Test Drive: New Acura RDX sets gold standard the luxury compact crossover segment

The 2019 Acura RDX is shown in Apex Blue Pearl.
photo Red leather interior sets a sporty tone for the RDX

Aside from a name that looks like it came off an eye-chart, the new 2019 Acura RDX SH-AWD A-SPEC (see!) is redefining the luxury compact crossover segment.

The third-generation RDX raises the bar with expressive styling and a potent 272-horsepower turbocharged engine. Too, its advanced all-wheel-drive system is a worthwhile $2,000 option.

If first impressions are important (and they certainly are in the new-car world), the new RDX offers a striking profile with more visual interest than the outgoing model, which was more conservatively styled.

Our tester, an Apex Blue Pearl model provided by the manufacturer for a one-week trial, sports the A-SPEC package which infuses the RDX with sporty upgrades.