2019 Acura RDX vs. 2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The RDX Advance has a standard Surround-View Camera System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Golf Alltrack only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the RDX and the Golf Alltrack have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The RDX comes with free roadside assistance for 4 years 50,000 miles. Acura will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Volkswagen doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the Golf Alltrack.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the RDX has a standard 550-amp battery. The Golf Alltrack’s 480-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

Engine

The RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 102 more horsepower (272 vs. 170) and 81 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 199) than the Golf Alltrack’s 1.8 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the RDX’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The RDX has 2.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Golf Alltrack (17.1 vs. 14.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The RDX has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

The Acura RDX comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Golf Alltrack.

A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Acura RDX, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Golf Alltrack.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the RDX’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Golf Alltrack:

 

RDX

Golf Alltrack

Front Rotors

12.4 inches

11.3 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

10.7 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the RDX has larger standard tires than the Golf Alltrack (235/55R19 vs. 205/55R17). The RDX A-Spec’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Golf Alltrack (255/40R20 vs. 225/45R18).

The RDX A-Spec’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Golf Alltrack’s optional 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the RDX has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Golf Alltrack. The RDX A-Spec’s 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the Golf Alltrack.

The RDX has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The RDX offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Golf Alltrack’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the RDX’s wheelbase is 4.8 inches longer than on the Golf Alltrack (108.3 inches vs. 103.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the RDX is 3.3 inches wider in the front and 5 inches wider in the rear than on the Golf Alltrack.

For greater off-road capability the RDX has a 1.3 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Golf Alltrack (8.2 vs. 6.9 inches), allowing the RDX to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the RDX has an electronically controlled liquid-filled engine mounts. A computer controlled electric current in the liquid changes its viscosity, allowing the mount to dampen the engine completely at all RPMs. The Golf Alltrack uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

The RDX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The RDX has 9.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Golf Alltrack (104 vs. 94.3).

The RDX has 1 inch more front headroom, .4 inches more front legroom, 3.8 inches more front shoulder room, 2.8 inches more rear legroom and 2.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Golf Alltrack.

Cargo Capacity

The RDX has a larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the Golf Alltrack with its rear seat up (31.1 vs. 30.4 cubic feet). The RDX has a larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the Golf Alltrack with its rear seat folded (79.8 vs. 66.5 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the RDX’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the RDX. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the RDX has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or on the RDX Advance, by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

The RDX has a 1500 lbs. towing capacity. The Golf Alltrack has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The RDX has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When two different drivers share the RDX, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each keyless remote activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a memory system.

The RDX’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The RDX Advance has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left open on the RDX the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Golf Alltrack can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the RDX has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Golf Alltrack only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

When the RDX is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Golf Alltrack’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The RDX Advance has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Golf Alltrack offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the RDX and the Golf Alltrack have standard heated front seats. The RDX Advance also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Golf Alltrack.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the RDX keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the RDX’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The RDX has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Golf Alltrack SEL.

Model Availability

The RDX is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Acura RDX, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels. The Volkswagen Golf Alltrack isn't recommended.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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