2020 Acura RDX vs. 2019 Volvo XC40

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the RDX and the XC40 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, 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.

Warranty

Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the RDX 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Volvo covers the XC40. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the XC40 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

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 Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Acura 24th in initial quality. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 28th.

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 Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Acura 26th in reliability. With 33 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 29th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Acura vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Acura 16 places higher in reliability than Volvo.

Engine

The RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. produces 85 more horsepower (272 vs. 187) and 59 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 221) than the XC40 T4’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. The RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. produces 24 more horsepower (272 vs. 248) and 22 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 258) than the XC40 T5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Acura RDX is faster than the XC40 T5:

RDX

XC40

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

8.2 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

16.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94.7 MPH

84.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Acura RDX uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The XC40 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The RDX has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the XC40 (17.1 vs. 14.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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 Volvo XC40 (5). This means the RDX produces up to 6.9 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the XC40 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 an eight-speed automatic is available for the XC40.

Brakes and Stopping

The RDX stops shorter than the XC40:

RDX

XC40

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

125 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

129 feet

135 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the RDX A-Spec’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the XC40 (255/40R20 vs. 245/45R20).

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 XC40’s optional 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the RDX has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the XC40.

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 XC40 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the RDX’s wheelbase is 1.9 inches longer than on the XC40 (108.3 inches vs. 106.4 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the RDX is 1.2 inches wider in the front and .7 inches wider in the rear than on the XC40.

The RDX AWD handles at .81 G’s, while the XC40 T5 R-Design AWD pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The RDX AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the XC40 T5 R-Design AWD (27.2 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

Chassis

The RDX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The XC40 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The RDX has .6 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front legroom, .3 inches more front hip room, 3 inches more front shoulder room, 2.3 inches more rear legroom and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the XC40.

Cargo Capacity

The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the XC40 with its rear seat up (31.1 vs. 20.7 cubic feet). The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the XC40 with its rear seat folded (79.8 vs. 57.5 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Acura service is better than Volvo. J.D. Power ranks Acura 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 26% lower rating, Volvo 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. The XC40 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 XC40 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 XC40 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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 XC40 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

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 costs extra on the XC40.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the RDX is less expensive to operate than the XC40 because typical repairs cost much less on the RDX than the XC40, including $75 less for a muffler, $96 less for a fuel pump and $310 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

The Acura RDX outsold the Volvo XC40 by over five to one during 2018.

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

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