2021 Acura RDX vs. 2020 Audi A4 Allroad

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 2020/08/11

Both the RDX and the A4 Allroad 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, 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, 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 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 32 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The A4 Allroad has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

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Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the RDX 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Audi covers the A4 Allroad. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the A4 Allroad ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2020 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Acura vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Acura 23rd in initial quality. With 40 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 32nd.

Engine

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The RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 24 more horsepower (272 vs. 248) and 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 273) than the A4 Allroad’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The RDX has 1.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the A4 Allroad (17.1 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The RDX has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The A4 Allroad doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

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 Audi A4 Allroad (5). This means the RDX produces up to 6.9 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the A4 Allroad 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 seven-speed automatic is available for the A4 Allroad.

Brakes and Stopping

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The RDX stops shorter than the A4 Allroad:

RDX

A4 Allroad

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

119 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the RDX A-Spec’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the A4 Allroad (255/40R20 vs. 245/45R18).

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 A4 Allroad’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the RDX has standard 19-inch wheels. Only 18-inch wheels are available on the A4 Allroad. The RDX A-Spec has standard 20-inch wheels.

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 A4 Allroad doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the RDX is 2.1 inches wider in the front and 3 inches wider in the rear than on the A4 Allroad.

For greater off-road capability the RDX has a 1.7 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the A4 Allroad (8.2 vs. 6.5 inches), allowing the RDX to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the RDX has an electronically controlled liquid-filled main engine mount. A computer-controlled electric current in the liquid changes its viscosity, allowing the mount to dampen the engine completely at all RPMs. The A4 Allroad uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

The RDX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The A4 Allroad doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The RDX has 12 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A4 Allroad (104 vs. 92).

The RDX has 2.2 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front legroom, 3.8 inches more front shoulder room, .9 inches more rear headroom, 2.7 inches more rear legroom and 2.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the A4 Allroad.

Cargo Capacity

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The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the A4 Allroad with its rear seat up (31.1 vs. 24.2 cubic feet). The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the A4 Allroad with its rear seat folded (79.8 vs. 58.5 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the RDX’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The A4 Allroad doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Acura service is better than Audi. J.D. Power ranks Acura 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 9% lower rating, Audi is ranked 8th.

Ergonomics

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The RDX has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The A4 Allroad doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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 A4 Allroad doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the RDX has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the A4 Allroad only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

Model Availability

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The RDX is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The A4 Allroad doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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 2020/08/11

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Acura RDX, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels. The Audi A4 Allroad isn't recommended.

The Acura RDX outsold the Audi A4/S4 by over two to one during 2019.

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