17 Best & Worst Acura RDX Years (With Facts & Stats)

The Acura RDX is a luxury compact SUV that was first launched for the 2007 model year.

It’s cheaper than many of its rivals without sacrificing too much on the luxury side of things.

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into its best and worst years.

2023 Acura RDX

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Acura RDX Are:

The best Acura RDX model years are 2023, 2022, 2021, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008. The worst model years of the RDX are 2020, 2019, 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2007. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

What Are The Best Years For The Acura RDX?

2023 Acura RDX

The 2023 RDX is the new kid on the block and arguably the best model to date, it’s both handsomely styled and fun to drive.

It comes with a two-year/24,000-mile complimentary preventive maintenance program and free access to the AcuraLink connectivity plan (for three years).

While there were no significant changes for this model year, it has been praised for its attractive base price and wide range of safety and entertainment features.

  • Edmunds: 3.9 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.0 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2023 RDX, Edmunds review:

“Looking for a well-priced semi-luxury crossover then this might just fit the bill.  Is this a perfect SUV, No.  Is it a very well-rounded vehicle for a good price, Yes. To be honest I love this car.  For me it is a perfect balance for everything I was looking for.  This car has the power that most people want with decent gas milage.  It has the comfort and luxury found only in higher-priced vehicles.  You really get a lot out of what you pay for this vehicle…”

2022 Acura RDX

The 2022 RDX received a minor facelift that involved tweaks to its grilles, larger air intakes on the front bumper, and a revised rear bumper sporting rectangular exhaust tips.

The cabin came with improved sound insulation thereby reducing road noise and Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa were fitted as standard.

Critics praised the vehicle’s athletic handling and roomy cabin and cargo area.

  • Edmunds: 3.9 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.0 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 80 / 100

2022 RDX, Edmunds review:

“New Acura RDX Advanced purchased February, 2022 now with 4000 miles; 25% highway/75% urban driving. Mileage per trip computer 26.2 mpg (all Comfort or Normal modes and non hooligan driving style). Quiet interior, good handling, adequate power without rattles, squeaks, or problems and much more comfortable seats for long distance driving than Audi. Track pad sucks but we use Apple CarPlay and voice commands for everything without issues…”

2021 Acura RDX

The 2021 RDX boasts a well-trimmed cabin and lots of tech goodies. This model carried over unchanged from 2020 and is part of the third generation launched in 2019.

However, a new limited-run PMC Edition model was introduced for 2021, which was handbuilt at the Performance Manufacturing Center in Ohio.

This is a high-spec AWD model that comes loaded with all the top-tier features and exclusive styling cues.

  • Edmunds: 3.8 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.0 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 75 / 100

2021 RDX, Edmunds review:

“Updated after 4 months of ownership: Running gas mileage is about 21-22 mpg. Under the rating, but about as expected based on an earlier vehicle. We really have no gripes about this car except the rearview camera. We learned the infotainment pad quickly, the drivers aids are helpful but not intrusive. This car eats up miles on a road trip and is comfortable around town. I stand by 4.5 stars. Good car, not perfect. Happy with the purchase…”

2018 Acura RDX

The 2018 RDX was the final iteration of the second generation introduced in 2013. One of the great benefits of this model is that it is incredibly reliable and largely problem free.

As a general rule, it’s best to avoid models at the start of a generation as these tend to have the most issues, the ones at the end tend to be far more reliable – as is the case here.

Since a major facelift was done for the 2016 model year, the 2018 RDX did not receive any major changes.

This model was complimented for its logically laid out, elegant interior.

  • Edmunds: 4.3 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 80 / 100

2018 RDX, Edmunds review:

“We bought the car for my wife’s daily driving and long trips. We compared the 2018 RDX with the tech package to a 2019 RDX with tech package, CRV, RAV4, and an Audi. While the 2018 doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles, i.e. Apple play. It had more than enough. The 6 cylinder normally aspirated engine with the 6 speed tranny are more than adequate. It’s quick and handles great. We especially like the the split screens…”

2018 Acura RDX

2017 Acura RDX

The 2017 Acura RDX is another great choice if you’re looking for a reliable model from the second generation.

The 2017 RDX did not receive much in terms of updates since a big overhaul was done for the 2016 model year.

However, it still boasts sporty good looks, a comfortable ride and impressive power.

  • Edmunds: 4.3 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 80 / 100

2017 RDX, Edmunds review:

“My wife wanted a small, luxury SUV and we settled on a 2017 Acura RDX AWD base model. It is a solid SUV with nice features. No squeaks or rattles. Initial gas mileage was 25 mpg before the cold weather settled in, dropping it to a still respectable 23 mpg. I like the variable cylinder management that shuts off 3 cylinders during low output conditions. It is such a smooth process you don’t know when it is happening. The tech interfaces are kind of old-fashioned for an upper-end vehicle. No touch screens or fancy graphics. Buttons and knobs are nicely laid out, but I wish fan speed was controlled by a knob instead of buttons…”

2016 Acura RDX

The 2016 model year of the RDX received a lot of changes without sacrificing reliability.

Added and revised features included a new grille, refreshed headlights and tail lights, a slightly higher engine output, a better and more intuitive touchscreen infotainment system, and a lot of new standard safety and entertainment features.

This model year was praised for its bold design choices, improvements in performance, and generous cargo capacity for the segment.

  • Edmunds: 4.1 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 79 / 100

2016 RDX, Edmunds review:

“This vehicle is fantastic! I test drove a Ford Explorer, Nissan Murano, Hyundai Santa Fe and I bought the RDX with the tech package. The reliability reviews over the others was one of the main points but after owning it I really have come to appreciate its high points. The ride is smooth, powerful and really quiet. The sound canceling system (like Bose headphones) does a great job. Being a musician, I was impressed with the stereo and during my test drive we adjusted the base and subwoofer to full potential and I was blown away…”

2012 Acura RDX

The 2012 RDX is the final iteration of the first generation. If you are looking for a first gen model, this should be your first choice, primarily because it’s the most refined and received minimal complaints.

People left great reviews for this model year, primarily revolving around its sporty handling, great crash test results, numerous safety features, and stylish and comfortable interior. 

  • Edmunds: 4.4 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 80 / 100

2012 RDX, Edmunds review:

“Mostly a good experience, but small cargo capacity, small place for driver’s stuff. Backup camera not good in bright sunlight. Nice drive with turbo and shifting, but poor mileage + uses high price gas. With Honda/Acura reliability, it should be very good. Would make changes in seating. Hard ride for all. Guess the MDX might have been a better choice. Should get better mileage.”

2012 Acura RDX

2011 Acura RDX

The 2011 RDX is another safe choice when shopping for a slightly older model. It was the penultimate iteration of the first gen and proved to be very reliable.

This model is powered by a 2.3-liter turbo four-cylinder engine, providing 240 horsepower with standard front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive.

It features a five-speed automatic transmission with shift paddles as standard.

  • Edmunds: 4.6 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 80 / 100

2011 RDX, Edmunds review:

“Haven’t had this thing long, but what a step up from an underpowerd Honda CRV. Handling, power, fit and finish, all first class. Don’t buy it if your looking for smooth. It is sportscar all the way. Drove the Infinity, Benz, and Lexus, all 10 grand or more expensive. I’m 6’2″ and have plenty of room. Acually bought it for my wife and we arm wrestle for the key…”

2010 Acura RDX

The 2010 RDX received a fresh look and a new two-wheel drive base model, offering improved fuel economy. Consumer feedback scores were at an all-time high for this model year.

Updates for 2010 included revised exterior styling, automatic headlights, a slightly improved braking system, a backup camera, a USB port, footwell lighting, and Bluetooth functionality. 

  • Edmunds: 4.6 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 82 / 100

2010 RDX, Edmunds review:

“Having used these reviews in my decision, I’m repaying my debt to the forum. Great car, would buy it again. I would recommend to anybody looking for something fully loaded for base price, V6 power in a V4, and luxury without the price. Five months and 8,000 miles later, I can appreciate the quality and workmanship even more.”

2009 Acura RDX

The 2009 RDX obtained a standard four-way power passenger seat system, as well as increased coverage for the AcuraLink real-time traffic system, integrating more cities and states into the network.

Owners liked this vehicle because of its responsive handling, powerful engine (turbocharged), a host of luxurious safety and entertainment features, and high test scores in standard crash tests.

  • Edmunds: 4.4 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 77 / 100

2009 RDX, Edmunds review:

“I absolutely adore this SUV! I drove a mid-size sedan for many years and it did take some time to adjust to the RDX. The tilt down mirror on the passenger side is wonderful when backing. The interior is well laid out with all of the controls within easy reach. The center console is deep – it holds my large purse with room to spare. The front seats are comfortable and there’s ample knee space in the rear with the front seats all the way back. Ride is firm – you feel some of the bumps and hear a little road noise, but the fun factor outweighs any of this. Fits my small family perfectly…”

2008 Acura RDX

As the sophomore entry of the RDX line, the 2008 RDX did not receive much in terms of upgrades, however, it was far less problematic than the previous 2007 model. 

There were some updates worth noting, including an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, memory positioning (exclusive to the driver’s seat), and Bluetooth capability as standard.

The 2008 RDX boasted responsive handling, strong engine performance, and excellent crash test scores.

  • Edmunds: 4.6 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 77 / 100

2008 RDX, Edmunds review:

“The RDX is sports sedan masquerading as a luxury SUV. Cornering and acceleration? Great. Cushioned, quiet ride? Nope. I chose the RDX because there are many SUV and truck drivers where I live and I wanted to sit a little bit higher than I would in a sedan – and I am completely sold on Honda/Acura reliability and quality. Quality and reliability have been excellent and the driving position is comfortable with excellent visibility…”

2008 Acura RDX

Consumer Scores For Best Acura RDX Years

Model YearEdmunds 
Consumer Rating
Kelley Blue Book
Consumer Rating
JD Power
Consumer Rating
2023 Acura RDX3.9 / 5.04.0 / 5.0NA
2022 Acura RDX3.9 / 5.04.0 / 5.080 / 100
2021 Acura RDX3.8 / 5.04.0 / 5.075 / 100
2018 Acura RDX4.3 / 5.04.5 / 5.081 / 100
2017 Acura RDX4.3 / 5.04.5 / 5.080 / 100
2016 Acura RDX4.1 / 5.04.5 / 5.079 / 100
2012 Acura RDX4.4 / 5.04.4 / 5.080 / 100
2011 Acura RDX4.6 / 5.04.4 / 5.080 / 100
2010 Acura RDX4.6 / 5.04.4 / 5.082 / 100
2009 Acura RDX4.4 / 5.04.4 / 5.077 / 100
2008 Acura RDX4.6 / 5.04.4 / 5.077 / 100

Related: 6 Most Common Acura RDX Problems (Explained)

What Are The Worst Years For The Acura RDX?

The RDX has been around long enough to see which years aren’t quite as good as others, we’ve listed these below.

2020 Acura RDX

The 2020 Acura RDX was the second installment of the 3rd Gen and although not as problematic as the 2019 model, it still received a higher-than-average number of complaints.

Owners widely reported that their RDX would lose all power, the engine light would come on and the vehicle would go into limp mode.

Here’s one owner’s account:

“As I was merging onto an interstate in heavy, high-speed traffic, my RDX suddenly lost power and started to decelerate with absolutely no warning at all as high-speed traffic was approaching from behind. My vehicle decelerated to a speed of about 20mph

Owners also reported high-pitched squeal sounds coming from the brakes.

The 2020 RDX had a total of 18 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 157 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Loss of acceleration (limp mode)
  • Apple CarPlay disconnects
  • Brakes grind and squeal

2019 Acura RDX

While there were a handful of problematic model years for the RDX, the most problematic one, as far as statistics go, is the 2019 model. This model was the first iteration of the 3rd Gen and came with its share of teething issues.

Much like its immediate successor, this model year was notorious for losing engine power and shutting off whilst driving.

Here’s one owner’s testimony:

“ For the second time, while accelerating in rainy conditions, the engine lost all power and went into limp mode. The check engine light came on and blinked.”

Another common complaint was the rear hatch window unexpectedly shattering for no apparent reason, similarly, owners stated the panoramic sunroof shattered for no reason.

The 2019 RDX had a total of 43 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 246 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Brakes squeak
  • Loss of acceleration (limp mode)
  • Infotainment system not working
  • Sunroof exploded
2019 Acura RDX

2015 Acura RDX

The 2015 RDX accrued its fair share of complaints due to its deteriorating headlights.

Owners widely reported that the headlights grew dimmer over time, and the problem could not be resolved by changing the bulbs.

2015 RDX, Owner Complaint (Car Problem Zoo):

“Low beam headlights very dim/unusable. My wife came very close to having what could have been a fatal accident on Dec. 8, 2022. We have replaced bulbs with original and higher intensity led with no improvement. There are hundreds of people complaining about this same issue, one only needs to do a google search…”

The 2015 RDX had a total of 11 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 181 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Soy-based wiring chewed by rats
  • Low beam headlamps very dim
  • Engine stalls, misfires
  • Brake squealing

2014 Acura RDX

Similar to the 2015 model year, the 2014 RDX also suffered from low-brightness headlights, leading to a lot complaints from car owners.

2014 RDX, Owner Complaint:

“Headlights are so dim it is unsafe to drive at night. Seems many others complaints of this online and due to reflective film backing material inside the headlights could delaminate the reflective coating on the headlight housing has disintegrated resulting in virtually no low-beam headlight illumination on the roadway. Acura changed headlight design in 2015 but no formal recalls on earlier vehicles.”

The 2014 RDX had a total of 9 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 151 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Clunking noise in rear
  • Premature brake wear
  • Unable to see with high or low beams at night
  • Faulty shock absorbers
2014 Acura RDX

2013 Acura RDX

The 2013 Acura RDX was affected by the notorious Takata airbag recall.

These airbags were known to explode and send flying fragments of shrapnel into the cabin with potentially fatal consequences.

2013 RDX, Owner Complaint:

“Still awaiting repair for recall. Have been notified that it is dangerous to drive, but with no remedy in sight. This is unacceptable! we now have 2 vehicles with the same airbag recall, and have been told basically that they are dangerous to drive with a passenger in the front seat.”

Owners also reported issues with the low-beam headlights being too dim.

The 2013 RDX had a total of 15 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 105 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Battery keeps dying
  • Low beam headlights are too dim
  • Rear suspension clunks when going over a bump or pothole
  • Seat deteriorating

2007 Acura RDX

Despite having a relatively good start as the first-ever RDX, the biggest issue encountered by owners of the 2007 model year was faulty airbags.

The 2007 RDX was fitted with the infamous Takata airbags which are well-known for exploding and causing damage to those inside the vehicle.

2007 RDX, Owner Complaint:

“Takata recall. I am 71 years old and have only one car. I am concerned that if there would be an accident (I drive rarely (less than 5000 miles a year) and carefully (no moving violations or accidents in decades) I would be seriously injured. When will my car air bags be replaced.”

The 2007 RDX had a total of 9 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 68 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Turbo failure
  • Failed connecting rod bearing
  • Faulty gear sensor
2007 Acura RDX

Related: How Long Do Acura RDX Last? (11 Important Facts)

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

Model YearComplaints
2023 Acura RDX0NA
2022 Acura RDX09
2021 Acura RDX146
2020 Acura RDX18157
2019 Acura RDX43246
2018 Acura RDX537
2017 Acura RDX1555
2016 Acura RDX1940
2015 Acura RDX11181
2014 Acura RDX9151
2013 Acura RDX15105
2012 Acura RDX218
2011 Acura RDX421
2010 Acura RDX1625
2009 Acura RDX115
2008 Acura RDX837
2007 Acura RDX968

What Problems Do Acura RDX Have?

  • Soy-based wiring chewed by rats
  • Axles cracked
  • Brake squealing,grinding, and squeaking
  • Loss of acceleration (limp mode)
  • Infotainment system not working
  • Will not start
  • Hesitation when accelerating
  • Navigation system not working properly
  • Warped brake rotors
  • Hard sluggish gear shifting
  • Leaking
  • Moisture in headlights
  • Check engine light on
  • Battery keeps dying
  • Rear suspension clunks when going over a bump or pothole
  • Seat deteriorating

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Acura RDX?

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Genesis GV708.7$42,900 – $55,000City: 19 – 22 /Highway: 24 – 28
BMW X38.5$45,400 – $72,900City: 15 – 23 /Highway: 20 – 29
Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class8.4$43,850 – $66,500City: 16 – 22 /Highway: 24 – 29
Acura RDX8.2$41,350 – $53,350City: 21 – 22 /Highway: 26 – 28
Lexus NX8.2NACity: NA /Highway: NA
Lincoln Corsair8.2$36,580 – $51,810City: 21 – 22 /Highway: 28 – 29
Volvo XC608.2$43,450 – $74,150City: NA /Highway: NA
Porsche Macan8.1$57,500 – $82,900City: 17 – 19 /Highway: 22 – 25
Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class8.1$38,600 – $49,950City: 21 – 23 /Highway: 26 – 30
Audi Q58.0$43,500 – $59,200City: NA /Highway: NA
Jaguar F-Pace8.0$52,400 – $89,500City: 15 – 22 /Highway: 21 – 27
BMW X47.8$53,400 – $76,400City: 15 – 21 /Highway: 20 – 28
Buick Envision7.6$33,400 – $47,460City: 22 – 23 /Highway: 29 – 31
Infiniti QX507.2$40,300 – $57,350City: 22 – 23 /Highway: 28 – 29
Alfa Romeo Stelvio7.0$45,550 – $84,650City: 17 – 22 /Highway: 23 – 29
Infiniti QX556.7$49,150 – $57,800City: 22 /Highway: 28
Land Rover Discovery Sport6.5$43,300 – $48,500City: 19 /Highway: 23

Source: cars.usnews.com, edmunds.com

Related: Acura RDX In Snow & Winter Driving? (Explained)










  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...

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