2020 Acura RDX vs. 2019 Buick Envision

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Collision Mitigating Braking System in the RDX as “Superior.” The Envision scores at most only 4 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

Both the RDX and the Envision have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Acura RDX is safer than the Buick Envision:





4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

262 lbs.

271 lbs.

Neck Compression

23 lbs.

27 lbs.



4 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.7 inches

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

99 lbs.

170 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

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 Envision has not been fully tested, yet.


From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Acura vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Acura 6 places higher in reliability than Buick.


The RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. produces 75 more horsepower (272 vs. 197) and 88 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 192) than the Envision’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cyl. The RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. produces 20 more horsepower (272 vs. 252) than the Envision Premium’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the RDX AWD gets better fuel mileage than the Envision Premium AWD Turbo (21 city/27 hwy vs. 20 city/25 hwy).

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 Envision doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Acura RDX higher (6 out of 10) than the Buick Envision (5). This means the RDX produces up to 6.9 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Envision every 15,000 miles.


A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Acura RDX, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a nine-speed automatic is available for the Envision.

Brakes and Stopping

The RDX stops much shorter than the Envision:



60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

129 feet

153 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the RDX has larger standard tires than the Envision (235/55R19 vs. 225/60R18). The RDX A-Spec’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Envision (255/40R20 vs. 235/50R19).

The RDX’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Envision’s standard 60 series tires. The RDX A-Spec’s tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Envision Premium’s 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the RDX has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Envision. The RDX A-Spec’s 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the Envision Premium.

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 Envision’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The RDX has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Envision doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the RDX is 2.2 inches wider in the front and 2.7 inches wider in the rear than on the Envision.

Passenger Space

The RDX has 3.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Envision (104 vs. 100.6).

The RDX has .7 inches more front legroom, .6 inches more front hip room, 2.7 inches more front shoulder room, .9 inches more rear legroom and .8 inches more rear shoulder room than the Envision.

Cargo Capacity

The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Envision with its rear seat up (31.1 vs. 26.9 cubic feet). The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Envision with its rear seat folded (79.8 vs. 57.3 cubic feet).

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the RDX. The Envision doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Servicing Ease

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


The RDX’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Envision’s passenger windows don’t close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the RDX the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Envision can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The RDX has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Envision doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The RDX’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Envision’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The RDX’s standard headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Envision’s headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Poor.”

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the RDX is less expensive to operate than the Envision because it costs $264 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the RDX than the Envision, including $27 less for a water pump, $95 less for a muffler, $498 less for front struts and $471 less for a timing belt/chain.


The Acura RDX outsold the Buick Envision by over two to one during 2018.

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

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