2020 Acura RDX vs. 2019 GMC Acadia

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 GMC Acadia doesn’t offer height-adjustable front seat belts.

Both the RDX and the Acadia have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, 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 GMC Acadia:

RDX

Acadia

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

353

403

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.6 inches

Neck Injury Risk

30%

37%

Neck Stress

99 lbs.

152 lbs.

Neck Compression

84 lbs.

186 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 Acadia was last qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

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 Acadia’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 GMC covers the Acadia. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Acadia ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The RDX’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Acadia’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Reliability

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Acura vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Acura 12 places higher in reliability than GMC.

Engine

The RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. produces 79 more horsepower (272 vs. 193) and 92 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 188) than the Acadia’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cyl. The RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. produces 9 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 271) than the Acadia’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Acura RDX is faster than the GMC Acadia V6:

RDX

Acadia

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

6.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

15.3 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 Acadia:

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

Acadia

FWD

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

21 city/26 hwy

3.6 DOHC V6

18 city/25 hwy

AWD

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

21 city/25 hwy

3.6 DOHC V6

17 city/25 hwy

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 GMC Acadia (5 to 6). This means the RDX produces up to 6.9 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Acadia 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 Acadia.

Brakes and Stopping

The RDX stops much shorter than the Acadia:

RDX

Acadia

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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

Suspension and Handling

For greater off-road capability the RDX has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Acadia (8.2 vs. 7.2 inches), allowing the RDX to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The RDX’s minimum ground clearance is .4 inch higher than on the Acadia All Terrain (8.2 vs. 7.8 inches).

Chassis

The RDX is 6.8 inches shorter than the Acadia, making the RDX easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The RDX has .6 inches more front legroom and .3 inches more front shoulder room than the Acadia.

Cargo Capacity

The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Acadia with all its rear seats folded (79.8 vs. 79 cubic feet).

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

Towing

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

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Acura service is better than GMC. J.D. Power ranks Acura 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 26% lower rating, GMC is ranked 14th.

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 Acadia, and is not available on all models.

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 Acadia 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 Acadia’s standard power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its front windows open automatically. The Acadia’s optional windows’ 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 Acadia 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 Acadia doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The RDX Advance’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Acadia’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

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 Acadia’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 $870 to $3045 less than the Acadia 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 Acadia only retains 42.28% to 47.72%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the RDX is less expensive to operate than the Acadia because it costs $300 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the RDX than the Acadia, including $54 less for a water pump, $101 less for a muffler, $44 less for fuel injection and $834 less for a timing belt/chain.

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

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