Acura RDX 2007

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The Acura RDX is a smaller, five-passenger alternative to the midsize MDX. It is also Acura’s first vehicle with a turbocharged engine, which underscores its importance to the lineup. (Japanese parent Honda’s reputation is built on its engines.)

On the outside, the Acura RDX is a more stylish, powerful and comfortable alternative to the cookie-cutter assortment of compact, car-based SUVs. Aimed at what Acura calls “high-energy urbanites,” it competes in the growing market niche of small SUVs sometimes called “crossovers,” with car-like handling and no plans for serious off-road driving. Competing models include the BMW X3, Land Rover LR2 and Lincoln MKX.

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Built on a new light-truck platform that will form the basis for future Honda and Acura models, the Acura RDX features a muscular-looking exterior with oversize wheel arches, a steeply raked windshield and a short rear overhang. The rear hatch features an easily replaceable body panel. That not only adds to its potential for customization, but it potentially reduces the cost of repairs in low-speed rear-end collisions.