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2020 Acura RDX

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Overview (Final Score: A-)

The RDX was redesigned in 2019 and carries into 2020 without many changes. The luxury crossover defines the sport genre of the five-seat compact luxury segment, offering a wonderful ride, strong capability, and a sizable interior.

Standard features are plentiful in the 2020 RDX, but packages can offer a lot more. Technology is a key point in this new Acura and may also be on of its weak points. Dollar for dollar, though, the Acura RDX offers more for the money spent than do most German competitors and it is expected to be less troublesome to own as well.

When introduced last year, the new generation of the RDX brought eye-catching style and a great interior experience. Our subsequent time in the 2019 model showed that it's far more capable off the pavement and in snow and ice than anyone could expect. These solidified it as a favorite in the segment. We don't see that changing for the 2020 model year.

The 2020 RDX is a five-seat, compact luxury crossover available in front-wheel or all-wheel drive. There is only one engine and trim to choose from, but three optional packages can add what buyers may want as upgrades.

What We Love About the 2020 Acura RDX:

  • Wonderful drive quality with sharp handling

  • Roomier cabin and cargo space than many competitors

  • Great price point for the goodies given

What We Don't Love About the 2020 Acura RDX:

  • Options only available in packages, no ala carte

  • Performance option not available, as with competitors

  • Some controls may be odd to users at first


Exterior View (9/10)

Acura toned down the edginess for this new-generation RDX without losing its unique appeal. The grille is softer and the bodywork less busy, both good things, while the shape remains fast-paced and sinuous. The floating rear roofline makes for a more upscale appeal--following the general trend in this segment--and deemphasizes the bulge of the hatch.

Despite being a crossover, with the basically square shape that's thus inherent, the Acura RDX manages a low, wide look that promises muscle and cornering acumen. The long hood and wheels pushed towards the corners help this. The compact look of the exterior, in fact, belies the roominess of the 2020 RDX's interior.

Interior Comfort, Quality, Ergonomics (10/10)

There's little to complain about with the Acura RDX's new interior design. Seats are roomy, the interior itself is airy and spacious, and the cargo is usefully large. There's no mistaking the point of the RDX, though, with the center of the dashboard being dominated by a huge drive mode selector. The RDX is a driver's car that happens to be a crossover.

There are several trim points for the 2020 Acura RDX, each with some changes to the SUV's interior. The base model offers good seating and plenty of ergonomics while the successive package options add their flairs to the mix. The A-Spec trim, for example, moves to sport seating and a red option for a more energetic feel while the Technology option adds some trim points that bring out the bling of the electronics.


Standard in the 2020 RDX is synthetic leather, 12-way driver's power adjustment, and heated front seating. Add-ons, by package, can include Milano leather, 16-way adjustable front seating, ventilated front seats, and a heated steering wheel. Just to get started.

The RDX comes with two LATCH anchor seats in the rear that are fairly easy to access. All three rear seats have an upper tether for securing a child safety seat. This is worth noting as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has given the Acura RDX a Good+ rating for its child seat anchors--a rarity in the luxury classes.

The 2020 RDX has 29.5 cubic feet of total cargo space available behind the second row and 58.9 with the second row folded (flat in most models, not quite so flat in the A-Spec). A few storage extras like an understorage in the rear cargo are also nice touches.

Technology (8/10)

The new RDX features a 10.2-inch infotainment screen with a touchpad controller. The stereo ranges from a 9-speaker system in the base model to a 12- or 16-speaker system in other package upgrades. Two USB ports, a WiFi hotspot, Siri Hands Free, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and the AcuraLink app for controlling some car systems from a smartphone are all standard equipment. Upgrades add more USB ports (up to 2), GPS-linked climate control for optimum settings, a surround-view parking camera system, and a head-up display. Depending on package chosen.

The infotainment in the Acura RDX is good, but not excellent. The True Touchpad interface Acura uses can be clunky at times and is difficult to operate while driving. It has a sizable learning curve. Once surmounted, though, the interface is good and far better than what many in the luxury space are offering.


Fuel Economy (8/10)

The 2020 Acura RDX has both a front-wheel and an all-wheel drive option. Both are rated similarly by the EPA for fuel economy at 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Our real-world driving in an AWD model resulted in 27 mpg on the highway and 20 mpg in the city during testing.

Predicted Reliability, Initial Quality Ratings (8/10)

There have been no recalls for the 2020 Acura RDX. There have not, as of this writing, been any reliability ratings published for the vehicle either. Because the crossover is largely unchanged from last year, we expect that the J.D. Power and Associates rating of Better Than Most will hold for the 2020 model year as well.

Safety (10/10)

The 2020 RDX is one of the top rated luxury crossovers for safety this year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has given the RDX five stars overall for crash worthiness. It's received four stars each for frontal and rollover and five stars for side crash tests.

The IIHS has rated the 2020 Acura RDX with its best scores of "Good" on all crash tests plus a Superior rating for advanced safety equipment. This means that the 2020 RDX has received the coveted Top Safety Pick+ rating.

Performance (9/10)

The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that the RDX employs has a total output of 272 horsepower. This mates to a 10-speed automatic transmission, which is quick on the shift. Acceleration in the RDX is very good with this setup and likeable in every way. Some might want the more growling, longer-legged potency of a six-cylinder option, but we feel that the four-cylinder is more than adequate for the RDX and the fast-kicking turbos feel fun and lend a lot of goodness to the crossover.

What's more, the 2020 Acura RDX handles very well with precise steering and good road hugging. We like the Acura AWD system, which they call Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD). As stated before, all weather and off-pavement are a breeze in the RDX with this excellent setup.

Pricing and Value (10/10)

The RDX is one of the few luxury crossovers we can give a high score to for pricing and value. The Acura generally does not lose value as quickly as do many of its contemporaries and starts out with a high valuation thanks to its low price out the gate. The RDX is generally $2,000-$3,000 cheaper than a comparable alternative, even when similarly equipped, and offers good return for the money spent as a result.

We recommend that consumers look to the Technology and A-Spec packages for the best value and equipment load. Most buyers will find themselves comfortable in the $44,000 range in either of these packages.


Total Score and Competitive Comparison (72/80, 90%)

Competitors to the 2020 Acura RDX include the Audi Q5, the Jaguar F-Pace, and the Mercedes GLC. For similar value and high ratings, though, most will be comparing against the Lexus NX. Compared to most of these, the RDX is sportier to drive. The GLC is as roomy as is the RDX and the Q5 feels similarly spry on the road. Comparatively, though, none of these rivals offer the full package that the Acura RDX delivers.

That, in a nutshell, is the excellent 2020 Acura RDX. It's a luxury compact crossover that's priced right, designed well, and engaging on the road. A potent combination.

Trim Style Engine Drive Train MSRP
SH-AWD 4 Cylinder AWD 39800
w/Technology Pkg SH-AWD w/Technology Pkg 4 Cylinder AWD 43000
w/A-Spec Pkg SH-AWD w/A-Spec Pkg 4 Cylinder AWD 46000
w/Advance Pkg SH-AWD w/Advance Pkg 4 Cylinder AWD 47900
FWD 4 Cylinder FWD 37800
w/Technology Pkg FWD w/Technology Pkg 4 Cylinder FWD 41000
w/A-Spec Pkg FWD w/A-Spec Pkg 4 Cylinder FWD 44000
w/Advance Pkg FWD w/Advance Pkg 4 Cylinder FWD 45900

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