2020 Acura RDX vs. 2019 Audi e-tron

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Full-time four-wheel drive is optional on the RDX. Full-time four-wheel drive gives added traction for safety in all conditions, not just off-road, like the only system available on the e-tron.

Both the RDX and the e-tron 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, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the RDX its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 46 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The e-tron has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the RDX 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Audi covers the e-tron. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the e-tron ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Fuel Economy and Range

The RDX’s maximum EPA estimated driving range on a full tank of fuel is 478.8 miles, after which it can be refueled at any gas station in minutes. The e-tron’s range is only 204 miles, after which the minimum recharge time is 30 minutes for only a 80% charge at a specially configured quick charge station not available in most areas. A full recharge at a conventional charging station can take up to 9 hours.

Tires and Wheels

The RDX A-Spec’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the e-tron Prestige’s optional 45 series tires.

The RDX has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The e-tron doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The RDX AWD has a standard space-saver spare (not available on A-Spec) so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the e-tron; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the RDX’s turning circle is 1.1 feet tighter than the e-tron’s (38.9 feet vs. 40 feet).

Chassis

The Acura RDX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1700 to 1950 pounds less than the Audi e-tron.

The RDX is 6.2 inches shorter than the e-tron, making the RDX easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The RDX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The e-tron doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The RDX has .8 inches more front legroom and 1.1 inches more front shoulder room than the e-tron.

Cargo Capacity

The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the e-tron with its rear seat up (31.1 vs. 28.5 cubic feet). The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the e-tron with its rear seat folded (79.8 vs. 57 cubic feet).

Towing

The RDX’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the e-tron’s (1500 vs. 0 pounds).

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Acura service is better than Audi. J.D. Power ranks Acura 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 9% lower rating, Audi is ranked 8th.

Ergonomics

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the RDX has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the e-tron only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the RDX detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The e-tron doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

On extremely cold winter days, the RDX’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The e-tron doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Model Availability

The RDX is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The e-tron doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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

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