Acura Introduces Two New Vehicles: The 2007 Turbo RDX and High Performance MDX
By Marty Bernstein
AIADA Contributing Editor
Building on its tremendous success in the increasingly hip crossover segment, Acura has introduced two premium vehicles that are sure to wow just about any driver looking for comfort, driving performance and quality fuel economy.
There’s an all-new RDX entry premium and the second generation of the popular MDX luxury vehicle. Both are combinations of family and passenger vehicles and are loaded with more innovations, creature comforts, styling notes and techno-engineering wizardry than there’s room to list on this page. So, here’s a quick not so sneak peek.
Due to reach Acura’s 226 dealers early this fall, the RDX features the luxury brand’s first turbocharged and inter-cooled engine as well as an all new, all-wheel drive called SH-AWD (Super Handling-All Wheel Drive) first found on the RL luxury sedan.
Think of it as a you-know-what on legal steroids because this SUV packs the performance of a sports sedan thanks to a power packed engine, a 2.3 liter 16-valve, inline-four that generates 250 hp. A 5-speed automatic transmission with F1®-style steering wheel mounted paddle shifters can function as a conventional automatic. They’re fun to use too.
Styling cues to look out for are the big muscular wheel arches with short overhangs, which add to a powerful look. On a quick drive route, it was easy to maneuver through crowded shopping center parking lots and major roads. The low hood line added visual impact and aided visibility too. The EPA estimated city/highway fuel economy for the RDX is 19/23 miles per gallon.
The vehicle is so fully equipped only one option package is offered for the auto-techno afflicted who need more gadgets than normal people. The MSRP for the base RDX is $32,995 and the techno version is set at $36,455.
It may be called the MDX but the new 2007 version makes big improvements on what was a sensational passenger SUV. The 2007 MDX is longer, wider and lower than the previous generation MDX yet maintains the same weight through use of high-strength steel in combination with aluminum and magnesium.
Benchmarked against some of the best performance SUVs in the world and tuned on the world famous Nürburgring race track in Germany, the completely redesigned 2007 MDX went through extensive testing at the famous track, seven times we were told, to get it right.
The MDX has Acura’s most powerful engine ever, a 3.7-liter V-6 engine with 300 horsepower that couples with SH-AWD. The MDX pushes the limits of performance while retaining the functionality currently enjoyed by the previous generation MDX. A 5-speed automatic transmission with Sequential SportShift is designed to satisfy the most performance-oriented drivers.
Longer, wider and lower than the previous generation, the 2007 MDX features distinctive exterior styling with aggressive fender flares and a bold Acura five-sided grille. The sleek exterior masks the third row seating capacity and ample cargo space.
The MDX interior features a driver oriented cockpit and a 4+3 seating concept which emphasizes the comfort, luxury and style of the front seats and the second-row positions.
Women, either as passengers or as drivers, will praise the oodles of creature-features which include, large storage spaces for cell phones, iPods, PDAs and laptops as well as a purse box (its too big for a glove box term) that’s big enough for almost any women’s handbag.
The 2007 Acura arrives in dealer showrooms on October 17. Pricing starts at $39,995 for the base model; with the tech package its $43,495; with tech and entertainment its $45,695; adding the sport package ramps it up to $45,595; and, the top of the MDX is the sport and entertainment package for $47,795. And there’s the $670 destination and handling charge.
Marketing and Sales
Prior to the walk-around to view the new MDX and RDX, engineers, not marketing types, delivered thoughtful, pertinent and relevant details about the consumer research that went into the creation of these vehicles. The walk-around and drive-about confirmed what we’d been told about the vehicles … without exaggeration, either. Facts are facts. No embellishment is needed.
Acura is planning on big results too. During the first full year, the luxury automaker predicts sales of 60,000 MDX units and 40,000 RDX units.
Bottom line – two exceptional vehicles. Acura dealers and their customers will be very, very happy.