What Are The Best Years For The Acura RDX?


If you need a luxury vehicle at an affordable price, Acura and Lexus are the two brands you need to consider. 

The Acura RDX, especially the used models, will offer you the luxury features you need without breaking your bank. But are all the Acura RDX models right for you?

What Are The Best Years For The Acura RDX? 

The 2010 Acura RDX is the best model if you are looking for a reliable luxury model at affordable prices. According to U.S. News, the 2010 Acura RDX ranks as the best-used luxury compact SUV in a list of 57 compact SUVs. 

The 2010 model offers a sporty handling and a roomy interior. U.S. News continues to feature other RDX models, such as the 2011 Acura RDX, 2012 Acura RDX, 2009 Acura RDX, 2014 Acura RDX, 2015 Acura RDX, and 2016 Acura RDX. 

All these models are in the top 30 of the 57 models that the U.S. News tested. 

In the top 20, there are five RDX models, showing that the RDX is a reliable model. 

All the model years above have their strengths and those looking for a compact SUV will find them highly reliable. 

What Makes the 2010 Acura RDX Impressive? 

Acura engineered the RDX to be a fun-to-drive model. Under the hood, the model sports a 2.3L turbocharged engine, allowing it to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds. 

The engine also gives the model sporty and sedan-like handling, further making the compact SUV fun to drive. 

It is also a relatively fuel-efficient model with 19 mpg city and 24 mpg highway fuel economy. 

These numbers might be standard for cars in the U.S., but they are relatively high for vehicles in the class of Acura RDX. 

The Acura RDX seats five people, but it is highly comfortable for each of these five passengers. 

Inside, each RDX model has leather seats as standard, making the cabin not only comfortable but also inviting. 

If you want a model with more advanced tech features, the 2016 model or later models offer the best tech features. 

On the tech front, the 2010 model may fall short, but not behind other brand models from the same year. 

Most of the features in the 2010 Acura RDX are pretty standard in modern vehicles, but if you need a used luxury compact SUV at a bargain, this 2010 model will meet your needs. 

With the rear seats folded, the RDX offers up to 60.6 cubic feet of cargo space. 

Further, you get a roomy center console storage area. Some of the standard features in the 2010 model include navigation, climate control system, advanced sound system, dual-zone climate control, backup camera, sunroof, Bluetooth satellite radio, and leather seats. 

What Problems Do Acura RDX have? 

One of the main issues with the Acura RDX is the Takata airbag inflator rupture danger. High-risk vehicles were between 2001 and 2003 and the NHTSA ordered drivers of the vehicles with Takata airbags to stop driving immediately. 

Most of the cars were recalled and repaired and there may not be any danger today. 

However, you have to be sure that the vehicle you buy is okay if you decide to buy a used model. 

According to NHTSA, if these airbags are exposed to heat and humidity, there is a chance they may explode if they are deployed. 

There were other recalls in 2019 and 2020 for the same Takata airbags with the same risk of exploding on deployment. 

Another problem is with the Honda DENSO fuel pumps that feature low-density impellers that can crack and absorb fuel. 

When that happens, the pumps deform, and they stop sending fuel to the engine. That causes the engine to sputter or completely stall out. 

More than two million pumps already installed in Honda vehicles needed to be recalled in May 2020. According to DENSO, the fuel pumps may have been exposed to a drying agent during production. 

The recall was necessary because the failing fuel pump could result in more damages to vehicle components. 

The pump may not have enough lubrication and that causes it to overheat. Again, the engine may run rough and cause excess shaking, which can further damage components of the vehicle. 

The 2019 RDX was the only RDX affected. 

The infotainment system in the 2019 and 2020 Acura RDX may also have a problem. 

These systems may freeze when a driver needs them, and they take longer to load. The distractions from the system can be a danger to the driver as they may not concentrate on the road. 

The Android Auto is also never updated, according to some drivers. If this feature is important to you (as it is to most of us), avoid the 2019 and 2020 models. 

Other issues with the Acura RDX include:

  • Brakes squealing in the 2016 and 2019 Acura RDX
  • Navigation system failing in the 2017 Acura RDX
  • Lost acceleration in 2019 Acura RDX

Is A Used Acura RDX A Good Car? 

Acura RDX is a good car. Except for a few years that have had issues, most of the model years are good and can last for more than 300,000 miles. You only need to check out the models that may have had issues and avoid them. 

Even then, Acura may have recalled all the models that had issues and corrected those issues in the models that followed. 

This way, you are sure that the used models you buy are good to run. With good maintenance, used and new Acura RDX models will serve drivers for a long time. 

There have been a few lawsuits filed against Honda Motor Company regarding the few problems above, but the RDX has been able to perform exemplary over a long time. 

Before you choose a model year for the RDX, be sure to check any lawsuits and recalls. 

How Many Miles Will An Acura RDX Last? 

The Acura RDX will last between 250,000 miles and 300,000 miles if you take good care of it. 

You need to observe maintenance schedules and conservative driving to get the best from your RDX. If you drive about 15,000 miles a year, you can have your RDX for up to 20 years before it breaks down to unrepairable levels. 

Today, you will still see most of the first-generation models that debuted in 2007 on the roads. 

This should not surprise you, seeing as Honda is an automaker that is synonymous with reliability. 

The automaker engineers long-lasting engines and the RDX engine is no exception. 

Although the development and manufacturing processes will determine how long your RDX lasts, the way you take care of the vehicle also determines how much mileage you get. You should:

  • Follow recommended service schedules from the automaker
  • Find a reliable dealership for vehicle routine service 
  • Address minor problems as soon as possible 
  • Use high-quality oils, parts, and fluids 
  • Drive smoothly and do not overload the vehicle beyond its 1,500-pound towing capacity

If you decide to go for a used Acura RDX, consider one whose mileage is below 100,000 miles. 

If an RDX reads 120,000 miles or more, you will be getting a riskier investment as such a car may already have started having so many issues. 

Whichever used model you choose, you have to check the maintenance history, the number of previous owners, and its accident history among other factors. 

These are some of the factors that will determine how long the vehicle lasts. 

Do Acura RDX Have Transmission Problems? 

Acura has managed to design engines with no major problems. You may experience minor transmission problems with some model years. 

These problems are experienced once the vehicle gets to and past 60,000 miles. 

As a driver, you need to know how to read fault messages from the Transmission Control Unit (TCU) to know what is ailing your RDX. 

Some of the symptoms of transmission problems include delayed shifting, hesitation upon acceleration, vibration while driving, weak acceleration, erratic shifting, transmission jerking, and sometimes loss of power. 

You may not experience these issues today as the problems only occur in older models. 

If you are buying a used Acura RDX, test-drive the vehicle to ensure it doesn’t have any of the issues above. 

Are Acura RDX Expensive to Maintain?

Yes. It is expensive to keep in good condition. It is a luxury compact SUV with several standard features.

You may have to spend at least $700 every year to maintain, excluding any major repairs you will do on the vehicle. However, it is still cheaper than other luxury models, such as BMW and Mercedes Benz. 

Closing Thoughts

If you want a luxury compact SUV on a budget, the Acura RDX is a good model for you. It offers all the standard features you need to enjoy your drive and all the convenience and safety features to keep you on the road. 

There are so many good years for the RDX. The only year with so many challenges is the 2019 year. However, most of the others are reliable with only one or a few complaints under its name.

John Nelson

You can find John stringing a hammock from the back of his SUV to a tree camping in the outdoors most weekends during warmer weather. John loves the outdoors and the freedom four-wheel-drive vehicles offer.

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