2019 Audi e-tron vs. 2019 Acura RDX

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the e-tron and RDX have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The e-tron 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 RDX’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.

To allow off-road and deep snow capability, Four-Wheel Drive is standard on the e-tron. But it costs extra on the RDX.

An active infrared night vision system optional on the e-tron helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera and near-infrared lights to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The RDX doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the e-tron and the RDX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems and rearview cameras.

Warranty

The e-tron’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the RDX’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 e-tron’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 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 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 47 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 26th.

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 e-tron’s electric motor produces 130 more horsepower (402 vs. 272) and 210 lbs.-ft. more torque (490 vs. 280) than the RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the e-tron gets better fuel mileage than the RDX AWD (74 city/73 hwy MPGe vs. 21 city/27 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the e-tron’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The RDX doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi e-tron higher (10 out of 10) than the Acura RDX (6). This means the e-tron produces up to 12.9 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the RDX every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the e-tron’s brake rotors are larger than those on the RDX:

 

e-tron

RDX

Front Rotors

14.8 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

12.2 inches

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

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the e-tron has larger standard tires than the RDX (255/50R20 vs. 235/55R19). The e-tron Prestige’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the RDX (265/45R21 vs. 255/40R20).

The e-tron’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the RDX’s standard 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the e-tron has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 19-inch wheels are standard on the RDX. The e-tron Prestige’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels on the RDX A-Spec.

Suspension and Handling

The front and rear suspension of the e-tron uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the RDX, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The e-tron has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The e-tron’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 RDX doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the e-tron’s wheelbase is 7 inches longer than on the RDX (115.3 inches vs. 108.3 inches).

Chassis

The front grille of the e-tron uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The RDX doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The e-tron has .2 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more rear headroom, .7 inches more rear legroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the RDX.

Towing

Maximum trailer towing in the Acura RDX is limited to 1500 pounds. The e-tron offers up to a 4000 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the RDX, the e-tron Prestige has a 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 e-tron’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The RDX’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi e-tron has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The RDX doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi e-tron has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The RDX doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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

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