2020 Acura RDX vs. 2019 Dodge Journey

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The RDX has a standard Collision Mitigating Braking System, which uses forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Journey doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The RDX’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Journey doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The RDX Advance has a standard Surround-View Camera System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Journey only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

The RDX’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Journey doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the RDX’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Journey doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The RDX has standard AcuraLink, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Journey doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the RDX and the Journey 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, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available all wheel drive.

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 Dodge Journey:

RDX

Journey

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.6 inches

Neck Injury Risk

30%

52%

Neck Stress

99 lbs.

164 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

362/441 lbs.

631/373 lbs.

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

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Acura RDX is safer than the Journey:

RDX

Journey

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Restraints

GOOD

MARGINAL

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

78

98

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

12 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

23 cm

24 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Femur Force R/L

.6/.3 kN

6.3/2.9 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

22%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Tibia index R/L

.41/.36

.8/.83

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 Journey was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

The RDX comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Journey’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the RDX 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Dodge covers the Journey. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Journey ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The RDX’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Journey runs out after 60,000 miles.

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 11 points higher than the Journey.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Acura vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Acura 26th in reliability. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 28th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Acura vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Acura 8 places higher in reliability than Dodge.

Engine

The RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. produces 99 more horsepower (272 vs. 173) and 114 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 166) than the Journey’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4-cyl. The RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. produces 20 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 260) than the Journey’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Acura RDX is faster than the Dodge Journey V6:

RDX

Journey

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

7.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94.7 MPH

87.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

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

Journey

FWD

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

19 city/25 hwy

3.6 DOHC V6

17 city/25 hwy

AWD

3.6 DOHC V6

16 city/24 hwy

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the RDX’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Journey doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

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 Journey 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 Dodge Journey (3). This means the RDX produces up to 23.4 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Journey every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the RDX has larger standard tires than the Journey (235/55R19 vs. 225/65R17). The RDX A-Spec’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Journey (255/40R20 vs. 225/65R17).

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 Journey SE’s standard 65 series tires. The RDX A-Spec’s tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Journey Crossroad/GT’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the RDX has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Journey SE. The RDX A-Spec’s 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the Journey Crossroad/GT.

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 Journey 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 Journey’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 Journey doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the RDX is 2.4 inches wider in the front and 2.4 inches wider in the rear than on the Journey.

The RDX AWD handles at .81 G’s, while the Journey AWD pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The RDX AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.5 seconds quicker than the Journey AWD (27.2 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.7 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

Chassis

The RDX is 5.6 inches shorter than the Journey, making the RDX easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the RDX has an electronically controlled liquid-filled main engine mount. A computer-controlled electric current in the liquid changes its viscosity, allowing the mount to dampen the engine completely at all RPMs. The Journey uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

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

Passenger Space

The RDX has .8 inches more front legroom, 1.2 inches more front hip room, 2.2 inches more front shoulder room and 2.3 inches more rear legroom than the Journey.

Cargo Capacity

The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Journey with all its rear seats folded (79.8 vs. 67.6 cubic feet).

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

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the RDX has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or on the RDX Advance, by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Journey doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

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

Servicing Ease

The RDX uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Journey uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Acura service is better than Dodge. J.D. Power ranks Acura 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 62% lower rating, Dodge is ranked 27th.

Ergonomics

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 Journey 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 Journey 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 Journey doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The RDX’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Journey’s standard power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically. With the Journey GT’s power windows, only the front windows open or close automatically.

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 Journey 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 Journey’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The RDX Advance’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

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

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 Journey’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

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 Journey doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

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 Journey’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The RDX Advance has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Journey has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The RDX has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the Journey, and aren’t available on the Journey SE. The RDX Advance also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the Journey.

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 Journey doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the RDX has a standard Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Journey doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Bluetooth wireless connectivity is standard on the RDX, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Bluetooth costs extra on the Journey.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the RDX owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the RDX will cost $375 to $1465 less than the Journey 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 Journey only retains 36.8% to 42.12%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the RDX is less expensive to operate than the Journey because typical repairs cost much less on the RDX than the Journey, including $2 less for a water pump, $932 less for a muffler, $207 less for a fuel pump, $62 less for front struts and $602 less for a timing belt/chain.

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

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