7 Best And Worst Years For The Acura RDX

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Anyone looking for a crossover will tell you that there is no better choice than the Acura RDX. This vehicle offers a strong engine with plenty of power, and it’s easy to steer at high speeds.

Few other vehicles on the market can keep up with this one, and its impressive design makes it stand out from all the rest.

This article will be focusing on narrowing down some of the best and worst years for Acura RDX.

With the RDX being on the market for a long time, there certainly have been many models out there, all with varying performance and reliability.

If you are serious about purchasing one, it is recommended to read this article without skipping anything because a wrong decision can cause serious issues.

Best Years for Acura RDX:

  1. 2010
  2. 2021
  3. 2018
  4. 2011
  5. 2008
  6. 2020
  7. 2012

Worst Years for Acura RDX:

  1. 2019
  2. 2016
  3. 2017
  4. 2009
  5. 2020
  6. 2013
  7. 2007

Stay tuned to find out why this is the case. In a nutshell, these are the models that a person should look into and avoid while searching for the Acura RDX.

So, without any further ado, let’s get straight into it!

List Of The Best Years For The Acura RDX: What Years To Buy

Is Acura RDX a good SUV to buy? Read my comparison guide to decide which models you like to get

This article will now focus on all of the years mentioned above and explain why they are preferred compared to all other generations of the crossover.

#1 Best Year: 2010 Acura RDX

The best year for the Acura RDX, taking the lead over the competition is the 2010 variant.

The vehicle was in a class of its own, not only because there were little to no complaints regarding it but because it offered excellent features.

Under the hood, it contains a 2.3L engine that is also turbocharged. With a sporty feel and excellent handling, it was preferred by thousands of people in the USA.

The fuel average of the RDX is also excellent, hovering at 19 mpg in the city and touching 24 mpg when on the highway.

The vehicle is pretty spacious. Although most crossovers can carry five people, very few of them can do so comfortably.

The comfortable aspect is strengthened because Honda has included leather seats that are better than fabric and improve the look of the vehicle. The RDX easily comes on to that list.

#2 Best Year: 2021 Acura RDX

Coming up next is a pretty recently released RDX, the 2021 variant. Honda has constantly been improving their standards, and the 2021 Acura RDX reflects that.

It not only features state-of-the-art security systems but also has the latest tech, such as a user-friendly touch screen and Apple CarPlay.

The 2021 RDX is the third generation of the vehicle. It has had close to zero complaints, and when compared to different models, it does not even have a recall history.

This, alone, says a lot about the vehicle’s reliability.

#3 Best Year: 2018 Acura RDX

The 2018 Acura RDX is a great alternative for people looking to save some money while not compromising on anything. It is a fairly recent model but part of the second generation.

As it was the last of its generation, Honda had ironed out pretty much all of its kinks and issues, making it one of the best options you can buy right now.

There have been very few complaints from owners regarding this model. It has decent acceleration and relatively better fuel mileage than most of its counterparts.

In terms of maintenance, oil changes are pretty easy too.

#4 Best Year: 2011 Acura RDX

The 2011 Acura RDX is well over a decade old. Don’t mistake its age with poor performance because it was one of Honda’s best RDX models ever unveiled.

There were little to no issues reported by users. It is an excellent option for people looking for something reasonable in terms of price and has a handful of features.

The only complaint related to this vehicle was that it does not look that premium. This is something that many RDX owners admitted.

Honda fixed that mistake, but the prices also increased with those respective changes.

#5 Best Year: 2008 Acura RDX

Let’s take a step back in time because Honda has had a pretty good track record when it comes to the Acura RDX.

The 2008 model, which is around 14 years old, is a great affordable option for people looking for a secondary vehicle. It checks all the right boxes of a premium crossover.

A few features were missing in the 2008 version of the vehicle; including an absence of rear recline seats.

The fuel economy was also not great compared to the newer and older variants of the same vehicle.

#6 Best Year: 2020 Acura RDX

Ending this list is a more recent vehicle model, the 2020 one.

The Acura RDX of this year has been filled to the brim with cutting-edge tech, including an excellent infotainment system and an overall pleasant driving experience.

The 2020 variant is great in almost all regards, but Honda limited options for consumers a lot, including there being no choice for a powertrain and major features being bundled with packages, which drove up the price of the RDX by a lot.

#7 Best Year: 2012 Acura RDX

Finally, ending the list of the best years for the Acura RDX is the 2012 variant of the vehicle.

It has received a lot of positive ratings, thanks to its amazing performance and overall driving control.

The 2012 variant is also equipped with a lot of technology, but it is outdated as of 2021. It is still sufficient, thanks to the presence of Bluetooth controls.

The only drawback of this 2012 Acura RDX is that it is pretty old. It also is pretty firm when it comes to driving.

But overall, it is a good buy and is great and an affordable option nowadays.

List Of The Worst Years For The Acura RDX: What Years To Avoid

We will now be focusing on the years of Acura RDX which you should avoid.

All of these were listed above, but I will be getting into the details of these years, so you can know why all of these vehicles are not recommended by experts.

#1 Worst Year: 2019 Acura RDX

Coming up next on this article is the 2019 Acura RDX, which many consider the worst Acura RDX to date.

There are many reasons for it to score such a place. This model was the first of the third generation of the vehicle, so it had so many kinks.

The manufacturer did not offer any options for the powertrain, while additional features had to be bought with bundles only.

The driving of this model is not great as compared to the predecessors. This includes the tires because they are subpar.

The throttle response is also not great, which was reported by many users. The interior is also not very premium, with it being relatively basic.

The fuel economy is also not great, which many people don’t like.

#2 Worst Year: 2016 Acura RDX

The 2016 Acura RDX is a crossover that you should steer clear of whenever you hear its name.

There have been frequent mentions of brakes and transmission issues, which are the hardest and the most expensive to repair.

Buyers also reported that the RDX has poor quality interior and electrical issues.

Although these are not major issues, they make the overall experience of owning the vehicle unpleasant.

#3 Worst Year: 2017 Acura RDX

As we move down this list, the list of issues is also increasing. It must be noted that all of these problems don’t affect driving performance.

Take the 2017 Acura RDX, for example. With a V6 engine under the hood, it is a beast on the road, regardless of the speed you are driving at.

It is perfect for families, thanks to the spacious legroom. The first quirk of this crossover is that the interior does not look as premium as its more recent counterparts.

Buyers also complained about transmission issues and failing brakes, which are pretty major.

#4 Worst Year: 2009 Acura RDX

The 2009 Acura RDX also had many issues, which is why it has earned a pretty high spot on this list of the models that one should avoid.

The RDX offers less cargo space, does not have a decent fuel economy, and doesn’t even have adjustable rear seats.

The drive experience of this vehicle is also not any good. Users complained about the engine having issues such as poor driving performance.

The towing capacity of this vehicle is pretty low too, which is something you should consider too.

#5 Worst Year: 2020 Acura RDX

If you want to buy something that will be reliable in the long term, you should avoid the Acura RDX from 2020.

It features a turbocharged engine that is pretty good in terms of driving. It also has a beautiful interior, which is loved by all. The crossover is pretty comfortable for long-term driving too.

One would expect the second iteration of the third generation to have fewer issues, but that was not the case.

Buyers reported the engine failing unexpectedly, with the sudden limp mode being activated.

#6 Worst Year: 2013 Acura RDX

The 2013 Acura RDX is also considered one of the worst models of vehicle to buy. Buyers complained about suspension problems and electrical ones too.

Suspension problems include clanging noises when going over a speed breaker and a generally noisy suspension system.

The electrical system on this vehicle is too heavy for the battery, which many users reported.

They complained about the battery going dead frequently, which is warrants spending a few hundred dollars every few months.

#7 Worst Year: 2007 Acura RDX

2007 was the year the Acura RDX was unveiled to the public. It was received warmly, and thousands of people booked it as their daily driver’s.

It was not a great buy because the first variant of the first generation of the engine had several issues, including poor gas mileage.

Users also complained about the electrical system, with constant engine malfunction lights popping up. The engine noise was pretty loud, which caused issues for many users.

What Are The Most Common Problems With The Acura RDX?

The Acura RDX has had many issues, most of them related to the interior. The issues discussed below are commonly found in all generations of vehicles.

1. Airbag Inflator Issues

The airbags on many Honda Acura RDX have been subject to recalls.

The issue was so severe that at one point, the NHTSA urged users to stop driving their vehicles because there was a 50% chance of the inflator failing during driving.

This was a pretty serious issue and caused 27 deaths around the globe. The reasons for these inflators failing were fluctuating temperatures or levels of humidity.

The models that were recalled were manufactured between 2007 and 2016.

2. Denso Fuel Pump Failure

Coming up next on this list of issues is one that seriously affected the performance of the engine.

As the Acura RDX uses Denso fuel pumps, the impellers started to crack after some usage, limiting the flow of fuel to the engine.

This has happened pretty recently, and more than 2 million vehicles have been recalled repairing these fuel pumps.

More than 700000 RDXs have been recalled. The issue was solely restricted to the 2019 RDX, one of the worst models that one can buy.

3. Infotainment Freezing

The Acura RDX is known to include excellent quality infotainment systems. Users around the world have praised them.

But unfortunately, some of the units started causing issues for consumers, such as freezing without any warning.

As the system is used to access the cameras and the navigation systems, crashing is a pretty serious problem. The issue was limited to the 2019 and the 2020 variants of the vehicle.

It was found in the third generation only, with many users reporting about the system failing within days of purchasing their new vehicles.

4. Insufficient Cooling

Another issue with the Acura RDX is that the engine can get pretty warm quickly.

High temperatures can cause issues such as quick degradation of vehicle components. This is an issue that is extremely common and comes just after the airbag issue.

Buyers have reported that their vehicle’s RPM would jump to the dangerous number of 4, after which it would stall.

This issue is fixable if the owner is willing to install a cold air intake. A cold air intake can improve the HP output of the RDX, so it is something one should consider.

It will allow for better engine cooling, thanks to the intake of dense air, and helps with engine performance. Regardless, this issue should not be taken lightly and should be fixed.

Related: Why Won’t My Acura RDX Start?

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What Year Did Acura RDX Have Transmission Problems?

Unfortunately, transmission problems are issues that have plagued some models of the Acura RDX. The model with the most reported issue was 2015 one.

Users complained about delays in shifting and an acceleration grind that is just not acceptable.

It does not end there! Buyers of the same model also reported that their car shook while being driven.

Related: What Are The Acura RDX Transmission Problems?

Q2. Which Is Better, RDX Or Highlander?

This answer solely depends on how the vehicle is being used. If you are looking for maximum comfort and ample interior space, the Highlander easily takes the lead over the competition.

When it comes to the engine and overall performance, the Acura RDX is on a whole other level. It does a better job at transmitting HP to the wheels.

Q3. Which Is Better Acura RDX Or MDX?

Honda is a great brand. Both Acura RDX and MDX are amazing cars.

However, when it comes to which is better, RDX is the one that stands out from the crowd because of its smaller size, sleek design, and better performance.

It is a beast on the road, and that is no denying it. The MDX has been mainly designed for families. Both are great options, but once again, the RDX pulls ahead.

Q4. Is The 2021 Acura RDX A Good Car?

Many people recommend the 2021 version of the vehicle. It has excellent performance and a comfortable and premium-looking interior and has the least amount of reliability issues.

There have been transmission issues, but the number of reports was so less that they are one-off scenarios. It is a fantastic option for people looking for a vehicle on this budget.

Q5. Is The Acura RDX Expensive To Maintain?

While the Acura RDX is certainly not the cheapest vehicle to purchase, it is good news for consumers that it is very affordable to maintain and easy to repair.

This means that you will be able to keep your Acura in good working order for years to come without having a significant impact on your budget.

Plus, it is pretty reliable, given that you have chosen the correct year for daily driving.

Q6. Should I Buy Acura RDX With 200000 Miles?

Although the usual answer is to avoid vehicles that have been driven for more than 150000 miles, in the case of the RDX, it is recommended to buy one with such mileage because it can be bought for considerably cheaper.

There have been no reports of engine failures even after this usage. There may be some small repairs, but considering the price tag, they are justified.

Related: How Long Do Acura RDX Last?

Q7. Are Used Acura RDX Reliable?

There are some important factors to consider when purchasing a used vehicle. Used car shoppers have many questions about the reliability of used Acura RDX models.

It is important to remember that the manufacturer’s warranty may have been expired and that there may be some maintenance costs involved in keeping the car running properly over time.

Still, used RDX models can be great options for buyers on a budget who need reliable transportation.

Q8. Can I Use Regular Gas In Acura RDX?

Acura RDX can run on regular gas, but you must be careful as the recommended grade is premium.

It will run worse on regular gas than other cars, so you will need to adjust your expectations when using it.

As regular gas has varying quality everywhere, it is recommended to use premium gas regularly as it will improve the performance and increase the engine’s overall lifespan.


The Honda Acura RDX is a brilliant option for families. It provides ample interior space and is one of the best options available from the manufacturer.

The vehicle’s performance has been consistent throughout the years, apart from a few years that had several issues.

As the article promise to name the best and worst years for Acura RDX, there are also six years that you should look into.

Those years have been listed above and should be avoided at all costs. All of them are pretty reliable, with the 2010 variant taking the overall lead models.

If you choose to buy it, you will have a fantastic experience!