2019 Acura RDX vs. 2018 BMW X3

2019 Acura RDX vs. 2018 BMW X3

With crossover SUVs dominating sales, it’s no surprise that more people are hunting for crossovers that offer more luxury features and performance compared to more budget-conscious models.

Two of the biggest nameplates in luxury crossover SUVs is the Acura RDX and the BMW X3. The recently released 2019 Acura RDX has been taking the car world by storm thanks to its fresh exterior redesign and incredible interior upgrade.

But how do these two SUVs compare? Here’s a look at the 2019 Acura RDX vs. 2018 BMW X3.


The 2019 Acura RDX marks the models third generation, featuring an all-new redesign to match the design language introduced in the 2017 Acura MDX and 2018 Acura TLX. The new model features the signature grille, sharp headlight and taillight design, and new body lines that give the RDX a sweeping side profile.

And with the introduction of the A-Spec package, RDX owners now have even more to love from the exterior, with large-tipped dual exhausts, blacked-out wheels, exclusive badges, and black trim that helps the RDX stand out.

The 2018 BMW X3 features a design scheme that BMW has yet to update in many years. While the design has evolved, its look still feels more box-like than other luxury SUVs. In order to receive more defining design elements, buyers have to upgrade to a higher-end trim of the X3, such as the M40i.
Unlike the standard X3 sDrive30i, the M40i features body color trim, large wheels, and low-profile tires that give the X3 a more sports car-like stance.

Interior and Technology

The 2019 RDX saw just as much of an upgrade on the inside as it did on the outside compared to the 2018 model. One of the most incredible changes is the panoramic moonroof that Acura made standard on all 2019 RDX models. This bold move gives the RDX a huge advantage over competitor models that not only require trim upgrades, but usually individual option upgrades to receive a feature like a panoramic moonroof.

In addition, the biggest change to the interior can be seen in the new infotainment system and interface. Now utilizing a single 10.2-inch ultrawide display, the 2019 RDX moves away from the two screen system seen in previous Acura models to move forward with its new True Touchpad interface that uses a mouse-like touchpad placed naturally where the driver’s wrist would rest to interact with the new infotainment system.

The 2019 RDX offers compatibility with Apple CarPlay on all models. Google is reportedly working on Android Auto integration with Acura’s True Touchpad Interface.

Like the RDX, the BMW X3 does offer a level of luxury unseen in traditional crossover SUVs. But unlike the RDX, the X3 requires a large number of upgrades in order to unlock many features that the RDX offers as standard.

For example, the X3 requires a $2,850 upgrade to the “Convenience Tier” in order to receive LED headlights and a Panoramic moonroof. Both of those features are of course standard on the RDX.

From there, the X3 does offer plenty of luxurious options. But again, they require further and further upgrades to unlock features the RDX offers on its entry-level packages. Building a 2018 BMW X3 with AWD, the price with the “Premium Tier,” which features navigation and a premium audio system, is $48,800 according to BMWUSA.com.

With similar features, the 2019 RDX with AWD and the Technology Package added is priced at $42,900*, according to Acura.com. That’s a $5,900 price difference in favor of the RDX!


On the performance side, the 2019 Acura RDX has changed just as much from the previous model as the exterior and interior. Utilizing an all-new 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, it boosts the RDX’s low-end torque performance by 40% to give the SUV a quicker start from a full stop. While the actual numbers aren’t much different from the 2018 mode’s V6 engine, the new RDX engine’s turbocharger is what is giving it such a great performance boost. The horsepower for the 2019 RDX is rated at 272 and the torque is rated at 280 lb-ft.

The 2019 RDX’s 2.0-liter turbocharged engine is the only engine offered for the model. All models also feature a new 10-speed automatic transmission that features a manual-shifting mode.

With the 2018 BMW X3, performance looks very similar to the RDX in its base model. The X3 comes standard with a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that features 248 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. On paper, that gives the RDX the advantage.

But for customers willing to spend a minimum of $54,500, the X3 does have a high performance trim: the M40i. This trim offers a turbocharged 3.0 inline-6 engine that boasts 355 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque.

Which is Right for You?

The value offered by the 2019 Acura RDX is hard to beat. With its all-new design, incredible standard features, and solid performance, buyers will find it difficult to justify the price difference between the 2019 Acura RDX vs. 2018 BMW X3.

While both vehicles offer similar features, your money go further in upgrades by choosing the RDX. There’s no configuration where the X3 can compete with the new RDX’s value. And that was clearly done intentionally by Acura to ensure that the RDX is at the top of every luxury SUV buyer’s shopping list.

*Prices shown are Acura suggested retail prices only and do not include taxes, license or destination and handling charge. Destination & Handling charge is $995 for sedans and $995 for SUVs. Acura vehicle accessory costs, labor and installation vary. Dealers set their own prices. Please consult your selected dealer.