The 2014 Acura RDX is a decent vehicle, but its price is simply too high for the amount of luxury it has to offer – which is very little.
The 2014 Acura RDX belongs to the small luxury SUV segment, and while it has nailed the small-SUV part, the luxury aspect is more debatable. Overall, the RDX is actually a pretty decent car as far as family crossovers go – it’s comfortable, spacious and has ample safety features. It’s the little things that feel off here, which leave the RDX in the dust of its stiff competition.
It’s a Tough Market
The luxury compact SUV segment is a tough one, no doubt. The RDX has to compete against vehicles like the BMW X3 and Audi Q5, both of which are giants in the automotive world. These vehicles have absolutely perfected their design and style, offering top-notch features, excellent performance and so much more, while the RDX seems to offer just a bit less. That being said, the RDX it does undercut these vehicles in price, but that may not be a compromise most luxury car buyers would be willing to make.
Honda CR-V Clone?
The design of the RDX is simple and sleek, but nothing outrageous. In all fairness, we have seen Acura do plenty of outrageous stuff before, and it wasn’t pretty – just look at the ZDX and TL for a reminder. So, playing it safe with RDX is an acceptable choice. The 2013 redesign gave this car a handsome and athletic look that is very comparable to its cousin, the Honda CR-V. While the RDX does have a classy front end and Acura badging, those looking into the luxury market might be disappointed with its close resemblance to the CR-V – it’s uncanny!
Where are All the Features?
The interior of the RDX is nice, but there are some standard luxury features that are missing. What the RDX does have is comfortable seating and a very spacious cabin. Soft-touch materials are used throughout the interior, and there is a 10-way power driver’s seat. Overall, it’s a pleasant space to occupy, but drivers and passengers might be wondering where that extra “pizazz” is. The driver’s seat is not height-adjustable, so the driver sits low. Buyers will need to upgrade to the top-trim in order to get a power lift-gate. Compared to Audi and BMW, who are famous for making the best interior spaces in the world, it’s hard to believe that the RDX shares the same segment with these giants.
It seems like tech specs are what set vehicles apart nowadays, with most luxury brands implementing their own infotainment interfaces. BMW has the iDrive and Audi has the Multi Media Interface, both of which are very advanced, putting all the entertainment and information sources into one user-friendly system. Acura is yet to develop its own system that would be comparable to these, but what’s worse is that it’s using the same navigation system since 2004. It is literally a decade old. Other high-end features the RDX is missing are adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, parking assist, night vision and pedestrian detection. This car is in desperate need of a technology overhaul.
More Powertrains, Please
As for the RDX’s single powertrain, it is actually not too bad. Acura offers the RDX in both front-wheel and all-wheel drives, and comes standard with a six-speed automatic transmission. The standard engine is a 3.5-litre V6 that produces 273 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque. The ride is pretty smooth and the car handles well, but there is one major issue – the vibration. At highway speeds, car vibrations cannot be ignored, and for some is a real deal-breaker. There is no option for a diesel or hybrid engine either, which is a real shame, since the BMW X3 is available with a diesel engine, while the Audi Q5 has both diesel and hybrid powertrains. With such a heavy focus on fuel economy and the environment lately, the RDX really needs to add a few environmentally-friendly options.
Overall, the 2014 Acura RDX is a solid car, but there aren’t enough standard or optional features to allow it to compete against the other vehicles in the segment competently. The verdict is that if you are looking for a better price, similar features can be found in lower-priced vehicles. If the features and style are higher on your priority list, then the German competitors are a better option.
For more details on the specific features of the 2014 Acura RDX, check out our full review right here!