2021 Honda Passport vs. 2021 Acura RDX

January 4th, 2021 by
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It’s a popularity contest — of the best kind! When it comes to the all-new Honda Passport and Acura RDX, there is much to compare — and contrast! Whether it comes down to style, performance, value or all of the above, take a moment to see how these popular models match up. Both boast the accolade of being the most popular SUVs on the market today. See which model is right for you!

acura v passport suvs Jay Honda near you

Style conscious

Based on the Pilot midsize 3-row SUV crossover, the new Passport is considered oh so rugged! Geared up for adventure and styled to fit that perfectly, the Passport is built with an athletic look all the way around and boasts tremendous off-road abilities. From gloss-black grille accents and LED foglights to roof rails that add style and support up to 165 pounds of gear, the Passport is truly equipped for every adventure. Large alloy 20-inch wheels give a powerful look from the ground up and dual exhaust finishes speak to the athleticism of the model.

In comparison, the 2021 Acura RDX boasts sharp, angular A-Spec styling, making this small premium SUV a favorite of many. With a glossy black exterior trim, including a unique rear spoiler, the RDX has a style all its own. Notable is a shield-shaped front grille with a Black Diamond design and color, as well as darker internal headlamps and taillights, giving it a meaner look.

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A peek inside

With seating for five adults, the spacious cabin of the Passport is perfect for all sorts of adventures and road trips. It is also luxurious with a leather-trimmed interior found on both the seats and steering wheel. Boasting comfort at any time of the year, the Passport comes equipped with heated and ventilated seats. There is 50 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the second row and over 100 cubic feet with the second row folded down. A center console is multi-functional with a convenient sliding cover and enough space to fit your tablet as well as a USB port to charge it. Illuminated beverage holders add a special touch.

The 2021 Passport also includes a newly standard 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

Inside the RDX cabin are standard features that are desirable. Those include ambient lighting, power-adjustable, heated front seats and dual-zone climate controls. A floating center console is found within as well as a large rotary drive-mode selector. An A-Spec package boasts flashy red seats with several other exclusive styling touches. Considered not as luxurious inside as the Passport, the RDX does boast a driving position that is high enough to satisfy SUV fans and flexible enough to support the needs of driving enthusiasts.

A 10.2-inch touchscreen is placed high on the dashboard and can be operated via a touchpad on the center console.

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Power packed

The 2021 Passport has a 3.5-liter V6 engine that develops 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard in all but the Passport’s swankiest Elite trim. With the optional towing package, all-wheel-drive Passports can tow up to 5,000 pounds. In either case, the transmission is a 9-speed automatic.

In the area of fuel economy, the Passport is estimated to achieve 20 miles per gallon in the city, 25 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg in combined driving.

By comparison, the RDX offers a 272-HP turbocharged 2.0-liter engine and available Super Handling All-Wheel Drive. Considered the most sophisticated SH-AWD system yet, the torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system delivers more accurate handling for all road conditions. Transmission is 10-speed and the RDX has a 1,500 pound towing capacity. The RDX is competitive when it comes to fuel economy, with the front-drive model getting slightly higher city and highway estimates than the all-wheel-drive drive one. The former is rated at 22 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. Both of those numbers drop by 1 mpg with the all-wheel-drive model.

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Cost comparison/safety

Both the Passport and RDX are fairly close when it comes down to price. The MSRP for the Passport is at $38,610 while the Acura is close behind at $38,200.

The Passport earned a five-star crash-test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and was named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway safety. It boasts a host of driver-assistance technology and key safety features that include standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking, standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist and standard adaptive cruise control.

Similarly, the 2021 RDX earned a five-star crash-test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the last version a Top Safety Pick. Every RDX model includes a wide array of standard driver-assistance technology, but several other assists are available with the Technology Package. Those include front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, and rear-cross-traffic alert. Other key safety features include standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking, standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist as well as standard adaptive cruise control.

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Warranty provisions

Honda provides a very competitive limited warranty but lacks complimentary scheduled maintenance. A limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles and a powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles.

The RDX boasts a warranty plan that aligns with its luxury competitors. A limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles and a powertrain warranty covers six years or 70,000 miles. There is also no complimentary scheduled maintenance, same as the Passport.

Both of these vehicles are reliable, a popular choice of consumers and make for an enjoyable driving experience overall. But take a moment to compare and see how these top SUVs match up!

*Based on EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on driving conditions, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, battery-pack age/condition, and other factors.

*MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealers set own prices.

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