2020 Acura RDX vs. 2019 Audi Q3

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the RDX and the Q3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 all wheel drive, 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 Q3 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the RDX 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Audi covers the Q3. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Q3 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Engine

The RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 44 more horsepower (272 vs. 228) and 22 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 258) than the Q3’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the RDX gets better fuel mileage than the Q3:

MPG

RDX

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

A-Spec 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/27 hwy

A-Spec 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/26 hwy

Q3

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

19 city/27 hwy

The RDX has 1.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Q3 (17.1 vs. 15.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The RDX has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Q3 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Acura RDX, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Q3.

Tires and Wheels

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the RDX has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Q3.

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 Q3 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The RDX offers an optional 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 or off-road. The Q3’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the RDX’s wheelbase is 2.8 inches longer than on the Q3 (108.3 inches vs. 105.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the RDX is 2 inches wider in the front and 2.8 inches wider in the rear than on the Q3.

Chassis

The RDX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Q3 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The RDX has 1.6 inches more front legroom, 3 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, 2.3 inches more rear legroom and 1.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Q3.

Cargo Capacity

The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Q3 with its rear seat up (31.1 vs. 23.7 cubic feet). The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Q3 with its rear seat folded (79.8 vs. 48 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the RDX’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Q3 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

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

The RDX has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Q3 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When two different drivers share the RDX, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each keyless remote activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The Q3 doesn’t offer a memory system.

The RDX’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Q3 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The RDX Advance has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Q3 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The RDX’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Q3’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

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 Q3 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

When the RDX is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Q3’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Both the RDX and the Q3 have standard heated front seats. The RDX Advance also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Q3.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the RDX keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Q3 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

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 Q3 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Model Availability

The RDX is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Q3 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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

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