2020 Nissan Murano 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 2020/10/29

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Murano are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The RDX doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Murano has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints 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 Murano offers optional Rear Automatic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The RDX doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Murano’s 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 Murano 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, 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, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, 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 Nissan Murano is safer than the Acura RDX:

Murano

RDX

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Stress

223 lbs.

262 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

242/256 lbs.

328/464 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

266

353

Neck Injury Risk

25%

30%

Neck Compression

78 lbs.

84 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

169/236 lbs.

362/441 lbs.

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

Warranty

© 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 2020/10/29

There are almost 4 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Acura dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Murano’s warranty.

Reliability

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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 Murano’s reliability 44 points higher than the RDX.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Murano third among midsize SUVs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The RDX isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 24 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 Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 15th in reliability. With 34 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 26th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 17 places higher in reliability than Acura.

Fuel Economy and Range

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To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Murano uses regular unleaded gasoline. The RDX requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Murano has 1.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the RDX (19 vs. 17.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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The Murano 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

© 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 2020/10/29

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

Murano

RDX

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

12.4 inches

The Murano’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.

The Murano stops much shorter than the RDX:

Murano

RDX

70 to 0 MPH

175 feet

177 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

133 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Murano’s wheelbase is 2.9 inches longer than on the RDX (111.2 inches vs. 108.3 inches).

The Murano Platinum AWD handles at .82 G’s, while the RDX AWD pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Chassis

© 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 2020/10/29

The front grille of the Murano 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 Murano has 4.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the RDX (108.1 vs. 104).

The Murano has .3 inches more front headroom, .4 inches more front hip room, 1.5 inches more rear headroom, .3 inches more rear legroom, 5.3 inches more rear hip room and 2.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the RDX.

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

Cargo Capacity

© 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 2020/10/29

The Murano has a larger cargo volume than the RDX with its rear seat up (32.1 vs. 31.1 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Toyota Camry Hybrid offers an available wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The RDX doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

© 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 2020/10/29

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Murano is less expensive to operate than the RDX because it costs $209 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Murano than the RDX, including $203 less for front brake pads, $46 less for a starter and $188 less for a power steering pump.

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 2020/10/29

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

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Murano third among midsize SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The RDX isn’t in the top three.

The Nissan Murano outsold the Acura RDX by 9% during 2019.

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

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