Acura RDX vs Acura MDX: Which Is the Better Acura SUV?

Acura MDX vs Acura RDX

When it comes to choosing between Acura’s RDX and MDX models, the decision often boils down to lifestyle preferences and practical considerations.

Both vehicles exude a certain style and attitude while offering a competitive range of features. Yet, they present stark differences in performance, size, and function.

For the 2024 model year, these distinctions are more pronounced, reflecting each model's unique position in Acura's lineup.

  • Choose the Acura RDX: Perfect for individuals or small families valuing efficiency and agility in urban environments.
  • Choose the Acura MDX: Ideal for larger families or those needing extra space and towing capacity, with the benefit of three-row seating.

Read about how we rank our vehicles >>

Acura RDX vs. Acura MDX Comparison

SpecificationsAcura RDXAcura MDX
SizeCompact luxury SUV Midsize luxury SUV
SeatingUp to 5 passengers Up to 7 passengers with three rows
Fuel EconomySlightly better, more efficient Lower due to larger size and more powerful engines
Towing CapacityLower, suited for light towing Higher, capable of towing heavier loads
Starting Price$44,050 (Based on the RDX starting price for AWD models)$49,850 (Base MDX model without AWD)

What's New for 2024?

  • RDX: The addition of standard AWD across all trims enhances the RDX's appeal, offering improved handling and safety in adverse conditions.
  • MDX: While the MDX sees fewer changes for 2024, it remains a compelling option for those seeking a luxury SUV with ample space, power, and advanced features.

Tale of the Tape

Acura-RDX-Tale-of-the-TapeThe MDX, with its larger dimensions, caters to families or those requiring more space. It's a three-row SUV that comfortably seats up to seven passengers, making it ideal for those with larger families or the need for significant cargo space.

The RDX, being more compact, suits urban dwellers or smaller families perfectly. It offers agility and ease of parking that is sometimes compromised in larger SUVs.

Length/Width/Height: The MDX is significantly larger, offering more room for passengers and cargo. Its dimensions make it a more family-oriented SUV, capable of seating up to seven passengers across three rows.

The RDX, being more compact, is better suited for urban environments and those seeking a more personal luxury experience.

Passenger Space: The MDX's larger size translates to more interior space, making it the better option for larger families or those requiring more room for comfort.

The RDX, while smaller, still provides ample space for five passengers, making it an excellent choice for smaller families or couples.

Cargo Space: Both vehicles offer generous cargo space, but the MDX's larger dimensions allow for more luggage, sports equipment, or shopping bags.

The RDX is no slouch, however, providing plenty of space for the average user's needs.

Cabin Quality & Design


Both models boast Acura's luxury interior, with the MDX featuring a more recent redesign that includes tri-zone climate control and larger digital displays. The RDX, updated in 2019, focuses on a driver-centric cabin with dual-zone climate control.

Interior: Both models boast high-quality interiors with premium materials, but the MDX's recent redesign gives it an edge in terms of luxury and modernity.

The RDX's interior is also well-appointed, focusing on comfort and driver engagement.

Technology: Acura equips both models with the latest technology, including infotainment systems, digital displays, and connectivity features.

The MDX benefits from larger screens and more advanced features, reflecting its position as the flagship model.

Performance & Powertrains


The RDX continues with its turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 engine, striking a balance between performance and efficiency. It's an engine that delivers enough power for most driving situations while maintaining respectable fuel economy.

The MDX offers more variety with its powertrains, including a standard 3.5-liter V6 and an optional turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 for the Type S trim. This variety caters to a broader range of driving preferences, from those seeking efficiency to those desiring more spirited driving experiences.

Engines: The RDX continues with its efficient yet powerful turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 engine, offering a blend of performance and fuel economy.

The MDX offers more variety with its standard 3.5-liter V6 and the more powerful turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 available in the Type S trim, catering to those seeking more power and performance.

Horsepower: The MDX's engine options provide a range of power outputs, from the solid 290 HP of the 3.5-liter V6 to the impressive 355 HP of the turbocharged 3.0-liter V6.

The RDX's 272 HP turbocharged I-4 is more than adequate for its size and offers an engaging driving experience.

Fuel Economy: Reflecting their different focuses, the RDX offers slightly better fuel economy, making it the more efficient choice for daily driving.

The MDX, particularly in its more powerful Type S trim, prioritizes performance, which impacts its fuel efficiency.

Safety Equipment & Scores


Both the RDX and MDX are equipped with Acura's suite of safety and driver assistance features, underscoring the brand's commitment to safety.

These include advanced systems like adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and collision mitigation braking.

Current Acura RDX Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Acura deals.

Current Acura MDX Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Acura deals

So Which Is Better - The Acura RDX or the Acura MDX?

Choosing between the RDX and MDX ultimately depends on personal needs and preferences.

The RDX, with its efficiency and maneuverability, is ideal for those seeking a compact luxury SUV.

The MDX, with its larger size and more powerful engine options, is better suited for families or those requiring more space and power, especially appealing with the performance-oriented Type S trim.

Both models maintain Acura's reputation for quality, safety, and value, making them strong contenders in their respective segments.