Acura RDX for 2019 – Reviews, News & Muse

2019 Acura RDX A-Spec is a sharp-dressed luxury crossover (4K) – CNET Roadshow

The 2019 Acura RDX A-Spec is the automaker’s third-generation crossover that is no longer just another face in the crowd.

THE GOOD: The new RDX is one of the more attractive vehicles in the small luxury SUV class, and it boasts one of the quietest, comfiest interiors, too.

THE BAD: The RDX’s dynamic quality isn’t as athletic as its German rivals.

THE BOTTOM LINE: While its European competitors might be a bit more buttoned-down on the road, Acura’s RDX is a compelling, competent package, and arguably the best value in the compact luxury SUV segment.

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2019 Acura RDX Crossover: Return of the Turbocharged Four and Torque Vectoring – CARandDRIVER

Andrew Wendler

2019-Acura-RDX-Placement

-The Honda/Acura empire routinely previews upcoming models with nearly-ready-for-prime-time concept cars, so there is little surprise to see that the street-ready 2019 Acura RDX is a doppelgänger for the RDX prototype that debuted at the 2018 Detroit auto show. Look closely and you’ll see the usual production-ready tells: The mirrors are larger, the front fascia bears a few additional elements and a slightly different mesh design on the lower grille, and the rear bumper panel is a bit more prominent. But it’s essentially the same as the concept car, right down to the spoiler and the descending character-line creases.    READ MORE ››

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2019 Acura RDX First Look – Edmunds

Acura Reinvigorates the RDX for 2019

Acura debuts its all-new 2019 RDX with fresh styling, new technology, a new powertrain and available Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD).

At the core of the 2019 Acura RDX is a new body and chassis architecture, with more than 50 percent of the body structure composed of high-strength steel. The wheelbase has grown by 2.6 inches, increasing passenger room as well as cargo room behind the rear seats — up 3.4 cubic feet from last year’s model — with more underfloor trunk storage.
2019 Acura RDX

Powering the 2019 RDX is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, not unlike the one found in the Honda Accord. The V6 is no longer offered, but that doesn’t mean a drop in power since the four-cylinder engine makes 272 horsepower (down only 7 horses from the V6) and a stout 280 pound-feet of torque (up 28 lb-ft from the V6’s 252 lb-ft).

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2019 Acura RDX compact crossover goes into production in Ohio – Autoblog

by Sven Gustafson

Acura has kicked off production of the all-new 2019 RDX, capping a $54 million investment in new technologies and processes at its plant in East Liberty, Ohio, where the compact crossover will be built. It goes on sale starting in June, though prices are yet to be announced.

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Students Promote Stop Texts – Stop Wrecks

The Project Yellow Light scholarship competition is a contest that encourages students to create a TV, radio or billboard PSA (Public Service Advertisement) that educates their peers about the dangers of using mobile devices while driving a vehicle.  Winners of this 7th year event were announced on

 

The 2018 contest received more than 1,600 submissions from 49 states and Washington, DC. Winners were selected from two age categories: high school juniors and seniors, and college students.

Project Yellow Light was established in 2007 by Julie Garner, who works at The Martin Agency, and her family in memory of her teenage son, Hunter, who was killed in a car crash.

Grand prize scholarships of $5,000 were awarded to high school student Lia Senser (Louisville, NE) and college student Victoria Williams (Bristol, VA) and producing partner Sarah Ropple for their video submissions. The second-place scholarships of $2,000 were awarded to high school student Noah Anderson (Phoenix, AZ) and college student Katie Wilkerson (Savannah, GA) and producing partner Parker Parillo. The third-place video scholarships of $1,000 were awarded to high school student Andie Rugg (Longmont, CO) and college student Addison Reyes-Toney (Atlanta, GA).

“We’re so proud of this year’s winners and all Project Yellow Light participants. The work they do to encourage their peers not to text and drive is so important – we are incredibly thankful for them raising their voices in this important conversation,” ~ Julie Garner, Project Yellow Light

Check out the unique & interactive Multichannel News Release here:

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Summer Driving Hot Weather Hacks

Always looking for ways to beat the Summer heat while driving?  Here a a few of the classic tactics and one maybe you didn’t know…to help you maintain a cooler vehicle on those hot and humid summer days.

 

Block the Sun From Car Windows
Cars are notorious for trapping heat and causing interior temperatures to skyrocket…according to the National Weather Service.  According to one test, a parked car’s temperature rose from 80 degrees to more than 94 degrees in about two minutes, and reached 123 degrees within an hour.  Interior vehicle temperatures can reach up to 200 degrees…according to Consumer Reports.

Reducing the amount of heat entering through your windows may help keep your car cooler, making it more comfortable when it’s time to take a ride. Here are some tips to help keep your car cool in the summer:

  • Tinted windows:  Most costly, but most consistent way to block the sun, says Cars.com. But first check state’s laws, as some have restrictions on how much or which windows you can tint.
  • Sun shades: Less expensive way of blocking the direct rays coming into your vehicle, says Consumer Reports.  It keeps the temperature slightly lower, which can help your car cool down more quickly once the vehicle is started.
  • Covered parking: Consumer Reports suggests looking for a shady spot or parking your car so the sun is hitting the rear window instead of the windshield. This may help keep the steering wheel and front seats slightly cooler.
  • Slightly Opened Windows: Because windows hold in warm air, leaving them open slightly while parked will create slight airflow. If your vehicle has a sunroof, Cars.com says you can also crack that or use the vent feature if it’s not raining. Less than an inch…will to help minimize theft potential.

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How to Beat Top 5 Roadside Emergencies

We’ve all been stranded by some kind of car breakdown during our daily travels. Whether it’s a freeway flat tire blowout…or an overheated radiator on some back road. Regardless of your vehicle’s age…you’re always at risk for some kind of roadside emergency.

Since most of us are not auto mechanics…some things that can cause your car to break down… you simply can’t fix yourself. But several of the most common problems that lead to a breakdown…you CAN actually handle yourself…even if you’ve never tinkered with a car in your entire life. Check out the infographic below which serves as a handy cheat sheet you can use to learn how to fix some common car problems that might occur while you’re driving. You might even think about printing it out and taking it with you, or saving it to your phone, so you have it if you need it!

 

Step #1: Build Yourself an Emergency Kit

Do yourself a favor and do THIS before you even get in the car for your next trip tothe grocery store…let alone, your next vacation roadtrip. Whether your car is 9 days old or 9 years old…a breakdown can happen at ANY moment. Knowing how to handle that minor catastrophe and get your car back on the road…BEFORE it happens…is the biggest peace of mind gift that you can give yourself.

The exact contents of your specific emergency kit may be a matter of preference and your general mechanical aptitude…but a little common sense and 2 or 3 different opinions as to what it contains can go a long way to saving you some time and heartache. Here are two articles we’ve posted previously on constructing your own vehicle emergency kit.

Here are 3 of the top 5 most likely roadside emergency scenarios you might encounter:

  1. Engine Overheated – Immediately turn OFF the engine and pop the hood…letting any smoke/steam clear to better assess your situation.
  2. Flat Tire – Step #1: Turn the engine OFF, engage the hand/parking brake and turn ON the emergency flasher lights.
  3. Battery Weak or Dead – Turn the engine OFF (including any electronic devices) and secure a 2nd vehicle with a good battery to supply the jump.

Like to see all steps (plus scenario 4 & 5) in more graphic detail…in addition to the video above?

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U.S. Electric Car Market – 54 Choices Strong

While the U.S. is still the 2nd largest vehicle market (behind China)…Americans probably most known for their thirst for choice. Last year that thirst for choice produced a 25% increase in the number of EV models available to  North American consumers.

Here are the 3 broad categories:

  1. Battery-Powered
  2. Plug-in Hybrid
  3. Fuel Cell Vehicle

The chart below shows the growth and changes in vehicle model mix available in the US and Canada for the past nine years.  U.S. Consumers can now choose from 54 different electric car models, while in 2008, only four were available for purchase.

The number of car models with electric batteries, such as the Tesla Model S, continues to grow. But the biggest increase has been the availability of plug-in hybrid vehicles, which now account for the largest category of electric vehicles in North America.

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Infographic: Electric Vehicle Buyers Have the Agony of Choice | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

 

The Agony of Few Choices

At the end of 2010, a meager 6 electric vehicle models (incl. plug-in hybrids and fuel cell vehicles) were available to consumers in North America.

Here’s the latest from Bloomberg New Energy Finance for 2017 year end: 54 electric vehicle models…

  1. 25 battery electric vehicles
  2. 26 plug-in hybrids
  3. 3 fuel cell vehicles

Tesla, one of the very early movers in the market, is still the best-selling EV brand in the United States. In 2017, the company sold roughly 50,000 electric cars in the U.S., beating traditional carmakers like Chevrolet (43,669), Toyota (20,936), BMW (20,733) and Ford (19,589) by a significant margin.

Still accounting for little more than 1 percent of total passenger car sales, electric vehicles still have a long way to go in terms of mass adoption. However, the growing number of consumer choices combined with the steadily improving charging infrastructure will certain help move electric mobility forward.

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Prepping Your Vehicle for Emergencies

It’s Summer roadtrip season which means you may be traveling outside your normal area of civilization…to more remote places.  The question to ask yourself is if you’re ready for when things may go wrong…outside of cell coverage and roadside assistance accessible areas.  Let’s find out how to stock your trunk for emergency preparedness so you can take care of yourself.

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For the average pragmatist, much of what follows may be elementary. But at worst, you might go through a little trouble gathering and stocking a few items in your new Preparedness Trunk Box…and nothing challenging ever happens.

So here’s a suggested list of items to equip yourself with:

  • Flashlight – LED based, heavy duty style. No cheap plastic stuff here.
  • Jumper Cables – even low-gauge cables can be practical, but the potential problem is finding someone to give you a jump, hence…
  • Portable Vehicle Jump Starter – great tool, but your challenge with this is remembering to keep it charged (Intelliboost, Weego & Gooloo are a few brands you can investigate for yourself)
  • Roadside Hazard Indicators – old school Flares and free standing Emergency Reflective Road Triangles are two options.  A modern version is what’s called LED Road Flares that look like orange flashing hockey pucks. Batteries are your challenge here again.
  • Fire Extinguisher – the “dry chemical” variety (rated A, B and C) is probably best in this case.
  • Quart of Motor Oil – just in case. (check your vehicle owner’s manual for proper weight)
  • Engine Coolant – Antifreeze –
  • First Aid Kit – go crazy here and invest a few bucks ($25-$35) for a quality kit.
  • Blanket – the Heavy Duty Thermally Efficient for Emergencies kind…as opposed to one that Grandma made for you.
  • Radio – FRS or GMRS type for Emergencies.
  • (keep watching…)
  • (…for more life saving items!)

 

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St. Patrick’s Day Safe & Sober Driving

Video: Make Sober Driving Your Lucky Charm This St. Patrick’s Day – Cars.com

St. Patrick’s Day is March 17, lasses and lads. For many, it’s a day to don some green garb, eat a Rueben sandwich — and maybe get a weeee bit tipsy drinking green beer.  Beyond turning your teeth weird colors, there are far more serious risks to consider.

St. Patrick’s Day DUI fatalities are nearly double the daily average, with more than 50 in the U.S. Moreover, the holiday falls on a Saturday this year, and instances of drunken driving are already higher on weekends.  Studies have shown that roughly three quarters of fatal St. Patrick’s Day car crashes involve a driver whose blood alcohol content is twice the legal limit of 0.08.

A man of average weight will reach the legal BAC limit after three drinks in an hour; for a woman, it’s two drinks.

Just because you’re under the legal limit doesn’t mean you should assume you’re “OK to drive.” Even one drink can impair a driver’s judgment and reaction times.

Here’s a plan to get through your St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

  • If you plan on drinking, plan on not driving. Designate a sober driver before the revelry kicks off.
  • If you have been drinking, do not drive, even for a short distance. Seriously, you have options: Just call a taxi … or an Uber … or a Lyft … or take public transportation; many cities have ride programs available.
  • Look out for others. If you see someone about to drive while impaired, confiscate their keys and help them arrange a safe way home.
  • If you see a driver on the road who appears to be intoxicated, pull over to a safe location and notify police. You could be saving someone’s life.

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St. Patrick’s Day DUI Patrols Planned In Sonoma County – Patch

“Police, sheriff and the CHP will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment,” Santa Rosa police stated in a news release.

The California Highway Patrol, the Santa Rosa Police Department and the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office are among law enforcement agencies planning to be on the lookout for drunk and/or drugged drivers this St. Patrick’s Day weekend in the county.

From 7 p.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday, Santa Rosa police will deploy additional officers on special DUI saturation patrols specifically to stop and arrest drivers showing signs of alcohol or drug impairment.

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St. Patrick’s Day DUI Patrols Planned by La Mesa and Chula Vista Police – TimesOfSanDiego

The La Mesa and Chula Vista police departments plan DUI saturation patrols throughout the St. Patrick’s Day weekend beginning Friday evening.

Both departments announced extra patrols from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. the next morning on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most popular holidays in the United States…heavily celebrated by most Americans with friendly pinches, bangers n’ mash, and green beer galore,” said La Mesa Police Chief Walt Vasquez. “Sadly, all this merry-making can lead to dangerous driving conditions as party-goers head
home.”

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Roadside Assistance Services – Choosing Wisely

Roadside assistance services for your vehicle is similar to health insurance.  You may only need to use it once a year or so…but if you ever get stranded along side the freeway, or worse, on a country road…you know the pain of potentially not having any help to fall back on.  Especially during Winter months when the incidents of dead batteries, flat tires, and keys locked inside their cars seem to multiply dramatically. But only one such experience can be enough to create panic.

stranded stressed out woman roadside with broken down car

Here are some strategic questions to ask yourself when beginning to determine which service plan would prove best for your situation:

  1. Do I already have roadside assistance? – Yes, that’s actually possible more than you might think! Here a few of those potential scenarios:
    If you bought a new car or a certified used vehicle recently, your car may have come with a roadside assistance plan that lasts for the duration of the warranty, which for a new vehicle is at least three years or 36,000 miles, says Yu. If you’ve purchased a service contract—also known as an extended warranty—from an automaker or aftermarket company, you may also have coverage already. Always check the terms of your auto insurance policy as well. Some insurers, such as Allstate, Geico, and Nationwide, offer roadside assistance as an add-on to their auto insurance policies. Also check the fine print in your credit card agreements. Cards such as the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card offer roadside assistance.
  2. Complaints Frequency – Do a few web searches with the name of the plan provider plus “reviews” and “complaints.”  Complaints will typically revolve around wait times for the tow truck to arrive…or worse, if no one even shows up at all…and vehicles that may have been damaged during the tow itself.
  3. Service Plan Criteria –  Here are few guidelines to help you decide which plan is best.
  • More than one vehicle – a full-service plan may be your best bet in this case. They’re typically offered by AAA, National General Motor Club, Better World Club.
  • Multiple family drivers – consider a plan from an autodealer such as Good Sam Roadside Assistance, where the member fee covers the spouse and kids as well.
  • Recent Vehicle Purchase – whether new or certified pre-owned —and it’s the only vehicle you own—you can go with the automaker’s service, but make sure you know of any restrictions.
  • Frequent or Long Distance Driver (i.e. far from home) …choose a plan with the most generous towing allowance and trip-interruption benefits.
  • Fine Print – Some roadside assistance programs don’t cover the cost of towing as a result of flood, fire, and certain other calamities.

Read More – Consumer Reports

 

Consumer Reports Most Reliable Car Brands of 2018 & Decade

Consumer Reports seems almost synonymous with trust.  Still, almost like a football team, everyone seems to have a favorite car brand…and their own idea of what makes a reliable vehicle. For some, a car that starts every morning and just needs basic repairs every year will do. Drivers expect more out of expensive vehicles known for rapid-fire acceleration or high-performance towing. Then there are those who say a vehicle’s not reliable unless it tops 200,000 miles.


For the nonprofit organization Consumer Reports, the most reliable vehicles must pass (or ace) 17 different tests. Even if an automobile runs like a dream, testers will knock it down a few pegs if the electronics system is hard to use or the interior scratches easily. Likewise, a vehicle’s owners report problems they experienced every year, which factors into the equation.

In other words, getting a top reliability rating from Consumer Reports takes some doing. Those that land the top scores a few consecutive years deserve the fans and buyers they get.

Uncanny, but some automobiles seem to manage to post near-perfect scores for many years in a row.  Here is the beginning of the top performing brands since 2010…starting with the 2018 Nissan Leaf.  You’ve gotta click through to see the entire list of 20 most reliable vehicles of the decade.

Nissan Leaf #20 – Among electric cars, Leaf’s 4 perfect reliability scores in 5 years stand above the pack.

elegant driveway view of white 2018 Nissan Leaf

While Tesla has mixed reviews for reliability, Nissan Leaf proved long ago that electric vehicles could stay on the road with the best of them. The first-generation Leaf landed the top Consumer Reports rating for four of its first five years on the market from 2011 to 2016. As the new-for-2018 model makes its way to the market, it also comes with above-average predicted reliability.

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7 Winter Prep Car Care Tips

Old Man Winter is going to try to shake you down in the coming weeks!  Stick it to him and get your vehicle prepared.  Here’s a handy checklist to help you get it ready for the cold weather:

  1. Recalls on Your Vehicle? – Just how safe is your vehicle to drive in Winter weather? Discovering safety recalls on your vehcile is a good first step. Enter your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) here in NHTSA’s Recalls Look-Up Tool to learn if your vehicle has been a part of a safety recall in the last 15 years.
  2. Tune-Up & Routine Maintenance – Your trusted local mechanic  is the best next step for a seasonal tune-up and regular maintenance.  Leaks, old belts & hoses and any other parts and repairs should be your special request for them to check…especially your battery (e.g. for sufficient voltage, amperage and reserve capacity & tighten battery cable connections).
  3. Tires – Quick check for excessive wear and correct pressure. (Avg. mo. pressure loss is 1 lb.).  If you’re in snow country and need special snow tires…get ’em now!  Remember…spare tires lose pressure too…check it! Contrary to popular belief, the correct pressure is NOT the number listed on the tire. Look closely at your tread and replace tires that have uneven wear or insufficient tread. Tread should be at least 2/32 of an inch or greater on all tires.
  4. New Wiper Blades – Not being able to see through your windshield during a downpour is not a surprise you want to experience…old & worn wiper blades are dangerous.  Also…make sure your front and rear window defrosters are in proper working order.
  5. Fluids – Radiator (coolant system) & windshield washer fluid…Flush & refill as appropriate . Use high-quality “winter” fluid with de-icer.
  6. Lights & Signals – Emergency flashers, brake lights, headlights, turn signals, interior lights test & replace as necessary.

 

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