2020 Acura RDX vs. 2019 Volvo XC60

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the RDX and the XC60 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, plastic fuel tanks, 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.

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 XC60 is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2019.

Warranty

Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the RDX 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Volvo covers the XC60. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the XC60 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 22 more horsepower (272 vs. 250) and 22 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 258) than the XC60 T5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Acura RDX is faster than the Volvo XC60:

RDX

XC60 T5

XC60 T6

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

7.3 sec

6.6 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

15.5 sec

15 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94.7 MPH

86.1 MPH

89.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the RDX AWD gets better fuel mileage than the XC60 T5 AWD (21 city/27 hwy vs. 20 city/27 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Acura RDX uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The XC60 T5 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

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 XC60.

Brakes and Stopping

The RDX stops much shorter than the XC60:

RDX

XC60

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

131 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 XC60’s standard 60 series tires. The RDX A-Spec’s tires have a lower 40 series profile than the XC60’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 XC60.

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 XC60 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The front and rear suspension of the RDX uses coil springs for better ride, handling and control than the XC60, which uses transverse leafs springs in the rear. Coil springs compress more progressively and offer more suspension travel for a smoother ride with less bottoming out.

The RDX AWD handles at .81 G’s, while the XC60 T8 eAWD Momentum pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

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 XC60 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The RDX has 1.6 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front legroom, 1.5 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom, .4 inches more rear legroom and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the XC60.

Cargo Capacity

The RDX has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the XC60 with its rear seat up (31.1 vs. 30.2 cubic feet). The RDX has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the XC60 with its rear seat folded (79.8 vs. 50.6 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 XC60 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

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 XC60’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

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 XC60’s headlights are rated “Acceptable.”

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 XC60 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the RDX is less expensive to operate than the XC60 because typical repairs cost much less on the RDX than the XC60, including $76 less for a water pump, $67 less for a starter, $197 less for fuel injection, $333 less for a fuel pump, $6 less for front struts and $19 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

The Acura RDX outsold the Volvo XC60 by almost two to one during 2018.

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

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