NEW FOR 2008:

- Standard XM Satellite Radio, driver’s seat two-position memory, and auto-dimming rear-view mirror on all models
– Bluetooth hands-free telephone system and multi-information display (MID) added to base RDX model
– Interior colours: Taupe interior added to Alabaster Silver, Royal Blue, Carbon Bronze and Polished Metal
– Exterior colours: Polished Metal replaces Graphite

An all-new model in 2007, the Acura RDX receives new items to its list of standard equipment.

The RDX, available in a base model or as the RDX Tech Package, uses a 2.3-litre turbocharged and intercooled four-cylinder engine, mated to a five-speed transmission with manual shift mode and wheel-mounted paddle shifters. It uses Acura’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD); it runs primarily in front-wheel drive, but will transfer up to 45 per cent of torque to the rear on hard acceleration, and can send up to 100 per cent of rear-axle torque to either rear wheel for improved cornering.

Features on the RDX include 16-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, fog lights, heated mirrors with integrated turn signals, auto-off high-intensity discharge headlamps, tire pressure monitoring system, variable intermittent wipers, intermittent rear wiper, power sunroof, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, Bluetooth hands-free telephone system, hard cargo cover, garage door opener, keyless entry, tilt and telescopic steering wheel with audio controls, six-CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary jack, heated leather seats with eight-way power driver’s adjustment with memory, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, and floor mats.

The Tech Package adds premium surround-sound stereo, bilingual voice-activated navigation system and back-up camera.

Aimed at vehicles like the BMW X3, the RDX is extremely well-done, with an engine that returns the power of a V6 but without turbo lag. It offers immediate throttle response and a planted and controlled feel, even on unpaved or broken roads. The cargo area is huge, and the locking centre console box will easily hold a laptop or briefcase.

On the down side, while gizmo fans will love it, some will find the RDX too busy, especially with the Tech Package’s overwhelming multitude of small controls, joystick and 13-button steering wheel. The seats are comfortable and rear-seat passengers have plenty of room, but they must squeeze through narrow rear doors to access it.