Will Acura give the 2018 RDX a Hybrid Powerplant?

Acura is to Honda what Infiniti is to Nissan and Lexus to Toyota; the luxury arm of the mainstream manufacturer. Back in the early 00’s, they realized that they needed to have a luxury SUV to compete in the compact or mid-size segment, the RDX was the first from Acura.

Over the years, it went from a compact crossover SUV into a mid-sized SUV – the compact market wasn’t quite as lucrative as the mid or full-size. Acura have kept it looking fresh, and the last major update happened in 2016 as a facelift model.

For 2018, Acura will be updating the RDX again, but not completely.

The 2018 RDX from Acura will share the CR-V platform again


1. Share CR-V platform again
2. Packages for 2018
3. Hybrid? Turbocharging?
4. August 2017 for Release?

As before, the 2018 Acura RDX will share the same platform as the Honda CR-V – both have been updated for 2018.
From the spy-shots that we’ve seen (when the new 2018 RDX was out publicly testing), we can see that the 2018 Acura RDX is slightly bigger than before, although we’re told that it’s actually lighter. We would guess that this is a direct result of the new platform using high-strength steel (allowing it to be thinner).

Visually, there aren’t too many changes for 2018, but it appears as though the headlights have changed, as has the front grille and front and rear bumpers. We’re also getting high-level taillights and a dual-tipped exhaust.

It isn’t radical, but it’s enough to differentiate between the current model and the 2018 RDX. We would also guess that for 2018, Acura will give the RDX a few new color schemes and updated wheel designs.

Acura RDX packages for 2018

Acura haven’t released much information as to what we’ll see on the inside, there’s talk that the 2018 Acura RDX won’t come in different trim levels, but will have ‘packages’. We don’t yet know whether you’ll need to put package on top of package to fully-load one up, or whether there will be one ultimate package (which kind of misses the point of not having trim levels if it does).

We think the packages are: AcuraWatch, Tech and Advanced. From what we know, they will break-down as follows:

AcuraWatch – forward collision warning, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise-control
Tech – blind-spot monitoring, navigation, HD radio and GPS linked climate-control
Advanced – rear parking sensors, ventilated front seats and auto wipers

It would seem to us that you’ll need to combine packages to get everything, but it’s also possible that you can choose what suits you best; for instance, you may want adaptive cruise-control and rear parking sensors but not blind-spot monitoring.

If that IS how Acura will be marketing it, we think it’s a good idea – too often we are forced to pick the top-level trim if we want to add toys or tech. Should you want none of these, you’ll be pleased to hear that even as standard, the Acura RDX will have a rear-view camera, cruise-control, automatic LED headlights, privacy glass, sunroof, keyless ignition, climate control, leatherette upholstery, auto-dim mirror, leather wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth and satellite radio.

Hybrid? Turbocharging?

As regards the powertrain choices, there isn’t one! Or to be more precise, not at the moment. We think that the only option available will be a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder, as fitted to the latest Accord – Acura will be dropping the 3.5 liter V6 from the line-up.

It’s more than likely that the V6 has gone for two reasons … the first being to keep the global emissions down for Acura, and the second being that we think Acura will introduce a hybrid RDX in the not-too-distant future.

If Acura do bring a hybrid along, it’s more than likely that they’ll want to do that with another V6 – hybrid power is being used more to give power rather than to reduce emissions, so it looks like we may see a rather sporty version of the 2018 Acura RDX.

Whatever engine choices there are, we know that the RDX will put power through to the rear-wheels as standard, with an all-wheel drive option, and it will be using a new dual-clutch 8-speed automatic transmission.

August 2017 for Release?

Along with some other crucial information, Acura are playing their cards close to their chest – we don’t yet know how much the 2018 Acura RDX will cost, although rumors put it in the region of $36,500 for the entry-level model.

Similarly, we don’t know how much extra we’ll be looking at for the packages, if you have to combine them all-together for a flagship, will they offer discounts over purchasing individual packages? There’s a lot of unknowns there to be honest.

One thing that we are fairly sure of – Acura will be rolling out the 2018 RDX toward the end of the year; we would expect to see a national roll-out in the August or September of this year. It certainly won’t be any sooner.

Do you like the 2018 Acura RDX? Is it something that interests you? Or are there other, better mid-size crossover SUV’s on the market? Have Acura done the right thing by losing the V6? What about the hybrid? We’d like to hear your thoughts on it, please let us know in the comments – your opinion is important to us!

2017-05-10 by Luke Widmeyer