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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 Macan doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
Both the RDX and the Macan 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, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.
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 Macan has not been tested, yet.
Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the RDX 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Porsche covers the Macan. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Macan ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
There are over 40 percent more Acura dealers than there are Porsche dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the RDX’s warranty.
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 Porsche vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Acura 23rd in initial quality. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, Porsche is ranked 24th.
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 Macan’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.
On the EPA test cycle the RDX AWD gets better fuel mileage than the Macan Auto turbo 4 cyl. (21 city/27 hwy vs. 19 city/23 hwy).
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Acura RDX uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The Macan 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 Macan doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.
In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Acura RDX higher (6 out of 10) than the Porsche Macan (5). This means the RDX produces up to 6.9 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Macan every 15,000 miles.
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 Macan.
The RDX’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Macan’s standard 60 series front tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the RDX has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Macan.
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 Macan doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.
For greater off-road capability the RDX has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Macan (8.2 vs. 8 inches), allowing the RDX to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.
The Acura RDX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 350 pounds less than the Porsche Macan.
The RDX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Macan doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Macan with its rear seat up (31.1 vs. 17.6 cubic feet). The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Macan with its rear seat folded (79.8 vs. 52.9 cubic feet).
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the RDX’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Macan doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the RDX Advance’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Macan doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
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 Macan 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. An easy entry system costs extra on the Macan.
The RDX Advance has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Macan doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
If the windows are left open on the RDX the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Macan can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
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 Macan’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 Macan 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 Macan doesn’t offer extendable visors.
The RDX is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Macan doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.
Insurance will cost less for the RDX owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the RDX will cost $3380 to $7680 less than the Macan over a five-year period.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the RDX is less expensive to operate than the Macan because it costs $173 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the RDX than the Macan, including $91 less for a water pump, $730 less for a muffler, $7 less for a starter, $170 less for fuel injection, $311 less for front struts and $831 less for a timing belt/chain.
IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Acura RDX will be $12850 to $38540 less than for the Porsche Macan.
The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Acura RDX, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels. The Porsche Macan isn't recommended.
The Acura RDX outsold the Porsche Macan by almost three to one during 2019.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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