Volvo XC60 vs. Acura RDX

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - September 11, 2018

Volvo and Acura are two of some of the most over-looked automakers in the luxury segment, which is a shame, as both brands make some of the safest and upscale vehicles on the road. When it comes to premium compact crossovers, both brands have striking options that deserve to be looked at.

The all-new 2019 Acura RDX is radically different from its predecessor in the styling department, boasting sharp edges and dramatic lines. The RDX also has one of the more powerful engines in the segment. The Volvo XC60, on the other hand, is a lesson in minimalism, blending upscale features with elegant styling. Can the youthful, sportier RDX compete with the luxury-first XC60?

See a side-by-side comparison of the RDX & XC60 »

What the XC60 Gets Right

When it comes to performance, the XC60 is the SUV to go with. The range-topping T8 eAWD Plug-in Hybrid has a turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter inline-four engine that's paired to an electric motor. Combined output is rated at 400 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque. The RDX is only available with one engine: a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 272 hp.

In addition to being one of the most powerful crossovers in the segment, the T8 eAWD Plug-in Hybrid is also unique, because it's one of the more efficient crossovers on sale. When using the gasoline engine, the model can get up to 26 miles per gallon combined, according to the EPA. With both the gas engine and electric motor working in tandem, the XC60 can get up to 59 MPGe combined. The best the RDX can muster is 24 mpg combined.

Volvo is looking to make good on its promise of selling vehicles that are deathproof by 2020, which is something it's doing by packing all of its vehicles with high-tech safety features. On top of all the modern things buyers have become used to, the XC60 comes with: traffic sign recognition, a safety brake pedal system, available front and rear parking sensors, a driver attention alert system, and available rear cross-traffic alert. These safety features aren't offered on the RDX.

What the RDX Gets Right

The most obvious upside for the RDX over the XC60 is pricing. The 2019 RDX starts at $38,295, while the 2019 XC60 has a starting price of $40,195 (both prices include destination). The extra $1,900 covers most of the cost of the available Technology and A-Spec Packages on the RDX, which make the crossover more of a premium vehicle.

While the XC60's elegant exterior design makes it look like the more spacious option, the RDX is the choice for buyers looking for an airy cabin. The RDX has more front and rear head room, front and rear leg room, and front and rear shoulder room than the XC60. The RDX can also hold more cargo than the XC60 with a total rating of 79.8 cubic feet, which includes the rear passenger footwell and the rear seats in their most forward position. The XC60 can hold a maximum of 63.3 cubic feet of cargo.

Despite Volvo's attempt to make some of the safest vehicles on the market, the RDX is the crossover that has the better safety rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The RDX is one of the IIHS' Top Safety Pick Plus vehicles, while the XC60 was named a Top Safety Pick, missing out on the Plus designation because of its headlights.

Who's the RDX For?

The Acura RDX is a great option in the compact segment. The update has brought a nicer interior, a more enjoyable driving character, and unique styling at an affordable price. There's a lot to like with the RDX and the decision to choose the model over the XC60 mostly comes down to preference, as they're fairly matched.

Our Verdict: Volvo XC60

With the Volvo XC60's elegant styling, drop-dead gorgeous interior, and extensive lineup, the SUV hits a sweet spot for a lot of consumers. The availability of a plug-in hybrid variant is also a major benefit.

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

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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