The Car Connection | Andrew Ganz | 08/13/2018


The IIHS said last week that paying more for fancier headlights doesn’t necessarily mean better nighttime visibility. The headlights fitted to the range-topping 2019 Acura RDX luxury crossover SUV earned an “Acceptable” rating, while the standard LED units in the base trim level scored “Good.”

The headlights standard on the base, Technology, and A-Spec trim levels are LED units, while the versions fitted to the RDX Advance trim level feature curve-adaptive technology that bends their light output when the steering wheel is turned. The IIHS found superior high-beam coverage with the standard headlights compared to the curve-adaptive units.

Otherwise, the latest RDX earned top marks for its crash test performance. The RDX scored “Good” in all of the instrumented crash tests, including the challenging small-overlap tests that simulate impact with an object such as a utility pole.

The RDX is unusual in having standard headlights that perform better in the IIHS’ testing than optional headlights.

2019 Acura RDX Advance

The RDX’s active safety tech earned a “Superior” rating from the IIHS, meaning the crossover SUV was able to stop itself automatically to avoid collisions at 12 mph and 25 mph.

Those scores put the redesigned RDX in elite company when it comes to compact luxury crossovers.

Among its chief competitors, only the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class have models that scored “Good” in every test including the headlight evaluation. Some rivals, such as the Audi Q5, earned “Marginal” at best in the headlight test, while others haven’t been subjected to every crash test.