2021 Volvo XC60 vs. 2021 Acura RDX

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 2020/10/21

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Volvo XC60 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Acura RDX doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The XC60’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The RDX doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the XC60 and RDX have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The XC60 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The RDX’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The Volvo XC60 offers optional built in child booster seats. They’re more crash worthy than an added child seat because of their direct attachment to the seat. Acura doesn’t offer the convenience and security of a built-in child booster seat in the RDX. Their owners must carry a heavy booster seat in and out of the vehicle; XC60 owners can just fold their built-in child seat up or down.

The XC60 has a standard Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WHIPS allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The RDX doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The XC60 has standard Automatic Braking After Collision, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The RDX doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The XC60’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The RDX doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the XC60 and the RDX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, 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, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.

Warranty

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The XC60’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the RDX’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the XC60 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Volvo will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Acura doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the RDX.

Reliability

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The battery on the XC60 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the XC60’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The RDX’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the XC60’s reliability 25 points higher than the RDX.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Volvo vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Volvo 4 places higher in reliability than Acura.

Engine

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The XC60 T6’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder produces 44 more horsepower (316 vs. 272) and 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 280) than the RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The XC60 T8’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid produces 128 more horsepower (400 vs. 272) and 192 lbs.-ft. more torque (472 vs. 280) than the RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid produces 143 more horsepower (415 vs. 272) and 214 lbs.-ft. more torque (494 vs. 280) than the RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the XC60 T5 is faster than the Acura RDX:

XC60

RDX

Zero to 30 MPH

1.9 sec

2.6 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

7.1 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

10.6 sec

11.8 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

3.4 sec

3.6 sec

Quarter Mile

14.7 sec

15.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91.5 MPH

90.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2020/10/21

On the EPA test cycle the XC60 Recharge running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the RDX:

MPGe

XC60

AWD

Electric Motor

56 city/57 hwy

RDX

MPG

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

A-Spec 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/27 hwy

A-Spec 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/26 hwy

On the EPA test cycle the XC60 running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the RDX:

MPG

XC60

FWD

T5 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

AWD

T8 2.0 turbo/SC 4-cyl. Hybrid

26 city/28 hwy

T5 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/28 hwy

T6 2.0 turbo/SC 4-cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

RDX

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

A-Spec 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/27 hwy

A-Spec 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/26 hwy

The XC60 T8 can drive on battery power alone for up to 19 miles. The RDX must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Regenerative brakes improve the XC60 T8’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The RDX doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The XC60 Hybrid’s standard fuel tank has 1.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the RDX (18.5 vs. 17.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The XC60’s standard fuel tank has 1.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the RDX (18.8 vs. 17.1 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the XC60’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the RDX:

XC60 T5

XC60 T8 P. E.

RDX

Front Rotors

12.7 inches

14.6 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

12.6 inches

12.2 inches

The XC60’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the RDX are solid, not vented.

The XC60 stops much shorter than the RDX:

XC60

RDX

70 to 0 MPH

169 feet

177 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

133 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the RDX (265/35R22 vs. 255/40R20).

The XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the RDX A-Spec’s 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XC60 offers optional 21-inch wheels. The RDX’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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The XC60 T6/T8 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The XC60’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The RDX doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the XC60’s wheelbase is 4.5 inches longer than on the RDX (112.8 inches vs. 108.3 inches).

The XC60 T6 AWD R-Design handles at .88 G’s, while the RDX A-Spec AWD pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The XC60 T5 AWD Momentum executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the RDX AWD (26.6 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 27.7 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the XC60’s turning circle is 1.5 feet tighter than the RDX’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.9 feet).

For greater off-road capability the XC60 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the RDX (8.5 vs. 8.2 inches), allowing the XC60 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

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The XC60 has 1.4 inches more front hip room and 5.5 inches more rear hip room than the RDX.

Towing

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The XC60’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the RDX’s (3500 vs. 1500 pounds).

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the RDX, the XC60 R-Design/Inscription has a passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The XC60’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The RDX’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the XC60 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The RDX doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Consumer Reports rated the XC60’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the RDX’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The XC60 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The RDX doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the XC60 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The RDX doesn’t offer cornering lights. The XC60 also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The XC60 Inscription offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the RDX.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Volvo XC60 offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The RDX doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The XC60 R-Design/Inscription’s optional Park Assist Pilot can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The RDX doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the XC60 is less expensive to operate than the RDX because typical repairs cost much less on the XC60 than the RDX, including $24 less for a muffler, $125 less for front brake pads and $749 less for a power steering pump.

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 2020/10/21

Consumer Reports® recommends the Volvo XC60, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Acura RDX isn't recommended.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the XC60 third among compact premium SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The RDX isn’t in the top three.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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