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Acura RDX vs MDX: What's the Difference?

US News and World Report recently named Acura one of the best luxury vehicle brands of 2023. Consumers love these vehicles for their impressive performance and relatively affordable price tags.

If you are in the market for a new SUV, an Acura should be on your list. Their highest-rated vehicles include the best-selling RDX and more spacious MDX. Knowing which model is right for you depends on your unique needs.

Before you can pick between the Acura RDX vs. MDX, though, you must understand the differences between these vehicles. Check out this guide for a full breakdown of the ways the RDX and MDX are similar and distinct.

Similarities Between the Acura RDX and MDX

Acura's SUV line-up consists of the RDX and the MDX. The biggest similarity between these two vehicles is their appearance. After the latest redesign, these Acura models share in common:

  • Acura's signature shield-style grille
  • Slimmer headlight design
  • Refined creases on the sides of the body
  • A stylish cabin equipped with high-end tech

From the outside, we wouldn't blame you for mistaking the RDX and the MDX for each other. They look incredibly similar, though the MDX is about 11 inches longer to provide an extra third row of seating and more cargo space.

That is about where the similarities end, though. Keep reading below to learn about the key differences between these two types of Acuras.

Acura RDX vs. MDX: What's the Difference?

The RDX and MDX each come in different price ranges, offer unique features, and provide various levels of performance. Read more about these distinctions below.

Price

The Acura RDX's more compact size, streamlined features, and basic performance make it more affordable than the MDX.

The 2024 Acura RDX has a starting MSRP of $44,050. Compare that to the MDX 2024's MSRP, which starts at $49,850. These prices are for the basic trim levels.

Interior

The interior offers the clearest differences between these two SUVs. The MDX features a bit more legroom in the front and back, as well as additional hip and shoulder room for a more spacious feel.

One of the biggest downsides to these luxury vehicles is that the basic models are not equipped with leather interiors. Instead, you will have to upgrade to the Technology Package, which will run you almost $55,000 on the MDX.

Cargo Space

The extended MDX has room for not only an extra row of seating for a max occupancy of seven but also up to 36 cubic feet of extra cargo space.

Meanwhile, the RDX can only seat up to five passengers. The smaller, more affordable SUV can only hold up to 58.9 cubic feet of cargo, even with the rear seats folded down.

Importantly, the RDX has more cargo space when the back row of seats isn't let down. Store up to 29.5 cubic feet worth of cargo in your RDX. Compare that to only 18.1 cubic feet of cargo space in the MDX.

Features

The interior of the RDX and MDX are similar, just like their twin exteriors. However, the technology setup is distinct. The RDX features a 10.2-inch HD touchscreen display, while the MDX's is larger at 12.3 inches.

Both touchscreens come equipped with ELS Studio 3D for an unmatched luxury audio experience. This feature comes with all RDX models, though it is only available in the MDX Type S. Other features available in both basic trims are Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Other features to enjoy include the latest safety technology, including automatic emergency braking. Adaptive Cruise Control, Road Departure Mitigation, Surround-View Cameras, and Blind Spot Information Systems are also available in both basic models.

Performance

The RDX features a turbocharged 2L turbocharged engine with 10-speed quick-shift capabilities. Harness up to 272 horsepower in this compact sports crossover SUV.

MDX offers more power, with a 3.5L V-6 engine that is capable of delivering up to 355 horsepower in the MDX Type S. The more basic models offer up to 290 horsepower from the 4-cylinder V-6 engine.

Due to its more compact size, the RDX gets slightly better gas mileage than the MDX. Expect an average of 24 miles per gallon in the RDX. The MDX averages about 22 mpg.

Which Is Better? The RDX or the MDX

Picking between the RDX and the MDX is a personal choice. The best SUV for you depends on factors like family size, where you live, and your budget. Below, we break down the ideal customer for each of these SUVs.

The Acura RDX Customer

Acura markets the RDX as a Premium Sport Crossover. It drives like a sedan while offering a sportier, more rugged design. That makes it ideal for the following types of drivers:

  • Smaller Families: With room for up to five passengers, the RDX is ideal for individuals, couples, and smaller families
  • City Dwellers: The RDX is more compact and easier to maneuver in tight spots and narrow urban streets
  • Value-Conscious Drivers: Compared to other luxury SUVs and the MDX, the RDX is a bargain

If you are searching for the perfect affordable compact SUV for city driving, the RDX is it.

The Acura MDX Customer

The Acura MDX is a Premium Performance SUV. These vehicles are known for having more horsepower, higher speed, and faster acceleration, plus the sporty handling SUV lovers expect. It is perfect for:

  • Large families: Fit up to seven people in the Acura MDX, perfect for family vacations and carpooling
  • Long-Distance Drivers: With its comfortable cabin chock full of entertaining amenities, the MDX is ideal for commuters
  • Luxury Lovers: The MDX can be customized with the premium features luxury car drivers know and love

The MDX is a major upgrade on the mini-van. Pick up this vehicle if you are searching for a family car that is as stylish as it is spacious.

CardinaleWay Acura Las Vegas

When it comes to the Acura RDX vs. MDX, you just can't go wrong with either option. The RDX is more compact and affordable, while the MDX is larger and offers luxury Acura driving at its finest.

Have you made your decision about which Acura SUV is right for you? If so, stop by CardinaleWay Acura in Las Vegas to check out the RDX and MDX for yourself. Or schedule a test drive online today!