2021 Acura RDX vs. 2021 Ford Bronco

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

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 Ford Bronco doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the RDX uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The Bronco uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the RDX and the Bronco have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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 Bronco has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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The RDX comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Bronco’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the RDX 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Ford covers the Bronco. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Bronco ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

Fuel Economy and Range

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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 Bronco doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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The Acura RDX comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Bronco.

Tires and Wheels

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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 Bronco Big Bend’s standard 75 series tires. The RDX A-Spec’s tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Bronco’s 70 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the RDX has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Bronco. The RDX A-Spec’s 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Bronco Outer Banks.

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 Bronco doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Acura RDX has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Ford Bronco has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

The RDX offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Bronco’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

Chassis

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The RDX is 13 inches shorter in height than the Bronco, making the RDX much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

Unibody construction lowers the RDX’s center of gravity significantly without reducing ground clearance. This contributes to better on the road handling and better off-road performance and stability. In addition, unibody construction makes the chassis stiffer, improving handling and reducing squeaks and rattles. The Bronco uses body-on-frame design instead.

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

Cargo Capacity

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The RDX has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Bronco 4-Door with its rear seat folded (79.8 vs. 77.6 cubic feet).

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

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 Bronco’s swing out door blocks loading from the passenger’s side.

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 Bronco doesn’t offer a power cargo door.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Acura service is better than Ford. J.D. Power ranks Acura 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 55% lower rating, Ford is ranked 24th.

Ergonomics

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When two different drivers share the RDX, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each keyless remote activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The Bronco doesn’t offer a memory 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 Bronco doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

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 Bronco doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The RDX’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Bronco’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The RDX’s standard power window controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Bronco’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.

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 Bronco can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The RDX’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Bronco’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The RDX Advance’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

The RDX’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Bronco’s power mirror controls are on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.

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 Bronco’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The RDX’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Bronco offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The RDX has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the Bronco, and aren’t available on the Bronco Base. 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 Bronco.

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 Bronco doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The RDX has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable and it can provide a boundary between children. The Bronco doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

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 Bronco and isn’t available on the Bronco Base/Big Bend/Black Diamond.

The RDX’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Bronco Base/Big Bend/Black Diamond doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the RDX has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Bronco doesn’t offer rear vents.

Model Availability

© 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 RDX is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Bronco 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.

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