Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2010 BMW X3 VS 2010 Acura RDX Near Phoenix, AZ

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2010 BMW X3

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VS

2010 Acura RDX

Safety Comparison

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To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All Wheel Drive is standard on the X3. But it costs extra on the RDX.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the X3’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The RDX doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The X3 offers optional Park Distance Control to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The RDX doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The X3 offers optional BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The RDX doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies.

Both the X3 and the RDX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

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The X3’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the RDX’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X3 for 4 years and 50,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, tire rotation, lubrication and any other scheduled maintenance. Acura doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the RDX.

There are over 28 percent more BMW dealers than there are Acura dealers, which makes it easier to get service under the X3’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the X3 has a standard 150 amp alternator. The RDX’s 105 amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the X3 has a standard 570 amp battery. The RDX’s 440 amp battery isn’t as powerful.

The battery on the X3 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures which can degrade battery life. By keeping the X3’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The RDX’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

Engine Comparison

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The X3’s 3.0 DOHC 6 cyl. produces 20 more horsepower (260 vs. 240) than the RDX’s 2.3 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the BMW X3 is faster than the Acura RDX (automatics tested):

X3

RDX

Zero to 30 MPH

2.2 sec

2.5 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7 sec

7.3 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

11.9 sec

12.6 sec

Quarter Mile

15.3 sec

15.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90 MPH

88.9 MPH

For more instantaneous acceleration and better engine flexibility in any gear, the X3’s engine produces its peak torque at lower RPM’s than the RDX (2750 vs. 4500).

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the X3 Auto gets better fuel mileage than the RDX SH-AWD™ (17 city/24 hwy vs. 17 city/22 hwy).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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For better stopping power the X3’s brake rotors are larger than those on the RDX:

X3

RDX

Front Rotors

12.8 inches

11.7 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

12 inches

The X3’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the RDX are solid, not vented.

The X3 stops much shorter than the RDX:

X3

RDX

70 to 0 MPH

157 feet

178 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

126 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

140 feet

145 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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The X3’s optional 235/45R19 front and 255/40R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series front and 40 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the RDX’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X3 offers optional 19 inch wheels. The RDX’s largest wheels are only 18 inches.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The X3 has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The RDX’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X3’s wheelbase is 5.8 inches longer than on the RDX (110.1 inches vs. 104.3 inches).

The X3’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.8% to 49.2%) than the RDX’s (57% to 43%). This gives the X3 more stable handling and braking.

The X3 handles at .88 G’s, while the RDX SH-AWD™ pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the X3’s turning circle is .8 feet tighter than the RDX’s (38.4 feet vs. 39.2 feet).

For greater off-road capability the X3 has a 1.7 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the RDX (8 vs. 6.3 inches), allowing the X3 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis Comparison

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As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the X3 xDrive 30i is quieter than the RDX SH-AWD™:

X3

RDX

At idle

40 dB

44 dB

Full-Throttle

71 dB

74 dB

70 MPH Cruising

67 dB

69 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

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The X3 has .6 inches more front headroom and 1.1 inches more rear headroom than the RDX.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The X3 has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the RDX with its rear seat up (30 vs. 27.8 cubic feet). The X3 has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the RDX with its rear seat folded (71 vs. 60.6 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the X3 easier. The X3’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 27.5 inches, while the RDX’s liftover is 29 inches.

Ergonomics Comparison

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The power windows standard on both the X3 and the RDX have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the X3 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The RDX prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The X3’s front and rear power windows all lower with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The RDX’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open them fully.

If the windows are left down on the X3 the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the RDX can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The X3’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The RDX’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the X3 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The RDX doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The X3 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The RDX doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the X3 offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The RDX doesn’t offer cornering lights. The X3 also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The X3’s standard power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The RDX’s standard power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

The X3 offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The RDX has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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Insurance will cost less for the X3 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the X3 will cost $266 to $514 less than the RDX over a five-year period.

The X3 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. Kiplinger’s estimates that the X3 will retain 62% of its original price after two years, while the RDX only retains 58%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the X3 is less expensive to operate than the RDX because it costs $480 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the X3 than the RDX, including $34 less for a starter, $11 less for a fuel pump and $301 less for a power steering pump.

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