2020 Acura RDX vs. 2019 Cadillac XT5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the RDX and the XT5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver 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 Cadillac XT5:

RDX

XT5

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.7 inches

Neck Injury Risk

30%

51.8%

Neck Stress

99 lbs.

251 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 XT5 was last qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the RDX’s reliability 20 points higher than the XT5.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Acura vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Acura 15 places higher in reliability than Cadillac.

Engine

The RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. produces 9 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 271) than the XT5’s 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Acura RDX is faster than the Cadillac XT5:

RDX

XT5

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

6.5 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

15.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94.7 MPH

92.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the RDX gets better fuel mileage than the XT5:

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

XT5

FWD

3.6 DOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

AWD

3.6 DOHC V6

18 city/25 hwy

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 XT5.

Brakes and Stopping

The RDX stops much shorter than the XT5:

RDX

XT5

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the RDX A-Spec’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the XT5 (255/40R20 vs. 235/65R18).

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 XT5’s standard 65 series tires. The RDX A-Spec’s tires have a lower 40 series profile than the XT5’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the RDX has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the XT5.

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 XT5 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For greater off-road capability the RDX has a greater minimum ground clearance than the XT5 (8.2 vs. 7.8 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 200 to 300 pounds less than the Cadillac XT5.

The RDX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The XT5 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The RDX has 1.2 inches more front headroom, .4 inches more front legroom, 1.4 inches more front shoulder room, 2.3 inches more rear headroom and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the XT5.

Cargo Capacity

The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the XT5 with its rear seat up (31.1 vs. 30 cubic feet). The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the XT5 with its rear seat folded (79.8 vs. 63 cubic feet).

Towing

The RDX’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the XT5’s (1500 vs. 1000 pounds).

Ergonomics

The RDX’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the XT5.

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 XT5’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

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 XT5 can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 XT5’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 XT5’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the RDX owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the RDX will cost $2085 to $4525 less than the XT5 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 XT5 only retains 42.64% to 43.55%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the RDX is less expensive to operate than the XT5 because it costs $346 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the RDX than the XT5, including $106 less for a water pump, $434 less for a muffler, $170 less for fuel injection and $726 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Acura RDX will be $7996 to $21409 less than for the Cadillac XT5.

Recommendations

The Acura RDX outsold the Cadillac XT5 by 3015 units during 2018.

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

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