2020 Acura RDX
2020 Acura RDX Review
- Roomy cabin and cargo area
- Sharp steering and handling
- Well-trimmed cabin
- Lots of available tech for much less than competitors
- No choice of powertrain
- Options are bundled solely into packages
- Overall performance lags behind competitors
- No significant changes this year
- Part of the third RDX generation introduced for 2019
The Acura RDX offers something a little different in the small luxury SUV class. It has a lot of available technology features, a well-built interior, excellent ergonomics, and better-than-average cargo and passenger space. There's certainly a lot to like and, feature for feature, it's significantly less expensive than European alternatives.
But the RDX has a few weaknesses compared to top competitors. Its turbocharged four-cylinder engine provides decent power, but there isn't an optional engine upgrade for buyers looking for more power or a hybrid option. Additionally, we're not terribly fond of the RDX's infotainment system. And the required learning curve to operate it may turn off shoppers who aren't interested in picking up new technology.
Overall, though, the 2020 Acura RDX is worth checking out if you're looking for a good value on a luxury SUV, especially compared to European rivals such as the Audi Q5, the Jaguar F-Pace and the Mercedes GLC.
Just looking at the RDX A-Spec should tell you everything you need to know thanks to the the tech-forward angular bodywork. Sure, there's a hint of performance thanks to the black trim and larger wheels, but the new RDX is all about integrating technology into every aspect of the driving experience. It doesn't offer quite the performance of competitors, but it compensates with a price that's thousands less when fully loaded.
How does the RDX drive?
Overall, the RDX is a solid performer. Its turbocharged engine provides strong power at low rpm to get you away from stoplights quickly, and the transmission is adept at picking the right gear for the situation. In Edmunds testing, we recorded a 0-60 mph time of 7 seconds. That's a little slower than some other top competitors, but it's respectable. The brakes inspire confidence thanks to predictable engagement and good feel.
When you drive around turns, there's not much body roll. You'll definitely want SH-AWD to maximize the RDX's sporting potential at it helps the RDX power out of turns. The steering is nicely tuned. It's light and makes for easy maneuvering in parking lots but also firms up appropriately at higher speeds to give you a feeling of control
How comfortable is the RDX?
The stylish heated and cooled front seats will accommodate a wide variety of drivers in comfort. They're also supportive to keep you secure when turning. The suspension does a respectable job of keeping you comfortable when driving over a variety of surfaces. The RDX shrugs off potholes and is well-controlled over highway undulations.
Cabin noise is reasonably well-muted, and there's minimal wind noise at freeway speeds. Some engine noise comes through, but it's never obnoxious. The climate control system doesn't have any issues regulating cabin temperature, but a lot of airflow is aimed at the driver's hands, which you may not like.
How’s the interior?
The RDX has a mix of friendly basic ergonomics and some rather different, if not polarizing, ideas for how things should be done. In particular, the shifter arrangement, touchpad infotainment controller and small climate control buttons might fluster the driver. In terms of visibility, the front roof pillars are a bit on the thick side and can block some visibility when cornering. Rear visibility is compromised by the rear hatch's power-operated hinges.
On a more positive note, there's plenty of room for front and rear passengers. A wide range of drivers should be able to find a comfortable driving position, and rear headroom is more than sufficient for average adults
How’s the tech?
This tech is the tour de force of the RDX. With an intriguing new touchpad interface, the infotainment system should appeal to the tech-savvy buyer, just as the impressive audio system will appeal to the dedicated audiophile. But the learning curve required to get accustomed to the new system could prove a deal-breaker for buyers who don't like picking up new tech.
Apply CarPlay is standard, but Android Auto is not yet available (Acura says it's coming and capability will be available to existing cars). Acura's suite of driver aids is standard, including adaptive cruise control, which is a notable strength in a class where such features are often pricey extras.
How’s the storage?
Acura really has interior packaging figured out, and the RDX is yet another showcase of space efficiency. From a generous cargo area to flexible interior storage solutions, the RDX makes having a lot of stuff easier than it should be.
At 31.1 cubic feet of storage behind the back seats, the RDX offers more space than most competitors, and there's an abundance of storage options up front thanks to the tiered center console. Car seat anchors are clearly marked, and the large back seat means there's plenty of room for car seats.
How’s the fuel economy?
Rated at 24 mpg combined with FWD or 23 mpg combined with AWD, the RDX's mileage is lower than what the Audi Q5 and BMW X3 return. All three require premium fuel. On our 119-mile evaluation loop, our test RDX only returned a bit more than 20 mpg. Other fill-ups were below that number, too. A light foot might be required to hit 23 mpg.
Is the RDX a good value?
Luxury SUVs are supposed to be well-built and packed with features. The RDX does that while undercutting the popular competitors by thousands of dollars, even when fully loaded. Build quality is excellent inside and out, and the RDX offers something a little different from competitors in terms of interior design and ergonomics.
It's not as refined or efficient as competitors, but it's a solid value for buyers looking for something outside the usual German luxury box. Unfortunately, the RDX doesn't offer any particular advantages in terms of warranty coverage or ownership compared to rivals.
If the aggressively angular exterior design doesn't give it away, the tech-forward interior certainly will. The RDX is about providing a distinctive and modern driving experience. It's certainly a distinctive offering in the compact luxury SUV class. Unfortunately, while the SH-AWD holds the promise of a bit of physics-defying handling, you only sense the full effect of that technology when exiting certain medium-speed corners.
Which RDX does Edmunds recommend?
Acura RDX models
Like all Acuras, the new RDX is offered not in trim levels per se but as a single trim available with three option packages. On top of the base vehicle, buyers can add the Technology, A-Spec and Advance packages.
Trending topics in reviews
- ride quality
- driving experience
- infotainment system
- reliability & manufacturing quality
- road noise
- sound system
- maintenance & parts
- wheels & tires
- steering wheel
- fuel efficiency
- handling & steering
- cup holders
- climate control
Most helpful consumer reviews
2020 Acura RDX video
2019 Acura RDX First Drive
NOTE: This video is about the 2019 Acura RDX, but since the 2020 Acura RDX is part of the same generation, our earlier analysis still applies.
Features & Specs
- Base MSRP
- MPG & Fuel
- 22 City / 28 Hwy / 24 Combined
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 17.1 gal. capacity
- 5 seats
- Type: front wheel drive
- Transmission: 10-speed shiftable automatic
- Inline 4 cylinder
- Horsepower: 272 hp @ 6500 rpm
- Torque: 280 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm
- Basic Warranty
- 4 yr./ 50000 mi.
- Length: 186.7 in. / Height: 65.7 in.
- Overall Width with Mirrors: N/A
- Overall Width without Mirrors: 74.8 in.
- Curb Weight: 3790 lbs.
- Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 31.1 cu.ft.
Our experts’ favorite RDX safety features:
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Automatically lowers the set cruise speed when you approach slower-moving cars.
- Lane Keeping Assist
- Detects when the car is approaching the lane's edge and applies steering torque to help recenter it in the lane.
- Collision Mitigation Braking
- Automatically applies the brakes when it detects an impending front collision.
Acura RDX vs. the competition
2020 Acura RDX
2019 Acura MDX
Acura RDX vs. Acura MDX
The MDX, the RDX's big brother, is a midsize crossover SUV (also available as a hybrid) with a third row of seating. It doesn't benefit from Acura's newest infotainment or tech like the RDX does, and the interior doesn't stand out as much from the crowd. But if you're hunting for extra seating or extra fuel economy, the MDX is worth a look.
Acura RDX vs. Honda CR-V
The CR-V is a small SUV from Acura's parent company, Honda. It's a friendly and accessible vehicle, and one of the most practical compact SUVs you can buy. It doesn't offer the luxury or performance of the RDX. But if your primary concerns are practicality and budget, the CR-V checks the right boxes.
Acura RDX vs. Lexus NX 300
Lexus' compact SUV isn't quite as welcoming as the RDX. Notably, it's harder to see out of and has a more frustrating tech interface. It also doesn't have as much cargo space as the Acura. Still, it's comfortable and quiet. It's also available as a fuel-efficient hybrid, which could be appealing if you're looking to save on gas.
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Is the Acura RDX a good car?
What's new in the 2020 Acura RDX?
According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2020 Acura RDX:
- No significant changes this year
- Part of the third RDX generation introduced for 2019
Is the Acura RDX reliable?
Is the 2020 Acura RDX a good car?
How much should I pay for a 2020 Acura RDX?
The least-expensive 2020 Acura RDX is the 2020 Acura RDX 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 10A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $37,800.
Other versions include:
- SH-AWD 4dr SUV AWD w/Technology Package (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 10A) which starts at $43,000
- 4dr SUV w/Technology Package (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 10A) which starts at $41,000
- SH-AWD 4dr SUV AWD w/Advance Package (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 10A) which starts at $47,900
- SH-AWD 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 10A) which starts at $39,800
- SH-AWD A-Spec 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 10A) which starts at $46,000
- 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 10A) which starts at $37,800
- A-Spec 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 10A) which starts at $44,000
- 4dr SUV w/Advance Package (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 10A) which starts at $45,900