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Acura Swaps RDX’s Turbo Four for V-6 in Revamped 2013 Model

Automaker says decision was made to improve fuel economy.

by on Jan.12, 2012

Acura's Vicki Poponi introduces the 2013 Acura RDX prototype at the Detroit Auto Show.

Acura is revamping in attempt to return to its core values, but the decisions regarding the second-generation RDX small crossover seem to go against the current convention.

The 2013 RDX will trade its turbocharged 240-horsepower 2.3-liter four cylinder for parent Honda’s venerable 3.5-liter V-6, producing 273 horses, Acura announced this week at the Detroit Auto Show. The larger engine is a surprise as almost every other automaker is frantically replacing its V-6 engines with turbocharged four cylinders precisely for the reason Honda says it is moving to the V-6.

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Vicki Poponi, assistant vice president for product planning for Acura, admitted during her part of the presentation on the Acura stand that fuel mileage for the RDX has been a disappointment to owners.

But maybe Acura is onto something. It claims that the RDX will have the best fuel economy in the compact luxury crossover class with 20 mpg city and 28 highway for the front-wheel-drive model.

Also helping improve fuel economy, the new RDX also gets a new six-speed automatic replacing the old five-speed and a new, lightweight all-wheel-drive system.

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