Standing At The Edge Of The Pacific49.1530° N, 125.9066° W
"There’s something unforgettable about the mountain air and the smell of a new car"
It is now June. The mountains in British Columbia are still crowned with snow despite the fact that a thousand feet below; summer reigns supreme. From the window of our chartered plane we can see their summits. The whiteness spreads evenly across its tops and descends down the cliffs. Patiently waiting for winter to return so that they can come back down again.
For now, we will relish in the warmth. As soon as walked on to the tarmac in Tofino with Acura, the mountain air wisped into our lungs. Besides the sound of the plane’s engine powering down there was a noticeable stillness that surrounded us. We looked forward spending a few days with the luxury automaker.
There’s something unforgettable about the mountain air and the smell of a new car. That car is the Acura RDX and it is entering its third generation in 2019. Needless to say, it has earned a well-deserved refresh. The RDX takes cues from the Acura Precision concept, which brings to life a series of innovations and design changes that was unveiled in 2016.
The RDX sits lower and wider allowing it to be closer to the road. Making it more in tune with its nature. The exterior has been sharpened to accentuate Acura’s signature Jewel Eye headlights and their distinctive diamond pentagon grille. The new RDX is also the first Acura SUV to feature an A‐Spec trim. Drivers who select this variant will enjoy a sportier RDX all throughout.
Power comes in the form of a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, VTEC four-cylinder engine that produces a gratifying 272-horsepower and 280 lb.‐ft. of torque. When you pair Acura’s SH-AWD (Super Handling All-Wheel Drive) and a torque vectoring system with that output – you get an engaging driving experience. The RDX’s different drive modes are selected by an integrated dial located in the center stack similar to the one on Acura’s NSX sports car. When toggling between the Snow, Comfort, Sport, and Sport+ modes, the RDX goes from subdued stroll to a highly responsive and louder drive.
The RDX handled itself quite masterfully against Tofino’s mountainous terrain. The roads switched from graceful bends, tight corners, and long straights, each time offering a new challenge for the crossover. Moreover, the new Sequential SportShift 10‐speed transmission provided smooth gear changes and reacts quickly to our driving demands.
The materials that make up the interior of the RDX reflect Acura’s commitment to luxury. Just as the feeling of relaxation came over us as feet sunk into the wet sand of Tofino’s Chesterman beach, we felt the same about the RDX’s leather seating, which striked a perfect balance between sturdy and supple. The tactile experience continued with Acura’s True Touch Pad Interface which allows access to a remarkably intuitive Android-based infotainment system. Projected upon a 10.2-inch HD display, the layout is very smartphone-centric, highly customizable and most importantly, easy to learn. When we ran our hands against the rest of the interior; the textured finish of the Olive Ash wood accents reminded us of the wrinkled trees that towered within the Island’s ancient rainforests. As we drove, the RDX’s panoramic moonroof invited our passengers to try to find the summits that we saw upon our arrival, but rain clouds hovered above and the mountains hid behind the fog.
All of these updates fall in line with Acura’s ethos of Precision Crafted Performance. We likened this belief to the seemingly symbiotic relationship between Tofino’s natural and developed landscape. With the new RDX, Acura is seeking to harmonize technology, engineering, and luxury. They have done so successfully.
The 2019 Acura RDX is available now.
You can learn more about the vehicle here.
Words & Photography: Jon Carlo Tapia