2019 BMW X6 vs. 2019 Acura RDX

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The X6’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The RDX doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The X6 has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The RDX doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the X6 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 RDX doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The X6’s optional driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The RDX doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the X6 and the RDX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 and around view monitors.

The BMW X6 weighs 517 to 1297 pounds more than the Acura RDX. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

The X6’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the RDX’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X6 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Acura doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the RDX.

There are over 27 percent more BMW dealers than there are Acura dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the X6’s warranty.

Reliability

The battery on the X6 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the X6’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The RDX’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X6 first among midsize premium SUVs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The RDX isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 20th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 32 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 20th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 5 places higher in reliability than Acura.

Engine

The X6 s/xDrive35i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 30 more horsepower (302 vs. 272) and 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 280) than the RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The X6 xDrive50i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 173 more horsepower (445 vs. 272) and 199 lbs.-ft. more torque (479 vs. 280) than the RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

Regenerative brakes improve the X6’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The RDX doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The X6 has 5.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the RDX (22.4 vs. 17.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

The X6’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 RDX doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the X6’s brake rotors are larger than those on the RDX:

 

X6 s/xDrive35i

X6 xDrive50i

RDX

Front Rotors

13.7 inches

14.4 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

13.6 inches

12.2 inches

The X6’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 X6 has larger standard tires than the RDX (255/50R19 vs. 235/55R19). The X6’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the RDX (F:275/40R20 & R:315/35R20 vs. 255/40R20).

The X6’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. The X6 xDrive50i’s optional 275/35R21 front and 315/30R21 rear tires have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile than the RDX A-Spec’s 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X6 xDrive50i offers optional 21-inch wheels. The RDX’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X6 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The RDX doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The X6 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 RDX.

The X6 offers an optional automatic rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The RDX doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X6’s wheelbase is 7.2 inches longer than on the RDX (115.5 inches vs. 108.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X6 is .4 inches wider in the front and 2.5 inches wider in the rear than on the RDX.

The X6’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.2% to 49.8%) than the RDX’s (57% to 43%). This gives the X6 more stable handling and braking.

For greater off-road capability the X6 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the RDX (8.3 vs. 8.2 inches), allowing the X6 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

The X6 has .3 inches more front headroom, .8 inches more front shoulder room and 1.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the RDX.

Payload and Towing

The X6’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the RDX’s (6000 vs. 1500 pounds).

The X6 has a much higher standard payload capacity than the RDX (1110 vs. 838 lbs.).

Servicing Ease

The engine in the X6 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the RDX. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that BMW service is better than Acura. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 12% lower rating, Acura is ranked 12th.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the RDX, the X6 offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The X6’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.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the X6 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The RDX doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The X6 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The RDX doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the X6 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The RDX doesn’t offer cornering lights. The X6 also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The X6’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The RDX doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the X6 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the X6 with a number “1” insurance rate while the RDX is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the X6 is less expensive to operate than the RDX because typical repairs cost less on the X6 than the RDX, including $52 less for front brake pads.

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

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