2019 Volvo XC60 vs. 2019 Acura RDX

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Volvo XC60 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 RDX doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The XC60’s 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.

Both the XC60 and RDX have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The XC60 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.

The XC60 has a standard Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WHIPS allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The RDX doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The XC60 has standard Automatic Braking After Collision, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The RDX 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.

The XC60’s 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 XC60 and the RDX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, 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, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the XC60 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 85 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The RDX has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The XC60’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the RDX’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the XC60 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Volvo will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Acura doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the RDX.

There are over 10 percent more Volvo dealers than there are Acura dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the XC60’s warranty.

Reliability

The RDX’s redline is at 7000 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The XC60 has a 6000 RPM redline.

Engine

The XC60 T6’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 44 more horsepower (316 vs. 272) and 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 280) than the RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The XC60 T8’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 128 more horsepower (400 vs. 272) and 192 lbs.-ft. more torque (472 vs. 280) than the RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the XC60 T6 is faster than the Acura RDX:

 

XC60

RDX

Zero to 60 MPH

6.1 sec

6.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

15.7 sec

18.1 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.8 sec

7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

15.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97 MPH

93 MPH

Top Speed

131 MPH

113 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the XC60 T8 running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the RDX AWD (59 city/57 hwy MPGe vs. 21 city/27 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the XC60 T8 running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the RDX AWD (25 city/28 hwy vs. 21 city/27 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the XC60 T5 FWD gets better fuel mileage than the RDX FWD (22 city/29 hwy vs. 22 city/28 hwy).

The XC60 T8 can drive on battery power alone for up to 17 miles. The RDX must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Regenerative brakes improve the XC60 T8’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The RDX doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The XC60 T8 Plug-In Hybrid’s standard fuel tank has 1.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the RDX (18.5 vs. 17.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The XC60’s standard fuel tank has 1.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the RDX (18.8 vs. 17.1 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the XC60’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the RDX:

 

XC60 T5

XC60 T6/T8

RDX

Front Rotors

12.7 inches

13.6 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

12.6 inches

12.2 inches

The XC60’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.

The XC60 stops shorter than the RDX:

 

XC60

RDX

 

70 to 0 MPH

170 feet

177 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XC60 R-Design offers optional 21-inch wheels. The RDX’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Suspension and Handling

The XC60 T6/T8 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The XC60’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 XC60’s wheelbase is 4.5 inches longer than on the RDX (112.8 inches vs. 108.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the XC60 is 1.1 inches wider in the front and .8 inches wider in the rear than the track on the RDX.

The XC60 T6 AWD Inscription handles at .87 G’s, while the RDX A-Spec AWD pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the XC60’s turning circle is 1.5 feet tighter than the RDX’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.9 feet).

For greater off-road capability the XC60 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the RDX (8.5 vs. 8.2 inches), allowing the XC60 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

The XC60 has 1.4 inches more front hip room and 5.5 inches more rear hip room than the RDX.

Towing

The XC60’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the RDX’s (3500 vs. 1500 pounds).

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the RDX, the XC60 R-Design/Inscription has a passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The XC60’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.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The XC60 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The RDX doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the XC60 offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The RDX doesn’t offer cornering lights. The XC60 also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The XC60’s optional Park Assist Pilot 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

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the XC60 is less expensive to operate than the RDX because typical repairs cost much less on the XC60 than the RDX, including $23 less for a muffler, $108 less for front brake pads and $734 less for a power steering pump.

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

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