Finding a new vehicle once my lease was up on my SUV, I knew I wanted to upgrade to a luxury SUV. But I wasn’t sure what would best suit my lifestyle and budget. While some people see their vehicles as a status symbol, I don’t. Yes, I love nice things, but I am far from being flashy. As long as the car looks nice, is safe and reliable, and affordable, I am all in. With a new baby, I needed a vehicle that would be practical for my day-to-day life as a working mom with two kids. I also wanted something that spoke to the essence of who I am, too! Of course, I had a laundry list of must-haves that my new vehicle needed, which in most cases can increase the cost of the vehicle. Thankfully, I found and fell in love with the 2021 Acura RDX SH-AWD with Tech.
Related: Why Do People Buy Luxury SUVs? The Acura RDX Answers That Question
What Sold Me on The 2021 Acura RDX SH-AWD with Tech?
Acura is touted as one of the most affordable luxury vehicle brands because its base models offer a lot in terms of standard features. My must-haves included a Panoramic moonroof, 360-view backup camera (or just a backup camera), heated front seats, blind-spot monitoring, and remote start. The good news for my pockets and me is that the majority of these things were standard. And if I were to consider another luxury SUV, I would be paying a lot more than I would have liked.
These are standard features in the Acura RDX:
- Immobilizer Theft-Deterrent System
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System
- Leather-trimmed sport seats
- 12-way power front seats
- Driver Recognition Memory System (two settings)
- Heated front seats
- Multi-view Rear Camera
- Apple CarPlay
- Sirius XM Satellite Radio
- Panoramic Moonroof with Tilt & Slide Feature
- Power Tailgate
- Heated Power Door Mirrors with Turn Indicators
- Keyless Access System with Smart Entry
Safety & Reliability
The 2021 Acura RDX has an overall Five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. While the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IHI) awarded the RDX a “Top Safety Pick+” rating.
While I no longer need to install two car seats, I am comforted that I do have the option to use the two complete sets of LATCH connectors located in the rear outboard seats. I have the baby’s seat installed in the left outboard seat, while my oldest sits behind the driver. There’s also a tether anchor for the rear middle seat should you need to install a third seat or use a safety harness. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Acura RDX LATCH system the highest rating of Good+ for its ease of use. The “+” indicates that the system is among the easiest and most versatile to use.
As a mom, having places to store things our children need is extremely important. The Acura RDX, although smaller than my previous vehicle does offer above-average storage in comparison to other vehicles in its class.
The RDX has a maximum of 79.8 cubic feet. There are 29.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat. If you fold down the rear seats, the cargo capacity increases to 58.9 cubic feet. You’re probably wondering where the other 20 cubic feet of cargo space is in the 2021 Acura RDX, right? The RDX has rear cargo underfloor storage. I love this! I can use this area to hide valuables or car maintenance tools.
It’s a Headturner
Looks matter to me. The sporty exterior of the Acura RDX caught my eye. The brand’s signature Diamond Pentagon Grille flanked by Jewel Eye headlights adds a bit of flare. It’s all-around a great-looking vehicle that is perfect for car rides to school, date nights, or work commutes.
What You Should Know About the 2021 Acura RDX?
The Acura RDX comes with the following warranties:
- 6 year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty
- 4 year/50,000-mile limited vehicle warranty
In the NorthEast, it’s important to have a vehicle that is suitable for cold winter conditions. Having a vehicle that you’re able to remotely start to ensure when you enter it, it’s nice and toasty is a must. The 2021 Acura RDX can do this via the AcuraLink app. It’s a feature Acura provides for free for the first 6-months, and then it’s $110 a year. You’re probably wondering why not just buy the keyfob, right? For me, since I leased this vehicle, it was the least expensive option over the three-year period I’d own it. The key fob with remote start is $600, which is double the cost of me paying for the feature on the app. Of course, if you plan on financing the vehicle to own, your best bet is to pay the $600 for the fob with remote start.
Furthermore, the AcuraLink has additional features which I love, such as:
- Remote Start & Stop
- Remote Lock & Unlock
- Vehicle health (oil life, tire pressure, fuel range,)
- Service scheduling
- Roadside assistance
- Parental controls
- Geofencing – allows you to receive a notification anytime your car enters or leaves a region set by you.
- Speed alerts – allows you to receive a notification when your vehicle has exceeded a speed limit set by you.
- Stolen Vehicle locator – in the event of a stolen vehicle, your car will help local authorities recover it.
- Security alarm alert
The RDX has a touchpad interface that has a steep learning curve. I’m nine months into owning my RDX, and I’m still adjusting to using this feature. I will admit, it isn’t my favorite. I prefer a touchscreen.
Button-Controlled Electronic Gear Shift
My previous vehicles had standard gear shifts. As you can imagine, switching over to electronic gear shifters took some getting used to. Many times I caught myself reaching for a gear shifter that was not there. But now, I can’t imagine my car with it. I love that it provides unobstructed use of the Touchpad Interface while comfortable resting my wrist on the padded wrist rest.
Acura offers just one powertrain for the 2021 RDX: a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that generates 272 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 280 lb.-ft. of torque from. The powertrain capabilities can be adjusted using the oversized Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) knob in the middle of the dashboard. It’s one of my favorite features. Driving mode selections include Comfort, Sport, Sport+, and Snow. These mode selections adjust the engine, engine note, transmission, and steering.
Who is the 2021 Acura RDX Made For?
For reference, I am a mom in my mid-thirties. I work full-time and have two children. I enjoy luxury, but I am also conscious of my budget. The 2021 Acura RDX was perfect for me, as it checked off many of the must-haves I needed in a luxury vehicle, without having to compromise my budget. Plus, it also has an amazing reliability rating – 4.5/5. That said, the Acura RDX is perfect for
- Young couples
- Young professionals,
- Small families with two or fewer kids
The Acura RDX can comfortably accommodate two child seats in the rear. The rear seat is also comfortable for adults, so this is a perfect car for a double date, an adult’s night out, or transporting clients in style. It also offers a more athletic ride than most of its competitors.
Acura RDX Competitors: Audi Q5, BMW X3, Cadillac XT4, Infiniti QX50, Jaguar F-Pace, Land Rover Discovery Sport, Lexus NX, Lincoln MKX, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Porsche Macan, Volvo XC60.
What is the cost of the 2021 Acura RDX SH-AWD with Technology Package?
I don’t know about you, but for me, the cost of the vehicle matters. Let’s get into the cost of the 2021 Acura RDX SH-AWD. For starters, you would think that due to its long list of standard safety and technology features it is one of the most affordable luxury compact SUV options in its class. The Acura RDX is available in only one powertrain, with a starting price of $38,400. But the price can increase to over $50,000 based on the various available packages: Technology, A-Spec, Advance, and A-Spec Advance. However, it’s still affordable when compared to other luxury SUVs.
- Premium leather interior
- Acura Navigation System with voice recognition
- Blind Spot Information
- Rear Cross Traffic Monitor
- Acura ELS Studio Premium Audio System with 12 speakers
- Front & Rear Parking Sensors
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Collision Mitigation Braking
- Forward Collision Warning
- Lane Departure Warning
- Lane Keeping Assist System
- Road Departure Mitigation
Affordable Luxury in the 2021 Acura RDX
The 2021 Acura RDX is proof that a luxury SUV doesn’t have to cost you your second-born child. Knowing the struggles I went through to get my second baby, I’m not willing to pay that price in exchange for a car! Although it is one of the least expensive models in its class, it comes with more standard features than base versions of its competitors. The cabin is trimmed in high-quality materials. Ride and seat comfort is excellent. It’s also quite fun to drive. Even though I am a mom, I still enjoy a fun-to-drive vehicle. The Acura RDX has checked off all the boxes of what my first luxury vehicle should be, and I believe it will impress you too.