A Competitive Comparison: 2014 Acura RDX vs. 2014 Lexus RX 350

Vehicle Comparison: 2014 Acura RDX vs. Lexus RX 350

I'ts your money. Which one would you choose? Only one offers better performance and more standard luxury

Among the most popular luxury crossover choices are the Acura RDX and the Lexus RX 350.?The Acura RDX, on sale here at Frankel Acura of Cockeysville, Maryland, is the choice for the smart shopper.

With an MSRP of $34,520, the 2014 Acura RDX starts off with a key advantage over the 2014 Lexus RX 350, which has an MSRP of $39,760. For a more than $5,000 difference, but it's the Acura RDX that offers the advantages, making its lower MSRP all the more attractive.

The Acura RDX offers more passenger room - 103.5 cubic feet versus 99.7 cubic feet. Rear-seat passengers in the Acura will appreciate 1.5 more inches of legroom, while front-seat occupants get more head and shoulder room than those riding in the front seats of the Lexus.

 You do not sacrifice cargo versatility to get the added passenger room in the Acura RDX. The Lexus, offering 80.3 cubic feet with its rear seats folded, might seem to offer an advantage over the Acura RDX, which offers 76.9 cubic feet with its 60/40-split/folding rear seatbacks down. The Acura offers a surprise here, with 15.6 cubic feet of its total in a hidden compartment under the floor. Not only extra security, but a useful advantage.

Shopper's won't be surprised by the fact that the RX 350 makes you pay more for features that come standard in the 2014 Acura RDX. These are not small items. The MSRP for the Acura RDX includes standard leather-trimmed seating, heated front seats, a power moonroof, a rearview camera and memory for the driver's seat and exterior mirror settings.  In the Lexus RX 350, all of those features are extra-cost options. With those features, the MSRP of the Lexus RX 350 can soar to $44,430. That gives the Acura RDX a nearly $9,000 advantage.

At this point, you might expect the Lexus to have some major advantages elsewhere, perhaps under the hood. That’s not the case, however, because the 2014 Acura RDX keeps its winning streak going when it comes to driving performance and fuel efficiency.

Under both hoods you will find 3.5-liter V6 engines, and Acura, renowned for its engine performance, triumphs here, too. The Acura RDX V6 engine edges out the Lexus V6 in horsepower, with 273 hp versus 270 hp in the RX 350. Torque, (usable power) is higher in the Acura, as well, which delivers 251 lb/ft compared with 248 lb/ft for the Lexus.

Another important Acura advantage: weight. The 2014 RDX with front-wheel drive weighs 3,717 pounds, verses the front-drive RX 350 which weighs 4,178 pounds. That 461-pound difference makes itself felt every time you accelerate or make a passing maneuver in the RDX. The Acura is more athletic and simply does more with about the same power, and its six-speed automatic transmission comes with standard paddle shifters to provide enhanced sporty performance.  Paddle shifters are an extra-cost option in the Lexus RX 350.

The weight advantage also yields a fuel economy advantage for the RDX,(which offers vehicle cylinder management). Comparing the standard front-wheel drive versions of both, the Acura delivers an EPA-estimated 28 mpg highway versus 25 mpg for the Lexus, and the RDX beats the more expensive RX 350 in city fuel economy, 20 mpg versus 18 mpg. In fact, even the RDX with available all-wheel drive still achieves 19/27 mpg ratings.

Speaking of higher ratings, the 2014 Acura RDX closes this comparison with better crash-test scores from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The RDX scored five stars for both the driver and front passenger in frontal crash testing, while the RX 350 earned four stars.

Cap off all the advantages for the 2014 Acura RDX with the main focus on sporty, engaging driving performance and you have a vehicle that sends the Lexus RX 350 home minus a trophy. Come in for a test drive and experience how those RDX advantages can work to your advantage.

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