2021 Acura RDX vs. 2020 Audi A6 Allroad

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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Both the RDX and the A6 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, 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.

Warranty

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Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the RDX 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Audi covers the A6 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 A6 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.

Fuel Economy and Range

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In heavy traffic or at stoplights the RDX’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The A6 Allroad doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Acura RDX uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The A6 Allroad requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

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 A6 Allroad doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

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 A6 Allroad.

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 A6 Allroad (255/40R20 vs. 245/45R20).

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 A6 Allroad’s 45 series tires.

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 A6 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 1.3 inches wider in the rear than on the A6 Allroad.

For greater off-road capability the RDX has a 2.1 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the A6 Allroad Premium Plus (8.2 vs. 6.1 inches), allowing the RDX to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The RDX’s minimum ground clearance is .9 inch higher than on the A6 Allroad Prestige (8.2 vs. 7.3 inches).

Chassis

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The Acura RDX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 700 pounds less than the Audi A6 Allroad.

The RDX is 8.1 inches shorter than the A6 Allroad, making the RDX easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The RDX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The A6 Allroad doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The RDX has 5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A6 Allroad (104 vs. 99).

The RDX has 1.3 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front legroom, 1.9 inches more front shoulder room, 1 inch more rear legroom and .1 inches more rear shoulder room than the A6 Allroad.

Cargo Capacity

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The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the A6 Allroad (31.1 vs. 30 cubic feet).

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 A6 Allroad doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The RDX’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The A6 Allroad’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

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 A6 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 A6 Allroad doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the RDX owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the RDX will cost $7725 to $8345 less than the A6 Allroad over a five-year period.

The RDX will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the RDX will retain 51.11% to 51.6% of its original price after five years, while the A6 Allroad only retains 43.02% to 43.45%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Acura RDX will be $36126 to $37501 less than for the Audi A6 Allroad.

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 2020/08/15

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Acura RDX, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels. The Audi A6 Allroad isn't recommended.

The Acura RDX outsold the Audi A6/S6 by almost four to one during 2019.

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