2019 Acura RDX vs. 2019 Lexus UX Series

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

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the RDX its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 36 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The UX Series has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

There are over 12 percent more Acura dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the RDX’s warranty.

Engine

The RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 103 more horsepower (272 vs. 169) and 129 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 151) than the UX 200’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 91 more horsepower (272 vs. 181) than the UX 250h’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

The RDX has 6.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the UX Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (17.1 vs. 10.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The RDX has 4.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the UX Series’ standard fuel tank (17.1 vs. 12.4 gallons).

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 UX Series doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

RDX

UX Series

Front Rotors

12.4 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

11.1 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the RDX has larger standard tires than the UX Series (235/55R19 vs. 225/50R18). The RDX A-Spec’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the UX Series (255/40R20 vs. 225/50R18).

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 UX Series’ 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the RDX has standard 19-inch wheels. Only 18-inch wheels are available on the UX Series. The RDX A-Spec has standard 20-inch wheels.

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 UX Series doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The RDX AWD has a standard space-saver spare (not available on A-Spec) so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the UX Series; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

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 UX Series’ suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the RDX’s wheelbase is 4.4 inches longer than on the UX Series (108.3 inches vs. 103.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the RDX is 3.2 inches wider in the front and 3.7 inches wider in the rear than on the UX Series.

Chassis

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

Passenger Space

The RDX has 13.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the UX Series (104 vs. 90.4).

The RDX has 2.4 inches more front headroom, 1.2 inches more front hip room, 4.6 inches more front shoulder room, 2 inches more rear headroom, 5.3 inches more rear legroom and 3.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the UX Series.

Cargo Capacity

The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the UX Series (31.1 vs. 21.7 cubic feet).

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

Towing

The RDX has a 1500 lbs. towing capacity. The UX Series has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The RDX uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The UX Series uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

The RDX’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the UX Series.

The power windows standard on both the RDX and the UX Series have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the RDX is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The UX Series prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The RDX’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The UX Series’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The RDX has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the UX Series. 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 UX Series.

Recommendations

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Acura RDX, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels.

The Acura RDX outsold the Lexus UX Series by over 140 to one during 2018.

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

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