2020 Acura RDX vs. 2020 Honda Passport

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 Passport 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 Passport have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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 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 vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its standard headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the RDX its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Passport last would have qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” for 2019.

Warranty

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The RDX comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Passport’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the RDX 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Honda covers the Passport. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Passport ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

Reliability

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A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the RDX’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Passport’s camshafts. If the Passport’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

Engine

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The RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 18 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 262) than the Passport’s 3.5 SOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Acura RDX is faster than the Honda Passport:

RDX

Passport

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

6.6 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

15.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94.7 MPH

89.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/10/25

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

RDX

Passport

2WD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

22 city/28 hwy

20 city/25 hwy

3.5 V6/Auto

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

22 city/27 hwy

n/a

4WD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

21 city/27 hwy

19 city/24 hwy

3.5 V6/Auto

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

21 city/26 hwy

n/a

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Acura RDX higher (6 out of 10) than the Honda Passport (3). This means the RDX produces up to 23.4 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Passport every 15,000 miles.

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 nine-speed automatic is available for the Passport.

Brakes and Stopping

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The RDX stops much shorter than the Passport:

RDX

Passport

70 to 0 MPH

177 feet

181 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

135 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

129 feet

143 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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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 Passport Touring/Elite’s 45 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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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 Passport’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The RDX A-Spec AWD handles at .81 G’s, while the Passport Elite AWD pulls only .78 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 Passport Elite AWD (27.2 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the RDX’s turning circle is .4 feet tighter than the Passport AWD’s (38.9 feet vs. 39.3 feet). The RDX’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Passport’s (38.9 feet vs. 39.5 feet).

For greater off-road capability the RDX has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Passport (8.2 vs. 8.1 inches), allowing the RDX to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The RDX is 3.7 inches shorter than the Passport, making the RDX easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

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The RDX has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Passport with its rear seat folded (79.8 vs. 77.9 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

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The RDX uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Passport uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Acura service is better than Honda. J.D. Power ranks Acura 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 51% lower rating, Honda is ranked 23rd.

Ergonomics

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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 Passport doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The RDX’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Passport’s parking brake has to released manually.

The power windows standard on both the RDX and the Passport have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the RDX is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Passport prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 Passport’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 available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Passport’s headlights are rated “Acceptable.”

The RDX’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Honda only offers heated mirrors on the Passport EX-L/Touring/Elite.

The RDX’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Passport’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/10/25

The Acura RDX outsold the Honda Passport by 74% during 2019.

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