All-wheel-drive RDX offers superb balance
THE RIDE: Four-door, five-passenger 2010 Acura RDX luxury SUV. DOWN THE ROAD: Freshened for the year, the RDX retains its power train while receiving an exterior and interior overhaul. TECH & PERFORMANCE: A 2.3-liter turbocharged and inter-cooled inline-4 cylinder engine cranks out 240 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 260 pounds-feet of torque at 4500 rpm. Shift action from the 5-speed automatic transmission is light and crisp. An independent front MacPherson strut and a rear multilink suspension system are tuned firmly so the SUV remains stable on all types of tricky corners. Best of all, the SH-AWD distributes power not just between the front and rear wheels but also the left and right rear wheels. LOOK & FEEL: The RDX shows off a traditional Acura grille, but with new front and rear bumper fascias, revised xenon HID headlights and tail lamps, new rectangular exhaust tips, steeply raked windshield and fog lamps that are now mounted within separate side grilles. The cabin acquires some new standard amenities such as a rearview camera, electronic compass, auto function headlights and a huge center console storage tray for a wallet, spare keys or even an iPod. Fold the 60/40 rear seat down and you gain 60.6 cubic feet of space for luggage. Other goodies include a power tilt/sliding moon roof, dual-zone automatic climate control, 10-way power driver and four-way front-passenger seat and a tilt/telescopic steering wheel.SAFETY FIRST: Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag for both rows, four-wheel antilock brakes with Electronic Brake Distribution and Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Assist with traction control, front active-head restraints, three-point seatbelts, side-impact door beams, tire pressure monitoring system and day time running lights are standard. OUT THE DOOR: $37,620, plus tax, tag, delivery and destination charges. BY THE NUMBERS: Tires, P235/55R18; wheelbase, 104.3 inches; length, 182.5 inches; weight, 3,942 pounds; fuel capacity, 18 gallons; city, 17 mpg; highway, 22 mpg; website, www.acura.com. WHY DIG IT: Its all-wheel-drive capabilities ensure safety for occupants of the SUV under inclement weather and road conditions.