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Refreshing or Revolting: 2013 Acura RDX

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 5/19/2012 Karla Sanchez

It appears Acura did something right with the all-new 2013 Acura RDX, as April sales numbers were up nearly 50 percent over the same month last year. RDX owners said the first-generation lacked a little refinement, so that became the main focus with the second-gen's redesign. With the 2013 RDX, the new compact crossover from Acura has adopted a mini-MDX look and clearly done some growing up.

The 2013 RDX's overall appearance is similar to the previous generation's, but it's been smoothed out to lend the CUV a sleek look. The front end looks much more fluid, thanks to a lower hood line that meets a new front grille. While the new RDX still wears a pointed nose, it's not as razor-sharp as the outgoing model's. The new shape of the grille's chrome bar makes it appear as though it's floating inside the upside-down trapezoidal grille, which also had its sharp edges filed down. The less polarizing front grille is flanked by more graceful-looking headlights, while the foglamp housings have been squished and elongated. MotorTrend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTrend Image

Looking at the RDX's profile, smoother door panels are offset by a more crisp body line that runs through the door handles. Wider wheel arch lips also give the RDX a more refined design, while a more tapered roofline creates a triangle-shaped rear quarter window. The RDX also wears new split 5-spoke 18-inch diameter wheels, and the fuel cap cover has also transformed from a circle to a square.

The crisp body lines from the side panels flow to the rear of the RDX, where they meet at the bottom of the liftgate. A slim chrome bar connecting the taillights is also new, while the large exhaust pipes disappear from sight. The RDX's overall rear appearance looks broader.

Inside, the 2013 RDX features softer and more rounded shapes than before, with matte silver and leather trim to help move the RDX a bit more upscale than before. The sporty three-dial instrument cluster has been replaced with a single housing for all gauges, and the navigation display has been moved higher for improved visibility. MotorTrend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTrend Image

What do you think about the 2013 Acura RDX's styling? Is it an improvement over the 2012 RDX ? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Last week, we reviewed the changes to the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, and a majority of commenters agreed the redesign was a step in the right direction. "Absolutely beautiful update. Love it," said DonNotts.

Others were indifferent, with user Nima saying, "Nothing special. Not appealing and maybe good for the elderly," while bp4.0 said, "Overall, nothing outstanding, but it’s a clean, refreshing design. However, I strongly dislike the tailights."

Some even thought the new GL had a striking resemblance to a certain SUV. "Looks refreshing!! Except, how am I supposed to know which is my BMW X5 when I’m parked right next to it?" said apabulldo, while _E60_ thought the same thing, saying "The tailights are ripped off from BMW X5, but the rest of the car looks great."

2013 Acura RDX photos are on the left while 2012 Acura RDX images are on the right.

2013 Acura RDX rear three quarter view right side© Provided by MotorTrend 2013 Acura RDX rear three quarter view right side

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