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2022 Honda CR-V vs Acura RDX

2022 Honda CR-V vs Acura RDX

2022 CR-V vs RDX - How Do They Stack Up? Which is Better?

Are you in the market for a brand new small SUV this year? If so, you might be considering both the 2022 Honda CR-V and its luxury-segment cousin, the 2022 Acura RDX. For those who don't know, Acura is actually a part of the Honda group, essentially functioning as Honda's line of luxury vehicles. When you hear Acura, think of an even more luxurious version of the Honda counterpart. That's basically the impression you will get when comparing the CR-V and RDX.

Both of these vehicles have their own unique traits, and the price tags are certainly different. In fact, it will likely boil down to affordability when trying to choose between the CR-V and RDX. The 2022 Honda CR-V might be one of the oldest small SUVs in terms of design (as it is part of a generation that debuted in 2017), but it still has a fresh feel to it. You even get standard all-wheel drive (AWD) on the line-topping Touring trim level.

Of course, the new RDX has some changes worth noting, starting with some minor styling revisions to the body. There are a few new driver aids and infotainment technology features, plus the adaptive suspension and drive modes have been re-tuned for enhanced performance. There is also less road noise than before thanks to improved insulation techniques.

There are some downsides to each of these vehicles though. The RDX only gives you one powertrain, and all of the optional features get bundled into expensive packages. On top of that, the touchpad controller can be difficult to use if you've never used one before. The CR-V has the same issue with its touchscreen display, and you will have to settle for a below-average maximum towing capacity.

So, which of these two small SUVs will best suit your lifestyle needs? Let's find out.

The Powertrain

Time to kick things off, and there's no better way to start than by discussing powertrain options. As mentioned above, the RDX only gives you one powertrain combination, as does the CR-V. Is one of these powertrains better than the other?

The 2022 Honda CR-V receives its power from a standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine that is able to generate a power output of 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque. This engine gets matched up to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), and front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard on every trim save for the Touring, on which AWD is equipped. AWD is available as an option for the lower trim levels though.

Compared to other base engines in this segment, the CR-V's turbo engine is snappy on power delivery, getting this vehicle from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 8.2 seconds. As fall as small SUVs go, that is a respectable time. It isn't exciting, but it isn't sluggish. Honda shows how well they have refined their CVTs. CVTs aren't usually that great at delivering smooth shifts between gears and are more economy-oriented than anything. While the latter is certainly true for this CVT, it does actually shift quite smoothly and gets power to the wheels promptly.

Steering and handling feel quite secure, making the CR-V a standout, well-rounded daily driver. Body roll remains under control while steering feels connected and accurate as you maneuver the wheel.

When equipped with AWD, the EPA estimates that the CR-V should get about 29 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving. FWD models should get 30 mpg combined. The CR-V is sensitive to driving styles, so your real-world numbers could vary a bit. You might find yourself getting closer to 35 mpg or as low as 28 mpg combined.

The 2022 Acura RDX is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that generates a power output of 272 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. This engine gets matched up to a 10-speed automatic transmission. FWD is standard issue for most trim levels while AWD (which Acura actually refers to as SH-AWD) is an option for the base RDX trim level and Technology packages. Going with one of the Advance packages or the PMC Edition will give you standard SH-AWD.

This powertrain can get the RDX from 0 to 60 mph in 7 seconds flat, which is just okay for this segment. The brakes feel solid, and SH-AWD gives you maximum stability, inspiring confidence while rounding through tight turns. With its light weight and accuracy, the steering has a just-right feel to it, making it an easy-going vehicle to drive.

Fuel economy is where the RDX slips up. The FWD configuration is EPA rated for a combined 24 mpg, and the SH-AWD models are rated for 23 mpg combined. This puts the RDX below some of its top rivals, including the BMW X3 and Audi Q5. And it certainly does not fare as well as the CR-V does. Also, the RDX requires premium fuel where the CR-V does not. Real-world driving tests reveal that the RDX receives more like 20 mpg combined, which is even worse than the mediocre EPA ratings.

Drivability

What does it mean for a vehicle to exhibit drivability? This is a term we use to describe a vehicle's overall capabilities as a daily driver. Is it comfortable? Spacious? Designed for utility? High-tech? All of these factors come into play when we talk about drivability.

So, how drivable is the 2022 Honda CR-V? It ranks up there high on the list, that is for sure. Its suspension is capable of smoothing out any type of bump you come across in the road surface. While the ride quality is not quite as plush as it is in other vehicles in this segment, the sportier handling makes for a reasonable trade-off. If you get the leather upholstery, it will feel breathable on warm summer days. The front seats offer plenty of lateral and thigh support, but lumbar support could be better, which might not be ideal for people with lower back pain. Climate control is easy to use and distributes air evenly throughout the cabin, and while there is some road noise constantly present, the cabin remains otherwise well muted.

Overall, the interior is attractive to behold. The cabin is spacious fore and aft, and the controls are easy to use and placed well within the driver's reach. The slender roof pillars lend to excellent outward visibility, and even though the rear window is a tad on the short side, the multi-angle rear-view mirror and optional blind spot monitoring system will help you get a good idea of what is behind your vehicle. They can certainly help you back out of a tight parking spot.

Placed at eye-level on the dash, the CR-V's infotainment touchscreen display is straightforward and quickly responds to the inputs you give it on the screen. The optional navigation system's graphics tend to look a bit outdated, but the map features work really well regardless. The bigger 9-inch touchscreen gives you great visuals, but the 7-inch display looks decent enough. Smartphone app integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard, and on the Touring trim level, you get a wireless connection for them, eliminating the need for a bunch of cords. USB cords do improve the connection speeds though. Some of the on-screen prompts can be a little difficult to use, so they take time to learn.

Storage space is a major plus on the CR-V, as its 39.2 feet of cargo space behind the rear seats is one of the most sizable in this segment. Folding the rear seats down maxes that space out to 75.8 cubes. There are plenty of small item storage areas with deep bins and door pockets, plus there is a sliding tray on the armrest that can cover your valuables. Unfortunately, the CR-V can only tow 1,500 pounds, which is 2,000 pounds below the average for this segment.

How does the 2022 Acura RDX hold up against its corporate cousin? Pretty well, actually. The supportive front seats will keep you locked in place while rounding through turns, and their heating and ventilation functions do a thorough job of keeping you warmed or cooled. The suspension is able to smooth out most bumps, making the potholes you might roll over feel quite tolerable. Also, you won't get much noise inside of the cabin, even at highway speeds. Although the front air vents are aimed right at the driver's hands, the air flow from the climate control system itself is strong.

There are some controls that might leave you feeling flustered. You might not like how the small climate control buttons, touchpad controller, and shifter are all set up. The roof pillars up front are rather bulky, and the power-operated hatch hinges limit rear outward visibility. You will have to rely on the equipped multi-angle rear-view camera and blind spot monitoring system for better visibility around the RDX. You do at least get a lot of space inside of the cabin, and the driver's seat is highly adjustable for finding a comfortable driving position.

The touchpad-style infotainment system is definitely meant for those who like their technology. The audio system is no joke either; it emits crystal clear sound and is easy to use. Wireless smartphone app integration is standard issue and is easier to use than some of the native tech features.

With 31.1 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, you get a good amount of cargo space to work with. The multi-tiered center console gives you a lot of options for how you store your small valuables. If you have small children, take comfort in the fact that the LATCH system is easy to access, and car seats can fit in the rear without any hassle.

Safety

Honda clearly takes safety very seriously and goes all-out on equipping its vehicles with all the latest and greatest in terms of safety designs and driver aids. On the 2022 CR-V, the base LX trim level is outfitted with automatic high beam headlights, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and lane keep assist. The EX trim adds a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert. These systems are quite handy, although the collision warning does sometimes issue alerts when you are simply driving in dense traffic.

The 2022 Acura RDX is outfitted with quite a few driver aids as well. Adaptive cruise control, frontal collision warning, lane keep assist, and blind-spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert are equipped on each trim level. Front and rear parking sensors are added to the Technology trim, and the Advance gets a surround-view camera to help you see all around the outside of the vehicle with its top-down, 360-degree vantagepoint.

Which Has the Best Value?

In terms of value, both the CR-V and RDX hold a lot of it in their own respective segments. The CR-V's build quality is superb, and the panels and interior components all fit together well, and the leather on the higher trim levels comes off as being high-end. Warranty coverage is industry average, but you do get roadside assistance throughout the duration of the limited warranty coverage.

The 2022 Acura RDX packs in some value, especially with how many driver aids get made standard. Compared to a lot of its rivals (who bundle these types of features together into expensive optional packages), the RDX is a more cost-effective solution to buying a luxury SUV. Its build quality is superb, just like the CR-V's. Its design ergonomics and materials used throughout the interior are high quality. The only real downside is that the engine isn't all that powerful and sips too heavily on fuel.

Which is Better?

The 2022 Honda CR-V and 2022 Acura RDX are cut from the same mold, and that is definitely not a bad thing. They are both capable and well crafted. What your decision will ultimately boil down to is the cost. Quite honestly, the CR-V is just as good of a vehicle as the RDX, if not better. It gets a superior fuel economy while not coming off as being under-powered for its segment. Going for one of the higher trim levels can even leave you feeling like your CR-V is borderline luxury.

View Comparisons for other Years:

2021 Honda CR-V VS Acura RDX
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