2018 Acura RDX vs 2018 Acura MDX

Acura RDX

  • Standard Engine3.5L V6
  • Horsepower279
  • MPG (city/hwy) *20 / 28
  • Seats5

Acura MDX

  • Standard Engine3.5L V6
  • Horsepower290
  • MPG (city/hwy) *19 / 27
  • Seats7

Specs at a Glance


The two small crossover SUVs produced by Acura - the Acura RDX and the Acura MDX - can seem very similar at first glance, making it difficult for buyers to choose between them. They are both strong performers with powerful engines and good handling, and they are both stylish and equipped with a great selection of features. While the biggest difference between the two vehicles is their size, they do have slight design differences that can make each one a better fit for certain kinds of drivers. To help you get a sense of those differences, we’ve taken a deeper look at the 2018 Acura RDX and the 2018 Acura MDX, comparing their performance, appearance and feature selection to help you decide which of Acura’s excellent small SUVs makes the best investment for you.

At first glance, performance seems to be the area where the two Acuras find themselves most alike. Both cars are powered by the same 3.5-liter V-6 engine. On the 2018 RDX, it produces 279 horsepower, while the MDX has it tuned up to 290 horsepower which balances out the fact that it is slightly heavier. However, it is the rest of the package that defines their driving style. The Acura RDX stands out from the two with the excellent weight on its steering, making it easy to direct and quick to maneuver. The feature that is most noticeable on the MDX, on the other hand, is its nicely-balanced suspension. This gives the 2018 RDX a more sporty feel thanks to the quick steering response and good feedback, while the 2018 MDX feels more like a comfortable cruiser that easily goes over bumps and stays balanced through turns. Further distinguishing the RDX is its optional hybrid powertrain. If you find yourself doing a lot of commuting or need to carry many passengers comfortably, then the MDX could be the better choice. If you prefer a more hands-on drive, the RDX may feel more to your liking.


The 2018 RDX and the 2018 MDX clearly share a design language and an overall design philosophy, and easily pass for siblings if not twins. Of the two, the RDX is slightly sleeker, with more sharp edges. The front fascia, the beltline and the headlights are all positioned on a more rakish angle, giving it a more active, sporty look. The MDX, on the other hand, sculpts the same shape into more conservative styling that draws on typical SUV imagery. Its wheel arches are thicker and more prominent, its roof line has a gentler curve and its front and rear bumpers are wider and lower to the ground. Both looks are stylish and attractive, with the best choice depending on the style you prefer and the look you would like to project.


Unlike many other luxury SUVs, the Acura RDX and the Acura MDX do not split their features up into trim levels. Instead, both models have three packages, of which you can get one, two, all or none. This gives the models a degree of versatility. The packages are very similar between the two cars, with both featuring a Technology package, which includes premium audio and blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alerts, as well as the Advance package, which includes extra safety features, seat upgrades and some appearance options. Some options are unique to each vehicle, however. The RDX allows you to choose between some safety features a la carte, and also has an extra hidden cargo compartment underneath the load floor. On the other hand, the MDX is available with a rear-seat entertainment system and lets you choose between a second-row bench for more seating space or captain’s chairs for extra comfort.

The 2018 Acura RDX and the 2018 Acura MDX can both be an excellent addition to your garage. Drivers more focused on agility and the ability to carry cargo will appreciate the responsiveness of the RDX and its extra cargo capacity, while drivers who find themselves with precious passengers most of the time will find it easier to keep them comfortable and entertained in the Acura MDX. Schedule your comparison test-drive with us, and you can compare these two great vehicles for yourself. Get in touch with us today!

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Prices shown are Acura suggested retail prices only and do not include taxes, license or destination and handling charge. Destination & Handling charge is $965 for sedans and $995 for SUVs. Acura vehicle accessory costs, labor and installation vary. Dealers set their own prices. Please consult your selected dealer.

* Based on 2018 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary, depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, battery pack age/condition (hybrid models only) and other factors.