BMW X1 vs. Acura RDX

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Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009, and has seen himself published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also works as editor in chief for a large performance car online publication. His specialty lays in the high-performance realm, but has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Prior to being an automotive writer, he was an automotive technician and manager for six years, but spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

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, Automotive Editor - August 21, 2018

Acura has had an uphill battle getting its name in lights alongside BMW and Mercedes-Benz, but it's pulled off the near-impossible in offering a lineup full of German alternatives. In the compact luxury crossover segment, Acura tosses the all-new RDX into the ring to battle it out with the BMW X1. Can this luxury Japanese people-hauler take down the BMW? Keep reading to find out.

See a side-by-side comparison of the RDX & X1 »

What the X1 Gets Right

With a starting price of $34,895 (destination fees included), the BMW X1 has a $3,400 price advantage over the RDX. This gives buyers a little wiggle room to add extra features or pocket the extra cash. The X1 delivers a nice take on the newest BMW design language, giving it a timeless look that'll remain relevant for many years.

While it's not as good as the Acura’s 10-speed unit, the BMW X1’s eight-speed transmission is plenty competent and works well with the turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The BMW X1’s fuel economy is significantly better than the RDX. According to the EPA, the X1 gets up to 23 miles per gallon city, 32 mpg highway, and 26 combined to the RDX’s subpar 22/28/24 mpg (city/highway/combined).

Finally, despite its lower base price and lack of standard equipment relative to the Acura, the X1’s BMW roundel holds more value than Acura, satisfying buyers looking for that added feeling of driving a premium brand.

What the RDX Gets Right

The RDX’s all-new look isn't revolutionary, but it's a new take on Acura’s design language that makes it one of the most youthful vehicles in the segment. This upgraded appearance continues inside where Acura combines the youthful attitude with luxurious trimming and tons of standard features. Want even more features? Acura has easy-to-decipher packages that luxe up this crossover nicely.

The Acura RDX has a big power advantage over the X1 at 272 horsepower to the BMW's 228 hp, and its 10-speed automatic transmission gives it two extra cogs to choose from. The Integrated Dynamics Control does a great job in each mode, especially “Sport+” mode, which adjusts the turbocharged four-cylinder’s response, and firms up the transmission and suspension for some light curve carving.

Inside, the RDX gives the rear-seat passengers an extra 1.4 inches of leg room and shoulder room at 38.4 inches and 56.6 inches, respectively. Cargo room is also favorable in the RDX as its 29.5 cubic feet with the seats up and 59.8 cubes with the seats folded best the X1 by 2.4 and 2.1 cubes, respectively.

Finally, the RDX is the safest crossover in its class with top-rated IIHS scores in every test.

The X1 Gets You Recognized

The X1 cannot hang with the RDX feature for feature, but it offers a better brand value than the Acura. Plus, its fuel economy makes it better suited for longer commutes than the RDX.

Verdict: Acura RDX

Outside of fuel economy, the Acura RDX gets the BMW X1 in virtually every measurable. It's more powerful, larger, more feature-packed, and more stylish. Sure, it costs more than the Bimmer, but its standard features make it worth this extra cash.

Take a closer look at the Acura RDX »

Take a closer look at the BMW X1 »

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

, Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009, and has seen himself published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also works as editor in chief for a large performance car online publication. His specialty lays in the high-performance realm, but has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Prior to being an automotive writer, he was an automotive technician and manager for six years, but spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

Follow On: Google+ | Website