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I’m Glad I Didn’t Buy a 2021 Acura RDX A-Spec

The Acura RDX is one of the most popular luxury crossovers on the market. It has a plush interior, sporty driving characteristics, and a potent, turbocharged engine that provide a great value for anyone that is looking to only spend around $40,000. The RDX is a great value proposition through and through, so much so that it’s really hard to choose any other luxury SUV if performance is what you’re looking for. Truth be told, I’m glad I didn’t buy one.

Is there something wrong with the Acura RDX?

2021 Acura RDX A-Spec
2021 Acura RDX A-Spec | Joe Santos

Obviously, there’s nothing inherently wrong with the 2021 Acura RDX. In fact, when I was in the market for a five-seat SUV a couple of years ago, it was at the top of my list. Being a hardcore Honda enthusiast all my life, I was drawn to the RDX’s sleek curves, athletic stance, and well laid-out interior when it was redesigned in 2019 and I couldn’t help but think that it was the best-looking iteration of it yet, especially when it’s outfitted with the A-Spec package.

2021 Acura RDX A-Spec | Joe Santos
2021 Acura RDX A-Spec | Joe Santos

RELATED: Is the A-Spec Package on the 2021 Acura RDX Worth the Extra Cash?

However, upon test driving it at a dealership and working out the numbers for an Acura RDX A-Spec, I decided against it. It wasn’t because I didn’t like the car, in actuality, I got a really good feel for it on my 20-minute test drive and enjoyed it’s eager engine and supportive seats. If anything, it took me back to my high school days of driving a lowered Honda Civic and pretending that I was amateur race car driving while bombing through the suburban streets of the neighborhood that I grew up.

So the thrill was there when driving the new RDX, but the numbers weren’t. Since the car was so new at the time, there weren’t any manufacturer incentives yet, so my lease payment would have been more than I could afford.

2021 Acura RDX A-Spec | Joe Santos
2021 Acura RDX A-Spec | Joe Santos

RELATED: Which 2020 Acura RDX Package is the Best Value?

My second rendezvous with the Acura RDX A-Spec

Fast forward to a year later, I’m writing for MotorBiscuit and am fortunate enough to drive press cars from time to time. To my surprise, an Acura RDX A-Spec showed up on the schedule and my first thought was, “So, we meet again.” I found it ironic, but I welcomed the chance to spend more time with the car without having to pay a hefty lease payment. At least now, I could get a more thorough feel for it.

2021 Acura RDX A-Spec | Joe Santos
2021 Acura RDX A-Spec | Joe Santos

After spending a week with the RDX A-Spec, which donned a Performance Red Pearl paint job that contrasted well with its suede and leather black interior, I still had an affinity for its turbo, 2.0-liter engine that roared to life with the stab of the throttle, its athletic prowess that’s uncharacteristic of most SUVs in this class, and not mention it’s well-appointed interior complete with a panoramic sunroof, ELS 3D sound system, and heated and ventilated seats. Needless to say, you get a lot of car for the money and, honestly, I still couldn’t anything glaringly wrong with it. But I’m glad I didn’t buy one because, in reality, it would have been too much car for me.

2021 Acura RDX A-Spec | Joe Santos
2021 Acura RDX A-Spec | Joe Santos

RELATED: For A Luxury SUV, The Acura RDX Is Pretty Standard

Who is the Acura RDX for?

My main takeaway from having the luxury of driving the Acura RDX A-Spec for a week is that it works well for anyone that is looking for a reliable luxury SUV with all of the bells and whistles that you could want in one but for less than $50,000. In essence, that formula works well for anyone that’s interested in a German SUV, like an Audi Q5 or BMW X3, but doesn’t want the potential headache down the road if they keep the car for longer than a lease term.

But, unfortunately, that’s just not me. I actually ended up leasing a 2019 Subaru Forester Sport instead, which was still a lot of car for me at the time, and I ended up selling it. Maybe I should just go back to a lowered Honda Civic, that might suit my lifestyle better.