THE BLOG
07/25/2014 03:11 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The 2015 Acura RXD Takes a Trip Across the Border

It's the third largest city in Baja California and one of Mexico's key Pacific ports. Visitors to the cool little town of Ensenada will find as well, the ideal coastal Mexican experience and it is also the gateway to Mexico's wine country.

Ensenada was first discovered in 1542 and over the years it became a small fishing village, which from there gradually became a great destination for vacationers and for world-class fishing enthusiasts.

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For the adventurous spirit there is surfing and scuba diving and the many restaurants will also impress. Take special note of the legendary open air fish market on the boardwalk and there are wonderful fish taco and ceviche stands to try too, a few which have world-wide acclaim. Definitely stop in at Hussong's Cantina, Baja's oldest and most well-known cantina in Mexico, and one of the rumored origins of the margarita. There is also La Guerrense, which is a renowned seafood tostada stand in downtown Ensenada that offers everything from fresh sea urchin, clams, mussels, crab, shrimp, fish pate, abalone, sea snail and sea cucumber.

What else to do in Ensenada, add to the list the Riviera Cultural and Civic Center, which at one time was a hotel where Bar Andaluz is still located, another rumored origin of the margarita and the owners there are pretty sure it was their blend of liquid that put the margarita on the map.
The Open Ocean Aquarium is the first "in the ocean" aquarium in North America and provides educational tours that include an experience of swimming with or viewing giant bluefin tuna in a large offshore enclosure. This family-friendly bi-lingual tour promotes ocean awareness and marine research.

But don't be caught without a set of wheels in this cool little town and, with an already loyal customer base, the 2015 Acura RDX is a sure winner as you hit the road. With its topnotch fuel economy and leg room for the backseat passengers, this is a clear thumbs up for a road trip with the competition all but paling in the Audi Q5 and BMW X3.

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For a small luxury crossover with a lot of 'tude, check out the fact that the standard features on the RDX are, indeed unchanged from 2014, but still offer a lot for the money.

This luxury SUV comes in two trim levels the base and base with a Technology package added. You get front-wheel drive on either option, but you can choose all-wheel drive if you want it.
Under the hood the 2015 Acura RDX offers a 3.5-liter V6 with 273 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque. It's a six-speed automatic and you can get zero to 60 miles per hour roughly in a little under seven seconds.

As can be expected with Acura, the 2015 Acura RDX's cabin is an easy ride with lots of room for moving around in the front and back seat and the materials and design are aesthetically pleasing too. Notice on the dash the easy-to-use center controls with a gauge grouping that is straightforward to understand and use with everything at your fingertips.

An easy ride for the driver and passengers, this is an excellent road trip vehicle ala Ensenada with 26.1 cubic feet of storage space behind the back seats and the ability to fold down the rear seats then allowing for 61.3 cubic feet of room for your travel gear.

With a price tag for the high-end trim with the techno package its $40,890 and you get a good combined 22 miles per gallon as you cruise.

When in Ensenada let me also suggest a stay at the Hotel Coral and Marina (www.hotelcoral.com), which is actually one of those properties that you never really need to leave. The hotel is the only one in the area that offers a marina and with 147 suites and ocean views it's a great way to relax. The restaurant there is called BC Bistro & Cava Restaurant and it was where I enjoyed a good portion of my meals with the award winning chef catering to an international clientele. BC Bistro & Cava Restaurant has also been awarded for the quality of its cuisine and is the perfect blend of regional wines and local dishes including fresh fish and seafood at every meal.

In the area, the Baja wine country produces 90 percent of Mexico's wine, most from the Guadalupe Valley area so while visiting you will want to check out the various vineyards and cellars available for tours. Indeed, everyone associates Mexico with tequilas and beer, but when you get a chance to try the wine you will be more than pleased.

Actually, the areas recognition for their excellent wine comes from the fact that there has been a wine route in the region for some time and there have also been many new wineries popping up lately. The location nearby Ensenada is the perfect climate, like in the Mediterranean coupled with an excellent elevation, temperature, soil and seasons.

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For a bit of history, it is noted that "The winemaking heritage in Mexico dates back to the Spanish conquest at the end of the 16th century. The ancient wineries adapted to the land and new climates so well that the Spanish crown, due to the fear of competition, banned all wine production from the new wineries. Many of the missionaries refused and continued producing wine on a very small scale until 1791 when missionaries at Saint Thomas Mission revived the tradition. Soon after, in 1834 missionaries at our lady of Guadalupe Mission began cultivating grapes in the now famous, Guadalupe Valley. By the end of the 19th century, the wineries that were tended by the missionaries had been abandoned and did not flourish again until the establishment of Bodegas Santa Thomas."

With a great property, good wine and an excellent set of wheels, your summer is definitely covered in Ensenada.