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2013-2018 Acura RDX: What You Should Know Before Buying

The Acura RDX is a very popular compact luxury SUV in Quebec and the rest of Canada. The current third-generation model is more capable and sophisticated than ever, but also quite a bit more expensive than in the past.

If you're considering a pre-owned model, a 2019 or 2020 model may not fit your budget, especially in today's environment where declining inventories are inflating the value of used vehicles.

So, is it a good idea to go back to the previous generation? This one, unlike the new one which is based on its own platform, shared its chassis with the Honda CR-V, which is far from being a bad thing!

A Reliable V6

Introduced for the 2013 model year, the second-generation Acura RDX ditched the turbocharged four-cylinder engine in favour of a 3.5-litre V6. Known for its reliability and performance, the latter produced 273 horsepower (among the highest in the class) and 251 pound-feet of torque sent through a six-speed automatic transmission.

Photo: Acura Canada

The average fuel consumption of 10.6 L/100 km was reasonable at the time, but it is, of course, higher than that of the 2.0-litre turbocharged RDX we know today (9.9 L/100 km), at least on paper. In both cases, though, premium gasoline is required. Note also that all-wheel drive is standard, so you won't find a front-wheel-drive RDX.

With 739 litres of cargo space in the trunk and 2,178 litres with the rear seats down, the old RDX stood out in terms of practicality. However, even with a V6, its towing capacity was only 680 kilos (1,500 pounds), so forget about big camping trailers!

Cosmetic Update

The RDX cosmetic and technical updates for the 2016 model year. The front and rear portions have been slightly redesigned, while the engine has gained six horsepower for a total of 279. Those who like gadgets should consider primarily a Tech or Elite version which includes, among other things, a navigation system and a premium audio system.

Photo: Acura

What are the issues or negative points to watch out for? Oil consumption, powertrain vibrations, and various sensors and electronic systems come to mind. Two airbag recalls and one transmission recall have been issued for this generation. Make sure the vehicle has been properly inspected and repaired.

In summary, the 2013 to 2018 Acura RDX is a very good choice for those looking for a reliable and capable compact luxury SUV. It is fun to drive thanks to its excellent handling capabilities, but it's a comfortable ride at the same time.

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