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For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Acura RDX are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The MINI Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.
The RDX’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.
The RDX Advance has a standard Surround-View Camera System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Cooper Clubman only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.
The RDX’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.
To help make backing safer, the RDX’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
Both the RDX and the Cooper Clubman 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, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available all wheel drive.
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 Cooper Clubman has not been tested, yet.
Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the RDX 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than MINI covers the Cooper Clubman. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Cooper Clubman ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
There are over 2 times as many Acura dealers as there are MINI dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the RDX’s warranty.
The RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 83 more horsepower (272 vs. 189) and 74 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 206) than the Cooper Clubman S’ standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Acura RDX uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The Cooper Clubman requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The RDX has 3.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Cooper Clubman (17.1 vs. 13.2 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 Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.
A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Acura RDX, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Cooper Clubman.
For better stopping power the RDX’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Cooper Clubman:
The RDX stops shorter than the Cooper Clubman:
60 to 0 MPH
For better traction, the RDX has larger standard tires than the Cooper Clubman (235/55R19 vs. 225/45R17). The RDX A-Spec’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Cooper Clubman (255/40R20 vs. 225/45R17).
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the RDX has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Cooper Clubman. The RDX A-Spec’s 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the Cooper Clubman.
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 Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the RDX’s wheelbase is 3.2 inches longer than on the Cooper Clubman (108.3 inches vs. 105.1 inches).
The RDX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
The RDX has 11.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Cooper Clubman (104 vs. 92.5).
The RDX has .2 inches more front legroom, 5 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom, 4.1 inches more rear legroom and 3.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the Cooper Clubman.
The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Cooper Clubman with its rear seat up (31.1 vs. 17.5 cubic feet). The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Cooper Clubman with its rear seat folded (79.8 vs. 47.9 cubic feet).
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the RDX’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the RDX. The Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.
The RDX’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The Cooper Clubman’s two swing out doors impair rear visibility, need a lot of clearance, and can block loading in tight quarters.
To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the RDX has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or on the RDX Advance, by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer a power cargo door, so its cargo door has to be closed manually.
The RDX has a 1500 lbs. towing capacity. The Cooper Clubman has no towing capacity.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Acura service is better than MINI. J.D. Power ranks Acura 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 13% lower rating, MINI is ranked 10th.
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 Cooper Clubman 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 Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
The RDX’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children from operating them, but the driver can still raise and lower all of them with the lock engaged. MINI does not offer a locking feature on the Cooper Clubman’s standard power windows.
The RDX’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Cooper Clubman’s passenger windows don’t close automatically.
The RDX’s standard power window controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Cooper Clubman’s available power window controls are spread out on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.
Smart Entry standard on the RDX allows you to unlock the driver’s door, cargo door and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip (optional 4-Door Smart Entry will also allow unlocking the passenger doors without taking your keys out). The MINI Cooper Clubman’s Comfort Access doesn’t unlock the trunk.
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 Cooper Clubman only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the RDX has standard extendable sun visors. The Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer extendable visors.
When the RDX is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Cooper Clubman’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.
Both the RDX and the Cooper Clubman have standard heated front seats. The RDX Advance also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Cooper Clubman.
Optional air-conditioned seats in the RDX keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
On extremely cold winter days, the RDX’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
The RDX has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Cooper Clubman.
Insurance will cost less for the RDX owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the RDX will cost $2290 to $3830 less than the Cooper Clubman over a five-year period.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the RDX is less expensive to operate than the Cooper Clubman because it costs $9 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the RDX than the Cooper Clubman, including $56 less for a water pump, $9 less for a starter, $47 less for a fuel pump, $81 less for front struts and $489 less for a timing belt/chain.
The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Acura RDX, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels. The MINI Cooper Clubman isn't recommended.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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