2020 Audi e-tron Sportback vs. 2020 Acura RDX

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 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 2020/06/06

The e-tron Sportback’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The RDX doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the e-tron Sportback and RDX have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The e-tron Sportback has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The RDX’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The e-tron Sportback’s standard pretensioning seatbelts also sense rear collisions and remove slack from the seatbelts to help protect the occupants from whiplash and other injuries. The RDX doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The e-tron Sportback has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The RDX doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

To allow off-road and deep snow capability, Four-Wheel Drive is standard on the e-tron Sportback. But it costs extra on the RDX.

An active infrared night vision system optional on the e-tron Sportback helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera and near-infrared lights to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The RDX doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the e-tron Sportback and the RDX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 and rearview cameras.

The Audi e-tron Sportback weighs 1686 to 1971 pounds more than the Acura RDX. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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The e-tron Sportback’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the RDX’s (12 vs. 5 years).

There are over 12 percent more Audi dealers than there are Acura dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the e-tron Sportback’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Audi vehicles are better in initial quality than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 22nd in initial quality. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 24th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 47 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 26th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 14 places higher in reliability than Acura.

Engine

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The e-tron Sportback’s electric motors produce 130 more horsepower (402 vs. 272) and 210 lbs.-ft. more torque (490 vs. 280) than the RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the e-tron Sportback gets better mileage than the RDX:

MPGe

e-tron Sportback

AWD

Electric Motors

76 city/78 hwy

RDX

MPG

RWD

Auto

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

A-Spec 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

AWD

Auto

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/27 hwy

A-Spec 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/26 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the e-tron Sportback’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The RDX doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi e-tron Sportback higher (10 out of 10) than the Acura RDX (6). This means the e-tron Sportback produces up to 12.9 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the RDX every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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The e-tron Sportback’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The RDX doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the e-tron Sportback’s brake rotors are larger than those on the RDX:

e-tron Sportback

RDX

Front Rotors

15.7 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

12.2 inches

The e-tron Sportback’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the RDX are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the e-tron Sportback has larger standard tires than the RDX (255/50R20 vs. 235/55R19). The e-tron Sportback’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the RDX (265/45R21 vs. 255/40R20).

The e-tron Sportback’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the RDX’s standard 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the e-tron Sportback has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 19-inch wheels are standard on the RDX. The e-tron Sportback’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels on the RDX A-Spec.

Suspension and Handling

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The front and rear suspension of the e-tron Sportback uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the RDX, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The e-tron Sportback has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The e-tron Sportback’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The RDX doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the e-tron Sportback’s wheelbase is 6.7 inches longer than on the RDX (115 inches vs. 108.3 inches).

Chassis

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The front grille of the e-tron Sportback uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The RDX doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The e-tron Sportback has .7 inches more rear legroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the RDX.

Towing

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Maximum trailer towing in the Acura RDX is limited to 1500 pounds. The e-tron Sportback offers up to a 4000 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the RDX, the e-tron Sportback Prestige has a passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The e-tron Sportback’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The RDX’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the e-tron Sportback has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The RDX doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The e-tron Sportback Prestige has standard massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the RDX.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi e-tron Sportback has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The RDX doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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