2019 Audi A6 vs. 2019 Acura RLX

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi A6 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision. The Acura RLX doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The A6 has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The RLX doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the A6. But it costs extra on the RLX.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the A6 Prestige helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The RLX doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the A6 and the RLX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The A6’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the RLX’s (12 vs. 5 years).

There are over 11 percent more Audi dealers than there are Acura dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the A6’s warranty.

Reliability

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the A6’s engine. A rubber belt that needs periodic replacement drives the RLX’s camshafts. If the RLX’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 20th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 6 places higher in reliability than Acura.

Engine

The A6’s 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid produces 25 more horsepower (335 vs. 310) and 97 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 272) than the RLX’s standard 3.5 SOHC V6. The A6’s 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid produces 28 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 341) than the RLX Sport Hybrid’s standard 3.5 SOHC V6 hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

The A6 has 4.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the RLX Sport Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (19.3 vs. 15.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the A6’s brake rotors are larger than those on the RLX:

 

A6

RLX

RLX Sport Hybrid

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

12.3 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

12.2 inches

12.2 inches

The A6’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the RLX are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the A6’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the RLX (255/40R20 vs. 245/40R19).

The A6 Prestige’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the RLX’s 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A6 Prestige offers optional 21-inch wheels. The RLX’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling

The A6 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. The RLX’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the A6’s wheelbase is 2.9 inches longer than on the RLX (115.1 inches vs. 112.2 inches).

For better maneuverability, the A6’s turning circle is 4.1 feet tighter than the RLX’s (36.4 feet vs. 40.5 feet).

Chassis

The A6 is 3.7 inches shorter than the RLX, making the A6 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The A6 has .4 inches more front headroom and 1.2 inches more rear headroom than the RLX.

Cargo Capacity

The A6’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The RLX doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the A6 Prestige has a standard power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The RLX doesn’t offer a power trunk.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the A6 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the RLX. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Acura. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 26% lower rating, Acura is ranked 12th.

Ergonomics

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The A6 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The RLX doesn’t offer headlight washers.

Recommendations

The Audi A6/S6 outsold the Acura RLX by almost six to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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