2020 Acura RDX vs. 2019 Porsche Cayenne

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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

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 Cayenne has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the RDX 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Porsche covers the Cayenne. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Cayenne ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 42 percent more Acura dealers than there are Porsche dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the RDX’s warranty.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

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

Cayenne

AWD

3.0 turbo V6

19 city/23 hwy

S 2.9 turbo V6

18 city/23 hwy

Turbo 4.0 turbo V8

15 city/19 hwy

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

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

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 Cayenne.

Brakes and Stopping

The RDX stops shorter than the Cayenne:

RDX

Cayenne

60 to 0 MPH

127 feet

131 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

129 feet

140 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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 Cayenne doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the RDX’s turning circle is .8 feet tighter than the Cayenne’s (38.9 feet vs. 39.7 feet).

Chassis

The Acura RDX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 600 to 1000 pounds less than the Porsche Cayenne.

The RDX is 6.9 inches shorter than the Cayenne, making the RDX easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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

Cargo Capacity

The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Cayenne with its rear seat up (31.1 vs. 27.1 cubic feet). The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Cayenne with its rear seat folded (79.8 vs. 60.3 cubic feet).

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

Ergonomics

The RDX has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Cayenne doesn’t offer a remote starting 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. An easy entry system costs extra on the Cayenne.

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 Cayenne can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the RDX has standard extendable sun visors. The Cayenne doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Model Availability

The RDX is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Cayenne doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

The Acura RDX outsold the Porsche Cayenne by almost six to one during 2018.

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

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