2021 Acura RDX

MSRP $37,800 - $44,000

Ranked #12 in Suv

8.0

Overall Rating

FILTER BY STYLE

2021 Acura RDX Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: July 26, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


Although the Acura brand is still not as accomplished as its rivals, it still aims to be an affordable choice, offering a lot of value for money with the acclaimed Honda reliability. With the Acura RDX, Honda brings all its reliability and sporty character to the luxury crossover class with a powerful turbocharged engine, an aggressive design inspired from the NSX supercar, and a handsome list of modern features.

See detailed review »

Pros

Long standard feature list

Excellent value for money

Aggressive and sporty styling

AWD models offer great handling

Balanced ride quality

Cons

Only one engine option

Unintuitive infotainment system 

Transmission gets confused at times

What's New?

For 2021, the Acura RDX is a carryover model with minimal updates, although Acura has introduced a new limited edition PMC model.


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$37800

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

5

top speed

155 mph

drivetrain

front wheel drive

engine type

displacement

122 cu.in.

horsepower

272 hp @ 6500 rpm

torque

280 lb.-ft.. @ 1600 rpm

transmission

10 speed Automatic

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

12.4/12.2 in.

dimensions

wheelbase

108.3 in.

length

188.8 in.

width

74.8 in.

height

65.7 in.

curb weight

3783 lbs.

ground clearance

8.2 in.

capacity

passenger volume

104 cu ft.

cargo volume

58.9 cu ft.

towing capacity

1500 lbs.

payload capacity

1001 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

6.4 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

14.3 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

185 ft.

warranty

basic warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

6 yr./ 70000 mi.

powertrain warranty

6 yr./ 70000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr./ unlimited mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Base$37,800 onwards

Technology Package$41,000 onwards

A-Spec$44,000 onwards

Colors and Styles

2021 Acura RDX in Fathom Blue Pearl color
Fathom Blue Pearl

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing and Features

8.5

Engine and Performance

9.0

Fuel Economy

7.1

Interior

8.0

Exterior

7.3

Safety

9.4

Competition

7.5

Final Verdict

8.0

8.0

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

8.0

Overall Rating


Acura gave the RDX a complete refresh back in 2019 with a new design, new engine options, and plenty of modern features. With a starting price of $40,400, the Acura RDX is in the crosshairs of other luxury crossovers like the BMW X3, Audi Q5, and the Volvo XC60.

2021 Acura RDX SUV front view
2021 Acura RDX SUV rear view

9.0/10
Engine and Performance

7.1/10
Fuel Economy

8.0/10
Interior

7.3/10
Exterior

9.4/10
Safety

7.5/10
Competition

8.0/10
Final Verdict


2021 Acura RDX Features

The Acura RDX is available in both FWD and AWD models with three optional packages: Technology, A-Spec, and Advance. The base model gets features like 19-inch alloy wheels, leatherette upholstery, heated sunroof, and a panoramic sunroof. 

Opting for the Technology package upgrades the leather upholstery, built-in navigation, 12-speaker stereo, and some safety features like blind-spot monitoring. Customers looking for a more aggressive design can opt for the A-Spec package which includes 20-inch alloy wheels, sport-styled front, and rear bumpers, heated and ventilated sport front seats, and a 16-speaker audio system. 

The 2021 Acura RDX Advance package is the most expensive one and adds to the Technology package with features like adaptive dampers, heated steering wheel and rear seats, head-up display, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. The new PMC limited edition model includes both the A-Spec and Advance packages along with features like a unique orange paint, 20-inch black wheels, and several gloss-black exterior design elements. 

Trim

Base

Technology

A-Spec

Advance

MSRP (FWD)

$38,400

$41,300

$44,300

$46,200

MSRP (AWD)

$40,400

$43,300

$46,300

$48,200

Key Features

19-inch alloy wheels

In addition to or replaces Base trim features with:

In addition to or replaces Technology trim features with:

In addition to or replaces Technology trim features with:

 

Leatherette upholstery

Premium leather upholstery

20-inch alloy wheels

Adaptive suspension dampers

 

Heated front seats

GPS-linked climate control system

Sport-styled front and rear bumpers

Heated steering wheel and rear seats

 

Panoramic moonroof

An upgraded premium 12-speaker audio system

Ventilated front seats

Head-up display

 

10.2-inch infotainment system with Acura’s true touchpad interface

Built-in navigation

Leather and simulated suede upholstery

Rain-sensing windshield wipers

 

Dual-zone climate control

Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert

16-speaker audio system

16-speaker audio system

 

12-way power-adjustable front sports seats

Two charge-only rear USB ports

Black-painted exterior trim

Hands-free liftgate

Which trim should you buy?

Acura RDX models with the optional Technology package offer the best value and include additional features like perforated leather upholstery, built-in navigation, upgraded 12-speaker audio system, and more. Opting for the Super Handling AWD system is also recommended for the added safety and improved handling characteristics. 

2021 Acura RDX Engine and Performance

9.0/10

Acura made the 2.0L Turbocharged engine standard on the RDX with the 2019 redesign and is the same one found in the Civic Type-R hatchback. On the 2021 

Acura RDX, the engine is detuned to produce 272 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels through a 10-speed automatic transmission which works well during normal driving but tends to get confused during quick maneuvers and overtakes. 

The optional Super Handling AWD system adds $2,000 to the base price. The engine sounds particularly sporty at higher revs and will delight enthusiasts, although most of the sound is pumped through the audio system.

2021 Acura RDX SUV driving view

Although the engine offers adequate performance, the lethargic 10-speed gearbox limits acceleration times, taking 6.6 seconds to reach 60 MPH and a hair over 15 seconds to cross the quarter-mile. The top speed is electronically limited to 130 MPH like most crossovers.

Models

2021 Acura RDX

2021 Audi Q5 45 TFSI Premium

2021 BMW X3 xDrive30i

2021 Volvo XC60 D5

MSRP

$38,400

$43,300

$43,000

$41,700

Engine

2.0L Turbocharged Inline Four-Cylinder

2.0L Turbocharged Inline Four-Cylinder

2.0L Turbocharged Inline Four-Cylinder

2.0L Turbocharged Inline Four-Cylinder

Drivetrain

FWD

AWD

AWD

FWD

Transmission

10-speed automatic

7-speed dual-clutch automatic

8-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

Power

272 hp @ 6,500 RPM

261 hp @ 5,000 RPM

248 hp @ 5,200 RPM

250 hp @ 5,500 RPM

Torque

280 lb-ft @ 1,600 RPM

273 lb-ft @ 1,600 RPM

258 lb-ft @ 1,450 RPM

258 lb-ft @ 1,500 RPM

0-60 MPH (seconds)

6.6

5.9

6.3

6.4

Quarter-Mile (seconds)

15.1

14.7

14.9

15.5

Top-Speed (MPH)

130

135

134

130

Although all crossovers get 2.0-L turbocharged engines, the Audi Q5 sprints ahead thanks to the quick-shifting DCT gearbox and electric assist. Both the BMW X3 and the Volvo XC60 get a similar setup, taking around 6.3 seconds to reach 60 MPH. 

How well does the 2021 Acura RDX handle?

In the handling department, the Acura RDX continues to take inspiration from the NSX supercar and is one of the best handling crossovers to date, especially when equipped with the AWD system. The standard models get a well-tuned suspension setup which can get uncomfortable on bad roads. 

The top-end advance package solves the issue by providing adaptive dampers to adjust ride quality. Like most Acuras, the steering is very precise and responds well to quick inputs. The optional AWD system is recommended not only for its ability to get out of tricky situations but also for its improved handling.

Braking Performance

The Acura RDX gets the smallest braking hardware in its class with 12.4-inch rotors at the front and 12.2-inch rotors at the rear. With all the sporty handling and performance, the RDX is let down by its awkward brakes which are inconsistent at times and lack adequate response. Upgraded brakes would’ve done wonders for the RDX considering its low curb weight. 

Models

2021 Acura RDX

2021 Audi Q5 45 TFSI Premium

2021 BMW X3 xDrive30i

2021 Volvo XC60 D5

Brake Rotors: Front (inches)

12.4

13.3

13

13.6

Brake Rotors: Rear (inches)

12.2

13

13

12.6

Curb Weight (lbs)

3,783

4,079

3,931

4,008

60-0 MPH (feet)

116

110

123

118

Compared to rivals like the Audi Q5 and Volvo XC60, the Acura RDX lacks in the braking performance department despite its low curb weight. It does, however, manage to perform better than the BMW X3 but lacks feel and feedback. 

2021 Acura RDX Fuel Economy

7.1/10

The 2021 Acura RDX fuel economy figures are on par with its rivals, and the SUV manages to return 22 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highways. Because of the smaller 17.1-gallon fuel tank, the highway range dips below the 500-mile mark at just 479 miles. Opting for the SH-AWD system cuts down the ratings by 1 MPG. Unfortunately, the Acura RDX doesn’t get any hybrid powertrains, unlike its rivals.

Models

2021 Acura RDX

2021 Audi Q5 45 TFSI Premium

2021 BMW X3 xDrive30i

2021 Volvo XC60 D5

MPG (City)

22

23

25

22

MPG (Highway)

28

28

29

29

MPG (Combined)

24

25

27

25

Fuel Tank Capacity (Gallons)

17.1

18.5

17.2

18.8

Range (City/Highway/Combined; Miles)

376/479/410

425/518/462

430/499/464

413/545/470

Rivals like the BMW X3 and Volvo XC60 are more efficient on the highway and offer a better highway range compared to the Acura RDX. The Audi Q5 is on par with the RDX in terms of efficiency. The BMW X3, Audi Q5, and Volvo XC60 offer an optional hybrid powertrain for improved efficiency. 

2021 Acura RDX Interior

8.0/10

The 2021 Acura RDX interior is well packaged, and 5 adults can sit in comfort. Like most crossovers, the RDX offers plenty of cargo capacity which can be further expanded by folding the rear seats flat. With all the seats folded down, the RDX offers up to 79.8 cubic feet of cargo capacity. Acura has also provided plenty of storage spaces inside the cabin. The center console storage deserves special mention, with plenty of space on offer thanks to the absence of switchgear.

2021 Acura RDX SUV front seats

The oddly shaped A/C vents and unique layered dashboard design is lifted straight from the NSX supercar. Features like ambient lighting and high-quality soft-touch materials, make the cabin feel a lot more luxurious than run-of-the-mill crossovers. The A-Spec package adds red sports seats and several red accents inside the cabin. Like most Acura vehicles, the RDX gets a unique dashboard layout that may seem complicated at first but easy to get used to.

2021 Acura RDX SUV rear seats

Models

2021 Acura RDX

2021 Audi Q5 45 TFSI Premium

2021 BMW X3 xDrive30i

2021 Volvo XC60 D5

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Legroom; inches)

40.0/60.0/42.0

39.6/57.7/40.9

41.1/57.6/40.3

38/58.2/41.5

Rear Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Legroom; inches)

38.0/57.0/38.0

39.3/56.5/38

39.1/56/36.4

38/56.3/38

Trunk Capacity (cubic feet)

29.5

25.9

28.7

17.8

In terms of interior space and practicality, the Acura RDX is easily the most spacious crossover both in terms of passenger and cargo space. The Volvo XC60 takes the second spot, but only offers limited cargo capacity. Both the Audi Q5 and BMW X3 are slightly less spacious compared to rivals.

Some notable interior features include the following:

  • 16-way power-adjustable front seats with heating and ventilation
  • 10.5-inch head-up display
  • GPS-linked climate control system
  • Panoramic moonroof
  • Heated steering wheel and rear seats
  • Hands-free liftgate

What’s there to keep you entertained?

The 2021 Acura RDX comes as standard with a 10.2-inch infotainment system that sits at the top and away from the passengers. The system is controlled through a well-placed touchpad under the gear selector and gets shortcut buttons for home, back, and menus for quick access. Although the system takes a while to get used to, it is easy to use on the move with slick controls and a well-laid-out interface. Some lag does find its way through when shuffling menus, but it remains slick for the most part. 

All the regular features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, mobile hotspot, Siri eyes-free, SiriusXM satellite and HD radio, Bluetooth, and a lot more are included as standard. Higher trims also get built-in navigation. AcuraLink is also included with features like remote starting, security alarm alert, Amazon Alexa integration, personal concierge, and key by Amazon for in-car delivery. The optional 16-speaker audio system from ELS studio includes 4 speakers in the ceiling and a massive 710 watts of total output power, creating an excellent soundstage. 

Some of the highlights of the infotainment system include the following:

  • 10.2-inch HD display
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity
  • Built-in navigation
  • SiriusXM and HD radio
  • 16-speaker audio system
  • Mobile hotspot

2021 Acura RDX Exterior

7.3/10

Acura hasn’t messed about with the styling, and the 2021 RDX continues to be a handsome crossover with bold character lines, the signature Acura five-point grille with a huge badge, and sleek LED headlights. Acura has toned down the rugged looks with black cladding only on the bumpers and sides. Flared wheel arches improve the stance and accommodate the large 19-inch wheels perfectly.

The A-Spec package injects even more sportiness with sport-style front and rear bumpers, and bigger 20-inch alloy wheels. Overall, the RDX is a handsome crossover that looks as sporty as its performance suggests.

Models

2021 Acura RDX

2021 Audi Q5 45 TFSI Premium

2021 BMW X3 xDrive30i

2021 Volvo XC60 D5

Curb Weight (lbs)

3,783

4,079

3,931

4,008

Length (inches)

186.7

184.3

185.9

184.6

Width (inches)

74.8

74.5

74.4

74.9

Height (inches)

65.7

65.5

66

65.3

Ground Clearance (inches)

5.7

N/A

7.2

8.5

Wheelbase (inches)

108.3

111

112.8

112.8

The new limited edition PMC model gets an exclusive thermal orange pearl paint with matching stitching on the inside, black 20-inch wheels, orange grille surround, black chrome exhaust tips, and several gloss-black exterior accents.

The Acura RDX looks a lot more compact than its rivals but is actually bigger in all directions. Both the Audi Q5 and Volvo XC60 are smaller than the RDX, while the BMW X3 is similar dimensionally. 

Some exterior features are:

  • 20-inch alloy wheels
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Deep tinted glass
  • Powered liftgate
  • LED taillights
  • Fully automatic projector LED lights
  • LED DRLs
  • Front fog lights

2021 Acura RDX Safety

9.4/10

The Acura RDX is based on a unique platform that is more rigid thanks to the liberal use of high-strength steel which makes up more than half of the chassis. Acura’s ACE body structure is also employed here which transfers crash energy away from the passenger compartment. The structure is further improved with laser welding and hot stamping. In the NHTSA safety tests, the RDX received a full 5-star overall rating. It also did well in the IIHS tests, securing a “Good” rating in most sections along with the “Top Safety Pick+” award. 

The RDX is loaded with plenty of active safety features like adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, road departure mitigation, and more as standard. Higher trims also get features like rain-sensing windshield wipers, surround-view parking camera, parking sensors at both ends, blind-spot monitoring, and rear-cross traffic alert. The optional head-up display also displays alerts. 

Some standard safety features include the following:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Lane keep assist
  • Road departure mitigation
  • Lane departure warning
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Rearview camera

2021 Acura RDX Competition

7.5/10

2021 Acura RDX vs 2021 Audi Q5

The Audi Q5 has always been one of the most accomplished mid-size luxury crossovers in the market with plenty of powertrain options, an opulent interior, and a comfortable ride. Compared to the Q5, the Acura RDX is a lot more affordable and offers excellent handling characteristics. 

2021 Audi Q5

The RDX also looks a lot more modern with its sporty and bold design. As an overall package, the Audi Q5 is still the better option if you’ve got extra cash to spare. 

2021 Acura RDX vs 2021 BMW X3

The Acura RDX has come a long way over the years, and the current model is capable enough to match or even dethrone the BMW X3 in terms of performance and driving dynamics. However, the RDX is limited to just one engine option while the BMW X3 offers plenty including an efficient hybrid model. The X3 is also a lot more expensive than the Acura RDX, reducing its overall value. If you’re looking purely at driving experience on a budget, the Acura RDX is the better option. 

2021 BMW X3

2021 Acura RDX vs 2021 Volvo XC60

Volvo has always concentrated on ride quality and comfort above all else, and the XC60 continues that trend. Compared to the RDX, the Volvo XC60 offers a more comfortable ride and a spacious interior. But, in terms of sheer value and driving dynamics, the Acura RDX easily takes the win thanks to its well-sorted chassis and lower price tag. 

2021 Volvo XC60

 

2021 Acura RDX Final Verdict

8.0/10

Although there are no significant updates for 2021, the RDX continues to be one of the best luxury crossovers in the market with its sporty styling and capable drivetrain. It offers great value with a low starting price without compromising on features and also looks the part. 

The optional AWD system improves handling significantly over the standard model and is not just a tool to get out of tricky situations. On the flip side, the lethargic transmission and unintuitive infotainment system are still not as sorted as its rivals. The 2021 Acura RDX is an excellent choice for buyers looking for a stylish and fun-to-drive crossover that offers plenty of value.

Similar Cars

2021 Audi Q3
2021 Audi Q3

MSRP: $34,000- $36,000

7.4/10
2021 Volvo XC60
2021 Volvo XC60

MSRP: $40,795- $53,295

8.3/10
2021 Honda Passport
2021 Honda Passport

MSRP: $31,990- $33,990

8.5/10
2021 Subaru Outback
2021 Subaru Outback

MSRP: $26,645- $34,895

7.7/10
2021 Ford Edge
2021 Ford Edge

MSRP: $31,100

7.9/10
2021 Honda Pilot
2021 Honda Pilot

MSRP: $31,650

8.2/10
2021 Mazda CX-5
2021 Mazda CX-5

MSRP: $25,190- $26,590

8.6/10
2021 BMW X3
2021 BMW X3

MSRP: $41,950- $43,950

8.0/10
2021 Toyota Highlander
2021 Toyota Highlander

MSRP: $34,600- $38,400

8.7/10
2021 Volvo XC40
2021 Volvo XC40

MSRP: $34,345- $42,450

7.8/10