Acura is making things difficult. The 2019 RDX now has enough personality that it no longer feels like just a nicer Honda CR-V (with a more powerful engine). Yet for Honda loyalists with some money, the CR-V remains hard to ignore. The current-gen model was our 2018 SUV of the Year and has since won comparisons against the 2019 RAV4 and against a huge field of competitors. After months behind the wheel of the RDX and driving the current-gen CR-V a number of times, I’ve got experience with both two-row crossovers.
Reasons to Choose the Acura RDX
The Acura is worth the extra cash in a few key ways.
Why Go RDX? Look at It
The Acura RDX’s design isn’t for everyone, and that’s exactly the point. Acura isn’t trying to please everyone with the 2019 RDX’s design, which has far more character than the last-gen model. The gently sloping roof and bold grille detailing look good. But even if you don’t agree, consider that nearly 380,000 copies of the less attractive CR-V were sold last year, making the Acura a more exclusive design.
Why Go RDX? Listen to It
Maybe I’m biased because my current daily driver is the A-Spec version of the 2019 RDX. Even so, Acura has really made the most of the crossover’s engine sound—it’s one of those emotional factors that may encourage you to turn the giant silver drive-mode knob to sport every now and then. Feeling adventurous? Turn that drive-mode knob once more for the sport-plus mode, which makes the RDX feel like more than just a basic luxury crossover commuter.
Why Go RDX? All Those Features (and a Standard 272-HP Engine)
Acura offers features on the 2019 RDX that aren’t available on the 2019 Honda CR-V at any price. The panoramic glass roof is standard on every RDX, as is the 10.2-inch central display. That infotainment system could use improving, but it’s far larger and placed much higher on the dash than the 7.0-inch unit available in the CR-V. Although the new CR-V is on the quicker side of the compact crossover class, the 272-hp RDX is still at least a second quicker to 60 mph.
Why Go RDX? “I Drive an Acura”
OK, the Acura nameplate doesn’t hold the same stature as Mercedes-Benz or BMW, but to some it’s better than Honda. And if you’re the type of person who sees your car’s brand as a reflection of yourself (I’m not) the Acura badge could provide a positive emotional boost every time you approach your car.
Reasons to Choose the Honda CR-V
What about the CR-V? Here are a few reasons you might want to stick with the 2019 Honda CR-V.
Why Go CR-V? Efficiency
Neither crossover offers a hybrid variant (at least for the 2019 model year), but the CR-V has a serious efficiency advantage. The Acura’s extra power makes its presence known at the gas pump, where its EPA ratings range 21/26 mpg city/highway for an all-wheel-drive A-Spec model to 22/28 mpg for a non-A-Spec front-drive model. The 2019 CR-V’s driving range is about the same, but it’s way more efficient, achieving 27/33 mpg for an all-wheel-drive model with the 1.5-liter turbo-four, and 28/34 mpg with the 1.5 and front-wheel drive. If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to reduce your carbon footprint, the choice here is clear.
Why Go CR-V? Cargo Space
The truth is that the RDX actually offers an impressive amount of cargo space for its class. Once the Acura is compared to the CR-V, however, you’ll see the difference the first time you and the kids take a weekend trip to Grandma’s house. The RDX can hold 29.5 cubic feet of cargo behind the second-row seats, compared to the CR-V’s 37.6 cubic feet with the top Touring model and 39.2 cubic feet for all other models.
Why Go CR-V? Smoooothness
If you’re strictly concerned with stop-and-go smoothness, the CR-V is superior to the RDX and its 10-speed automatic. Thanks to a smartly tuned CVT, the Honda combines the smoothness you expect of such a transmission with responsiveness you might not.
Why Go CR-V? Infotainment
I hope the 2020 CR-V offers a larger screen, because the 2019 model’s 7.0-inch unit now looks merely adequate compared to others in its class. Having said that, the touchscreen is easier to work than the Acura’s controversial touchpad-based system. After spending thousands of miles behind the wheel of the RDX, I definitely understand the system’s plusses and minuses, but the Honda system is simpler to use.
Read more about our long-term 2019 Acura RDX A-Spec:
- Update 1: Sporty?
- Update 2: Intuitive or Distracting?
- Update 3: Soup Success
- Update 4: Safety and Infotainment (Again)
The post 2019 RDX vs. 2019 CR-V: 4 Reasons to Get the Acura and 4 More to Go Honda appeared first on Motortrend.
Author: Zach Gale