Acura RDX vs. MDX

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The CarsDirect editorial team is dedicated to providing our readers with the latest on new and used cars, expert opinions on which vehicles make the grade, and all the fun stuff in between.


, - July 19, 2022
2022 Acura RDX

The Acura RDX and its big brother, the MDX, remain some of the most popular luxury SUVs available today. If you're in the market for a sporty-looking Acura crossover with a full range of features and a premium look, choosing between either one of these models could be harder than you think.

Here's a brief comparison of some of the key similarities in features for these models, RDX and MDX price differences, and why one may be a better choice than the other. Whether it's a spacious family hauler or a premium SUV with the latest features, we'll help you decide which one is right for you.

Acura RDX vs. MDX Prices

Acura RDX

The Acura RDX has an MSRP of $41,795 including destination, making it significantly less expensive than the MDX's retail price of $50,245. That's a price difference of nearly $8,500, though real-world prices may vary based on configured options, dealer discounts, and manufacturer incentives.

While Acura RDX prices may be cheaper than MDX prices, the cost to lease one may be more similar than you expect. In extreme cases, we've actually seen a fairly close gap in lease prices when taking into account special deals like loyalty discounts and conquest cash when switching car brands.

Both models can be significantly more affordable than European rivals. For comparison, BMW's advertised leases on the X5 crossover tend to be based on an MSRP of nearly $67,000. Acura tends to include a number of features that you may only be able to get from BMW with expensive options.

Acura RDX vs. MDX Appearance

The Acura RDX and MDX have a very similar appearance following their most recent redesigns. Both SUVs feature the brand's signature shield-like grille, and a slimmer headlight design with refined creases along the sides help make the two models stand out without looking too garish.

The stylish cabin of the RDX doesn't feel like an expensive Honda. From the outside, the uninitiated could mistake one SUV for the other. However, the MDX is 11 inches longer at 198.4 inches compared to 187.4 inches with the RDX. The size of the MDX has a drawback, namely a larger turning radius.

Acura RDX vs. MDX Features

Acura MDX Interior

When it comes to power, the Acura RDX comes standard with a 272-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine while the MDX has a 290-horsepower V6. Whether or not the turbo is better than the V6 may come down to your personal preferences on acceleration and handling.

Unfortunately, our review of the Acura RDX found fuel economy pretty bad, coming in as low as 24 mpg overall. For comparison, the fuel efficiency of the MDX is about 22 mpg. Both figures assume a base model with two-wheel drive, and Acura recommends premium gas.

A key difference between the RDX and MDX engines is the availability of a 355-horsepower turbocharged V6 in the MDX Type S. For the right buyer, going this route could deliver a level of performance you simply can't get in the RDX. However, availability may be limited.

The Acura RDX is generously equipped with a 10.2-inch touchscreen display, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a panoramic roof, and more. Both SUVs come with automatic emergency braking, though the MDX comes standard with a bigger 12.3-inch touchscreen.

Leather seats aren't standard in the MDX despite its higher base price. To get that feature, you'll have to choose the Technology Package, though this pushes the price to nearly $55,000. The base RDX comes with synthetic leather too, but leather is optional in the Tech Package.

Acura RDX vs. MDX Size & Cargo Space

Acura MDX Type S Interior

In terms of space, the Acura RDX seats up to 5 passengers, while the capacity of the MDX comes in at 7 passengers thanks to its third-row. RDX cargo capacity is rated at 29.5 cu. ft whereas the MDX comes in at 18.1 cu. ft. With all rear seats folded, the MDX holds 95 cu. ft. compared to 58.9 cu. ft in the RDX.

A legroom comparison finds that the MDX has only a slight advantage: 38.5 inches vs. 38 in the RDX. Up front, the RDX manages to have a bit more legroom at 42 inches (vs. 41.6 inches in the MDX). Still, other specs like hip room and shoulder room are much better in the MDX and may affect how spacious it feels.

RDX vs. MDX: Which Is Better?

Acura RDX

If a relatively cramped third-row isn't a must-have, the Acura RDX may be a better choice for shoppers. The current RDX generation was last updated for 2019 and remains relatively fresh. The automaker's excellent all-wheel-drive system could be a nice upgrade, but adding optional packages can get expensive.

Having said that, the Acura MDX offers more space as well as the optional Type S model with even more excitement. It's also a newer vehicle, with the latest MDX generation introduced for 2022. We recommend considering both models and weighing the pros & cons based on your unique priorities as a car shopper.

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

The CarsDirect editorial team is dedicated to providing our readers with the latest on new and used cars, expert opinions on which vehicles make the grade, and all the fun stuff in between.


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