2019 Audi A7 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 A7 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Acura RLX doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

Both the A7 and RLX have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The A7 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The RLX’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The A7 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 A7. But it costs extra on the RLX.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the A7 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 A7 and the RLX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The A7’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 A7’s warranty.

Reliability

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the A7’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 A7’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 A7’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 A7 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.

Transmission

The A7’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The RLX doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the A7’s brake rotors are larger than those on the RLX:

 

A7

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 A7’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.

The A7 stops shorter than the RLX:

 

A7

RLX

 

70 to 0 MPH

163 feet

166 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

119 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the A7’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the RLX (255/40R20 vs. 245/40R19).

The A7 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 A7 Prestige offers optional 21-inch wheels. The RLX’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling

The A7 offers an available 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 A7’s wheelbase is 3 inches longer than on the RLX (115.2 inches vs. 112.2 inches).

The A7’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (53.9% to 46.1%) than the RLX’s (57% to 43%). This gives the A7 more stable handling and braking.

The A7 Prestige handles at .90 G’s, while the RLX pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The A7 Prestige executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.3 seconds quicker than the RLX (26 seconds @ .69 average G’s vs. 27.3 seconds @ .64 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the A7’s turning circle is 4.1 feet tighter than the RLX’s (36.4 feet vs. 40.5 feet).

Passenger Space

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the A7’s rear seats recline. The RLX’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The A7 has a much larger trunk than the RLX (24.9 vs. 14.9 cubic feet). The A7 has a much larger trunk than the RLX Sport Hybrid AWD (24.9 vs. 11.6 cubic feet).

The A7’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 when your hands are full, the A7’s power liftgate can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The RLX doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Towing

The A7 has a 3500 lbs. towing capacity. The RLX has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the A7 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

The power windows standard on both the A7 and the RLX have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the A7 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The RLX prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The A7 Premium Plus/Prestige has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The RLX doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the A7 Premium Plus/Prestige has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The RLX doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi A7 offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The RLX doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi A7 offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The RLX doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Recommendations

The Audi A7/S7/RS 7 outsold the Acura RLX by 79% during the 2018 model year.

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

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