Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2021 Acura RDX VS 2021 Jeep Grand Near Phoenix, AZ

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2021 Acura RDX

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VS

2021 Jeep Grand

Safety Comparison

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The RDX Advance has a standard Surround-View Camera System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Grand Cherokee only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the RDX and the Grand Cherokee have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Acura RDX is safer than the Grand Cherokee:

RDX

Grand Cherokee

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

78

172

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

5 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Femur Force R/L

.6/.3 kN

4.9/2.3 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

3%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Tibia index R/L

.41/.36

1.06/.54

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its standard headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the RDX its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2020, a rating granted to only 35 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Grand Cherokee is not even a standard “Top Pick.”

Warranty Comparison

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The RDX comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Grand Cherokee’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the RDX 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Jeep covers the Grand Cherokee. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Grand Cherokee ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

Reliability Comparison

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For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the RDX has an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the 5.7 V8 in the Grand Cherokee.

Engine Comparison

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The RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 20 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 260) than the Grand Cherokee’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Acura RDX is faster than the Jeep Grand Cherokee:

RDX

Grand Cherokee V6

Grand Cherokee V8

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

7.7 sec

6.6 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

15.8 sec

14.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94.7 MPH

88.4 MPH

92.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the RDX gets better fuel mileage than the Grand Cherokee:

MPG

RDX

2WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

A-Spec 2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

4WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/27 hwy

A-Spec 2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/26 hwy

Grand Cherokee

2WD

3.6 DOHC 6 cyl

19 city/26 hwy

4WD

3.6 DOHC 6 cyl

18 city/25 hwy

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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The RDX’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Grand Cherokee’s standard 60 series tires. The RDX A-Spec’s tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Grand Cherokee’s optional 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the RDX has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Grand Cherokee.

The RDX has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The RDX offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Grand Cherokee’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The RDX A-Spec AWD handles at .81 G’s, while the Grand Cherokee Summit 4x4 pulls only .72 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The RDX AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.6 seconds quicker than the Grand Cherokee Summit 4x4 (27.2 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.8 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

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The Acura RDX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 750 to 1200 pounds less than the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The RDX is 3 inches shorter than the Grand Cherokee, making the RDX easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the RDX has an electronically controlled liquid-filled main engine mount. A computer-controlled electric current in the liquid changes its viscosity, allowing the mount to dampen the engine completely at all RPMs. The Grand Cherokee uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

Passenger Space Comparison

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The RDX has 1.3 inches more front legroom and 1 inch more front shoulder room than the Grand Cherokee.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The RDX has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Grand Cherokee with its rear seat folded (79.8 vs. 68.3 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the RDX’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the RDX Advance’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics Comparison

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The RDX Advance has a standard heads-up display that 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 Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The RDX’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Grand Cherokee’s parking brake has to released manually.

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

If the windows are left open on the RDX the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Grand Cherokee can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The RDX’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Grand Cherokee’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The RDX’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Grand Cherokee’s headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Poor.”

Economic Advantages Comparison

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Insurance will cost less for the RDX owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the RDX will cost $395 to $1665 less than the Grand Cherokee over a five-year period.

The RDX will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the RDX will retain 51.11% to 51.6% of its original price after five years, while the Grand Cherokee only retains 46.04% to 49.49%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the RDX is less expensive to operate than the Grand Cherokee because typical repairs cost much less on the RDX than the Grand Cherokee, including $328 less for a muffler and $616 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations Comparison

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The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Acura RDX, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels.

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