Acura Automobiles: 2013 RDX


The 2013 RDX features all-new exterior styling that incorporates a sleek, more aerodynamically efficient body. Significant changes to the front end and underbody panels yield a 5.8-percent improvement in coefficient of drag (Cd) compared to the 2012 RDX. Compared to the outgoing model, the new RDX body design is more refined and fluid which better matches the preference of the target buyer. A smoother front fascia and flatter side panels not only deliver a more upscale look, but combine to make the 2013 RDX more aerodynamically efficient than before. A low hood line improves forward visibility while a high eye point for the driver and front passenger further improve outward visibility and add to a sense of confidence and control.

New exterior mirrors have compact housings that improve the A-pillar area visibility, and the driver’s expanded view mirror provides even better outward visibility thanks to a new mirror element that incorporates a convex shape at the outer edge to help a driver survey typical driver’s side blind spot areas.

At the front, a new grill blends together with much longer, more graceful headlights. Bold new lower grill openings take residence at the outer edges of the front fascia. Along the sides, the 2013 RDX makes uses of smoother design doors that incorporate a crisp body line that runs through the door handles. At the rear, the RDX roofline is far more tapered than before and the rear fascia has a much smoother look than the 2012 model.

Door dimensions were selected to enhance the RDX’s primary mission as a driver’s vehicle, and for 2013 the front doors open 4-degrees further while the rear door openings are 1.4 inches wider. At the rear, the back hatch affords a significantly wider opening (6.5-inches wider) and for 2013 incorporates power-actuated opening (as part of the Technology Package) which is a first ever application for the RDX.

A revised doorsill design with an improved step-over angle allows for easier ingress and egress. When the doors are open, the side-sill garnish covering the rocker panel creates a more direct pathway to the ground when entering or exiting the vehicle compared to the previous generation RDX. The end result is less step-over distance for better comfort and a reduction in the likelihood of leg contact with the side of the vehicle.

Bold new 18×8-inch split 5-spoke aluminum wheels with all-season tires fill the wheelwells that incorporate significantly wider wheel arch lips. The 1.8-inches more of underbody ground clearance and generous angles of incidence (17.2-degree approach angle, 22.0-degree departure angle) pay dividends with steep driveways or off-road driving.


The 2013 RDX makes use of numerous improvements that contribute to a higher-strength unit-body, which improves ride and handling as well as interior noise levels. Significant improvements in engineering increase the overall strength of the front bulkhead, front and rear wheel arches, A-, B-, C- and D-pillars and body posts compared to the 2012 RDX.

A rigid body structure enables designers to maintain tight body-panel fit tolerances, tune the suspension for precise ride and handling, help keep the ride rattle-free, provide long-term durability and generate high levels of crash protection for the occupants.

For greater steering precision and handling stability, RDX engineers paid particular attention to improving body rigidity around the front and rear suspension. These reinforcements are comprised of side-to-side bracing behind and above the firewall and inside the tailgate area. The increased use of high strength steel along with body design improvements yield a significant improvement in vehicle rigidity- an 11-percent improvement in bending along with a 24-percent improvement in torsional rigidity. With specific regard to the chassis, design and metallurgy improvements applied to the new floating-style front subframe assembly generate a 142-percent increase in torsional rigidity while the rigidity of the rear subframe increases by 25-percent.

Polygonal-shaped frame members (that are designed to disperse and absorb forces in a collision) are located behind the front bumper beam. These high-strength steel frame members send collision forces upward and rearward where they can be absorbed by the main body structure. In a side impact, large longitudinal high-tensile steel side sills (extending front to rear underneath the vehicle) along with lateral high strength steel cross members help absorb crash energy.

In the event of a rear collision, polygonal-shaped high-tensile steel frame members direct the loads forward and outward. These rear frame members also use a “wave shape” design that provides high strength, yet deforms controllably in a collision.

To address the federal government’s new FMVSS 216 standard for roof crush resistance, the 2013 RDX body incorporates several new structural enhancements such as increased used of high strength steel and hot stamping technology in the roof and side pillar areas. As a result, top governmental (NHTSA) and insurance (IIHS) test ratings are expected.

Significant measures to reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) throughout the body improve interior quietness and ride quality compared to the previous RDX. To achieve this improvement, the 2013 RDX has better suspension isolation properties, additional noise insulation and more aerodynamic features including redesigned underbody covers.


The use of varying grades of high strength steel in the construction of the RDX unit body is key to its stiffness, driving character and performance in a collision. HSS780 grade steel is used in the “box” section of the front, side and rear frame members located at the bottom of the body. Additional high strength steel (HSS780 and HSS590) is used in other areas under the floor, along with in the A- and B-pillars and roof rails.

For strength, further increased use of high strength steel (56-percent versus 47-percent used previously) not only provides increased strength at a lower weight, but generates a more rigid body for reduced NVH.


The city is a challenging environment and a great test of a vehicle’s NVH. Varied street surfaces, potholes and other navigational hazards mean the body structure (together with tire and suspension tuning) must address a wide range of NVH issues.

Engineering rigid front and rear suspension mounting points is key to achieve low NVH within the RDX. The low amount of road noise entering the cabin allows for easy conversation between the driver and passengers. Acura internal testing measured the RDX during normal city driving speeds and found the 2013 model to be at the top of class with regards to quietness.


In a first-ever application for the RDX, the 2013 model features (as part of the available Technology Package) a power actuated rear tailgate. The power tailgate can be operated via the remote key fob, from a dashboard mounted button located to the left of the steering wheel, or by the use of an electric tailgate opening switch in place of a traditional outside handle. The location of the motor is in the D-pillar (instead of in the roof) of the RDX which allows for increased rear cargo area. The tailgate can also be opened/closed manually.

With the base RDX, a manually-operated tailgate is used. Just as with the power tailgate, the manual tailgate can be unlocked via the remote key fob, from a dashboard mounted button located to the left of the steering wheel, or by the use of an electric tailgate opening switch in place of a traditional outside handle. After releasing the tailgate, it can be easily lifted open thanks to the counterbalancing mechanism and a gas-filled strut. Two alcoves are fitted in the rear hatch allowing for a more secure grip, especially when closing the tailgate.


To further quell road/wind noise, the 2013 RDX uses even thicker side glass than the previous model. The front windows are now 4.0 mm thick (previous were 3.5mm), the rear windows are now 3.5 mm thick (previous were 3.1 mm), and all the door glass is tinted to reduce eye strain along with the sun load (and temperature build-up) on the inside of the vehicle.

Headlight Integration Windshield Wipers
Marking its first-ever use by Acura, the 2013 RDX features a new headlight integration windshield wiper system that helps improve visibility of the RDX during inclement weather. When the headlights are in Auto mode during daylight hours, if the windshield wipers swipe more than five times the headlights are automatically turned on to improve visibility. However, the interior instrument lights do not dim (as they normally do at night when the headlights are on) because of the available daylight. If the rain or snow subsides and the wipers are turned off, the headlights automatically turn off.


The 2013 RDX receives as standard equipment power operated windows for each of the four doors. The front door windows incorporate a 1-touch auto up/down button and have an integrated auto-reverse feature. Power window operation is retained for 10 minutes after the ignition is turned off, or until the front doors are opened.


A large power moonroof with auto-reverse function can be opened or closed with one touch of the ceiling-mounted switch. A timer allows the moonroof to be operated for 10 minutes after the ignition is shut off or until the doors are opened. The flush-fitting glass panel of the moonroof reduces air turbulence and wind noise, and an inside-mounted sliding shade is provided to block the sunlight.


A sleek exterior mirror design that maximizes the viewing area while minimizing the size of the mirror housing provides good outward visibility. Both the driver- and passenger-side mirrors are heated, and both mirrors features an auto-tilt feature when the transmission is placed in Reverse.

Marking a first-every use by Acura, the 2013 RDX features a new expanded view side mirror on the driver-side door. As required by law, the main area of the mirror uses a traditional flat reflective plane on the inner portion of the mirror (that is closest to the door), while the outer portion of the mirror uses a convex element to provide a broader field of view. The convex portion of the mirror generates an additional 6.5 degrees of visibility that can assist the driver in detecting other vehicles that might not have otherwise been seen in a traditional side mirror.


The 2013 RDX has as standard equipment projector beam front headlights. Known for their particularly specific (and tight) lighting pattern, projector beam headlights also offer a modern look that is unique design element in many high end vehicles- including all Acura models. In addition, the projector beam headlight design reduces side glare for oncoming vehicles and does a better job of projecting light further down the road.

A halogen bulb is used with the projector beam headlights for the RDX. However, when equipped with the Technology Package, Xenon High Intensity Discharge (HID) bulbs are fitted to the headlights. HID lighting (which creates light via an electrical arc versus a glowing filament) offers numerous advantages over traditional lighting systems including offering substantially more lighting power (known as luminance), crisper/clearer lighting, less energy consumption, lighter/smaller size and twice the service life.

The RDX has as standard Auto On/Off headlight functionality. The RDX also features Daytime Running Lights (DRL), which help enhance its visibility for other drivers and can help reduce the likelihood of collisions during daytime driving.


In a first-ever application for the RDX, the 2013 model receives as standard equipment the latest generation of Acura’s Keyless Access System. The system lets the RDX owner gain access to the vehicle without having to unlock it with the remote transmitter or a conventional key. The Keyless Access System remote has a unique digital identity and the RDX can be unlocked when the driver pulls one of the front door handles while the remote in his/her possession.

Each time the driver’s door is opened (even if it is already unlocked), the system identifies one of two driver remotes and then automatically sets a multitude of features to a profile preset by that driver. Profile items able to be set include: driver’s seat, steering wheel, outside mirrors, climate control, audio system (and audio system presets) and select navigation system settings. In the event both owners (each with their own coded key fob) approach the vehicle at the same time, the RDX will set the vehicle preferences of the Keyless Access Remote that approaches the driver side door. Once the driver has opened the door and is seated, the Keyless Access System allows the RDX to be started by pushing the Engine Start/Stop button (while pressing the brake pedal) – no longer needed is the insertion (and twisting) of a traditional ignition key.

When leaving the RDX, a press of the soft-touch button on outside of the door handle simultaneously locks all the doors. Alternatively, a press of the Lock button on the Keyless Access Remote will also lock all the doors. The Keyless Access System will not allow the transmitter fob to be locked in the interior of the RDX. When carrying the fob (or if all doors are unlocked), the rear hatch can be opened by pressing a button located on the RDX’s tailgate.

The Keyless Access System also features a unique “quick vent” feature (activated by pressing the Keyless Access Remote “unlock” button two times and then holding it) that automatically lowers all side windows and opens the power moonroof to quickly vent built-up interior heat. In addition, turning the key in the driver’s door key cylinder to the “lock” position twice (and then holding it the second time), simultaneously closes all open windows and the moonroof.

Built-in Key

When the remote battery is low, the RDX will signal the driver to bring key fob closer to the Start Button for ignition, and the MID will display that the key fob battery is low. A mechanical key is built into the remote fob and provides a back up to enter vehicle in the event that the Keyless Access Remote battery should fail.


The 2013 Acura RDX is available in a choice of seven exterior colors. All paint choices (3 pearl and 4 metallic) are topped with a durable clear-coat finish that resists scratching and the effects of urban pollutants.


A dedicated array of exterior accessories were developed for the 2013 Acura RDX. When installed at the time of vehicle purchase, the accessories are covered by Acura’s 4-year/50,000-miles basic warranty.

  • Front foglights
  • Rear bumper appliqué
  • Splash guards
  • Door edge protection film
  • Body side molding
  • Side running boards
  • Roof rails
  • Roof rail crossbars
  • Roof rack with attachment for: short roof box, bicycle, kayak, skis, snowboards, surfboard
  • Trailer hitch (Class I) with receiver
  • Trailer hitch ball (1 7/8-inch)
  • Trailer hitch ball (2-inch)
  • 18-inch diameter aluminum wheel (Diamond Cut exterior finish)
  • Wheel locks
  • Engine block heater

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