The Acura RDX is a luxury crossover SUV that seats up to five. Now in its second generation, this version of the RDX originally went on sale in 2013. With a starting MSRP of $35,800, the RDX makes for an excellent entry-level step into the realm of luxury SUVs. It offers the features you're likely to want, with plenty of interior and cargo space, plus good build quality.
The RDX's primary attribute is its value. It is one of a few premium small SUVs with a powerful V6 engine standard, and it remains competitive in terms of price even when you tick every option. Families will enjoy generous cargo space that's easily accessed by a wide rear hatch opening. The RDX does have a few downsides, such as a dated-looking infotainment system and an interior that isn't dressed as nicely as those of other premium SUVs. But for the money, these shortcomings are easy to overlook.
You should be aware of a few competitors during your shopping process. The Lexus NX 300's bold design helps it stand out more than the RDX, and its four-cylinder engine is more fuel-efficient. And if you take a look at some German models such as the Audi Q5 and BMW X3, you'll find a more upscale interior and likely more curbside appeal. But overall the RDX is an excellent choice for an entry-level crossover luxury SUV.Compare similar vehicles
Edmunds' expert vehicle evaluators test more than 200 vehicles a year at our exclusive facility to bring you the most thorough and insightful reviews in the business. The testing team's separation from advertising and marketing is absolute, ensuring that our reviews are always trustworthy and objective.
The 2018 Acura RDX starts at $35,800 MSRP (not including the $995 destination charge) with front-wheel drive. Though it comes with many standard features, safety-conscious buyers should consider the AcuraWatch Plus package ($1,300) for its adaptive cruise control and forward collision mitigation system. The Technology package ($3,700) ups the entertainment features with a premium sound system, navigation and blind-spot monitoring. If you want the most luxury features, the top-of-the-line RDX with the Advance package is the one to get. For a MSRP of $42,500, you get the above option packages, plus extra features such as ventilated front seats. You can add all-wheel drive to the MDX for about $1,500.Compare RDX versions
In general, the RDX is pretty affordable for a small luxury crossover SUV. Even when fully loaded with the Advance package and all-wheel drive, the RDX costs about as much as a German compact luxury SUV with the barest of options. Some other luxury-branded competitors are priced closer to the RDX, but they don't offer the RDX's combination of a roomy interior and a standard V6 engine. Note that incentives and specials vary by brand and can play a significant role in what you end up paying for a new car.
Edmunds can help you find a great local price on a 2018 Acura RDX. Check out our 2018 Acura RDX Pricing page for the latest exclusive offers in your area.View RDX incentives and deals
The RDX is a strong pick for a crossover luxury SUV. It's well-made and well-equipped and represents an obvious step up from mainstream small crossovers. Though its tech interface and interior don't look as fancy as more modern systems, the RDX's value and interior space make up for it. The RDX scored 4.5 stars in Edmunds' standardized rating process, a strong result in a highly competitive class.
The Lexus NX 300 (renamed the 300 for 2018; previously, it was the NX 200t) is close in size and price to the RDX. It has a bolder design inside and out, but whether that's good or not comes down to your personal tastes. The NX 300 comes standard with some driver assistance features that are optional on the RDX, such as adaptive cruise control. The RDX has more cargo space, and its V6 is more powerful but thirstier than the NX's turbocharged four-cylinder engine.Compare RDX and NX
Infiniti's 2018 QX50 model is similar in size to the RDX, but it prioritizes performance and handling. Like the RDX, the QX50 comes with a V6, but it's more powerful (and less fuel-efficient). Despite how similar they are in size, the RDX has a much larger cargo area and a roomier interior.Compare RDX and QX50
The Audi Q5 asks a higher price than the RDX, but its premium materials, handsome exterior and higher towing capacity might make the difference worth it. Though its turbocharged inline four-cylinder doesn't make as much power, the Q5 boasts better fuel economy. Exterior and interior dimensions, from cargo volume to seating space, are similar. If you're considering a lease, the Audi has slightly stronger residual values, too. The Q5 has an Edmunds overall rating of 4 stars.Compare RDX and Q5
The 2018 Acura RDX can seat five passengers, which is what you'd expect from SUVs around this size. Though it looks sleek from the outside, the RDX has generous interior space, with ample room for three adult passengers in the second row. A flat floor frees up more foot space for the middle passenger, and the absence of a center seat hump means good headroom for all. The seat cushions boast adequate padding, and optional heating and ventilation on the front seats keep you comfortable during long stints behind the wheel.
The RDX's second row has LATCH anchors at the bottom of the outboard seats and tether anchors on the seatbacks. While the center seat does not have a LATCH anchor, there is a seat tether anchor in the roof, which could obstruct rear visibility.RDX safety ratings
While the RDX's interior isn't as luxurious as what you'll find in some competing models, build quality remains spot on. The two-screen entertainment system has seen some improvements in recent years, but it still looks dated due to its low-resolution displays. Steering wheel-mounted controls are clearly labeled and smartly placed, and the driver assistance systems are easily toggled on or off.
At 26.1 cubic feet, the RDX's trunk isn't the largest trunk in the class, but there's still plenty of space for most families. You'll enjoy the wide rear hatch opening, which makes loading bulky items much easier. The same goes for the additional levers for lowering the 60/40-split rear seat — each seat section has one in the cargo area and one on the side of the seat. Total cargo space is 61.3 cubic feet, which is above average for a small luxury crossover SUV.
The base RDX comes with a center 5-inch color infotainment screen and a driver information display in the gauge cluster. Bluetooth and a rearview camera (with standard, wide and top-down views) are standard as well. The aptly named Technology package introduces a navigation system, a larger 8-inch infotainment display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, and an additional touchscreen for controlling climate and audio functions. This package also includes a 10-speaker sound system. The low resolution of the displays makes them appear dated and the controls can be cumbersome, but the system is effective after you get familiar with it.
The RDX comes standard with a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 279 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque. It's paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. Acceleration is quick, though rivals with turbocharged or supercharged six-cylinder engines are quicker still. The optional all-wheel-drive system routes power to the rear wheels if the front tires slip, improving overall traction in a straight line.
Because the RDX uses a larger V6, its fuel economy is a little worse than that of competitors powered by smaller engines. The EPA rates the base model at 23 mpg combined (20 city/28 highway). The rating for all-wheel-drive models is 1 mpg lower across the board, at 22 mpg combined (19 city/27 highway).
The 2018 RDX's well-tuned suspension ably smooths out bumps and impacts and keeps the vehicle stable and secure when you're driving around turns. This kind of ride quality balance is quite an achievement. Note that Acura doesn't fit the RDX with its Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system. Found on models such as the larger MDX, it can direct power to individual wheels to further improve handling. Even so, overall the RDX is an enjoyable crossover SUV to drive.
While all-wheel drive is available, the RDX isn't suited for much more than an unpaved road. It lacks off-road electronic aids such as hill descent control, and its all-wheel-drive system focuses primarily on slippery road conditions rather than true off-road environments.
The RDX's 1,500-pound maximum towing capacity is among the lowest of its class. Not only can similarly sized SUVs tow more, some also come with better-integrated towing hardware. Further, the RDX is not designed to be towed behind a motor home or recreational vehicle. If you're serious about towing, you should look elsewhere.
The RDX received a top overall score of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with five stars in both the front- and side-impact crash tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety similarly gave the RDX high marks. It achieved a Good rating for its performance in the small- and moderate-overlap front-impact tests as well as a Good rating in the side-impact, roof strength, and head restraints and seat (whiplash protection) tests. The RDX also received a Superior score from the IIHS for its optional crash avoidance technology, while its headlights netted an Acceptable rating.
Standard safety equipment includes antilock brakes, traction and stability control, daytime running lights, hill start assist and tire pressure monitoring. Airbags cover the front, front side, front seat torso, and curtains for the first and second rows. The standard rearview camera has standard, wide and top-down views, though dynamic guidelines only come with Technology or Advance option packages. These packages also include blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. The AcuraWatch Plus and Advance option packages also add adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation and lane keeping assist.
The RDX only comes in one trim and can be optioned with three packages. AcuraWatch Plus adds driver assist features; Technology adds premium audio, navigation and sport seats; and the Advance package bundles the first two together and then adds more luxury features such as ventilated seats and remote engine start.
An RDX fully loaded with the Advance package makes the most sense when compared against similar luxury compact SUVs. Outfitted as such, the RDX provides a strong assortment of driver assistance and luxury features and costs barely more than the most basic versions of its German competitors. The following MSRPs are for the front-wheel-drive versions of the RDX.
Standard RDX features include LED headlights, keyless ignition and entry, a power liftgate, a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, power front seats with heating, simulated leather upholstery, and a seven-speaker sound system. The AcuraWatch Plus package adds a suite of driver assistance features that include adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, and a forward collision warning and mitigation system.
Selecting the Technology package adds a navigation system, an upgraded 10-speaker sound system, HD radio, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. The interior gains leather seats. The rearview camera is augmented with dynamic guidelines.
The top-line RDX package includes the AcuraWatch Plus and Technology packages. It also adds ventilated front seats, automatic windshield wipers, remote engine start, auto-dimming side mirrors, foglights, and front and rear parking sensors.
Acura's basic warranty and roadside assistance lasts four years or 50,000 miles. The powertrain warranty runs six years or 70,000 miles. Acura does not provide free maintenance but offers prepaid maintenance plans.
If you're ready to buy, you're probably wondering about the Acura RDX's resale value. How much will a 2018 Acura RDX be worth in two or five years — or whenever you decide to sell? Check out the Edmunds True Cost to Own (TCO) calculator. It includes projected annual depreciation over the first five years of ownership based on Edmunds' robust market transaction data.
The RDX is assembled in Ohio. According to the government, 70 percent of its parts come from the United States and Canada.
|EPA Est. MPG||22|
|Drive Train||All Wheel Drive|
|Passenger Volume||129.6 cu ft|
|Curb Weight||3931 lbs|