Acura RDX Review: A Small SUV, Done Right

By Bill Howard  |  Posted 2006-06-09 Print this article Print

Review: Acura gives the century-old technology of turbocharging a new twist in the RDX, an appealing small SUV with a wealth of technology goodies.

Whats old is new again. Acura gave the century-old technology of turbocharging a new twist in the RDX, an appealing small SUV with a wealth of technology goodies, all aimed at toppling the BMW X3 from its perch.

Turbocharging for Power, Economy
This is the first foray into passenger-vehicle turbocharging for Acura and its parent company, Honda. Though turbocharging dates back to 1905 and a Swiss engineer named Alfred Buchi, Honda/Acura made a major technological advance in reducing turbo lag and increasing performance with its variable-flow turbocharger.

Turbocharging uses the pressure of engine exhaust to force more air into the engine intake flow: Step on the gas, and an impeller in the exhaust manifold spins faster, as does a second, connected impeller in the intake manifold. Acura overcame turbo lag, the roughly one second of hesitation that occurs while the impeller spools up to deliver max power, with a flap that varies the flow into the impeller, and did it in such a way that the hinge isnt directly in the way of the superheated exhaust gas (which is 1,000-plus degrees). This is a simpler solution than, say, using a small turbocharger that spins up quickly but doesnt deliver a lot of power, plus a second, big turbocharger for high rpm power.

Read the full story on TechnoRide: Acura RDX Review: A Small SUV, Done Right
Bill Howard

Bill Howard is the editor of, the car site for tech fans, and writes a column on car technology for PC Magazine each issue. He is also a contributing editor of PC Magazine.

Bill's articles on PCs, notebooks, and printers have been cited five times in the annual Computer Press Association Awards. He was named as one of the industry's ten most influential journalists from 1997 to 2000 by Marketing Computers and is a frequent commentator on TV news and business shows as well as at industry conventions. He also wrote the PC Magazine Guide to Notebook & Laptop Computers. He was an executive editor and senior editor of PC Magazine from 1985-2001 and wrote PC Magazine's On Technology column through 2005

Previously, Howard spent a decade as a newspaper editor and writer with the Newhouse and Gannett newspapers in Springfield, Massachusetts, and Rochester, New York. He also writes a monthly column for Roundel, a car magazine for BMW enthusiasts.


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