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The A8 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 A8. But it costs extra on the RLX.
A passive infrared night vision system optional on the A8 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 A8 and the RLX have standard driver and passenger frontal 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.
The A8’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 A8’s warranty.
A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the A8’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.
The A8’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 A8’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.
The A8 has 6.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the RLX Sport Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (21.7 vs. 15.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The A8 has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the RLX’s standard fuel tank (21.7 vs. 18.5 gallons).
For better stopping power the A8’s brake rotors are larger than those on the RLX:
RLX Sport Hybrid
The A8’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.
For better traction, the A8 has larger tires than the RLX (255/45R19 vs. 245/40R19).
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A8 offers optional 20-inch wheels. The RLX’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.
The front and rear suspension of the A8 uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the RLX, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.
The A8 offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Acura doesn’t offer an active suspension on the RLX.
The A8 has a standard 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.
The A8 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The A8’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The RLX doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the A8’s wheelbase is 10.9 inches longer than on the RLX (123.1 inches vs. 112.2 inches).
The A8 has .7 inches more front headroom, 1.6 inches more rear headroom, 5.5 inches more rear legroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the RLX.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the A8’s available rear seats recline. The RLX’s rear seats don’t recline.
To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just kicking your foot under the back bumper can open the A8’s power trunk, leaving your hands completely free. The A8’s power trunk can also be opened or closed by pressing a button. The RLX doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.
The engine in the A8 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.
Unlike the driver-only memory system in the RLX, the A8 has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.
The power windows standard on both the A8 and the RLX have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the A8 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 A8 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 A8 offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The RLX doesn’t offer cornering lights.
Optional air conditioned front and rear seats keep the A8’s passengers comfortable and take the sting out of hot leather in summer. The RLX doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats in the rear.
The A8 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the A8 will retain 39.71% to 40.32% of its original price after five years, while the RLX only retains 33.14% to 34.94%.
The Audi A8/S8 outsold the Acura RLX by almost three to one during 2017.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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