The 2022 Acura RDX is a compact five-passenger crossover SUV that emphasizes on-road driving dynamics instead of off-road capability. Every 2022 RDX comes with a rousing turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and a performance-enhancing, torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system is an option. Pair it with the larger 20-inch wheels on some versions of the RDX, and you’ve got a fun-to-drive SUV.
What’s New for the 2022 Acura RDX?
Acura gives the 2022 RDX several updates. Fresh styling details, new paint colors, and revised wheel designs debut, and Acura tweaks the adaptive damping suspension and driving modes to hone the SUV’s performance.
A new A-Spec Advance option package is available for 2022, and a new version of the hand-built PMC Edition arrives wearing special Long Beach Blue paint and featuring an Orchid (white) leather interior. Acura also says it has quieted the SUV’s cabin.
Additionally, the infotainment system adds standard wireless smartphone integration and improved voice recognition technology, and wireless device charging is available. New safety features also debut for 2022.
2022 Acura RDX Price and Configurations
Acura sells the RDX in a single trim level. However, buyers can equip the RDX with option packages to upgrade the SUV with additional features. Depending on how you equip it, 2022 Acura RDX prices range from the low $40,000s to the mid $50,000s.
Acura RDX – Standard equipment includes 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, a panoramic glass sunroof, a power liftgate, dual-zone automatic climate control, simulated leather upholstery, aluminum interior trim, and 12-way power-adjustable and heated front seats. The infotainment system has a standard 10.2-inch display, satellite radio, wireless smartphone mirroring, AcuraLink connected services including Wi-Fi access, voice recognition technology, and a nine-speaker sound system. AcuraWatch is also standard, a comprehensive collection of driving assistance and collision avoidance systems.
Acura RDX Technology – Add the popular Technology package to equip the RDX with machined-finish wheels, expanded colors for the ambient lighting system, perforated leather upholstery, a navigation system, a 12-speaker premium sound system, wireless smartphone charging, and front and rear parking sensors.
Acura RDX A-Spec – The A-Spec package has a standard Sport Appearance package, 20-inch wheels painted dark gray, LED fog lights, simulated suede and unique aluminum interior materials, a flat-bottom steering wheel, ventilated front seats, and a 16-speaker premium audio system.
Acura RDX Advance – The RDX Advance builds on the Technology package with unique 19-inch wheels, an adaptive damping suspension, piped leather, real wood trim, 16-way power-adjustable front seats, a heated steering wheel, and heated rear seats. The Advance also adds remote engine start, a head-up display, a surround-view camera system, and rain-sensing wipers with a wiper de-icer system.
Acura RDX A-Spec Advance – This new-for-2022 trim combines the A-Spec and Advance equipment with a special 20-inch wheel design in dark gray.
Additionally, Acura will build only 200 examples of the hand-assembled RDX PMC Edition. It features special Long Beach Blue paint, a unique Orchid leather interior, and A-Spec Advance equipment.
2022 Acura RDX Review and Test Drive
Test Drive QuickTakes:
Acura exists on the strength of its crossover SUV sales. Though the automaker offers five vehicles for the 2022 model year, including the NSX supercar, which is nearing the end of its production run, the compact RDX and midsize MDX SUVs lead the charge for Acura. To ensure their continued competitiveness, the MDX receives a complete redesign for 2022, and the RDX gets a refresh to make it even more appealing.
Neither of Acura’s SUVs makes any claims about off-roading prowess. Instead, both are designed and engineered primarily for use on pavement and dealing with nasty weather. As such, and in alignment with Acura’s performance-oriented brand identity, they are equipped and tuned for an engaging driving character in everyday situations.
For this 2022 Acura RDX review, we test-drove a version of the compact SUV equipped with the new A-Spec Advance package in Southern California. It came with Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD), Apex Blue Pearl paint, nighttime logo projection onto the ground when the front doors are open, illuminated door sill trim plates, a heated steering wheel, and a price of $54,848 including the $1,045 destination charge. Acura provided the vehicle for this RDX review.
2022 Acura RDX Review: The Design
Acura makes subtle styling changes to the 2022 RDX to align it with the larger MDX. Fortunately, the modifications do not detract from what is already an appealing vehicle, though the modified front air intakes represent an acquired taste.
Our test vehicle came with a new Orchid (white) leather interior, which is exclusive to the A-Spec Advance and the PMC Edition. It looks sensational, standing in stark contrast to the otherwise black interior. Details including black seat piping and white contrast stitching also add to the tailored, upscale look of the Orchid interior.
Quality permeates the RDX’s cabin. Everything looks and feels as though Acura sweats the details, and when you drive the 2022 RDX, the SUV is substantially quieter inside than it was last year. A revised Active Sound Control system is partially to credit for this, plus other measures related to adding sound insulation materials, installing acoustic glass, and more. The improvements for 2022 are impressive.
Front-seat comfort is excellent, thanks to the 16-way power-adjustable heated and ventilated front seats that come in the A-Spec Advance package. The test vehicle also had an optional heated steering wheel and heated rear seat cushions. The driving position gives you a feeling of command, and all controls except for the infotainment system are easy to find and use. However, the A-Spec and A-Spec Advance models have silver metallic gauge faces with red markings, and they are unnecessarily hard to read – especially in low-light conditions.
Though the RDX offers plenty of rear legroom, Acura appears to sacrifice rear-seat comfort for cargo space. For example, the back seat cushion is low and flat, lacking leg support, and the backrest angle is unnatural. But, when you fold the rear seat down to expand the cargo capacity from 29.5 cubic feet to 58.9 cu-ft, it creates a nearly flat load surface.
Usable interior storage space is lacking because Acura devotes so much center console real estate to the transmission controls, the driving mode selector, and the infotainment touchpad controller. However, the large compartments beneath the cargo load floor are a nice surprise-and-delight feature.
2022 Acura RDX Review: The Technology
Acura is one of the few automakers that does not provide touchscreen access to its infotainment system. Instead, you must use the True Touchpad Interface (TTI) on the center console, the voice recognition system, or controls on the steering wheel to operate the 10.2-inch infotainment screen residing atop the dashboard.
Because the 2022 RDX has updated and upgraded voice recognition technology, it is easier to bypass using the TTI much of the time. Also, it is worth noting that the TTI is far more intuitive than similar technology used by Acura’s rival, Lexus. However, it still draws a driver’s attention away from the road because TTI works differently from a laptop computer’s trackpad. That means the driver must think about how to execute a task because only the TTI works in the way it does. Yes, touchscreens are also distracting, but because they work like smartphone displays, they’re also more intuitive for most people to use.
The user interfaces aside, the RDX’s infotainment system improves this year thanks to wireless smartphone integration with support for Apple and Android devices, a wireless charging pad on the tray underneath the center console’s “control bridge,” and improved voice recognition. Using the standard set of test voice prompts, the RDX’s digital assistant proved fast to respond and did so with accuracy.
Acura also updates the RDX’s standard AcuraWatch safety technology package while structurally reinforcing the SUV to maximize side-impact protection. New features for AcuraWatch include pedestrian detection capability for the forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking systems, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic alert. In addition, the Technology package adds front and rear parking sensors with automatic low-speed braking to help drivers avoid contact with other vehicles or obstacles.
During the evaluation, AcuraWatch struggled for accuracy while driving toward low winter sunlight on a freeway that had recently undergone construction that scarred the pavement. Otherwise, the driver assistance systems worked accurately, if not as smooth as you might find in some competing compact luxury SUVs.
2022 Acura RDX Review: The Drive
Acura equips every 2022 RDX with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, and it’s a rewarding one. The turbo engine generates 272 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 280 pound-feet of torque from 1,600 rpm to 4,500 rpm. It uses a 10-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters to power the RDX’s front wheels unless you get Acura’s torque-vectoring SH-AWD, which can put up to 70 percent of total engine output to a single rear wheel.
Accessible using the large knob located on the center of the RDX’s dashboard, Integrated Dynamics System driving modes alter the SUV’s driving character. You can choose between Comfort, Normal, Sport, and Snow. They modify throttle response, transmission shifting, steering weight, and on Advance and A-Spec Advance models with the available adaptive damping suspension, ride and handling qualities. In addition, all RDXs have Agile Handling Assist, a brake-based system that can help to tighten the SUV’s driving line in a corner or curve.
Our test vehicle had all of these goodies, plus a set of 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in P225/45 all-season tires. For the most part, our RDX A-Spec Advance kept its promise of an entertaining driving experience. Ultimately, though, there remains an opportunity to sharpen this SUV’s reflexes even more through a better-performing RDX Type S variant.
What makes the sporty RDX the most fun to drive is its behavior in everyday situations. Whether you’re zooming around a freeway entrance or exit ramp, slicing and dicing through thick commuter traffic, or zipping around town shuttling kids or running errands, the Acura RDX feels lively and responsive on the road. And both the quieter interior and re-tuned adaptive dampers lend the refreshed 2022 RDX newfound refinement in these environments.
Should you decide to explore the RDX’s handling on a favorite back road, be sure to choose Sport mode to quicken the SUV’s powertrain response and stiffen up the suspension. However, you can’t do much about the standard tires without swapping them out for some summer rubber. So even when the RDX is equipped to deliver maximum performance, there is still room for tweaking and tuning to make it even more enjoyable to drive. An RDX Type S would undoubtedly prove to be a barrel of laughs.
With that said, the SH-AWD system works as advertised, its ability to move torque between axles and the rear wheels evident when you accelerate hard out of a sharp corner. This sensation, combined with the engine’s robust power curve and the transmission’s impeccable behavior, brings joy to a driver. But outright thrills remain elusive.
Perhaps that is for the best. The fuel economy takes a substantial hit when you tap into the RDX’s performance. The test vehicle averaged 20.6 mpg on the evaluation route, coming up short of the official EPA rating of 23 mpg in combined driving.
Is the 2022 Acura RDX a Good SUV?
The Acura RDX is a good SUV. Crafted using a recipe that calls for attractive design, an expressive interior full of quality materials, a roomy cabin with usable cargo space, and enjoyable driving dynamics, especially in the situations most people encounter most of the time, it's no surprise that the RDX is among the most popular models in the compact luxury SUV segment. Add its reputation for reliability and established track record for safety, and the new RDX rarely comes up short against its rivals.
Acura RDX Competitors for 2022
The 2022 RDX competes in the compact luxury SUV segment, emphasizing paved-road performance. Rivals include the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Audi Q5, BMW X3, Buick Envision, Cadillac XT5, Infiniti QX50, Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Lexus NX, Lincoln Corsair, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Porsche Macan, and Volvo XC60.
Acura RDX Features
If you prefer to emphasize the sport part of the sport/utility equation, the 2022 Acura RDX is right up your alley, especially when its standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine powers all four wheels through the automaker’s torque-vectoring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system.
2022 Acura RDX Safety Features
- Collision Mitigation Braking System – Standard forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking system, now including pedestrian detection
- Road Departure Mitigation – Standard lane-keeping assistance system
- Lane Keeping Assist System – Standard lane-centering assistance system
- Blind Spot Information System – Standard feature and includes rear cross-traffic warning and lane-change assistance functions
- Low-Speed Braking Control – Available automatic front and rear braking at low speeds*
2022 Acura RDX Technology
- True Touchpad Interface – Acura’s standard infotainment system with a 10.2-inch static display screen and touchpad control on the center console
- AcuraLink connected services – Standard feature with available Wi-Fi access
- Wireless smartphone mirroring – Standard feature with support for iOS and Android devices
- Wireless smartphone charging – Available feature*
- Remote engine starting – Available feature*
2022 Acura RDX Specs
- 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
- 272 horsepower, 280 lb-ft of torque
- 10-speed automatic
- Front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD)
- 23 mpg to 24 mpg in combined driving
2022 Acura RDX Interior
- Heated front seats – Standard feature
- Leather seats – Available feature*
- Heated rear seats and steering wheel – Available features*
- Ventilated front seats – Available feature*
- Premium sound system – Available feature with 12 or 16 speakers*
*Availability is subject to specific trim level selections