Buyer's Guide

2021 Acura Rdx
Select a Different Model (9 Available): Base AWD
Fuel Economy $ 22 / 28 mpg
Cargo (Std/Max) 30/80 cu.ft.
Seating (Std/Max) 5/5
Horsepower 272@6,500
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2021 Acura RDX MODEL OVERVIEW

Pros

  • Upscale, well-executed interior
  • Super Handling All-Wheel Drive delivers
  • Large and clear infotainment display

Cons

  • Tricky touchpad infotainment interface
  • Poor rearward visibility
  • Unrefined transmission

Want NSX supercar style but need a crossover? Check out the RDX. Mechanically there's not much in common between the two, but these Acuras share sporty handling and edgy styling. Unlike the NSX—but like other luxury compact crossovers—the RDX has good interior space and lots of technology. First introduced for the 2007 model year, the current RDX went on sale for 2019. For 2021, Acura attempts to highlight the NSX connection with the limited-production, hand-assembled, and very orange RDX PMC Edition.

What We Think

The RDX is a driver's crossover. The Acura's powerful engine and nimble handling helped it advance to the finals in our 2019 SUV of the Year competition. After that, we spent a year with the RDX in our long-term test fleet, where we came to appreciate its smart packaging and fun-to-drive reflexes. Along the way it won a couple of comparison tests, even against crossovers from more aspirational brands.

Enthusiast drivers may be slightly disappointed by the RDX's spongy brake feel, though Acura made minor tweaks following the 2019 RDX models we drove. Over the course of our year, we also noticed the occasional unrefined shift from the 10-speed automatic. Inside, everyday motorists will have to adapt to the sometimes distracting touchpad-based infotainment interface and unique interior layout.

Overall, though, the RDX is a well-executed, spacious, and stylish crossover. The standard equipment and the model's above-average IntelliChoice rating makes it a strong value proposition, too.

Performance and Fuel Economy

The RDX is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo-four producing 272 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. It's connected to either a 10-speed automatic transmission that drives the front wheels or, for $2,000, Acura's SH-AWD system (Super Handling All-Wheel Drive). MotorTrend testing measured a 6.4-second 0-60 mph time from an RDX with AWD.

EPA-rated fuel economy is 22/28 mpg city/highway with FWD, or 21/27 mpg with AWD. The sporty-looking A-Spec trim loses 1 highway mpg.

Safety

Standard driver-assist and active safety features include automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and adaptive cruise control. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are included on all but the base trim.

The RDX earns a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA, the highest possible score. It also received 2020 Top Safety Pick + designation from the IIHS.

Cargo Space and Interior Room

Behind the second row, cargo space measures 29.5 cubic feet. Folding the second row down expands capacity to 58.9 cubic feet. The RDX also has several clever storage areas, one under the center console between the driver and front passenger, as well as multiple incredibly helpful underfloor storage compartments in the cargo area.

Front-row headroom measures 40.0 inches in the RDX, which compares to 41.1 inches in the BMW X3. Second-row headroom is 38.0 inches in the RDX, a bit less than the X3's 38.5 inches. Front-row legroom measures 42.0 inches in the Acura, more than the BMW's 40.3 inches. There's also more second-row legroom in the RDX, which has 38.0 inches against the X3's 36.4 inches.

Technology

A 10.1-inch infotainment screen is standard, and the system is compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth. A 7.0-inch gauge cluster display shows other vehicle data. Two front-row USB ports are standard, and all trims above the entry level have two second-row charge ports. A nine-speaker audio system is standard, and 12- and 16-speaker ELS Studio premium setups are available. Other premium tech features include a head-up display, 360-degree view camera system, built-in navigation, and GPS-linked climate control. The RDX is compatible with Key by Amazon in-car delivery.

What Is the Acura RDX PMC Edition?

Marysville might not have the name recognition of Maranello or Stuttgart, but perhaps it should. This Ohio city is the home of Acura's Performance Manufacturing Center—its PMC—where every NSX supercar is hand-assembled by skilled American craftspeople. For 2021, Acura assigns some of those workers to a more practical, yet equally eye-catching project: the RDX PMC Edition.

Only 350 examples of this special RDX will be hand-built at the PMC, and they'll be impossible to miss. Each wears a multi-coat Thermal Orange Pearl paint job, an exceedingly eye-catching hue that made its debut on the NSX last year. Orange trim continues the theme in the cabin. Features and performance for the PMC edition are basically the same as any other RDX, but those don't have the specialness that comes with handmade vehicles.

Trim Levels

2021 Acura RDX

  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • Leatherette seating upholstery
  • Heated front seats
  • Panoramic moonroof

2021 Acura RDX Technology Package

  • Perforated leather seating upholstery
  • Built-in navigation
  • 12-speaker audio system
  • Rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring

2021 Acura RDX A-Spec Package

  • 20-inch alloy wheels
  • Sport-styled front and rear bumpers
  • Heated and ventilated sport front seats
  • 16-speaker audio system

2021 Acura RDX Advance Package

  • Adaptive suspension dampers
  • Heated steering wheel and rear outboard seats
  • Head-up display
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers

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2021 ACURA RDX SPECIFICATIONS
OVERVIEW
FEATURES
WARRANTY/RECALL
SAFETY
REBATES
Engine Name
Engine: 4-Cyl Turbo 2.0 Liter
Transmission Name
Transmission, 10 Speed Automatic Mode Select with Manual Mode
Trim
Base AWD
Class
Premium Mid-Size Utility
Horsepower
272@6,500
Standard MPG
22/28
Body Style
SUV/Crossover
Drivetrain
AWD
Fuel Type
Unleaded Premium
Seating Capacity
5/5
Package Invoice Retail
Show Full Specs
Corrosion Warranty Miles
Unlimited
Maintenance Warranty Months
none
Corrosion Warranty Months
60
Powertrain Warranty Miles
70,000
Full Warranty Miles
50,000
Powertrain Warranty Months
72
Full Warranty Months
48
Roadside Assistance Miles
50,000
Maintenance Warranty Miles
N/R
Roadside Assistance Months
48
IIHS Best Pick
0
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
N/R
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
IIHS Front Small Overlap
N/R
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
IIHS Overall Side Crash
N/R
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
IIHS Rear Crash
N/R
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
IIHS Roof Strength
N/R
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
Amount Description Expiry Date
$750 Acura announces a Military Bonus Cash for customers who lease or finance through AFS. 03-31-2021
$500 Acura announces a College Graduate Bonus program for customers who finance or lease through AFS. 03-31-2021
$1500 Acura announces a Loyalty Program that is good towards a purchase or lease on select models. 03-01-2021
$1500 Acura announces a Finance Cash offer that is good towards a purchase through AFS Financing. 03-01-2021
$1500 Acura announces a Conquest Program on select models. 03-01-2021
$0 1.9% Financing available for varying term lengths : 36, 48, 60 Months - Acura announces APR rates on select models. 03-01-2021
$500 Acura announces a Lease Cash offer for customers who finance through AFS. 03-01-2021