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2014 Acura RDX

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starting MSRP

Key specs

Base trim shown


Body style


Combined MPG


Seating capacity

183.5” x 66.1”


Front-wheel drive



The good:

  • V-6 power
  • Decent gas mileage
  • Dashboard ergonomics

The bad:

  • Looks like a wagon
  • Backseat doesn't slide

2 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2014 Acura RDX trim comparison will help you decide.

See also: Find the best SUVs for 2024

Notable features

  • Midsize crossover that seats five
  • 3.5-liter V-6 engine
  • Front- or all-wheel drive
  • Standard leather
  • Standard backup camera

2014 Acura RDX review: Our expert's take

By David Thomas

Editor’s note: This review was written in June 2012 about the 2013 Acura RDX. Little of substance has changed with this year’s model. To see what’s new for 2014, click here, or check out a side-by-side comparison of the two model years.

The redesigned 2013 Acura RDX is better armed to win over shoppers — it’s larger, lighter and more efficient — while offering an attractive value proposition.

Acura didn’t have much success with the RDX in its previous incarnation. It was reasonably priced with a slew of standard features shoppers would want in a luxury SUV, but its quirky turbocharged engine and cramped confines were deal breakers.

The 2013 has been redesigned in a number of significant ways. Not only is it larger inside and out, it’s lighter, features a different optional all-wheel-drive system and, most important, there’s a standard V-6 engine under the hood that’s more efficient.

There is a battle raging among luxury and mainstream automakers to figure out what type of engines should replace V-6 and V-8s as fuel efficiency becomes paramount in our age of more stringent regulations. Most thinking foresees turbocharged four-cylinders replacing V-6 engines and turbocharged, supercharged or hybrid V-6 power plants replacing V-8s.

Acura’s last RDX was ahead of the game with its turbo four-cylinder, but not only did it deliver a somewhat herky-jerky driving experience, its fuel economy was below what many V-6s returned. And it required premium gas.

The 3.5-liter V-6 in the new RDX features cylinder deactivation, is teamed to a new six-speed automatic transmission and returns not only better power – 273 horsepower versus 240 hp — but also significantly better fuel economy: 20/28 mpg city/highway versus 19/24 mpg. Premium is recommended to achieve those figures but isn’t required.

On the road, power builds at a somewhat slower pace than the turbo generation provided, but it’s a more consistent experience. Leaving a stoplight isn’t as energizing, but accelerating onto a highway on-ramp or passing cars at highway speeds are easier maneuvers with the new V-6.

Steering is lighter than before. There’s more body roll in tight turns; the brakes are not as grabby and the ride is softer. For performance fans, the RDX is definitely a step back from the previous model, but for the average car shopper, it is a huge step forward because the experience is more comfortable.

This is a competitive class with the BMW X3 and Volvo XC60 aimed right at the RDX. Neither one is a dynamic performer with their base engines; the RDX has just one engine choice and competes on price with the lesser offerings from BMW and Volvo, so the RDX shines. It has more power and features than the XC60 at a similar price and costs significantly less than the BMW. Its mileage also bests the other two.

The optional all-wheel-drive system also has been changed. Instead of the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive from the 2012, a new, superlative-less system replaces it. Power can be shifted up to 50 percent to the rear wheels, but only when slippage is detected such as in bad weather. Otherwise, power is split 75/25 percent front/rear in normal acceleration, 90/10 when mild acceleration is needed to increase cruising speed and 100 percent to the front when cruising. This power split along with the system’s reduced weight helps lift mileage numbers.

I’ve tested every player in this segment many times, including a new high-performance version of the XC60 the week prior to test-driving the RDX, and the Acura doesn’t fall behind any of them as an overall performer.

Consumer Reports’ overall reliability for the outgoing 2012 RDX received the publication’s highest rating while the competition received average scores or below, with only the X3 getting an above-average grade.

The RDX has been redesigned from the engine and exterior styling to the interior confines. Most of the materials in the cabin resemble what was in the 2012, but the layout has been changed.

The dashboard is more distinctly separated from the center console that’s between the driver and front passenger. There are also more contours to the dash, lush padding on the leather sections of the doors, and more curvaceous lines nearly everywhere. This adds a sense of luxury versus the hard-edged sports-themed cockpit of the previous generation.

The leather seats are exceptionally comfortable, with wide seat bottoms.

The rear seats have plenty of leg- and knee room for average-sized adults. Both front and rear legroom lead the class.

It was relatively easy for me to install child-safety seats for my two preschoolers, and they had an easy time getting in and out of the backseat.

I also liked the numerous cubbies and small cargo compartments in the RDX. For me, the most useful one was in the center console that sits in front of the cupholders. It holds the USB input and can fit a smartphone, wallet, sunglasses and keys easily while still allowing the cover to slide closed. This makes it a convenient storage place for trips to the beach or gym.

How the RDX’s cargo space measures up against the competition depends on whether the rear seats are folded or not. At 26.1 cubic feet behind the backseat, the RDX’s cargo volume is below average in the class, falling behind the BMW X3, Volvo XC60 and Cadillac SRX at 27.6, 30.8 and 29.8 cubic feet, respectively. The RDX tops only the Mercedes-Benz GLK’s 23.3 cubic feet.

I found it plenty large for my needs, which included a Costco run that filled the back with three 55-pound bags of potting soil and left enough room for food and other items. More important, the low load floor simplifies throwing in those large items.

Fold the rear seats down with levers by the liftgate and cargo room expands to 61.3 cubic feet, which is much more competitive. Only the X3 and XC60 top it at 63.3 and 67.4 cubic feet, respectively, and the rest fall short, even if just barely. The expanded cargo floor is also relatively flat, which is helpful when loading long items such as shelving.

While the numbers may not blow away the segment, Acura did improve the overall experience for hauling goods. The rear seats fold flat with one movement instead of having to flip the seat bottoms forward as in the previous model, and gone is the removable floor piece that doubled as a cargo cover yet was rarely used.

Features and Pricing
The RDX remains one of the more reasonably priced players in this segment with a starting price for the base front-wheel-drive model of $35,215 (including an $895 destination charge). That’s up $1,435 from the outgoing model, however. You can compare the 2013 and 2012 models here.

Acura doesn’t use traditional option packages or trim designations for most of its models, and the RDX is no different. If you choose to move up from the base model called simply “RDX,” there are three choices: RDX AWD at $36,615, RDX with Technology Package at $38,915 or RDX AWD with Technology Package at $40,315.

Standard on all RDX models are keyless entry, push-button start, leather seats, heated front seats, a backup camera, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, 5-inch color display and 360-watt stereo with subwoofer.

The Technology Package adds a navigation system with 8-inch screen, voice-activated stereo and navigation controls, power liftgate, 410-watt 10-speaker premium sound system with 15 gigabytes of media storage, fog lights and xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights.

The 2013 Acura RDX is equipped with a standard suite of airbags and has earned Top Safety Pick status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. To earn IIHS’ highest rating, a car must get the highest score of Good in front, side, rear and roof-strength crash tests.

The federal government has not yet crash tested the 2013 Acura RDX.

RDX in the Market
The RDX had an advantage by being an early player in the small luxury crossover segment. That head start didn’t lead to big sales, but taught Acura some lessons they’ve applied to the 2013.

Now that it is better aimed at the right type of shopper, Acura has no excuses if the RDX fails.

Send David an email  
Photo of David Thomas
Former managing editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David Thomas

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.8
  • Interior 4.6
  • Performance 4.8
  • Value 4.6
  • Exterior 4.7
  • Reliability 4.8
Write a review

Most recent consumer reviews


Comfort and Reliable

As a proud owner of a 2014 Acura RDX, I can confidently say that I have not experienced any malfunctions with my SUV. It has been a reliable and dependable vehicle that has served me well over the years. The comfort level of the interior is something that I particularly enjoy. The seats are comfortable, and the ride is smooth. Even on long drives, I never feel fatigued or uncomfortable. Despite its age, the 2014 Acura RDX is still a competent performer on the highway. I have driven it over 100,000 miles, and it still performs admirably, achieving 30-31 mpg on the highway. The fact that I haven't experienced any malfunctions only adds to my confidence in its reliability. In terms of aesthetics, the exterior and interior of the RDX are okay compared to other SUVs in its class. But, it's not the primary reason I bought this vehicle. My focus was on a reliable and comfortable vehicle, and the RDX has certainly delivered in those areas. Overall, if you're looking for a dependable, comfortable, and practical SUV, I can wholeheartedly recommend the 2014 Acura RDX.

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 5.0
  • Interior 3.0
  • Performance 4.0
  • Value 4.0
  • Exterior 3.0
  • Reliability 5.0
  • Purchased a Used car
  • Used for Transporting family
  • Does recommend this car
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful. Did you?
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Love my RDX!

This car has been incredibly reliable. I have only ever done regularly scheduled maintenance on it, and just passed 126K miles. While it doesn't have the bells and whistles of newer models, I'm tempted to drive it for another 100K because it's been such a workhorse. Cargo space is good for our one kid family, but if you have a large family, large dog or need to travel with a lot of gear, you may want to consider the MDX. For us, this is just right. Good sound system. Better gas mileage than earlier versions of this car that had a turbo engine. You won't regret buying an Acura SUV!

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.0
  • Interior 4.0
  • Performance 4.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Exterior 4.0
  • Reliability 5.0
  • Purchased a New car
  • Used for Transporting family
  • Does recommend this car
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful. Did you?
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Love this car!

I love this car! Designed well with ample leg room for me, safe and reliable in winter as the heat will come on shortly after I turn it on. I do not like the newly styled RDX as I am tall and cringe looking at the roof sloping down. I think of anyone who might sit in the back seat and they would not have comfortable head room but what can I say? I am tall and think of things like that. I prefer my style.

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 5.0
  • Interior 5.0
  • Performance 5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Exterior 5.0
  • Reliability 5.0
  • Purchased a Used car
  • Used for Commuting
  • Does recommend this car
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful. Did you?
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See all 80 consumer reviews


Based on the 2014 Acura RDX base trim.
Combined side rating front seat
Combined side rating rear seat
Frontal barrier crash rating driver
Frontal barrier crash rating passenger
Overall frontal barrier crash rating
Overall rating
Overall side crash rating
Risk of rollover
Rollover rating
Side barrier rating
Side barrier rating driver
Side barrier rating passenger rear seat
Side pole rating driver front seat


New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Acura Precision
New car program benefits
48 months/50,000 miles
60 months/unlimited distance
72 months/70,000 miles
Roadside assistance
48 months/50,000 miles
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
6 years old and newer from their original in-service date, with 80,000 miles or fewer at time of vehicle delivery.
Basic warranty terms
2 years/100,000 miles
7 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
182-point inspection
Roadside assistance
View all cpo program details

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