Inside Story: 2010 Acura RDX luxury cars inside story acura
Inside Story: 2010 Acura RDX luxury cars inside story acura
Inside Story: 2010 Acura RDX luxury cars inside story acura
2010 Acura RDX. Click image to enlarge

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Review and photos by Michael Clark

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2010 Acura RDX

I hate flashback shows.

We’ve all seen them. You’ve just put the finishing touches on your snack platter, as you deposit yourself in the easy chair for some sweet pap. Out of nowhere, the Number Three character in the ensemble cast says; “Remember the time that…” What comes next in that sentence is immaterial; you’ve just been sucked into a flashback show, with at least 25 per cent new footage. Not even real butter can fix your popcorn at this point.
 
After three-odd years of Inside Story reviews, it was only a matter of time until a flashback episode occurred. The year was 2009. The date was May 28th. The vehicle was the 2009 Acura RDX Technology Package. At first glance, the only obvious change applies to the Acura corporate grille. (Or should we say ‘griddle’?) Pricing is more aggressive; an MSRP of $42,990 for the Technology Package trim level. Do these changes warrant the re-deposit of the RDX into the press fleet? To assist our query, Inside Story will be employing the magic of cut-and paste from the ‘09 review, along with any new equipment tweaks, and sweet features that we may have missed. (Note: all images shown in this review are of the 2010 model year vehicle.)

The Cockpit/Centre Stack

2009: The Acura policy of jamming as much switchery as possible on their three-spoke wheels has officially reached critical mass. Audio controls populate the left-hand spoke, with cruise control tabs found stage right. One has to wonder why Acura still insists on separate voice prompt keys for the Bluetooth HandsFreeLink and the navi/climate/audio, since many systems can accomplish all of this with one voice prompt key.

Inside Story: 2010 Acura RDX luxury cars inside story acura
Inside Story: 2010 Acura RDX luxury cars inside story acura
Inside Story: 2010 Acura RDX luxury cars inside story acura
2010 Acura RDX. Click image to enlarge

The Multi-Information Display (MID) screen is found at the base of the speedometer, with access keys found on the right-hand side of the downward wheel spoke. Auto lock sequences, lighting delays, service intervals, and wireless phone-specific information are but a few of the information nuggets that can be accessed. You’ll also find the engine coolant temperature gauge in the MID, as well as a torque-transfer readout for the Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive system. A turbo boost meter is included, in the same portal as the tachometer. While an auto headlamp setting is not specifically labelled on the turn signal stalk, the RDX will shut down the headlamps after a specified period, which can be further modified through the MID. Strangely absent is the omission of an intermittent detent for the rear wiper/washer sweep.

The paddle shifters can be used in either drive or sport mode shift positions for the five-speed automatic. There are no delay issues for shifting while in paddle mode. However, a manu-gate does not exist for floor-mounted gear manipulation.

The steering column uses a manual lever for tilt and telescopic adjustments. Dual zone climate settings are displayed on the upper LCD read-out, along with the current audio source. The Acura navi system needs make only one apology; the clarity of the screen. The interface dial is cumbersome to use, with Acura making its own admission in the Quick Start Guide, quote “Tip: Most audio functions can also be operated using dedicated buttons on the audio face”, unquote. The six-CD audio head unit is found directly below the HVAC controls. An auxiliary audio input jack is found on the right-hand side of the head unit, with a 12-volt DC powerpoint below. The driver’s door pod houses Auto Up/Down windows for the driver and front passenger. Note the Civic-esque speaker grille. Power mirror controls and the Vehicle Stability Assist switch is found below the HVAC vent, to the extreme left on the instrument panel.

2010: The headlamp switch grows an auto detent for oh-ten.

Considering that the turbocharger engagement is so instant, Inside Story would advise Acura to lose the boost gauge, and fill the gauge space with a proper engine coolant temperature sweep. Navi map legibility is still as attractive as an MS-DOS print-out. Acura speaks of a revised eight-inch screen for the navi, though the clarity still seems muddled. The rear-view camera has reportedly seen improvements, with a plotting graph displayed to assist in calculating distance to objects in the rearward path. On non-navi models, the now-standard rear camera view moves to the interior rear-view mirror.

Tech Package-equipped vehicles grab a Note function for the XM satellite radio, which recalls a sound bite and key song information. There’s low glow, as in ambient lighting of blue in the footwells, matching the hue of the lighting that bathes the centre console from above. It may be hard to notice at a glance, but the HVAC controls have actually been moved closer to the driver position. Previously un-experienced were the vocal announcements that accompany the twisting of the interface dial, allowing actuation of key features without the eyes leaving the roadway.

Inside Story: 2010 Acura RDX luxury cars inside story acura
2010 Acura RDX. Click image to enlarge
Cubbies!

2009: The RDX addresses interior security issues, with keyed compartments for both glovebox and centre console. The front doors do not address bottle-savvy side pockets, but there is unique flip-top storage buckets on driver and front passenger armrests. The rear doors receive more of a bottle provision for the side pocket, and yet another homage to the Civic speaker grille. The interior of the centre console has two flip-up false floor partitions. When moved upwards, the cavity can easily accommodate a laptop computer. An inner courtesy lamp is joined by a 12-volt DC powerpoint inside the console. Cup cinchers are absent, for both the flip-top front console holder, and the rear cavity in the fold-down centre armrest. Note the two rear seatback storage pockets.