Here are the Acura RDX years to avoid (2023)

Acura RDXby KevautoCC-BY-SA-4.0

Since its inception in 1986 as America's premium Honda brand, Acura has earned a well-deserved reputation for reliability, quality and overall driving performance. Although the company has only built a small number of SUVs since its inception, they have been very successful and have gained popularity in the United States.

Although it was a successful vehicle, there are still some complaints commonly associated with the RDX model. With regular maintenance and sensible driving, the Acura RDX is a reliable and durable SUV, but some issues can still arise. Here are the Acura RDX years to avoid.

Quick answer: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2019

The Acura RDX is a small five-seat crossover from Acura that is similar to the Honda CR-V. Until its latest 2018 iteration, it shared many of the same underpinnings as the Civic and CR-V. But now it's been renovated and rebuilt to offer a host of state-of-the-art amenities to rival Lexus and Infiniti. Despite its popularity in recent years, RDX is not without its flaws.

The Japanese automaker is known for its reliability, and overall the RDX is no exception. There are plenty of positive ownership credentials, and it even has a spot on Forbes' list of 10 vehicles that can reasonably get over 250,000 miles. Longevity is affected by design and build quality, but it is not without its flaws.

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In general, owners who average 15,000 miles per year can expect their Acura RDX to last 15-20 years before breaking down or needing to go beyond routine and feasible repairs. Many first-generation RDXs are still on the road today, having put 200,000 miles on them in much of the original equipment. If you're looking for a premium or luxury crossover, the RDX is usually a solid choice, but you may appreciate those specific years.


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Acura RDX Years to Avoid: First Generation

The RDX debuted in 2007 and is based on a new global light-truck platform producing 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The RDX also came standard with a four-wheel drive 5-speed automatic transmission and a standard Vehicle Stability Assist system. It was available in two packages, both with some interesting new features for the time, such as HandFreeLink, a multi-information display, or a voice recognition navigation system.

Although widely considered the best generation for its styling and luxurious details, it faced major concerns about cracked Takata airbag inflators. The NHTSA warned drivers of vehicles with Takata airbags to stop driving them in the early 2000s, and that included the first generation RDX. Most of the vehicles have been recalled and repaired, and there may be no other threats.

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Major Known Issues:

  • Airbag failure and recalls
  • maintenance costs

Acura RDX Years to Avoid: 2015 Model Year

The 2015 model year is in the midst of its second generation before undergoing a major facelift in 2016. It has soy-based electrical wiring insulation, which is better for the environment, but has been known to attract animals to the undercarriage, which could cost owners around $2,000 to repair. This model year also had issues with the airbags and when exposed to heat and humidity they would explode.

There weren't many other issues that posed a significant threat to driver or passenger safety, but it was well documented that the navigation system failed frequently. It is a model that uses Honda DENSO fuel pumps, which have low-density rotors that divide and absorb the fuel. Because a faulty fuel pump can cause further damage to vehicle components, a recall has been issued to prevent further damage and high maintenance costs. A faulty pump can cause the engine to overheat. Drivers reported that the car experienced excessive shaking that caused moderate to severe damage to vehicle components.

Major Known Issues:

  • Airbag failure and recalls
  • maintenance costs
  • electrical wiring
  • navigation error
  • Fuel pump overheating

Acura RDX Years to Avoid: 2019 Model Year

What worries us the most is that the 2019 model year received the most complaints, with most of them citing "engine stalling" as the top issue. The engine stalled on the road and without treatment caused an abrupt drop in speed, e.g. B. 65 mph to 40 mph The 2019 model also had major issues with the infotainment system. When a driver needs them, these systems can freeze and take longer to load. This was also noted on the 2020 model and drivers reported driving directions, radio and Android Auto never responded while the vehicle was driving.

With a total of 26 top complaints, the 2019 RDX (the first model year of the last generation) garnered the most complaints of any model year. Loss of power during acceleration, sometimes referred to as "sleep mode," is the most common complaint with the 2019 model, followed by stalling. It also faced the same major airbag recall as the first generation some 15 years earlier.


(Video) Top 5 Problems Acura RDX SUV 2019-2021 3rd Generation

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Major Known Issues:

  • the engine stops
  • Entertainment system failure
  • power loss
  • air bag retraction
  • General customer complaints

Acura RDX and year of manufacture: 2016

According to, the 2016 model year should be avoided, as there were ten separate brake complaints reported for that model year. The main complaints from owners were high-pitched screeches, fast braking, and a longer distance to a complete stop. Notorious for squealing and squealing, the 2016 RDX's brakes have one of the most consistent braking issues of this generation.

Not many major problems have been reported, but based on repair work and data, the most commonly reported RDX problems are brake issues. On average, they can cost $300 and appear as early as 7,000 miles.


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(Video) 5 Reasons Why You Should Buy An Acura RDX In 2023 - Quick Buyer's Guide

Major Known Issues:

  • big brake problems
  • loud vehicle noise
  • repair costs

You'll save quite a bit of used money, and as long as you research the model years listed here and dig into their issues, you'll end up with a pretty solid vehicle that has received good reviews and reviews from consumers. While there are some issues, many of them are minor and do not significantly affect the safety of the driver or passengers.

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Are there any problems with the Acura RDX? ›

Brakes & electrical system issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners. Enthusiasts looking for a sophisticated luxury SUV often flock to the 2022 Acura RDX.

Are used Acura RDX reliable? ›

Is the Acura RDX Reliable? Put simply, yes, the Acura RDX is very reliable. RepairPal has given the Acura RDX a reliability rating of 4.5 out of 5.0, which is excellent.

How many years does an Acura RDX last? ›

Longevity is influenced by design and construction quality, but it isn't free of flaws. Generally speaking, owners who average 15,000 miles per yearly average can anticipate the Acura RDX to last between 15 to 20 years before breaking down or requiring repairs that are beyond routine and feasible.

Do Acura RDX have transmission problems? ›

Such problems aren't hard to spot. 2021 Acura RDX transmission problems could include shifting delays, grinding or jumping during acceleration, a feeling of shakiness, or whistling noises and a burning smell coming from under the hood.

Is Acura RDX a good buy? ›

Shop the 2022 Acura RDX near you

Better still, the RDX remains a well-equipped SUV and a good value for the category in spite of a notable price increase to help cover the updates. All is not rosy, however. The RDX is saddled with some controls that are mildly annoying at best and maddening at worst.

Which car is better MDX or RDX? ›

If you're looking for the differences between the Acura MDX and RDX SUVs, the Acura MDX is bigger, has more rows of seating, and boasts a bigger engine than the Acura RDX. The Acura MDX is designed for families with more than two child safety seats and drivers who need ample cargo room and towing capabilities.

Is it a good idea to buy a used Acura? ›

The simple answer, of course, would be yes. Shoppers can never go wrong, buying an Acura vehicle, new or used. Acura cars and SUVs offer higher levels of initial quality, reliability, and standard features than any other brand on the market today.

Is buying a used Acura a good idea? ›

Acura Vehicles are Reliable

And after five years of ownership, Acura vehicles are among the lowest in cost of ownership. With fewer repairs and less maintenance than most other brands, Acura vehicles are notoriously reliable.

Which Acura is most reliable? ›

The ILX, TLX, and RDX are the most reliable Acuras because they all have a reliability rating of “Excellent.” With an above-average score, the MDX is pretty close behind. Even models that have been taken off the market, like the TSX and the TL, have good ratings.

Is Acura as good as Toyota? ›

Toyota and Acura both have high-performance vehicles that have stellar performance capabilities as well as more refined vehicles that are designed for a responsive, smooth drive through town. Because Acura is a luxury brand, you can generally expect to find most sophisticated performance-based features in its models.

Is RDX same as CRV? ›

The similarly sized 2023 Acura RDX adds equipment and style over the CR-V as part of its luxury-oriented mission statement, moving it well past the Honda in terms of performance as well as price, though you might find yourself cross-shopping the two.

Is Acura RDX good for long trips? ›

This luxury crossover is also ready to keep you and your family safe on long trips thanks to its standard suite of AcuraWatch™ safety features. The 2023 Acura RDX offers tech like Road Departure Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow, and Traffic Sign Recognition.

Is RDX timing belt or chain? ›

Newer models use timing belts made of polyurethane and Kevlar for long life and durability. They can go as long as 100,000 miles although it's always a good idea to change it before then. Belt failure can cause extensive damage to the valves, pistons and other internal parts of the engine.

What years did Acura have transmission problems? ›

Transmission problems and failures with all Acura TL model vehicles from 1999–2012 have widespread defects with or in the transmissions. Acura TL cars in these three years 2002, 2003 and 2004 are the worst years to own.

How often do you change the transmission fluid in an Acura RDX? ›

Acura RDX Transmission Fluid

If you don't routinely change your fluids at least every 30,000 miles or so, you may find that your Acura RDX transmission will slip.

Can I use regular gas in my Acura RDX? ›

Your Acura ILX, TLX, RLX, MDX, or RDX will run fine on regular gasoline, but using the recommended premium unleaded 91 octane fuel is sure to boost performance, increase longevity, and keep your Acura running as it should – providing you with the peace of mind you've been seeking.

Does Acura RDX need premium gas? ›

But, do all Acura models require premium gas? No — but it's recommended that you use a higher-octane fuel in your Acura for a number of reasons. According to Acura, premium gas is only required for the Acura NSX, but it is recommended for the MDX, RDX, TLX, RLX, and ILX.

What is the Honda equivalent of the Acura RDX? ›

Two popular options among new 5-passenger crossover SUVs for sale are the 2021 Acura RDX and its competitor from Honda, the 2021 CR-V.

Is Acura as reliable as Lexus? ›

Overall, both Acura and Lexus (and Honda and Toyota, respectively) have excellent records for vehicle safety and long-term reliability, but the Lexus brand edges out ahead on customer reviews and analysis by automotive experts.

Is it better to buy an Acura or Honda? ›

Should I Buy a Honda or Should I Buy an Acura? From a quality and safety perspective either option is essentially the same. The main difference comes down to luxury, power and price. If you are looking for something more affordable, the Honda is the better choice.

Is Acura RDX considered a luxury car? ›

You may be asking yourself, “Is Acura a luxury car?” Is Acura a luxury brand? Because of its opulent amenities, attention to detail, and reputation for quality, Acura is considered a luxury brand.

What has better resale value Acura or Lexus? ›

In 2021, a total of two Lexus models earned victories in their segments. For comparison, Acura failed to earn any first place finishes in the 2021 Kelley Blue Book Best Resale Value Awards.

Why do people buy acuras? ›

People buy cars for functional reasons, so they need products that perform. They use these products to commute to the office, pick up groceries, schlep the kids to soccer practice, and tow the family outboard to the lake on Friday.

Do acuras break down a lot? ›

Acura Reliability Rating Breakdown. The Acura Reliability Rating is 4.0 out of 5.0, which ranks it 2nd out of 32 for all car brands. This rating is based on an average across 345 unique models. The average annual repair cost for a Acura is $501, which means it has above average ownership costs.

How long do Acura transmissions last? ›

Some transmissions can last just over 10,000 miles, while others will last over 200,000 miles. Generally though, regular vehicle maintenance is the number one factor effecting a transmission's lifespan, and good upkeep can help it last even longer.

Are Honda and Acura engines the same? ›

For example, the Honda Pilot and the Acura MDX share the same platform and engine (as well as the nine-speed transmission on the Pilot Touring). The 3.5-litre Earth Dream V6 is a staple of the Acura lineup, but is also used in the Honda Odyssey, Accord, Ridgeline….

Is Acura better than INFINITI? ›

For this reason, the INFINITI vs. Acura match-up is a very close competition. INFINITI pulls ahead by offering vehicles with more power and more standard features, and the brand has slight but important advantages in new and CPO warranty coverage, as well.

Which is more reliable Acura or BMW? ›

BMW ranks higher in the Initial Quality Study. The 2021 Acura RDX comes with the following warranty and roadside assistance coverage: Standard warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles. Powertrain warranty: 6 years or 70,000 miles.

Is Acura as reliable as Honda? ›

Acuras have a reputation for being more durable than their more affordable Honda counterparts, but they cost more to repair when things go wrong. The quality of Acuras is a testament to the lasting standard of the brand, but only with proper maintenance and care.

Does the 2022 Acura RDX have transmission problems? ›

They're often easy to notice. 2022 Acura RDX transmission problems could include shifting delays, grinding when accelerating, a feeling of shakiness, or a burning smell or whistling sounds coming from under the hood.

Which is more reliable Acura or Lexus? ›

What Is More Reliable: Lexus or Acura? Both Acura and Lexus vehicles have excellent scores for safety and long-term reliability, just like Honda and Toyota. But the Lexus brand comes out ahead in customer reviews and our expert analysis.

Which Acura is top of the line? ›

Best Acura Cars & SUVs
  • 2023 Acura MDX. Compare Model. Pros. Spacious interior with versatile seating configurations. ...
  • 2023 Acura Integra. Compare Model. Pros. Affordable and fun to drive. ...
  • 2023 Acura RDX. Compare Model. Pros. Energetic acceleration. ...
  • 2023 Acura TLX. Compare Model. Pros. ...
  • 2022 Acura NSX. Compare Model. Pros.

How often should you change transmission fluid in Acura RDX? ›

Acura RDX Transmission Fluid

If you don't routinely change your fluids at least every 30,000 miles or so, you may find that your Acura RDX transmission will slip.

When did Acura fix transmission problems? ›

In the end, the transmission problems were pretty much resolved by 2008, with some issues creeping back in a few later year models. The Acura MDX saw fewer complaints overall in the other models, except for 2014, which was their bad year for the engine.

Which is better Acura or Volkswagen? ›

While VW generally caters to price-conscious buyers, Acura is considered a luxury brand with vehicles that are best known for their performance and reliability. With ample technology and safety features, high-performance stats, and overall luxuriousness, the Acura lineup outshines VW in many ways.

What type of people drive Acura RDX? ›

Couples, young professionals, and small families (two or fewer kids). The Acura RDX can comfortably accommodate two child seats in the rear. The rear seat is also comfortable for adults, so this is a perfect car for a double date, an adult's night out, or transporting clients in style. Tall people.

What does driving a Acura say about you? ›

If you drive an Acura, Audi or Volvo, you're letting the world know that you're doing very well, and hope, one day, to be the boss yourself. These are decent, high-end cars that are not quite at the top end of the luxury car market, but nice enough to let the neighbors know that you got a decent bonus last quarter.

Do you have to put premium gas in Acura RDX? ›

But, do all Acura models require premium gas? No — but it's recommended that you use a higher-octane fuel in your Acura for a number of reasons. According to Acura, premium gas is only required for the Acura NSX, but it is recommended for the MDX, RDX, TLX, RLX, and ILX.


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