2021 Acura RDX Review: Best in class? | CarGurus

Acura claims the 2021 RDX is the best-selling vehicle in its class. Is it the best compact luxury SUV, period?

Shop for the 2021 Acura RDX on CarGurus: cargur.us/Dyw8V

Christian Wardlaw puts a 2021 Acura RDX through its paces along some of California's best roads. It has great looks, terrific performance, and it costs less than many of its competitors. It's hard to go wrong with the RDX.

For more information on the 2021 Acura RDX, read Christian's full review on CarGurus: cargur.us/Dywbt

Presenter: Christian Wardlaw
Cinematography: Dan Sharp
Written review: Christian Wardlaw
----------
0:00 Introducing the 2021 Acura RDX
0:47 Pricing Overview
2:45 The A-Spec Package
3:30 Cargo Space
3:59 Infotainment Discussion
6:06 Safety Technology
6:30 Driving the RDX
9:29 Final Thoughts and Recommendation

Comments 

  1. TMM

    TMM

    Day ago

    No spare tire?

  2. Mike A

    Mike A

    16 days ago

    Does the tech package have the ambient night lighting

  3. Mike A

    Mike A

    Month ago

    Beware of the newer acuras, ive had a 2019 ilx, a 21 rdx, a 21 tlx and a 21 ilx and all same problem oil smell in vents. And rear main seal leak. You will find vehicles with more than 2000km on them oil residue and or leaking near fly wheel cover.

  4. Milton Friedman

    Milton Friedman

    Month ago

    I can't agree more in regard to the touchpad and navigation tool. Other than that, I have a 2019, this vehicle is awesome.

  5. Dan Lander

    Dan Lander

    2 months ago

    Just curious, are you reading from a tablet or something from behind those 'sun' glasses?

  6. Aldo Matulich

    Aldo Matulich

    2 months ago

    Chris, I'm torn between the 2021 RDX Advance, or the 2022 Acura MDX Advance. Yeah , sure $12K price difference. You look like a pretty big BOY. How was your comfort level on a longer trip with RDX? I took both for test drives .... The RDX handles incredibly for an SUV , but the MDX handles very well too. My hesitancy comes form the lack of need for a 3rd Row for me at 69 YO retired..... However, with some back problems (neck issues too), I need that comfort. Agreed to on the Infotainment systems from Acura - definitely needs a Learning Curve. Your suggestions are very good concerning the Radio stations, and adding regular Navi addresses for quick access too, and for the Phone as well. Both are not great MPGs - but the RDX delivers about 2 MPGs more. I think I need a spreadsheet of the Pros and Cons... appreciate your advice on the comfort level you experienced with the RDX

  7. Strike Taing

    Strike Taing

    2 months ago

    Its s SUV not gonna be a wagon

  8. John Kohlmeyer

    John Kohlmeyer

    3 months ago

    Get a Mazda CX-5 Signature and save $10000 Just as fun to drive with high quality and safety rating

    • Stephen Vivian

      Stephen Vivian

      2 months ago

      And who’s seat is as cushioned as a steel bench. If Mazda put the Mazda6 seat in the CX-5 it’d have a winner.

  9. A K

    A K

    3 months ago

    I bought the RDX SH-AWD + Tech and it rides really well. The A-spec was mostly cosmetic, but the Advance package certainly adds more features and value, but at the end of the day, I was happy with the version I got, at the price it came at.

  10. Ambushjazz

    Ambushjazz

    3 months ago

    Touch pad is fire idk what he’s talkin about

  11. Hello Its Me

    Hello Its Me

    4 months ago

    I wonder why the RDX didn't get Ambient lights inside while the TLX and MDX did and no wireless charging

  12. JY

    JY

    4 months ago

    This was a really great review. Especially, it told me about how it actually feels to control the infortainment system with that trackpad.

  13. Eric B.

    Eric B.

    4 months ago

    YUA know, I drove a 2021 RDX Advance last week at my local ACURA dealer. When I drove in withy red 2019 MAZDA CX-5 GT Reserve (2.5 L. turbo, AWD) they were all over me to sell it to them even if I didn't buy an RDX from them. I can see why. ->My CX-5 GT Reserve had everything the RDX Advance had but the great Super Handling AWD and ceiling speakers. Plus it has adaptive (turning) headlights, more speed and better steering feel - and (IMHO) better design with an equally upscale interior. In fact my cooled seats work better than those in the RDX Advance. I was disappointed in that. SO... I'll keep my CX-5 GT Reserve until a really good compact plug-in electric SUV comes along - like say, HYUNDAI.

  14. Geesi

    Geesi

    4 months ago

    Why is he so negative? The RDX is an amazing car and value.

  15. John Lain

    John Lain

    5 months ago

    Review something other than the A-Spec. Like the base or the tech package. The vehicles that most people will buy.

  16. John McCray

    John McCray

    5 months ago

    I love the touchpad in my RDX. You can teach an old dog new tricks if they just take the time to learn.

  17. Marco Bruno

    Marco Bruno

    5 months ago

    it needs a knob not a pad

  18. brandon lawrence

    brandon lawrence

    5 months ago

    I just replaced my 2002 crv with one of these yesterday. I'm in love!

    • bfee20021

      bfee20021

      25 days ago

      Does it have cooled or ventilated seats?

    • Aldo Matulich

      Aldo Matulich

      2 months ago

      brandon.... Good Luck . How You Linking it now?

    • brandon lawrence

      brandon lawrence

      2 months ago

      @Mark C I literally still get a tiny bit of excitement if I have to drive somewhere. It's perfect. Very comfortable, pretty dang quick, and the sound system is the best I've heard in a vehicle. If your car shopping I would definitely check it out

    • Mark C

      Mark C

      2 months ago

      Three months in now, how do you like it?

  19. Bill Wulfing

    Bill Wulfing

    6 months ago

    Nice car, but after 4000 miles the brakes squeak....not good.

  20. dan joy

    dan joy

    6 months ago

    I test drove this car today, and the controls are hard to navigate., the radio sounded great but it will take some getting used to. whoever designed this touch style system must of used it with no wheels on the car.

  21. Amira’s Angel

    Amira’s Angel

    6 months ago

    I just got mine today!!!! 😛😛😛😁😁😁😁

  22. Eric B

    Eric B

    6 months ago

    Its an upgraded CRV

  23. Donna Laughlin

    Donna Laughlin

    6 months ago

    I just purchased a 2021 Nissan Rogue with the premium package and was driving it when I noticed one of my neighbors has the RDX, I feel like it looks "exactly" like my Nissan, or am I crazy? Great premium package with outstanding infotainment and Nissan Connect app pairing for a lot less than the RDX. Just my 2 cents.

    • Donna Laughlin

      Donna Laughlin

      3 months ago

      @johnnyXXX I disagree but I do like the chrome finishes on the vehicle.

    • johnnyXXX

      johnnyXXX

      3 months ago

      The RDX looks nothing like the Rogue. It does look a bit like a Murano with sharper lines.

  24. kurt mathews

    kurt mathews

    6 months ago

    Wow. An actual useful review. Thanks,

  25. Eric Bulington

    Eric Bulington

    6 months ago

    Is the cabin quiet? Why don’t reviewers talk about that when reviewing luxury brands? Potholes, are they absorbed or does it break a 20” wheel. These are real issues. Please address them

    • Mike A

      Mike A

      5 months ago

      Its pretty quiet. And itll take the pot holes real good

  26. Sean 24986

    Sean 24986

    7 months ago

    why do these guys constantly knock the TTI interface for the info system? it takes a 6th grader all of about 15 minutes using it to have it "figured out" and once you have the small learning curve conquered, you will love it! You stay in a normal driving position and not have to reach to "touch the screen" as this chucklehead thinks is better! There are some things I think Acura could do better but overall, I love my 2020 Tech package RDX and easily will give it a 5 star rating! Reviewers: USE THE TTI FOR MORE THAN ONE TIME BEFORE YOU DO THE REVIEW AND JUMP ALL OVER IT! If you lightly tough the interface, it actually acts like a mouse and the options highlight then push down harder to "click" on them!

    • Private

      Private

      5 months ago

      He's an old fart that's bad with technology

  27. ETX Kevin

    ETX Kevin

    7 months ago

    My next car....

  28. Love Like a Hurricane

    Love Like a Hurricane

    7 months ago

    need off road wheel/tire package from factory

  29. jammer117

    jammer117

    7 months ago

    mazda's mmi system in one of the best in the market, far better than the touchscreen.

  30. A Peanut to Your Butter

    A Peanut to Your Butter

    7 months ago

    EXCELLENT REVIEW!! One of the best I've seen; thank you so much!

  31. kingdele01

    kingdele01

    7 months ago

    The center stack is awful! They really need to replace their design team with a team from Audi.

  32. J P

    J P

    8 months ago

    Honda CR-V has a Qi wireless phone charging feature without being part of a “technology” group. Granted less powerful but also more than $10k less expensive. If this is just about sport luxury, I’d go straight to Porsche Macan for the name flex.

  33. Carson Redford

    Carson Redford

    8 months ago

    Never trust a 50 year old complaining about an infotainment system who tested the car for 24 hours.

    • Private

      Private

      5 months ago

      Yeah, he's an old fart

  34. trilingualkid

    trilingualkid

    8 months ago

    Those gauges remind me of my RSX-Type S...how time flys...

  35. Thien Vo

    Thien Vo

    8 months ago

    Like the car, interior and exterior except the back light, it is out of date, hard to accept for a luxury brand. Wish the 2022 MDX back light is on this car, it is so sexy.

    • Thien Vo

      Thien Vo

      7 months ago

      @TitaniumSpecial if you pay attention, accord, civic, crv and now the rdx are same tailight design which they are looked like the letter C, it looks ugly and out of date.

    • TitaniumSpecial

      TitaniumSpecial

      7 months ago

      Tail light should get upgrade for 2022.

  36. Curtis Hall

    Curtis Hall

    9 months ago

    Great value for the money! Fun car to drive!

  37. proximafase

    proximafase

    9 months ago

    Had mine for about 14-15 months. I find the TTI super easy to use. Second nature - just like every other infotainment system I’ve had.

    • columbiars

      columbiars

      3 months ago

      Just thinking in getting one soon. Have you had any reliability issues or small issues you can share?

  38. Midi Man

    Midi Man

    9 months ago

    Having a 2019 A Spec I agree with what you said except Real city driving gas mileage is crap not even close to the 21 they advertise. They need a Eco mode. Maybe the gas mileage is better in San Fran rolling down a hill. Also I recently drove a Lexus 2020 RX 350 the info system has both a Touch screen and Touch pad. Also the Touch pad has vibration feed back when you push your finger on it. I liked have all three of those features, Great engineering, Lexus. Now the piped engine noise and the swirling Acura logo when I first got the car was great it's getting old now. Really old want to turn it off. Yes the Torque vectoring is great on a dry road. Car can not climb a small hill in snow mode. It might be the tires but really quite disappointed in that fact also. I had and just sold my old 90 Acura legend about a year ago to a friend and to be quite honest The RDX is just fast. It just not the same quality to me. Maybe if I was a kid that wanted a NSX in a SUV I would be more happy.

  39. Derrek B

    Derrek B

    10 months ago

    I have this car, rear is fine. You don’t need tech or advanced or a spec. Get the base it already has everything including radar cruise and auto lane keeping self driving in a way. Best value. I got my 2019 base at 35600 plus tax

    • Private

      Private

      5 months ago

      @geo cape love it! Bought a 2019 with 29k km's for 44k. Get the aspec, you won't regret it!

    • Derrek B

      Derrek B

      5 months ago

      Yes love it. Reliable. Beautiful. A lots of power. Handles like a bmw. Oozes quality

    • geo cape

      geo cape

      7 months ago

      Do you love it? I am in the market to get one.

  40. Tomasz Józefowicz

    Tomasz Józefowicz

    10 months ago

    The best suv

  41. James Sankey

    James Sankey

    10 months ago

    Great review. A 60/40 rear seat split doesn't cut it on a (quasi) luxury SUV. Must have a 3-way split or pass through. What is it with Japanese/Asian cars ignoring this?

    • johnnyXXX

      johnnyXXX

      3 months ago

      40/20/40 fold down rear seats are nice, but it's a feature that the vast majority of people would never use. How many people who own of these would need to use the two rear seats WHILE having the center seat folded to accommodate a piece of long item or ski? How often does that really happen? My guess is that they did the math and figured the number is so small that it's not worth the effort/money.

  42. VM

    VM

    10 months ago

    You made it crystal clear: The touch pad controller is a very BAD idea. Acura will dump this in the next redesign.

    • Private

      Private

      5 months ago

      It works great, he's just bad with technology

  43. Ken S

    Ken S

    10 months ago

    they should have replace that giant "NSX" inspired dynamic knob as a scroll wheel for the infotainment, similar to BMW iDrive. Get rid of that dumb touchpad. Your driving a SUV not NSX supercar. And it should not be in the middle of the center stack where logically is reserve for HVAC controls or media.

  44. Ben Haze

    Ben Haze

    10 months ago

    So glad you brought up the low contrast gauge cluster. I don't understand why Acura is forcing all A-Specs buyers to get these crappy gauges and won't buy this trim because of it.

    • Private

      Private

      5 months ago

      I love the gauges, I wasn't sure about them at first but they are sporty and sexy in person and at night

    • TitaniumSpecial

      TitaniumSpecial

      7 months ago

      I call them clown gauges. Remember, Acura is a value brand, don't expect too much.

  45. Jayboogie007

    Jayboogie007

    10 months ago

    First Honda removes the volume knob in their cars, prompting stupendous backlash... now they’ve gone the Lexus route with their infotainment, like that hasn’t utterly killed Lexus sales. Why do you do this shit, Honda?!?

    • Private

      Private

      5 months ago

      It's fun to use and works great now

  46. Paul henry

    Paul henry

    10 months ago

    Good car but Acura needs to work on overall NVH. For 50k I expect the new 3.0 DIT from the new MDX as a option not a detuned Civic type R engine as a only choice. As far as styling it looks like a Nissan to me. For a little added utility and least 10k cheaper the 20 CRV Touring is a good choice

    • Paul henry

      Paul henry

      8 months ago

      @Chris P. Bacon nissan murano

    • Chris P. Bacon

      Chris P. Bacon

      10 months ago

      Which Nissan?

  47. Cesar Reynoso

    Cesar Reynoso

    10 months ago

    Very detailed review. I see these new RDX's everywhere, my brother owns an Aspec in Apex Blue and it drives great.

  48. TruthHasSpoken

    TruthHasSpoken

    10 months ago

    nice review but I stopped it at 4:15. I can't stand the auto design trend - repeated over and over - of humungous center consoles, tall and wide. It's obvious that your right knee has no room to move to the right, important to me when driving on cruise control (less in town). I want to like this car but its thumbs down for me because of that.

  49. SRT xxx

    SRT xxx

    10 months ago

    ACURA makes very nice vehicles, I like everything about the RDX, but that infotainment system is absolutely GARBAGE it's not user friendly ! GO BACK TO A TOUCHSCREEN !!!!!!

    • Private

      Private

      5 months ago

      It's. Great

    • TitaniumSpecial

      TitaniumSpecial

      7 months ago

      @SRT xxx The preaching of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.

    • SRT xxx

      SRT xxx

      8 months ago

      @Sralaine 007 o-007 you're a Jesus Freak ,aren't you

    • Sralaine 007 o-007

      Sralaine 007 o-007

      8 months ago

      Garbage is for Homeless and Gangsters.... Maybe you prefer Ford or Dodge...????🤣

    • Carson Redford

      Carson Redford

      10 months ago

      It's not garbage at all.

  50. canonlybeme4life

    canonlybeme4life

    10 months ago

    Acura apparently will be mixing up the A spec & Advance trims in a PMC edition very soon. However, it be priced at over 50k.

    • Scott Douglas

      Scott Douglas

      10 months ago

      When?

  51. Jason Lee

    Jason Lee

    10 months ago

    Great job on the review... this guy knows his stuff

  52. Blake

    Blake

    10 months ago

    Acura new TouchPad interface is infuriating. I hate how it keeps returning to center like its on a rope. No. This is not progress. I know Acura has worse fanboys than Tesla but the truth needs to come put. The TLX and RDX both are not that great. SHAWD is very overrated. Quattro is better for gripe, and the rwd based awd systems found in the BMW X3 and Mercedes GLC are more fun and engaging. I think for a fwd based "luxury" suv, it fairs well against the Lexus NX as it is simply ancient. Infiniti QX50 CVT is awful so by default the RDX shines

    • Private

      Private

      5 months ago

      It doesn't return to centre each time, if you want to go to right corner you press right corner.

    • Sralaine 007 o-007

      Sralaine 007 o-007

      8 months ago

      Blake..... Audi Quattro AWD is the Same as Subaru AWD.... but Wayyyyyy more Money and Fast decrease in Value in 3- years.

    • Satwik V

      Satwik V

      10 months ago

      no

  53. Robert Stoler

    Robert Stoler

    10 months ago

    HOW.... are there only 107k subscribers to this channel? Once again, Chris’s no BS straight to the facts in these reviews are perfection. Keep doing what you and the rest of the gang at CarGurus are doing. 🤘

  54. Sralaine 007 o-007

    Sralaine 007 o-007

    10 months ago

    Do all the Trims of RDX get a Turbo Engine... ?????? Great review as Always...😅👍👍👍. Thank you

    • Sralaine 007 o-007

      Sralaine 007 o-007

      10 months ago

      @L C Thank you for your info....👍

    • L C

      L C

      10 months ago

      Yes even base got 2.0 turbo 272horse power/280 tq

  55. mct8888

    mct8888

    10 months ago

    How many adjustments on the passenger seat? Does it have lumbar?

  56. Paul M

    Paul M

    10 months ago

    Great little CUV with a horrible infotainment system.

  57. Brandan S

    Brandan S

    10 months ago

    This is a great SUV, I seen ALOT on the road. Great review! I wonder what Acura going to change with the refresh

    • Midi Man

      Midi Man

      9 months ago

      It's an OK SUV. Great if you want to drive like a lunatic in an want to be NSX.

    • Rob Taylor

      Rob Taylor

      10 months ago

      Likely an fully digital gauge cluster as well

    • [Blank]

      [Blank]

      10 months ago

      Definitely the rims will be changed. While Acura missed the mark with RDX &TLX rims, the new MDX rims look very nice and the RDX could borrow rim design from the MDX

  58. Riyad Kalla

    Riyad Kalla

    10 months ago

    100% right about the infotainment/center stack setup... it’s like they locally maximized the design, but never stepped back and said “do people get this?”

  59. Steven R.

    Steven R.

    10 months ago

    The RDX is a superb SUV. All functions are a B+ or better. The engine and transmission is the best in the business; Power is effortless through out the rev range. The infotainment system is easy to understand and use with a little practice, however, the speed between apps is not lightning fast. The RDX is the SUV you look forward to drive in any weather. Just Proper Motoring.

  60. 11Hammers

    11Hammers

    10 months ago

    I have a 2019 Advance and never had an issue adapting to the touch pad. No fingerprints but each to their own. The ASpec isn’t worth it in my opinion. Go Tech or Advance. I love it. Great vehicle. Good review.

    • johnnyXXX

      johnnyXXX

      3 months ago

      @Lloyd Y Benoit I think most people can agree the wheels on the Advance are hideous. Heck, the wheels on the base model look better! That said, the Advance does offer HUD, 360 camera, adaptive dampers, heated steering wheel, etc that are not found on the Tech / A-spec. I feel like buying the Advance, then switching some of the chrome pieces with blacked-out ones (available as parts from Acura) and getting after-market or accessory wheels from Acura would make this car perfect.

    • Lloyd Y Benoit

      Lloyd Y Benoit

      9 months ago

      I like the exhaust , interior and outside look and the 20'' wheel of the A-Spec than the advance

  61. T M

    T M

    10 months ago

    Great Job Chris

  62. Vin Diesel's Husband

    Vin Diesel's Husband

    11 months ago

    I really like Acura and I’m sure they drive amazing but they look like glorified Hondas inside and out. That’s no bad thing, they look great but they just don’t look expensive. Whereas if you look at Genesis’ new model lineup, whether you like the styling or not, you can’t argue that they don’t look luxurious and expensive inside and out. They look nothing like their Hyundai counterparts.

    • Magisterial

      Magisterial

      3 months ago

      @Vin Diesel's Husband They can try to make it look like a Bentley all they want but it will always be a POS Hyundai

    • Magisterial

      Magisterial

      3 months ago

      @Vin Diesel's Husband Hyundai is a low quality brand that is known for making cheap pieces of plastic. As long as Genesis is associated with Hyundai, I sure as hell won't buy one. Many other people feel the same way. I'd buy a Honda any day of the week. Why? Because Honda is known for being built to last and they retain value. Acura is built to last, retains value, and has interiors and build quality that are slightly less than the German brands. Acura > Genesis is the most simple decision for anyone to make.

    • Vin Diesel's Husband

      Vin Diesel's Husband

      8 months ago

      @Sralaine 007 o-007 you didn’t read my comment properly. I wasn’t talking about the engine sharing I was talking about their looks. Acuras still look like Hondas and whereas Genesis look nothing like Hyundais inside or out. Whether you think they’re ugly or not, there’s no denying that they look expensive and upmarket unlike Acuras.

    • AFCompany

      AFCompany

      8 months ago

      @Sralaine 007 o-007 idk what car?

    • Sralaine 007 o-007

      Sralaine 007 o-007

      8 months ago

      @AFCompany What car is Ranking #1 and #2 around the World....???????

  63. Alexander A

    Alexander A

    11 months ago

    Why do reviewers almost always choose the sport to review? I wonder if they actually ask consumers if they prefer sport over luxury. I for one would choose luxury and comfort over sportiness in an suv.

    • Brandon Liao

      Brandon Liao

      5 months ago

      @LAXERJK there is definitely a difference between the two. The improvement in material quality in the Advanced trims cannot go unnoticed. There are additional features such as HUD windshield display and improved suspension that makes the ride that much more comfortable

    • LAXERJK

      LAXERJK

      8 months ago

      Nothing is different driveline wise between the aspec and the normal Rdx. Just styling cues.

    • Riyad Kalla

      Riyad Kalla

      10 months ago

      Most of the time it’s a case of what they are given by the manufacturer- which is almost always the most popular/searched/paramount model, in this case Acura believes it to be the Aspec builds... personally, I agree with you.

  64. Wayne Christopher

    Wayne Christopher

    11 months ago

    I'm getting one next month after Christmas. They should be offering great deals then!

    • Wayne Christopher

      Wayne Christopher

      8 months ago

      @Sralaine 007 o-007 Yes, having the SH AWD has no impact on normal driving. It enhances the overall grip and agility the car has on the road. It's also great during bad weather.

    • Sralaine 007 o-007

      Sralaine 007 o-007

      8 months ago

      @young pan I will get one too maybe 5 years from now..... My question is , Can we drive AWD in Normal driving...?????

    • young pan

      young pan

      10 months ago

      @Wayne Christopher so how much for ur pilot trade-in price

    • young pan

      young pan

      10 months ago

      @Wayne Christopher Dammnn bro I’m getting apex on next week they offer me $40178 which is good price

    • Wayne Christopher

      Wayne Christopher

      10 months ago

      @young pan no, I got the super awd, tech package one. Nice vehicle. I traded in a 2017 Honda Pilot.

  65. Kiss Kiss

    Kiss Kiss

    11 months ago

    Thank you!!! Chris.. I wish everyone whom did vehicle reviews, would say/tell/explain where the vehicle being reviewed is/was built. Another Excellent review, Sir.

  66. Itsallgood Good

    Itsallgood Good

    11 months ago

    Chris, Another terrific review. Note to CarGurus; please give this deeply experienced and well-respected automobile journalist more sports cars and sport SUVs, please. Wardlaw should be the lead anchor for your channel if you’re trying to compete against KBB (Micah Muzio), Driven (Tom Voelk) and other ACURA channels. If better organized, this channel could really become something even more special, which will draw a larger audience. Thanks for all you do!

  67. Bryant Monroe

    Bryant Monroe

    11 months ago

    Another great review....thanks Chris!!!!!!

  68. Tre Williams

    Tre Williams

    11 months ago

    ...ANOTHER great car review, man Car Gurus deserves so much more respect than what you guys get! Either way, I’m a certified go nowhere Car Gurus subscriber. Keep the great content coming please?! Thanks!!!!! Oh, and this RDX is pretty sweet. Sure, the competition may offer some better equipment, but this has a(near, almost perfect)combination of everything a driver could ask for or want.

    • Kody C

      Kody C

      10 months ago

      R E S P E C T - tell you what it means to me 🎤🎼

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