Acura's third-generation RDX impressed us on our test track and on the road. It has agile handling, a powerful turbocharged engine, a modern interior, and standard advanced safety features. But Acura missed the mark with the RDX’s annoyingly complex controls. In addition, we are not enthusiastic about the luxury compact SUV's fuel economy. The RDX’s pushbutton gear selector is the least of its problems.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
Emissions
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
NA
2008
NA
2009
NA
2010
NA
2011
2012
NA
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
NA
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
NA
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC standard. Side and head protection air bags standard. FCW and AEB standard from 2019.
Road Test

Acura's third-generation RDX impressed us on our test track and on the road. It has agile handling, a powerful turbocharged engine, a modern interior, and standard advanced safety features.

But Acura missed the mark with the RDX’s annoyingly complex controls. In addition, we are not enthusiastic about the luxury compact SUV's fuel economy.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD , Front
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 10-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (272 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2020 Acura RDX owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Premature brake wear

"It started with 200 or so miles"

Anonymous, NJ (2020 Acura RDX Tech 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Pulsation or vibration

"Pulsating happens periodically. Dealer is aware, common problem with RDX, with no solution."

Anonymous, (2020 Acura RDX Advance 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"They replaced brake pads"

Anonymous, NJ (2020 Acura RDX Tech 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Left front brake developed a grinding sound. Took to dealer they replaced pads and rotors. Came back after another 1200 miles. Took to dealer the replaced pads with ceramic pads,came back again after another 1000 miles. Dealer now wants to trying scuffing rotors This affects 2019 and 2029 RDX, Acura changed rotor material in 2019. Problem has not been solved."

Anonymous, FL (2020 Acura RDX A-Spec 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Squeaking

"Same as other"

Anonymous, (2020 Acura RDX Advance 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The squeaking only happens when it is 50° or below. It is so loud I compare it to a New York City bus. I don't feel that $50,000 car should sound this way in any temperature. Acura has been trying to come up with a remedy for over a year now. Apparently it was a problem in 2019 as well. The dealerships say there's nothing they can do. I've spoken to corporate who said the engineers are working on a fix. my first call to corporate was in November 2019 and now it is May. Now corporate is completely ignoring my calls and according to the dealers still have not figured out how to fix the problem. Anybody I know that has this car has the same problem. People have written about it all over the Internet. How could a company such as Acura not know how to fix a squeaking break. I'm so disappointed. This is my second Acura and I planned on it being my last for at least the next 10 years. I don't have faith in them because they can't fix this problem. I'm embarrassed to drive the car and also worried that this can become worse of a problem. It is a problem with the brakes and I am driving my children around all the time in it. If they can't fix it then how do I know that it's not a problem that could get worse. On behalf of all owners of the Acura RDX 2019 and later ...we want some answers from them"

Anonymous, NY (2020 Acura RDX Tech 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"brakes work and stop quickly, but when you apply pressure it makes a strange squealing noise with sight vibrations"

Anonymous, HI (2020 Acura RDX Tech 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"It's all part of the same brake issue"

Anonymous, FL (2020 Acura RDX A-Spec 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"Noticed I had a problem when I went through the car wash and saw water leaking inside the back of the vehicle. I check the seal on the hatch and noticed it was not installed properly. Took it to the dealer and the rubber seal around the rear hatch had to be completely replaced. Very disappointing that a brand new vehicle had this kind of a leak on the first time I took it through a car wash."

Anonymous, IN (2020 Acura RDX A-Spec 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Squeaks or rattles

"The sunroof wind deflector Rattles, I think it's loose. It always has rattled. It happens when the sunroof is fully open, especially if it's windy outside."

Anonymous, CO (2020 Acura RDX A-Spec 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Rattles developed early, and the dealer said it was due to a multi-part dashboard construction. They fixed it, so the problem was resolved, but should have been anticipated in the engineering of the vehicle."

Anonymous, AZ (2020 Acura RDX Advance 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Took 2 trips to the dealership to find and correct the rattles."

Anonymous, PA (2020 Acura RDX Tech 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"I have had a few rattling concerns, the big one was the roof panels not fitting properly by the sunroof. I was able to fix it myself, the panels needed to be pushed into place, unfortunately they work themselves out time to time."

Anonymous, IN (2020 Acura RDX A-Spec 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Weather strip on driver side door squeaked when opening. Front brakes give high pitched squeel."

Anonymous, PA (2020 Acura RDX Tech 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Backup or other camera/sensors

"The front camera was " not plugged in" when I drove the car home after buying the car. Fixed the next day. All resolved."

Anonymous, (2020 Acura RDX Advance 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"The track pad used for input is difficult to use"

Anonymous, AZ (2020 Acura RDX Advance 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The system is very oblique -- hard to understand"

Anonymous, NJ (2020 Acura RDX Tech 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"my wife's phone is paired no problem however when i hard connect my i phone to the car it does not recognize it."

Anonymous, NY (2020 Acura RDX Tech 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Radio

"Music, radio etc are in one gizmo."

Anonymous, NJ (2020 Acura RDX Tech 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Sunroof

"structural issue, sunroof made a popping flexing noise when backing up on uneven surface such as driveway apron. Dealer replaced roof rails under warranty"

Anonymous, FL (2020 Acura RDX A-Spec 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"The tailgate would bind on the roof while opening or closing. The dealership fixed it under warranty but took 3 weeks to fix it"

Anonymous, IL (2020 Acura RDX Advance 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

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