Acura unveils refreshed RDX at Chicago Auto Show

Michael Martinez
The Detroit News

Acura on Thursday debuted a refreshed 2016 RDX crossover at the Chicago Auto Show that it hopes will follow the current model's strong sales in the hot compact luxury utility segment.

The updated RDX — which hits dealer lots this spring — will be more powerful than its predecessor; propelled by a new 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 279 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque. Its features include new LED headlights, improved gas mileage and a number of driver-assist technologies.

"The 2016 RDX gets a major infusion of Acura brand DNA including enhancements to styling, driving performance, and exciting new luxury feature-content, further solidifying its place as the one to beat in the entry luxury SUV segment," Mike Accavitti, senior vice president and general manager of Acura, said in a statement.

Pricing was not announced.

Acura sold 44,865 RDX SUVs last year, up 0.3 percent higher than 2013. The RDX had record January sales of 3,517, up 28.8 percent.

John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co. Inc., in a call with reporters Wednesday, said the new RDX has "more performance, more fuel efficiency, more luxury content."

The new RDX gets better fuel economy than the current version: up to 19 miles per gallon in the city and 28 mpg on the highway for the all-wheel drive model. Front-wheel drive versions get 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.

The interior of the vehicle has been updated with black and silver trims, standard heated front seats and new second-row air-conditioning vents.

A new Advance package for the RDX comes with rain-sensing wipers, front fog lights, remote keyless start, front and rear parking sensors, ventilated front seats, auto-dimming driver's side mirror and advanced safety features.

Acura's safety and driver-assist technology, called AcuraWatch, come standard in the new Advance package and is available for all other packages. Those technologies include lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist and a collision mitigation braking system.

All models with AcuraWatch come with a new 4.2-inch full-color display screen with information on vehicle speed, fuel economy, tire pressure and fuel range.

The vehicle is built at Acura's plant in East Liberty, Ohio.

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Melissa Burden contributed.