To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the X1. But it costs extra on the RDX.
Both the X1 and the RDX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, front parking sensors, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and rearview cameras.
The X1’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the RDX’s (12 vs. 5 years).
BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X1 for 4 years and 50,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required 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 should you ever need service under the X1’s warranty.
The camshafts in the X1’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The RDX’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the RDX’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.
To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the X1 has a standard 150-amp alternator. The RDX’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 27 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 26th, below the industry average.
The X1’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 6 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 252) than the RDX’s 3.5 SOHC V6.
On the EPA test cycle the X1 gets better fuel mileage than the RDX AWD (22 city/32 hwy vs. 19 city/28 hwy).
Regenerative brakes improve the X1’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The RDX doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the X1’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The RDX doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
The X1’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 X1’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the RDX’s standard 60 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X1 offers optional 19-inch wheels. The RDX’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.
Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X1 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The RDX doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
The X1’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (56.4% to 43.6%) than the RDX’s (60% to 40%). This gives the X1 more stable handling and braking.
For better maneuverability, the X1’s turning circle is 1.5 feet tighter than the RDX’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.9 feet).
The X1 is 9.6 inches shorter than the RDX, making the X1 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The X1 has 3.3 inches more front headroom and 1.3 inches more rear headroom than the RDX.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the X1’s available rear seats recline. The RDX’s rear seats don’t recline.
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the X1’s available cargo door can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The RDX doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its cargo door, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
The X1 offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The RDX doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The power windows standard on both the X1 and the RDX have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the X1 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 X1’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.
The X1’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 standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.
To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the X1 offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The RDX doesn’t offer cornering lights. The X1 also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.
On extremely cold Winter days, the X1’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The RDX doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
The X1’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The RDX doesn’t offer an automated parking system.