2020 Lexus NX Series vs. 2020 Acura RDX

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/21

The NX Series’ optional 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.

The NX Series has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The RDX doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The NX Series offers an optional Intuitive Parking Assist with Automatic Braking that use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The RDX doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The NX Series’ driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The RDX doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the NX Series and the RDX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver 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, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Lexus NX Series is safer than the Acura RDX:

NX Series

RDX

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

209

300

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.6 inches

Neck Compression

70 lbs.

84 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

442/307 lbs.

362/441 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/21

The NX Series’ corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the RDX’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

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The RDX’s redline is at 7000 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The NX Series has a 5900 RPM redline.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the NX Series’ reliability 58 points higher than the RDX.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 24th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 65 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 26th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Acura is ranked 13th.

Engine

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As tested in Motor Trend the NX 300 is faster than the Acura RDX:

NX Series

RDX

Zero to 30 MPH

2.5 sec

2.6 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.9 sec

7.1 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

11.4 sec

11.8 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

3.5 sec

3.6 sec

Quarter Mile

15.3 sec

15.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91 MPH

90.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/21

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

MPG

NX Series

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

AWD

2.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

33 city/30 hwy

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

F Sport 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

RDX

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

A-Spec 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/27 hwy

A-Spec 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/26 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the NX Series 300h’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The RDX doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission

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The NX 300h has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The RDX doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the NX Series’ front brake rotors are larger than those on the RDX:

NX Series

RDX

Front Rotors

12.9 inches

12.4 inches

The NX Series stops much shorter than the RDX:

NX Series

RDX

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

133 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

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The NX 300 AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the RDX AWD (27.2 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 27.7 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the NX Series’ turning circle is 1.5 feet tighter than the RDX’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.9 feet).

Chassis

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The NX Series is 4.1 inches shorter than the RDX, making the NX Series easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The NX Series has 1.2 inches more front legroom, .1 inches more front hip room and 4 inches more rear hip room than the RDX.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the NX Series’ rear seats recline. The RDX’s rear seats don’t recline.

Payload and Towing

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Maximum trailer towing in the Acura RDX is limited to 1500 pounds. Standard trailer towing in the NX 300 is 2000 pounds.

The NX Series has a higher standard payload capacity than the RDX (895 vs. 838 lbs.).

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Acura. J.D. Power ranks Lexus second in service department satisfaction. With a 15% lower rating, Acura is ranked 6th.

Ergonomics

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The NX Series’ instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The RDX does not have an oil pressure gauge.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the NX Series F Sport has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The RDX doesn’t offer cornering lights. The NX Series also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The NX Series offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The RDX has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the NX Series owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the NX Series with a number “5” insurance rate while the RDX is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

The NX Series will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the NX Series will retain 50.95% to 51.77% of its original price after five years, while the RDX only retains 43.71% to 46.51%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the NX Series is less expensive to operate than the RDX because typical repairs cost much less on the NX Series than the RDX, including $255 less for front brake pads, $39 less for a fuel pump, $27 less for front struts and $726 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Lexus NX Series will be $3070 to $6928 less than for the Acura RDX.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/21

Consumer Reports® recommends the Lexus NX Series, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Acura RDX isn't recommended.

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

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