city/highway. All in all, the 2011 Acura RDX still appeals to young professionals who want luxury in a get-about-town vehicle.

New for 2011

Major modifications in 2010 added the front-wheel drive trim as an alternative to SH-AWD, which took roughly 200 pounds off the curb weight, reduced MSRP by $2,000, and increased fuel economy 2 mpg in city and highway. In addition, the RDX got the controversial front grille and tweaks to front and rear fascias and taillights, while auto headlights, revised brakes, and Bluetooth became standard. The Acura RDX is unchanged for 2011.


Engine: 2.3 L, turbocharged I-4
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Body Style: Compact sports utility vehicle
Trims: Base Sport Utility, Technology Package Sport Utility, SH-AWD Sport Utility, Technology Package SH- AWD Sport Utility

On the Outside

With the infamous Acura grille, the 2011 Acura RDX looks more angular and wider than before and has undergone an incremental track increase. But given its price tag, the RDX still an attractive vehicle for its class.

From the Inside

The interior amenities of the 2011 Acura RDX speak luxury, with a leather-trimmed cabin, ambient foot well lighting, and a rear view camera system. The Technology Package is an option that adds navigation with real-time traffic and weather updates.

Driving Performance

Two of the trademarks of the Acura RDX are its crisp handling and torque vectoring SH-AWD system. The front-wheel drive trims do suffer without it. The other major RDX weakness is its 5-speed transmission, since all of its competitors feature 6-speeds. Similarly, the turbocharged 4-cylinder's 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of output is outclassed by its competition with similar turbo-4 and V-6 engines.

Safety Equipment

Standard on the 2011 Acura RDX are dual-stage front and side curtain air bags; plus, it has a tire pressure monitoring system and traction and stability control. All five occupants have three point seatbelts, while front passengers have auto tensioning systems.

Gas Mileage

RDX 2WD: 19/24 mpg city/hwy
RDX SH-AWD: 17/22 mpg city/hwy


  • More affordable than most in class
  • Crisp handling with SH-AWD trim
  • Luxurious cockpit
  • Standard features galore
  • Gains in fuel economy


  • FWD trim still takes premium gas
  • 5-speed transmission
  • Acura grille
  • Narrow second row


Not enough against fierce rivals

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  • Mercedes GLK350
  • Infiniti EX 35
  • Volvo XC60

See the New 2015 RDX.

Front & Driver Side View

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