2020 Acura RDX vs. 2019 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

Safety

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 Golf Alltrack scores only 3 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

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 Golf Alltrack only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the RDX and the Golf Alltrack have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, 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 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 Golf Alltrack was last qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

The RDX comes with free roadside assistance for 4 years 50,000 miles. Acura will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump-start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Volkswagen doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the Golf Alltrack.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Acura vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Acura 24th in initial quality. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 25th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Acura vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Acura 3 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Engine

The RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. produces 104 more horsepower (272 vs. 168) and 81 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 199) than the Golf Alltrack’s 1.8 turbo 4-cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Acura RDX is faster than the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack (automatics tested):

RDX

Golf Alltrack

Zero to 30 MPH

3 sec

3.2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7 sec

8.5 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.9 sec

5.4 sec

Quarter Mile

15.5 sec

16.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95 MPH

87 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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 Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The RDX has 2.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Golf Alltrack (17.1 vs. 14.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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 Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

The Acura RDX comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Golf Alltrack.

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 Golf Alltrack.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the RDX’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Golf Alltrack:

RDX

Golf Alltrack

Front Rotors

12.4 inches

11.3 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

10.7 inches

The RDX stops shorter than the Golf Alltrack:

RDX

Golf Alltrack

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

122 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

129 feet

137 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the RDX has larger standard tires than the Golf Alltrack (235/55R19 vs. 205/55R17). The RDX A-Spec’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Golf Alltrack (255/40R20 vs. 225/45R18).

The RDX A-Spec’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Golf Alltrack’s optional 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the RDX has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Golf Alltrack. The RDX A-Spec’s 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the Golf Alltrack.

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 Golf Alltrack 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 Golf Alltrack’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the RDX’s wheelbase is 4.8 inches longer than on the Golf Alltrack (108.3 inches vs. 103.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the RDX is 3.3 inches wider in the front and 5 inches wider in the rear than on the Golf Alltrack.

The RDX AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Golf Alltrack SEL (27.2 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 27.7 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the RDX has a 1.3 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Golf Alltrack (8.2 vs. 6.9 inches), allowing the RDX to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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 Golf Alltrack 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 Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The RDX has 9.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Golf Alltrack (104 vs. 94.3).

The RDX has 1 inch more front headroom, .4 inches more front legroom, 3.8 inches more front shoulder room, 2.8 inches more rear legroom and 2.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Golf Alltrack.

Cargo Capacity

The RDX has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Golf Alltrack with its rear seat up (31.1 vs. 30.4 cubic feet). The RDX has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Golf Alltrack with its rear seat folded (79.8 vs. 66.5 cubic feet).

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

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

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 Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

The RDX has a 1500 lbs. towing capacity. The Golf Alltrack has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Acura service is better than Volkswagen. J.D. Power ranks Acura 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 35% lower rating, Volkswagen is ranked 18th.

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 Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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 Golf Alltrack 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 Golf Alltrack 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 Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 Golf Alltrack can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

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 Golf Alltrack 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 Golf Alltrack’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

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 Golf Alltrack’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Both the RDX and the Golf Alltrack have standard heated front seats. 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 Golf Alltrack.

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 Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the RDX’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The RDX has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Golf Alltrack SEL.

Model Availability

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

Recommendations

The Acura RDX outsold the Volkswagen Golf/GTI by 50% during 2018.

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

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos