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RDX Purchase Questions

 
Old 06-07-2019, 11:21 PM
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RDX Purchase Questions

I am thinking about purchasing a 2020 RDX AWD Advanced and am trying to decide whether it's the right vehicle for me. I currently have a 2009 Acura TL which I love and plan to keep after I purchase a new car. I particularly like how fun it is to drive, how it handles, seat comfort and the stereo system. My family also owns a 2016 Acura RDX Advance which I hate. It just feels cheap to me (especially compared to the TL), handles poorly, and the stereo system more or less sucks.

I have driven a bunch of cars (2019 Audi X5, 2019 Lexus ES 350, 2019 Lexus RX 350, 2019 Acura MDX AWD Hybrid, 2019 Acura RDX and 2019 Acura TLX. The results:
  • I have ruled out the TLX because of problems that others have reported with the transmission (been through that with a 2012 Acura TL) and vibration issues.
  • The Lexus RX350/450 is very nice but is not particularly fun to drive so I have eliminated that one. And yes, I do love the looks of the RX.
  • I liked the Audi but I don't want to deal with the repair costs given that I tend to keep cars 10+ years so that one is off the list even though I'm still slightly tempted.
  • I really liked the 2019 Lexus ES 350 as it's probably the most similar to my current TL but I thought the upgraded audio system was a bit disappointing on rock/pop songs (I think the system is more "tuned" for classical music), especially for the price and it lacked AWD. I will probably take the ES350 for another test drive just to see if I can adjust the stereo system to my liking.
  • I liked the Acura MDX but I feel it's a little too big for me, especially since I drive to work daily on narrowish city streets. I also thought the MDX's sound system was lackluster, similar to my 2016 RDX. I will admit the seat in the MDX were the most comfortable of the bunch.
  • I liked the Acura RDX AWD Advance as it handled well, good pickup and great audio system. I think I would be ok with the touch pad, even though I prefer buttons over touch screens and touch pads. What I didn't like was the piped in engine noise (not sure if that will get on my nerves in the long run) and an annoying rattle near the sunroof. I'm also concerned about some of the issues that I've read about regarding the infotainment system and annoying shifts (didn't notice that in the test drive). I also feel that my TL has a little more substance for lack of a better word.
Given how much I like my TL, do you think that I'd be disappointed with the RDX? Are the issues with the infotainment system enough that I should run the other direction? I'm also a little gun shy after owning a 2016 RDX, but I know the 2020 is much approved. Should I give the Lexus a more serious look?

I know I'm going to get responses that say it's a personal decision but I'd still like to hear if others have switched from a car like the 2009 TL to the RDX and whether they are happy with the switch.

Assuming I go with the RDX, I'm leaning towards modern steel metallic and lunar silver. I really like the Apex blue but it's only available in the Aspec which doesn't have the heads up display and the surround view camera (what's up with that Acura?). I'm pretty fanatical about a clean, shiny car and was wondering how difficult the modern steel metallic is to keep clean. My current TL is a platinum silver and it doesn't show the dirt. The 2016 RDX is lunar silver and does show more dirt than the TL. Is the modern steel metallic a lot more maintenance to keep clean? I've owned several black cars in the past and know what a maintenance nightmare they are.

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
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Old 06-08-2019, 08:12 AM
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I almost bought a 2019 RDX..great car.....Prob the best value out there.....I ended up buying a 2019 Volvo XC60 T8.....Super fun car to drive (400 HP and 525 lbs tourque)....To go soley on the battery,its only around 25 miles, but for me it is perfect. If you dont want the battery, go with the T5 or T6....T5 is just turbo (and less HP/torque than the RDX) while the T6 is turbo and supercharged (more HP/torque than the RDx) I plant o keep it for 10 yrs....wife even made me sign a contract stating that,lol 1can get an extended warranty for 10 yrs/100 000 miles for around $2300 I love the touchscreen.....the Volvo has a very clean look inside as everything is done by SENSUS,which is touchscreen and of course it has voice commands as well...Android auto and Apple carplay. Yes it is owned by a Chinese company and yes many are made in China...some are still made in Sweden. Reports say the Chinese ones may actually be better....who knows....I just know I am very happy with my Volvo. My 2019 XC60 T8 Inscription was just over $60000 (MSRP was close to $70000) Deduct the $5002 Federal sales credit I can claim on 2019 Taxes and another $1000 from Maryland, bring the price down to around $55000. the T6 and T5 do not get those as they are not battery powered) Just throwing this out there.....but like I said the RDX is a great vehicle and I prob would have owned 1, but my wife disliked it. I looked at similar cars as well....Audi was very nice, but after chatting with 2 Audi owners and the high cost of repairs....I went with the Volvo..which of course is prob just as $$$ to fix, thus why I went with the extended warranty..a good option maybe if you go the Audi route. Good luck with ur decision...they are all great cars,just need to find the 1 that fits you. GL

Last edited by flames9; 06-08-2019 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 06-08-2019, 08:44 AM
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It's a personal decision.

But seriously, you need to figure out if you want to move from a sedan to an SUV. Also, if you can wait until 2020, the ES350 is rumored to have an AWD option. The GS is probably getting shelved after this year, so there will be a lineup gap. The ES's new platform, which is the same as the Toyota Avalon, is capable of supporting AWD. Also, the 2020 RX is getting a slight makeover, which tones down some of the polarizing front end looks and adds a touchscreen option and Android Auto. I don't think it addresses its lackluster driving experience, though.

I currently own a 6th gen ES350 with 20k miles and came close to swapping it for an SUV (Q5, X3, or RDX). (I'm not a fan of the NX and RDX's looks, so Lexus was never in the running) Between those 3 it was coming down to cost vs. wants. My favorite was the Q5, but to get the same options as the Advance RDX, it was about $10k more. The Q5 is smaller, but that was not a concern for me. It also had the most comfortably driver's seat of the 3. I'm 6' 4" and the seat goes back further than the others, which was a big plus. However, no one but a child could sit behind me. Audi's reliability has also greatly improved over the past couple years. That said, I was still a little concerned with them being built in Mexico. My concerns were somewhat diminished after joining the Audi forum and hearing actual owner feedback regarding it.

Just before I was going to start serious negotiations I changed course, because my wife decided she wanted to replace her vehicle. She did not want to drive a vehicle that would stand out like the Germans, or the Acura. We purchased her a 2019 CX-5 Signature and she's quite happy, so I am too. It actually feels like it can keep up with the RDX and Q5, but for much less money. But, at the end of the day, it's still a Mazda. I'll be going through this process again in a year or 2, so I'm keeping an eye on how widespread of an issue the infotainment bugs are and how well they're addressed by Acura. It's hard to beat the RDX's bang for buck aspect, vs. the competition.

Good luck and enjoy the journey!
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Old 06-08-2019, 11:29 PM
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Cars are all, in the end, a very personal decision. I have always advised people to make up a list of what is important to them and work off that list, not someone else's. Then drive the vehicles and make sure they work and feel the way you think a car should be. I know that is not the answer the OP was looking for but I spent over 40 years in the industry and its the main take away that I learned.

I keep an open mind when it comes to cars. I have been exposed to so many on both a personal and professional level and know a bit too much about them! (Yes, you can know "too much"). I put reliability and ownership cost high on my list. Right off the bat that knocks most European cars out of the race. I put handling and "feel" way up there also. Style is up there but not really at the very top, except in the case of the Lexus and some of the other Toyota products. They just turn me off, especially that monster "Large mouth bass" grill thing! How could they do that to an otherwise nice vehicle?
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Old 06-09-2019, 09:02 AM
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Tbh, you have way too many cars in the pipeline, also you are confused between sedan and suv.

I think you won’t go wrong with either one of them. But the question is which one really touched your heart. I promise you, you will
not find the perfect car ever. Or may be you will but you have to pay big bucks.

I highly recommend you to narrow down your choice to 2 vehicles and do an intensive test drive then pull the the trigger. I am in the same situation as you and I was cross shopping different cars. At the end, I decided to wait a little and get an RDX A-Spec. Unless, I win a lottery. I am pretty sure about my decision. I test drove GLC, Q5, X3, QX50, MDX, QX60 and RX.

All of these cars are good, but it depends what you want. RX is an excellent suv but so f boring. QX50 is pretty luxurious but omg that engine and cvt.

RDX isn’t perfect, far from perfect but it’s an excellent value pack.
Power
handling
tech
comfort
look
and great price!
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Old 06-09-2019, 09:55 AM
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First of all, why are you getting a new car? If you enjoy your current TL and plan to keep it and think it's fun, then just stick with it. Everyone is different, but my philosophy is only get a new car for a reason. Meaning, if I could hold out, then why wouldn't you? Cars will be refreshed or redesigned, the technology will always improve, and so on. Your post makes it seem sort of like you're just getting a new car "just because." If you can afford that, it's certainly your decision, but you lose money every time you get a new car. (Sorry to sound like an old loser.)

Second of all, ask yourself why you want THAT car. Do you need a large car? SUVs and compact SUVs are dominating the market currently, but there are lots of solid sedans available. Also, Acura will be redesigning their entire lineup, so as I said, if you can wait and want a sedan, just wait. When I bought my RDX, I wasn't in the market for a compact SUV. I was looking for a sedan. I made the choice because I'm a Honda guy and I thought the Accords looked sort of ugly, even though I think it's a solid and dependable car. So then I moved to the Acura lineup because I trust the Honda company. And then I kept reading how much bang for the buck the RDX gives. So, if I was being honest, I bought "too much" car, more than I need. But I still like the car, so I'm OK with that (sort of, the fuel economy is far worse than a sedan, which is to be expected). If you're getting a compact SUV, you need to reset your entire thinking. The handling is going to be not as sharp as a sedan because it weighs more. The RDX has very athletic and responsive handling, but it is FOR THE CLASS. As I said, the fuel economy was my big criticism. It's average for an SUV and it's terrible compared to a sedan. Modern sedans can get 45 or 50 mpg and my RDX is getting 24.6 right now and I drive it very gently.

As far as the piped in engine noise, I don't mind it. I don't even usually notice it. The infotainment system is fine for me. It's not as responsive as I would like and I have found that doing simple things like changing radio stations will force me to be distracted for relatively long periods of time (10 seconds if I'm fumbling around). Ideally, I'd like just physical knobs, where I can literally turn the knob to change the station. (Does that make me sound old? Get off my lawn!) But it's also not what reviewers make it to be. I've seen videos where people act like you need to be a genius to figure out how to use it. It's intuitive. I picked it up in about 2 seconds, give or take, without looking at the manual.

Should you give the Lexus another look? From what I can tell, the Lexus is a great car. But it's also lagging behind in interior styling and costs more. Before the RDX redesign, probably the answer would have been yes. Now, probably not, in my opinion. If you really have money to burn and like a clean look, I think the Volvo is the way to go. But you'd be paying upwards of twice as much for that, so I immediately threw that out. I think the RDX is a great "compromise" car. It isn't tops in class in anything, to be honest. But it's not average, either. It's like the second-best in everything. It strikes a perfect balance of offering you lots of features and a VERY nice look for a very good cost. If you're going to get an SUV right now, get this one.
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Old 06-09-2019, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by DriverOne View Post
First of all, why are you getting a new car? If you enjoy your current TL and plan to keep it and think it's fun, then just stick with it. Everyone is different, but my philosophy is only get a new car for a reason. Meaning, if I could hold out, then why wouldn't you? Cars will be refreshed or redesigned, the technology will always improve, and so on. Your post makes it seem sort of like you're just getting a new car "just because." If you can afford that, it's certainly your decision, but you lose money every time you get a new car. (Sorry to sound like an old loser.)

Second of all, ask yourself why you want THAT car. Do you need a large car? SUVs and compact SUVs are dominating the market currently, but there are lots of solid sedans available. Also, Acura will be redesigning their entire lineup, so as I said, if you can wait and want a sedan, just wait. When I bought my RDX, I wasn't in the market for a compact SUV. I was looking for a sedan. I made the choice because I'm a Honda guy and I thought the Accords looked sort of ugly, even though I think it's a solid and dependable car. So then I moved to the Acura lineup because I trust the Honda company. And then I kept reading how much bang for the buck the RDX gives. So, if I was being honest, I bought "too much" car, more than I need. But I still like the car, so I'm OK with that (sort of, the fuel economy is far worse than a sedan, which is to be expected). If you're getting a compact SUV, you need to reset your entire thinking. The handling is going to be not as sharp as a sedan because it weighs more. The RDX has very athletic and responsive handling, but it is FOR THE CLASS. As I said, the fuel economy was my big criticism. It's average for an SUV and it's terrible compared to a sedan. Modern sedans can get 45 or 50 mpg and my RDX is getting 24.6 right now and I drive it very gently.

As far as the piped in engine noise, I don't mind it. I don't even usually notice it. The infotainment system is fine for me. It's not as responsive as I would like and I have found that doing simple things like changing radio stations will force me to be distracted for relatively long periods of time (10 seconds if I'm fumbling around). Ideally, I'd like just physical knobs, where I can literally turn the knob to change the station. (Does that make me sound old? Get off my lawn!) But it's also not what reviewers make it to be. I've seen videos where people act like you need to be a genius to figure out how to use it. It's intuitive. I picked it up in about 2 seconds, give or take, without looking at the manual.

Should you give the Lexus another look? From what I can tell, the Lexus is a great car. But it's also lagging behind in interior styling and costs more. Before the RDX redesign, probably the answer would have been yes. Now, probably not, in my opinion. If you really have money to burn and like a clean look, I think the Volvo is the way to go. But you'd be paying upwards of twice as much for that, so I immediately threw that out. I think the RDX is a great "compromise" car. It isn't tops in class in anything, to be honest. But it's not average, either. It's like the second-best in everything. It strikes a perfect balance of offering you lots of features and a VERY nice look for a very good cost. If you're going to get an SUV right now, get this one.

Thank! Great summary! Very well written and said!
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Old 06-09-2019, 04:46 PM
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https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_02.htm

We used something like this in management. For classroom instruction, we used ice cream flavors. In the office, I would have each supervisor pair up each of her or his employees and explain to me why they chose employee A over B, etc., I had them do this after they submitted informal award recommendations to me.

It opened quite a few eyes.
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