The brand's best-selling SUV is now better in every way.
Acura has been hogging the spotlight of late, revealing the NSX Type S and teasing an all-new Integra, but the brand is not quite done with unveiling new stuff. That new stuff includes SUVs like the RDX, a vehicle that we hailed last year as a return to form for Acura. The effort that the brand has put into the RDX is clear, with it becoming the best-selling SUV in its segment since 2006. But like everything, the Acura RDX must now be upgraded and enhanced for the 2022 model year, and that's exactly what the luxury brand has done, promising more standard tech, a quieter cabin, better handling dynamics, and more.
The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine carries over, still producing 272 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. As before, it routes power through a 10-speed automatic gearbox to either the front wheels or all corners, with the SH-AWD system boasting active torque vectoring.
Acura says that the new RDX offers "a dramatically quieter cabin" along with refined styling and retuned suspension, making it "the most dynamic, comfortable, and refined" five-seater SUV in the company's history. The new styling is inspired by that of the range-topping MDX SUV, with the front grille boasting a thinner chrome surround and the front fascia gaining a larger air intake. This increases visual width, as do the fog lights that now get a chrome trim too. The rear fascia has been reworked too, with cutouts for the new dual exhaust finishers. The A-Spec trim and the Advance Package models get the aforementioned LED fog lights along with power-folding wing mirrors, with the former also boasting unique exhaust tips in a gloss black finish.
As for wheels, all models come with either 19- or 20-inch wheels, with the A-Spec model getting its 20s in a Shark Gray finish. All models can be finished in a new Liquid Carbon Metallic paint option, while those with the Technology and Advance Packages can get Phantom Violet Pearl too.
Acura has updated the PMC Edition of the RDX for 2022 as well. The new Long Beach Blue PMC Edition is available exclusively in Long Beach Blue Pearl paint that is otherwise only available on the NSX. The special model is handcrafted alongside the supercar at the Performance Manufacturing Center in Ohio. Just 200 hand-assembled units will be available, boasting a body-color grille surround and a gloss-black Diamond Pentagon grille. More gloss black is seen on the door handles, wing mirrors, roof, and roof antenna, as well as the badges all over the car. Berlina Black 20-inch wheels are fitted here, as are dark chrome exhaust tips.
Inside, Orchid upholstery with blue contrast stitching is fitted, along with special floor mats, a head-up display, a surround-view camera, heated rear outboard seats, and 16-way power front seats with adjustable side bolsters.
Inside the regular RDX, a new front fender liner helps reduce road noise while Active Sound Control has also been upgraded to better cancel out exterior noise. The engine's cold idle speed has also been dropped from 1,110 rpm to 950 rpm, and two-wheel drive models get a new lower torque rod to reduce engine vibrations. Technology Package models gain thicker carpet padding too, with the front doors gaining a new sound insulator and acoustic glass. A thicker noise insulation pad in the dash and another in the D-pillar work to reduce engine and road noise respectively. The entire cabin has been refitted with better noise insulation materials, but that's not all.
Aluminum trim features as standard on the doors, dash, and center console for a more premium look, with Advance Package models boasting open-pore wood trim. A new bronze finish can be applied to the aluminum trim accents on RDX models equipped with the Saddle Brown interior.
More standard tech has been added for 2022, with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a USB-C charging port, and Amazon Alexa Built-In. This last feature essentially works as voice control for the navigation and media and can also be used to find parking, control smart home devices, check the weather, and more. Qi-compatible wireless charging and IconicDrive LED ambient lighting are now offered as part of the Technology Package, boasting 27 ambient lighting configurations and a rear camera washer. Advance Package models gain the aforementioned power-folding mirrors, as well as a 12-volt power outlet in the cargo area and remote start with greater range and an all-new key fob.
The A-Spec trim now features a flat-bottomed steering wheel and a metallic trim with a "Dark Y" pattern, along with contrast stitching, and Ultrasuede door panels and dash accents. If the interior is finished in Red, the armrests are now matched to the rest of the cabin. Alternatively, the A-Spec model with the Advance Package - a new combination for 2022 - can be had with a new Orchid leather option.
Under the skin, the RDX's handling has been improved with four drive modes: Normal, Comfort, Sport, and Snow. Each mode will now feel more distinctive in the steering, throttle, and the way the car sounds. With the Technology Package, the color of the ambient lighting also changes depending on what mode you're in. Brake pedal feel has also been enhanced, and Advance Package models gain an updated adaptive damping system.
As for safety, blind-spot monitoring is now standard and has gained Lane Change Assist with almost four times as much detection scope than before. RDX models with the Technology Package now use their parking sensors to take advantage of a new front and rear low-speed automatic braking system to avoid scrapes and bumps. Standard safety features across the range have also been expanded to include a new traffic sign recognition system that uses a camera rather than GPS location, while pedestrian automatic emergency braking has also been added to the forward collision system. A new rear seatbelt reminder system has been added too, while better structure design has meant better results in the IIHS moderate overlap test.
No pricing information has yet been made available, but we expect to see the 2022 RDX arrive at dealers very soon.