Machine Design

2007 Acura RDX Tech

The '07 RDX Tech is the first Acura built on Honda's new light-truck platform.

The '07 RDX Tech is the first Acura built on Honda's new light-truck platform. This so-called crossover vehicle joins the growing class of CUVs (crossover-utility vehicles) that includes the BMW X3, Ford Edge, and Mazda CX-7 and CX-9s that blend an SUV with the practicality and driving ease of a sedan.

Inside the RDX there's more than ample storage and plenty of room for four friends. There's also enough electronic bells and whistles and interior/exterior styling cues (heated front sport seats, leather-trim, power moon roof, rear spoiler and high intensity discharge headlights) for luxury-minded urban drivers. (For the full listing of creature comforts visit

The RDX sports a signature Acura grille with a sharply creased leading edge that gives an aggressive, dare I say muscular look. And the beefy facade is more than skin deep. Underneath there's a robust polygonal-shaped frame made from various high-strength steels.

In front, the frame sits behind the front bumper beam and sends collision forces upward and rearward where they are absorbed by the main structure. Similarly designed frame sections in the rear direct loads forward and outward and feature a "wave shape" that deforms controllably during a rear-end collision.

Likewise, longitudinal and lateral cross members made from high-tensile steels such as HSS780 and 590 absorb forces during a broadside, and also serve in other areas under the floor, in A and B pillars, and roof rails. High-tensile steels (39% by weight) help the RDX exceed BMW X3's torsional rigidity, while keeping vehicle weight in check. The rigid structure also let designers maintain tight tolerances on body panels, tune the suspension for better handling, and keep the ride squeak and rattle-free.

Under the hood sits a 240-hp turbo-charged, 2.3-liter engine with variable valve timing. This energetic powerplant features a die-cast aluminum block and cast-in iron cylinder liners with 86-mm bores. It lets the RDX reportedly go from 0 to 60 in about 7 sec (or less), and gets an estimated 19/23 mpg (city/highway). It mates to a five-speed automatic transmission that uses drive-by-wire throttle controls and operates through sequential SportShift paddle shifters.

The RDX's low hood line and raised seating gave me an SUVlike command of the road ahead, while strategically placed outside mirrors boost visibility in the area near the A-pillar. This helped me see better while weaving in and out of traffic during one hectic trip to Denver during rush hour.

Pricing starts at $33,665. The Tech package boosts the price to $37K with additional amenities including a power moon roof, 18in. alloy wheels, navigation system with voice recognition and rearview camera, 10-speaker surround system with DVD-A six-disc changer and XM satellite radio, and hands-free wireless telephone.

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