The Lexus RX vs. The Acura MDX

The Lexus RX 350 and Acura MDX are often times key competitors that are often cross-shopped by consumers.  Here are a few key components that make the Lexus RX a superior choice.



 New Car Inventory at Peterson Lexus of Boise



Lexus Insider compiled some background on the Acura MDX vs. Lexus RX that we’d like to share:


The MDX is a bigger, bulkier vehicle that may be harder to park and maneuver in tight spaces.

The MDX is nearly half a foot longer and three inches wider than the RX—which can mean the difference between swinging into a parking spot on the first try or having to make several attempts. Three inches can make opening the door in a tight garage much easier—and, in some cases, half a foot can mean the difference between closing the garage door or clipping the back bumper. In short, the Lexus RX is the right size for the type of driving most people do on a daily basis.

The MDX boasts 7-passenger seating, but the 3rd-row seating has surprisingly limited legroom.

With the 2nd-row seat in its normal position, the 3rd-row seating only has 28.1 inches of legroom—by comparison, the Honda Civic Coupe has 30.8 inches of rear leg room, and that’s a two-door compact. The MDX’s 2nd-row seat can be slid forward to make room for 3rd-row passengers, but then 2nd-row passengers will be cramped. Factor in very limited head and hip room, and you have a seat with equally limited usefulness.

With the Acura’s 3rd-row seat up and occupied by passengers, the MDX has very limited cargo space.

Cargo space is a major consideration with any SUV and although the MDX has ample room behind the 1st- and 2nd-row seats, there is only 14.8 cubic feet behind the 3rd-row seat. And that means the MDX can hold five adults and two children, but it certainly can’t hold seven passengers and their luggage—which makes that 3rd-row seat something of a novelty rather than a fully useful family-size feature.

MDX has no model like RX F SPORT, leaving younger, performance-oriented drivers with no choice.

Acura strives to make the MDX feel sporty and responsive—but there is no dedicated sport model. This means the MDX has to walk a fine line between luxury and performance. With RX, the standard model is oriented toward comfort and luxury—catering to a guest who prizes refinement. And with the RX F SPORT, the suspension, drivetrain, black interior accents, mesh grille and 19-inch wheels have all been tailored for performance and a bold look—catering to the younger buyer who wants responsiveness and style, first. With the RX model lineup, the guest can choose a vehicle that’s built for their preference.

Despite being a more compact and maneuverable size, the RX has more front and rear legroom.

The MDX is considerably longer than the RX, with a longer wheelbase. Yet the RX provides more legroom for the person who spends the most time in the vehicle—the driver. Next up are the front passenger and rear passengers, and here again the Lexus has more legroom. Granted, the MDX has a 2nd-row seat that will slide back for additional legroom, but that renders the 3rd-row seating nearly useless. Because the MDX has to squeeze three rows of seats into a vehicle classified as mid-size, there are bound to be compromises, and legroom appears to be a necessary compromise for the MDX.

The RX is equipped with 10 standard airbags; the MDX comes standard with seven standard airbags.

The MDX has driver and front-passenger airbags, driver and front-passenger seat-mounted side airbags, a driver knee airbag, and front and rear side curtain airbags. The RX matches the MDX on all seven, but Lexus goes further and adds a front-passenger knee airbag, along with seat-mounted side airbags for the rear passengers. It’s all a matter of confidence, coupled with an elevated sense of wellbeing.

RX is supported by an award-winning network of dealers; Acura dealers lack this reputation for excellence.

In the same way the RX has an excellent track record, Lexus dealers have an established track record for service and vehicle support. Sales, maintenance, guest services and after-sale support are all strong suits for the Lexus network. The guest need only look at the facility that sells and services the vehicle—when compared to an Acura store, it may be that the Lexus dealer better reflects the quality of the vehicle.

The RX has good outward vision for driver and passengers; MDX has a very significant rear blind spot.

When the driver looks over his or her shoulder in the MDX, they will find that the rear roof pillar creates a truly massive blind spot. When backing up or changing lanes, this blind spot can be a true nuisance for maneuvering. Although the Acura has many modern safety features, like backup camera and blind spot monitoring, there is no substitute for the driver’s line of sight. And here, the Lexus provides the driver with a better view and more confidence.


2014 Lexus RX Inventory


The Best-Selling Lexus RX

  • Standard Smart Access Keyless Entry and Start
  • Leads class in front legroom
  • 10 airbag system, power rear door and auto-dimming mirrors come standard
  • Only SUV in its class to offer 40/20/40 multi-split folding rear seats


Acura MDX

  • Requires premium grade fuel
  • No rear-side airbags and no passengar knee airbag
  • Shorter Corrosion Warranty by 24 months
  • Much smaller cargo volume
  • Base MDX + $3,000 over base RX



Interior and Exterior shots of the Lexus RX:

photo source:

source cited:  Lexus Insider

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