2019 Acura RDX: First Photos Of Restyled Luxo SUV

Acura might be calling the 2019 RDX that will premiere in Detroit next week a prototype, but as you can see for yourself in these first official images that surfaced on YouTube, the SUV is 99 percent production ready.

At a first look, the only elements that might be toned down a notch or slightly differentiated when the RDX goes on sale later this year as a 2019 model, appear to be the bottom half of the front- and lower part of the rear-bumper, and the door mirrors. Everything else looks normal.

The Honda-owned brand vowed a dramatic restyling for the new generation RDX, boldly stating that it represents “the most extensive Acura redesign in more than a decade”. We got a conceptual taste of Acura’s new (beak-less) design language from the Precision Sports Sedan and Precision Cockpit studies in 2016, with the 2019 RDX being the first model to implement the styling.

It definitely has a sportier silhouette and a more sculpted body with more playful detailing on the outside like the (Lexus RX meets Mazda CX-5 and Chevy Bolt) rear quarter window v-point and muscular hood, but it’s not like you can’t tell it’s related to Acura’s latest crossovers.

Inside, Acura built on the MDX’s styling taking it to the next level with more modern and sporty elements for the RDX. These include the round center hub on the redesigned steering wheel and the elevated lower console that slickly connects to the center console that now hosts a standalone screen for the infotainment system controlled by dial and a touchpad below. One thing we’ll say is that the Japanese brand doesn’t seem to be following the button-less trend seen these days (mainly) on European models.

We haven’t confirmed the premium compact crossover’s powertrains yet, but in all likelihood, we’ll see a version of the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder found in the 2018 Honda Accord 2.0T where it develops 252hp and 273 lb-ft (369 Nm) of torque paired to a ten-speed automatic transmission. A hybrid version could join the range after the regular RDX’s market launch.

Stay tuned for the official presentation of the 2019 Acura RDX Prototype at the Detroit motor show on Monday.

Thanks to Eriquin Gu for the tip!

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  • Brian Roskelly

    Rear hatch looks like it was copied straight from the new GMC Terrain. Other than that I like it.

    • Honda NSX-R

      I agree, the tailights scream Accord/Odyssey to me too.

    • Adi

      Did eanyone else notice those tiny mirrors???

      • Honda NSX-R

        Yeah probably a prototype thing

      • Paul

        Bizarre.

  • Obsequious Lickspittle

    There’s an awful lot going on in that center console.

    • Vanquish

      right it looks like something from star trek…..but with cheap wood grain

      • SteersUright

        Wood grain is the only part I didn’t care for, agreed on that. The rest I think is properly “Japanese” and modern.

        • Innocuous

          You mean modern for 2005 standards. If you want something modern, look at the interior of a Volvo XC60, or a Range Rover Velar.

    • Zandit75

      This two airvents on either side of the center stack should be horizontal instead of vertical!

    • Harry_Wild

      The center console is very narrow so the storage space is limited! I use the center storage as my main storage for stuff and need a pretty deep as well as wide compartment!

      • Obsequious Lickspittle

        Don’t we all? 😉

  • Innocuous

    A product of its time, for better or worse…

  • Nordschleife

    I like it. Looks dynamic in a true Japanese fashion but it looks good. Tailights are very Accord-esque.

    • jsz00

      There’s a good chance that an American designed it actually

      • Nordschleife

        Maybe a Japanese gentleman that lives in America.

      • Harry_Wild

        Definitely not America designer(s) unless he/she went to a Japan University for design!

  • Deckard_Cain

    That centre console looks hideous.

    • Bo Hanan

      It did 10 years ago when Honda used it too.

      • Tumbi Mtika

        Ouch!

  • donald seymour

    We come here today…to send home a dear love one. Knowing that they lived a prosperous live as a SUV. THAT THEY TOWERD AT THE TOP OF SUVS at one point of their life. BUT NOW, we have to say goodbye. For it’s time for it to go to CAR HEAVEN. SO REMEMBER THE GOOD TIMES THAT AT THE TOP OF THE CHARTS. Let the site say amen.

  • Day_Trader

    Still that plastic dash, ugh.

  • LOOKS CARTOONISH. IS IT IRONIC CARS 2 IS ON?

  • rover10

    Bloody Nora! That fighting mask of a mad warrior frontend wins the, ‘Don’t Drink and Design’ competition 2018.

  • fabri99

    What’s with all that chrome stuff?

  • ediotsavant
    • Adilos Nave

      Holy crap, you are right! They are both red. I seriously don’t see that much similarity. The Acura features all kinds of needless design flourishes while the Mazda is clean and cohesive. But still red.

    • Tumbi Mtika

      They then laughed and hanged up.

    • Bo Hanan

      It’s the same car only Acura-ized.

  • dolsh

    I’d argue the best part of the latest Acura designs is the removal of the dual monitor centre console inside the car. It was just a ridiculous way to control features within the car. At least a little body coloured paint could make the beak less obvious.

  • Vanquish

    the biggest issue with the RDX was its cheap looking and feeling interior that was way to close to the high end trim of the CRV this new RDX doesnt appear to fix that issue………The RDX as a competitor to the X1, NX,and Q3 was still not as premium against the X3, Q5 and RX it doesnt stand a chance Acura really needs to figure out what it wants to be

    • Willy OES

      I agree. RDX is really a luxurious version of CR-V while its price is actually not much higher than CR-V.

  • Six Thousand Times

    Looks OK for one of these things. Not great but OK.

  • SteersUright

    Wow, I have to say, great job Acura! Finally a significant update to one of your cars and now, easily your best vehicle. Aside from the slightly excessive chrome (should tone it down a bit, it’ll look classier, less is more with chrome), I think it looks great!! Interior finally departs enough from Honda to look like a proper entry-luxury segment competitor. Given their stellar build quality and reliability, I can’t imagine this isn’t a runaway success for Acura. Glad to see them stepping up their game. Also, not loving the Rav4-esque tail lights. Could definitely have been executed more elegantly. Acura, look to Audi for design inspiration, NOT Toyota.

  • Leconte Dave

    Could have been a CRV lol..

  • dumblikeyou2

    “the only elements that might be toned down a notch or slightly differentiated when the RDX goes on sale later this year as a 2019 model, appear to be the bottom half of the front- and lower part of the rear-bumper, and the door mirrors.”

    Are those elements that far off that they couldn’t keep it like the photos? Maybe the side mirrors, but for pete’s sake those elements can change the entire appearance. Lame as usual.

  • ErnieB

    The maxi pad center stack

  • Honda NSX-R

    These will fly off the lots like the current gen RDX

    • Vanquish

      or like the CRV……….

  • roy

    This is perhaps the best interior of any Acura…. And that doesn’t say much… But I somehow like it tho

  • Mark S

    Huge disappointment! This is still a CRV cousin not a unique platform as advertised. And for the first all new vehicle under a supposed all new design direction, this is look like more of the same. It is time for Acura to hang it up. So disappointing!

  • Mr_Fanta_Pants

    Still just a Honda with woodgrain. Acura really needs new designers.

  • john1168

    This actually looks pretty good but it does have some issues… Of course we have to wait and see what the actual production version will look like. Acura has a nasty habit of coming out with a decent looking concept/prototype/render only to disappoint the heck out of us with a painfully dull or ugly production vehicle. The interior is nice but why is the transmission buttons featured dead center of the center stack? It looks bad.

  • Honda NSX-R

    I like this interior much better than the ones on the current Acuras

  • Harry_Wild

    I said this before here but it still looks like a “cross” between the GMC Terrain and the Nissan Murrano. The interior dashboard and center stack is just too weird looking for me with the sharp deep curvetures in the dashboard and very narrow center stack! Totally out of touch look for a near premium vehicle. I think Acura has created another “miss” with this upcoming new RDX model. Hope I am wrong but I been right for predicting on what is a hit and what is not! This is not a “hit”!

  • jsz00

    Not bad, great job Acura.

  • Tumbi Mtika

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e0c98ab1d83bff1558d451c0d16a159b526ec44d27b8772fab661d9b603ba679.png

    I’m not sure. I need more images, and live pictures to come to a final decision.

  • nastinupe

    Meh… Interior still looks cheap AF.

  • Like the exterior but the interior lacks an aura of luxury befitting a premium brand.

  • Paul

    What is it with all these boomerang and odd style lighting.?

    • Honda NSX-R

      That’s typical Acura lighting 😛

  • Navy P. Morroccan ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    Surprisingly, it looks pretty damn nice. I see a lot of Lexus inspiration, though.

  • klowik

    It looks like Acura is design their cars on the run, every few months come with some styling changes and it’s not good for the brand. They should hire a team designer to create a design language for the Acura brand just like Infinti , Lexus or Mazda..It seems like a design language is what Aucra lacks..

    • emjayay

      They had one for a while there but everyone hated it. You could add Kia to the corporate design language list. And Ford. All Fords look like Fords. And of course BMW and Audi. And, perhaps unfortunately, Cadillac.

  • StrangerGP

    looks good on the outside, but the interior is beyond hideous

  • jdrenh

    I think they are going to sell a ton of these. Some aspects of the styling are a little odd, especially the rear of the vehicle, but overall I think it’s much much more attractive than the Lexus RX350, and it may just be the first vehicle that the new diamond pentagon grille looks good on. Unfortunately I think they made a huge mistake with the design of the tail lights, they look way too much like the new Odyssey and Accord. In the past Acura has been pretty good about hiding badge engineering (with the exception of the TLX/Accord) but the tail lights just scream “I’m a Honda!” whether or not it has it’s own platform (I know that Acura has its own design studio completely separate from Honda, I wonder if this was just an unfortunate coincidence). Looks like they are bringing back SH-AWD and this will have a 360 cam and a HUD! I’m very happy to finally see the use of premium materials inside like metal speaker grilles and open-pore woodgrain, it looks very much more upscale and a lot like the stuff Audi uses. I don’t like pattern of the seats – at all – or the glossy black plastic on the dash. In actual use it will be a nightmare to keep clean and will probably get scratched up by careless owners. It remains to be seen if this is the first step to bringing Acura back to its ‘glory days’ of 04-07 (I wish they used a contemporary version of the 3G TL – their most popular vehicle ever – as a basis for their styling) but I’m hopeful. I’m looking forward to the new ILX, 1 so that they don’t have to sell the current gen atrocity anymore, and 2 they use it as an opportunity to do a Type-S version. If they made it nice enough I would absolutely consider buying one.

  • Jesse A. C. Majors

    The grill is off putting

  • AEE91

    Hopefully, they keep the 275 sized tires, at least for the A-spec, if there will be one.

  • KidRed

    C-pillar and front end ruins the exterior. That center console….ruins the interior.

  • Joe Griffin

    The outside is nice, I especially like the color. However, the interior sucks…primarily due to the the “add-on” screen. This should have NEVER been a trend…but I guess it turned into one after MB and BMW used it and the lemmings declared it great. It is awful and has no place in any car but as a 3RD PARTY accessory!

  • Paul Stauffer

    At least they got rid of that shield/beak front end.