2020 Acura RDX vs. 2019 BMW X4

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Acura RDX are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW X4 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the RDX and the X4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 X4 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the RDX 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than BMW covers the X4. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the X4 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Engine

The RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. produces 24 more horsepower (272 vs. 248) and 22 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 258) than the X4 xDrive30i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Acura RDX uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The X4 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

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 X4 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 X4.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the RDX A-Spec’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the X4 (255/40R20 vs. 245/40R20).

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 X4 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the RDX’s turning circle is 1.1 feet tighter than the X4’s (38.9 feet vs. 40 feet).

For greater off-road capability the RDX has a greater minimum ground clearance than the X4 (8.2 vs. 8 inches), allowing the RDX to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The Acura RDX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 350 pounds less than the BMW X4.

The RDX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The X4 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The RDX has 6.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the X4 (104 vs. 97.8).

The RDX has .6 inches more front headroom, .9 inches more front legroom, 2.2 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear headroom, 2.9 inches more rear legroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the X4.

Cargo Capacity

The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the X4 with its rear seat up (31.1 vs. 18.5 cubic feet). The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the X4 with its rear seat folded (79.8 vs. 50.5 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the RDX’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The X4 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the RDX Advance’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The X4 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Acura service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Acura 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 19% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.

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 X4 doesn’t offer a remote starting 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 X4 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

Model Availability

The RDX is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The X4 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the RDX owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the RDX will cost $3680 to $6235 less than the X4 over a five-year period.

The RDX will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the RDX will retain 51.89% to 53.05% of its original price after five years, while the X4 only retains 48.5% to 49.14%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Acura RDX will be $13635 to $18915 less than for the BMW X4.

Recommendations

The Acura RDX outsold the BMW X4 by almost 15 to one during 2018.

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

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