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A powerful, elegant, and stylish SUV.

2021 Acura RDX Review: Hero | CarMax

There are quite a few five-passenger SUVs on the market that will do the job of carrying people and cargo, but few do it with the style of the 2021 Acura RDX. Its sleek exterior gives this car loads of curb appeal and its roomy and well-appointed interior creates a welcome space. The RDX has a powerful turbocharged engine that engages the driver and a smooth, quiet ride that passengers enjoy no matter how rough the road.

Redesigned for the 2019 model year, this design carries over into 2021 with the addition of the new PMC Edition. This limited edition of 360 units features exclusive Thermal Orange Pearl paint and comes equipped with both the A-Spec and Advance Package.

While we currently do not have many 2021 Acura RDXs on our lots, we look forward to selling more in the future. If you love the 2021 model, you should also consider prior model years of the Acura RDX with similar features.

Here's what you'll learn in this 2021 Acura RDX review:

Key Specs and Features:

MPG:

  • The 2021 Acura RDX with FWD, 2.0L engine, and automatic transmission gets an EPA-estimated 24 mpg combined.1
  • Equipped with AWD, the RDX gets an EPA-estimated 23 mpg combined.1

Cargo Space:

2021 Acura RDX Review: Trunk | CarMax
  • The 2021 Acura RDX has 29.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat and 58.9 cubic feet of cargo space when the rear seat is folded down.

Towing Capacity:

  • When properly equipped, the 2021 Acura RDX can tow an estimated 1,500 lbs with its 2.0L engine and FWD.2

Seating Capacity:

2021 Acura RDX Review: Front seats | CarMax
  • The 2021 Acura RDX has seating for up to five passengers.
2021 Acura RDX Review: Backseats | CarMax

Engine Options:

  • The sole engine for the 2021 Acura RDX is a 272-hp 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

Tech Features:

2021 Acura RDX Review: Cell | CarMax
  • Standard Bluetooth® connectivity
  • Standard adaptive cruise control
  • True Touchpad Interface
  • Mobile hotspot capability
  • Standard seven-inch color touchscreen with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto

Rankings

The Acura RDX has a strong sales history at CarMax. It has been featured in these ranking lists:

5 Reasons to Buy

1. Smooth and Luxurious

2021 Acura RDX Review: Dashboard | CarMax

As a luxury SUV, the 2021 Acura RDX offers a very comfortable ride. It has a quiet interior that keeps the outside world from intruding into the cabin and a suspension system that evens out rough roads. Seating is supportive no matter where you sit, with beautiful materials and plenty of soft-touch surfaces that put the priority on passenger comfort.

2. Super Handling All-Wheel Drive

2021 Acura RDX Review: Exterior | CarMax

The 2021 Acura RDX is available with standard front-wheel-drive or optional Super Handling All-Wheel Drive. If you look for an RDX with all-wheel-drive, you'll find it not only makes it a more capable SUV in poor weather conditions, but it also enhances performance in dry weather. The all-wheel drive system adjusts torque to each wheel to improve traction and increase overall stability in all conditions.

3. Cargo Room

Room for cargo is no doubt a priority if you're looking for an SUV and the 2021 Acura RDX is up to the challenge. There is 29.5 cu ft of space behind the rear seat, so even with a full load of passengers it can handle plenty of cargo. The rear seats are also 60/40 split-folding to offer more versatility for cargo while still allowing for rear passengers. Cargo room increases to 58.9 cu ft with the rear seats fully folded.

4. Concise Trim Lineup

There aren't technically trims of the 2021 Acura RDX, but rather a single configuration with three available packages. The A-Spec package adds sporty design elements and the Advance package adds convenience features. The Technology package draws from both of those packages and upgrades audio. Even the limited PMC Edition comes in a single configuration with both the A-Spec and Advance packages as standard features.

5. Responsive Engine

2021 Acura RDX Review: Engine | CarMax

The turbocharged 2.0L engine in the 2021 Acura RDX delivers an engaging driving experience. It responds quickly to a light foot on the accelerator so merging with highway traffic is effortless. The engine is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission that delivers power easily with smooth shifting. It has the power to inspire confidence behind the wheel without any of the harshness found in purely performance-focused vehicles.


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What You Need to Know

Available Trims

  • Standard: Includes dual-zone automatic climate control, sport seats, leatherette trimmed interior, leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats, and more.
  • Technology Package: Adds premium leather sports seats, leather-trimmed interior, GPS-linked climate control, premium audio system, and more.
  • A-Spec Package: Adds sport seats with premium leather and Ultrasuede, leather-wrapped A-Spec steering wheel, Ebony headliner, and more.
  • Advance Package: Adds heated steering wheel, natural olive ash burl wood trim, heated outboard rear seats, 16-way power front seats, and more.
  • PMC Edition: Includes all Advance and A-Spec package features and exclusive Thermal Orange Pearl exterior paint.

Available Colors

  • Apex Blue Pearl (A-Spec Only)
  • Canyon Bronze Metallic
  • Fathom Blue Pearl
  • Gunmetal Metallic
  • Lunar Silver Metallic
  • Majestic Black Pearl
  • Modern Steel Metallic
  • Performance Red Pearl
  • Platinum White Pearl
  • Thermal Orange Pearl (PMC Edition Only)

Interior

  • Seating for up to five passengers
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • 29.5 cubic feet behind rear seats, 58.9 cubic feet behind front seats
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control with humidity control and air filtration
  • Infotainment includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, seven-inch color touchscreen

Average CarMax Prices

The 2021 Acura RDX is a newer model year and we currently have a limited number in our inventory. See below for average CarMax prices for previous model years of the Acura RDX.3

  • 2012 - Average prices less than $14,0003
  • 2013 - Average prices less than $16,0003
  • 2014 - Average prices less than $17,0003
  • 2015 - Average prices less than $20,0003
  • 2016 - Average prices less than $22,5003
  • 2017 - Average prices less than $24,0003
  • 2018 - Average prices less than $28,0003
  • 2019 - Average prices less than $36,0003
  • 2020 - Average prices less than $40,0003

Similar Model Years

If you like the 2021 Acura RDX, check out some previous model years of this vehicle with similar features:

Safety

The 2021 Acura RDX received an overall 5/5 rating by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Certain vehicles may have unrepaired safety recalls. Click here to look up a specific vehicle.

Similar Vehicles

If you're interested in the 2021 Acura RDX, you should also check out these similar vehicles from previous model years.

BMW X3

The BMW X3 is a compact SUV that was fully redesigned for the 2018 model year. It has seating for up to five passengers with a choice of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. This roomy SUV has 28.7 cubic feet for cargo behind the rear seats or 62.7 cubic feet with those seats folded. It also has a choice of either a 248-hp 2.0L turbocharged, four-cylinder engine or a 355-hp 3.0L six-cylinder engine for a more performance-focused driving experience. All BMW X3s from 2017-2019 include:

  • Power liftgate
  • All-wheel-drive
  • 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats
  • Dual-zone air conditioning

Audi Q5

Fully redesigned for 2018, the Audi Q5 has seating for five passengers with a luxurious interior. There is 25.1 cubic feet for cargo behind the rear seats or 53.1 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. A choice of engines includes a 2.0L four-cylinder with 252 hp or a 3.0L V6 with 354 horsepower. A seven-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and two USB ports is standard across the lineup. Look for features like this in a 2017-2019 Audi Q5:

  • Leather seating surfaces
  • Three-zone automatic climate control
  • Power liftgate
  • 40/20/20 split-folding rear seats

Mercedes-Benz GLC300

The Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class is a luxury SUV with seating for five passengers and a choice of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. It has 19.4 cubic feet for cargo behind the 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats and 56.5 cubic feet behind the front seats (2017 onward). All model years offer several AMG variants, which feature more powerful engines and features geared toward those who put a priority on driving performance. You'll enjoy some of these standard features on 2017-2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 models:

  • Power liftgate
  • Remote start4
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control

The Bottom Line

The 2021 Acura RDX is an attractive, capable, and well-equipped SUV. Available all-wheel-drive makes it a good choice for those who live in snowy climates while its powerful turbocharged engine makes it appealing to those who prefer a more spirited drive. If you want the versatility of an SUV with an upscale interior, then the Acura RDX is a great choice.

Looking to learn more? Check out these related resources:

1Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates for when vehicle sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov.
2Various factors may impact towing capacity, including weight of passengers, cargo, and options/accessories.
3Based on prices on carmax.com from May 1, 2020 through October 1, 2020. Actual prices may vary based on your selected model year, features and trim packages. Prices do not include taxes, tags, titles, and any applicable fees.
4Remote start functionality may require the purchase of a subscription plan and/or a compatible device like a smartphone. See the owner's manual or manufacturer website for more information.
Unless otherwise noted, information related to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.