Acura 2013 RDX AWD Tech: Review

03.12.13

2013 Acura RDX

The 2013 Acura RDX is the Mommiest Mom Car that ever Mommed… and I say that with love and sincerity. A week in the RDX will sell any mom on this crossover. Maybe it’s not a crossover, maybe it’s a small SUV? Whatever it is, the RDX is the perfect car for a small family, by small family I mean two kids or less as the RDX seats five.

I’ve been delighted by Acura in the past and I’m still willing to assert that the TL is one of the finest cars on the road so I was excited to drive the RDX.

When I looked at it I was expecting it to drive like an SUV. I’m a devotee of sedans and I’m learning to enjoy a crossover, I enjoyed this one. When I got on the freeway (my local onramp has a pretty decent incline) I was stunned and delighted by the pickup. It’s not a massive engine, 273hp on a 24-valve V6 but with a modest curb weight of about 3,850 the RDX has spunk.

There’s plenty of room in the RDX, our carpool kid is now 5’10” and he gets stuck in the back seats of all these cars. He had plenty of leg room. The RDX is small in a good way. I really miss my 3 series BMW and I loved it because it just fit me. I’m 5’6″ and very average sized. I love sitting in the RDX because I don’t feel like I’m sliding all over a big seat like I would in an SUV and everything on the dash is a short distance from me. My husband (who is 5’11”) felt like the RDX was too small and sqaushy for him. Like most crossovers the trunk is super appealing. Not having to lift baseball bags over bumpers (and scratching mom’s car) is a real joy. If you can swing it getting a technology package with the power tailgate makes all the difference in the world. It seems like a little thing but once you’ve eliminated the sound of slamming trunks it’s hard to want to go back.

Also included in the tech package is Acura’s navigation system which I think is one of the best on the market. Of course there are back up cameras, real time traffic and weather, upgrades to the stereo system and lighting but the real gold is in having a navigation system that’s both intuitive and accurate. As much as I love my luxury cars they’re deficient in the nav department.

What’s really lovable about the RDX is the drive. It’s smooth and quiet. Every so often I’d be on the freeway and wonder why everyone was driving so slowly, I’d look down and realize that I was moving at 80+ miles an hour. The cabin is well insulated and road rattle and noise is muted for a full luxury experience. Since the IIHS has given the 2013 RDX it’s highest rating your insurance might even be reasonable and we know you’ll be as safe as one can be on the road.

Bonus: I can u-turn this thing on my little LA street. No three point turns makes it the perfect city sized city car.

Also I feel a need to add that this is the second time I’ve written about this car today. Really.

2013 Acura ILX Tech Hybrid Road Test and Review

09.17.12

When the Acura ILX showed up at my house I was really excited. I thought that it would be nice to compare with my Lexus HS… apples to apples sort of thing and all. Well, that’s really not possible because the HS is no longer made, though I am looking forward to driving the Lexus ES hybrid for 2013. It doesn’t seem to compare well to either vehicle as it’s (surprisingly) in a different pricepoint.

The car I drove is the ILX with the tech hybrid package with a total drive off price of $35,295. The window sticker says to expect about 38 MPG combined city and highway on it and I found that to be fairly accurate.

The interior is spacious and luxurious. The kids have plenty of room in the back seat and one of the kids in our carpool is a leggy 5’10”.

When I get these cars I drive like a jerk for the first day or two. The ILX is interesting because just to the left of the steering wheel is a little button that says “ECON”. Most hybrids assume that the driver cares not one whit about performance and that they’re content to chug along with a gas pedal that could double as a suggestion box. Acura assumes you want performance so days one and two were spent in sports mode with the ECON button not depressed and me racing off the line at red lights like it’s the Indy 500. It’s a horrible way to drive a car and not particularly joyful unless the car has decent pickup and the ILX has more than decent pickup when you’re not conserving precious fossil fules.

Fortunately the ILX hybrid doesn’t cater only to jerks and for the next several days I played with the car in drive and ECON mode. For the week combined I ended up with an average of 36 MPG and on the days when I drove like a normal human being should (not hypermiling either) I consistently was between 41-43 MPG. Keep in mind that I’m a mostly city driver and hybrids are perfect for lifestyles like mine.

This is the MPG when I’m driving in sport mode and racing everyone off the line. It’s impressive.

I felt like I was in a really snazzy Honda Accord. The dash is low and the visibility is good. I’m not sure why in recent years automotive manufacturers haven’t given us better views of the road. Maybe it’s because they’re busy accommodating the navigation systems?

Speaking of navigation systems I’m ready to declare the Acura navigation system to be my favorite of all time. I know, I’m not supposed to play favorites but theirs is done right. It’s intuitive and it’s complete. It’s the only navigation system that I’ve used which offers accurate traffic. As an Angelino I cannot emphasize enough how valuable this is.

We didn’t love the audio package. It was a little tinny and I might suggest an upgrade if you are a music lover. It would probably be fine for me as equipped because, let’s face it, no amount of tuning will make Call Me Maybe sound good and I lost control of the radio a few years ago.

Safety is critical and the 2013 Acura ILX has received the highest possible safety rating of top safety pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The IIHS award recognizes vehicles that do the best job of protecting vehicle occupants involved in front, side and rear crashes, plus rollover performance based on ratings in the Institute’s tests. It is worth noting that the IIHS uses these tests to determine how much your auto insurance costs so they have a few million reasons to be as accurate (and tough) as possible.

A couple of details for my friends who love buying American: 45% of the parts are US or Canadian and just 35% are from Japan and the final assembly point is in Greensburg, Indiana.

 

LA Auto Show, Audi, Acura and Exhaustion

11.18.10

I’m beat. I’m somewhere past exhausted.

Mr. G is still away, and I’m pretty good Mom, but I’m a miserable Father. Alexander is starting to show his need for his Dad.

Also, note to Mr. G, he has a black eye. It is not my fault. It was a school desk injury. Apparently he was looking into a desk when a girl next to him flipped the top up. Again, not my fault. (This time)

I spent the day at the LA Auto show. The folks at Audi treated me to a drive in their A3 TDI, it’s a fast and fun smaller midsize wagon that runs on diesel. It gets up to 40 MPG. It drives nicely, it’s a high torque vehicle, which (for people like you and I) means that if you’re already cruising along at 20mph and you floor it you can accelerate to 60 pretty quickly. It was a quick drive, and it’s a fun little car with some nice details.

Most importantly I got to see the A8L. There are two things you should know about the A8L Google Maps and WIFI. Oh, there’s also a car that comes along with it. Basically the A8L is a big luxury rolling hotspot. I’ve been promised a test drive in it and I cannot wait. I’m going to drive all over town, park the car and whip out my laptop just because I can. I’m going to make Mr G drive me places while I tweet, blog and facebook from the passenger seat with my laptop for one reason: just because I can. I love that they used Google Maps too. My car has Sirius and I can subscribe to traffic, but I’ve never been willing to pay for something that every cell phone has free.

I’m really excited about a few of the cars I saw there, hopefully I’ll have some Acura reviews coming up (I love the look of their crossover), as well as Audi.

A bunch of car pictures

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Things That Need Mentioning but Aren’t Quite a Post

07.5.10

My friend Jennifer is one of the finalists for Mamvation. In case you’re unaware, Leah Sedgie takes a Mom for a seven week lifestyle makeover. Mamavation picks one mom who needs to lose weight and gives them nutrition counseling, exercise counseling, medical advice and accountability.

Jenny sent me an email that included: “I’m done being fat and I’m doing something about it. I want the nutritionist AND the social media microscope to make sure I don’t fuck this up.” She continued with, “All people have to do is go to www.mamavation.com and click @jennydecki under the earth footwear ad once a day between now and July 12th.”

Weight loss is extraordinarily difficult (I just spent two horrible weeks on Freshology), and I’m proud of Jenny for being willing to do this publicly, but I’m mostly delighted for her, and her new life affirming attitude towards food and exercise. I’ll be voting for her each day, and I hope you will too.

I haven’t really talked about Ford, and my trip to their headquarters in Dearborn. Ford has some incredible safety innovations that they’re just announcing, and they really do appear to be geared toward young families like my own. I’m unclear on a few things, so I want to get all my information straight and share it with you shortly.

I can tell you one thing, blogger trips are strange. I was surrounded by perfectly lovely women, but I was alternately longing for more time alone, or that my family would have been with me. Scott took us on a fabulous tour of the The Rouge, and I have to tell you it was amazing. From a historical perspective it is a treasure. After you’re standing there for a few minutes you have the facepalm moment of The Rouge, yes, we touched on this in high school, and then studied it like crazy in Econ 101. Supply Chain – d’oh!

I have cars to tell you about. I recently drove the Acura TL, and my husband and I both agree that if we were better people we would own that car instead of the Jaguar. I’ve also GOT to tell you about the Cadillac CTS-V, and how I have no reason to know but I suspect it might possibly get up to 135mph very very quickly when you’re getting on the 101 freeway late at night.  This week I’m driving the Lexus LX 570, which we would also be driving… only we’d be rich with a bigger family. These cars are all absolutely spectacular for very different reasons.

Also, our summer vacation plans have changed. Mr. G. had some unexpected things surrounding work, so we won’t be taking the most fabulous family vacation ever. I am very sad to say that this year my family will not be glamping with the kind folks from Ocean Futures Society at Catalina Island Camps.

There isn’t much good news for me, as it relates to Catalina, but there is good news for you. For the past few years my favorite family vacation of all time (yes, better than skiing) has been five days in Catalina every August. I’ve written about it before, but I’ve been deliberately vague. Why? Well, as happy as I am to review cars and technology, I’m not looking to show up at my favorite vacation in the world and talk about blogging.

Everyone knows that what sucks for the blogger is typically wonderful for the reader. If you’re looking for an amazing vacation check out Family Camp at Catalina Island Camps. The Horners run the camp all summer long, and they are amazing hosts. Jean Michel, Murph, and Holly bring passion and academia to camp. Travis makes everyone fall in love first with his food, then with the garden and it’s magnificent compost.

The camp is as active or as relaxed as you’d like it to be. My family prefers a very active vacation, but plenty of folks show up with a stack of books, and loosely supervise kids at play. The snorkeling is world class, and do NOT miss the night dives. They are amazing. As of this writing there are still cabins available, and since you can fit 12 in a cabin, it can be a very affordable trip if you have a family you love to travel with. I will be insanely jealous, but nevertheless delighted for you, should you take this wonderful trip.