2020 Acura RDX vs. 2019 Lexus NX Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/05

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 NX Series scores only 4 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

Compared to metal, the RDX’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Lexus NX Series has a metal gas tank.

Both the RDX and the NX Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, 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 Lexus NX Series:

RDX

NX Series

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

26%

46%

Neck Stress

262 lbs.

509 lbs.

Neck Compression

23 lbs.

24 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

328/464 lbs.

480/609 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

353

355

Neck Injury Risk

30%

42%

Neck Stress

99 lbs.

295 lbs.

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

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Acura RDX is safer than the Lexus NX Series:

RDX

NX Series

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

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 NX Series has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/05

There are over 12 percent more Acura dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the RDX’s warranty.

Engine

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The RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. produces 78 more horsepower (272 vs. 194) and 81 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 199) than the NX 300h’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cyl. hybrid. The RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. produces 37 more horsepower (272 vs. 235) and 22 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 258) than the NX 300’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Acura RDX is faster than the Lexus NX Series:

RDX

NX 300h

NX 300

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

8.3 sec

7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

16.3 sec

15.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94.7 MPH

84.5 MPH

90.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/05

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Acura RDX uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The NX 300 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The RDX has 2.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the NX Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (17.1 vs. 14.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The RDX has 1.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the NX Series’ standard fuel tank (17.1 vs. 15.9 gallons).

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 NX Series doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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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 NX Series.

Brakes and Stopping

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The RDX stops much shorter than the NX Series:

RDX

NX Series

70 to 0 MPH

177 feet

183 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

129 feet

142 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the RDX has larger standard tires than the NX Series (235/55R19 vs. 225/65R17). The RDX A-Spec’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the NX Series (255/40R20 vs. 235/55R18).

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 NX Series’ standard 65 series tires. The RDX A-Spec’s tires have a lower 40 series profile than the NX Series F Sport’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 NX Series. The RDX A-Spec’s 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the NX Series.

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 NX Series doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/05

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the RDX’s wheelbase is 3.6 inches longer than on the NX Series (108.3 inches vs. 104.7 inches).

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 the average track on the NX Series.

The RDX A-Spec AWD handles at .81 G’s, while the NX 300 F Sport AWD pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The RDX AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the NX 300h AWD (27.2 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 27.8 seconds @ .63 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the RDX has a 1.5 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the NX 300h (8.2 vs. 6.7 inches), allowing the RDX to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The RDX’s minimum ground clearance is 1.3 inches higher than on the NX 300 (8.2 vs. 6.9 inches).

Chassis

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

Passenger Space

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The RDX has 32.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the NX Series (104 vs. 71.6).

The RDX has 2.2 inches more front headroom, 2.4 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom, 2.3 inches more rear legroom and 1.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the NX Series.

Cargo Capacity

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The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the NX Series with its rear seat up (31.1 vs. 17.7 cubic feet). The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the NX Series with its rear seat folded (79.8 vs. 54.6 cubic feet).

Towing

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The RDX’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the NX Series’ (1500 vs. 0 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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The RDX has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The NX Series doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

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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 NX Series.

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 NX Series doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 NX Series’ 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 NX Series’ headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Poor.”

The RDX has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the NX Series. The RDX Advance also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the NX Series.

Economic Advantages

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/05

Insurance will cost less for the RDX owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the RDX will cost $1780 to $2345 less than the NX Series over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the RDX is less expensive to operate than the NX Series because it costs $527 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the RDX than the NX Series, including $114 less for a water pump, $320 less for a muffler, $33 less for a starter, $327 less for fuel injection and $992 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/05

The Acura RDX outsold the Lexus NX Series by 1501 units during 2018.

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

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