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Acura RDX Fuel Efficiency Concerns

I started looking at the RDX in mid-August. I fell in love with it. I drove it a week later and was basically sold on the car. My fiance and I put a deposit down on the car and now we have just been waiting for our Acura dealer to locate the type we want. The other night we started reading all of the posts about the fuel efficiency and we are horrified. We went from being 99% sure we were going to buy the car to about 80% sure we are not going to buy the car. Can I get some feedback on the fuel efficiency? Who thinks that the 13 MPG that a lot of people have been getting is the norm rather than a few exceptions? For those of there out there who are thinking about buying the car, how much is this a factor for you?


  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    There aren't a lot of people claiming to get 13 mpg. If magazines that seem to be pushing the vehicles to explore its limit are doing better than people driving on a daily basis, there is something wrong. Motorweek observed an overall 21 mpg, which isn't too bad, probably what I would expect.

    If you're wary of mileage, but love the vehicle, I suggest waiting a little and look for more people and real world mileage rather than basing it all on couple of posters comments and a few leadfooted road tests.
  • Nice feature on the RDX that when you reset the trip odometer, it resets the average mileage. I reset mine tonight before I picked my son from the airport and home in my non-tech with 1300 miles.

    Trip was 8 miles on secondary roads at 50 mph with two stops then 21 miles of interstate, changing highways twice and trying to maintain 70 mph. Total trip was 58.1 miles and the computer showed 24.9 mpg.

    Same trip in my 2001 RX300 would have given me 19.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I share your concern (though I have not gone to the added stress of putting a deposit down). We have gotten good and bad mileage reports, for instance the good report from cwatt998 (albeit relevant to a specific type of road trip). Unfortuntely, none of the reports will guarantee how the RDX will do for you and your driving style. Since there is a wide spread to the data, I feel like it is still a gamble.

    I do not want to dismiss the low MPG numbers from the car magazines simply because they drive the vehicle hard. Other vehicles do OK under the same driving conditions, so it's not a good excuse for the RDX's mileage dropping 30-40% below the city rating. I think that's just too low to be explained by spirited driving. I have a similar engined/powered vehicle rated 19/24 and I have never been able to drop the MPG below 18mpg even when doing mountain driving with 4 people in the car and all their gear, during a snowstorm no less!

    You asked how much of a factor the uncertain MPG is to me, and I will tell you that it has me sitting on the fence about the RDX (and also has caused more interest in the upcoming 07 Honda CR-V). It's also made me think the typical 20-22MPG I get on my Outback XT is maybe not so bad afterall! I love the concept of the RDX, and aside from a few minor complaints it would appear to be a great vehicle for me and my wife. But there is no way I am going to change to a vehicle that has questionable gas mileage at this point. It's too important of a factor for me.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I do not want to dismiss the low MPG numbers from the car magazines simply because they drive the vehicle hard. Other vehicles do OK under the same driving conditions, so it's not a good excuse for the RDX's mileage dropping 30-40% below the city rating.

    You're assuming same driving conditions. Some cars are pushed harder than others, more so if you're curious to figure out and curious to explore the limits. How do you think Motorweek obtained 21 mpg?
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    No comparision will ever be perfect, but I don't think you should keep making excuses for the RDX -- people are concerned about the mileage reports and those concerns should not be downplayed. Even if you question the raw numbers, there is no disputing that MPG data is all over the place, and not exaclty confidence inspiring.

    BTW, Edmunds got 11mpg in their review...
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Its not about making excuses. Its about being fair and realistic. Something Edmunds does mention is their leadfootedness. Wouldn't it be fair to consider that aspect?
  • >>Something Edmunds does mention is their leadfootedness. Wouldn't it be fair to consider that aspect?<<

    Umm.. yes.

    Read the reviews posted by owners like me. I'm averaging 20mpg in mixed driving. To get 11mpg you'd have to HAMMER the car and drive around San Francisco's hills after sitting in urban traffic all day. That's ridiculous.

    I shared some of these concerns. After a week and 400 mi with the car I couldn't be happier. GREAT vehicle. And 20mpg for a 3900 lb SUV that goes 0-60 in 7 secs. is actually outstanding. Do the research. Other SUV's and AWD wagons are generally worse - and most of them are slower.
  • idridr Posts: 4
    We've had an RDX for about 1 month with 2300 miles so far. Btw city 30% and hwy 70% I get about 14 to 15 mpg. I don't know how others are getting 20 mpg. I'm not very hard on the gas pedal and I'm not rushing from point a to point b. If I knew how low my gas mpg would be, I'd probably would've chosen an X3 instead.

    I'm also bring it in for a problem already. During a complete stop, my car does not accelerate smoothly b/c the turbo kicks in either too early or too much all at once and you get a thrust rather than a smooth acceleration.

    Once the car gets going, it runs rather well.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    You might want to contact Acura or report mileage as an issue. It doesn't seem normal, given that even automags that always flog vehicles have achieved better mileage than you.
  • mdrdxmdrdx Posts: 2
    i got my rdx for almost 2 months and put 2700 miles on it. my daily driving consists of 30% city and 70% hwy ;) . its mgp is as expected, around 21 mpg.
    i.e 24 mpg at 55 mph, and 19 mpg at 75 mph.
    besides its ugliness :P , it runs pretty good and fast and quiet at cruising speed and on good asphalt. :)
  • My mpg experience with my RDX (two months, 2500 miles) is spot-on with that or mdrdx's posted above. Precisely. And much of the time I'm riding around with a Thule rack strapped to the roof, which will make mpgs a bit worse....

    Oveall I'd say Acura's plan for using the turbo 4 to acheive better fuel economy has primarily failed @ the car magazine road test level - where journalists really flog the car to get a feel for its performance. Then they publish mpg results like 'we only got 16 mpg', the bloggers and forum floggers pick up on it, and it's off to the negative buzz races.

    But when you read the experience of 90% of the owners writing about their real world experience (like mdrdx and myself) the car appears to be a 19-20mpg car for the most part, with 22-24mpg on the hwy. Which is what EPA ratings of 19 city 23 hwy would lead you to expect if you understand the relationship of EPA ratings to real world mpgs on most cars.

    And yes the car runs good, fast and quiet (road noise is a bit higher than I'd prefer) on good roads. On bumpy roads the car is a bit stiff and jiggly. But it outhandles all the other SUVs. Those are your tradeoffs. So far I love it.

    It helps if you like the styling (inside and out). I do. Some don't.
  • mtairyordgemtairyordge Posts: 144
    Seems as though Honda/Acura has teh AC on as the default setting. I have had an accord for 4 years and now own a RDX and the AC always seems to be on. Yes I ma the only one who drives the car so its not being set on by someone else.

    Also the way the car is driven has a GREAT affect on the milage. If you keep engaging the Turbo then the milage goes WAY DOWN.

    Lighten up on the acceleration
  • johnny98johnny98 Posts: 88
    I've been averaging low 20s mpg with the AC on most of the time. That's half highway/half suburban streets. I think low 20s is decent for a vehicle that weighs almost 2 tons. The main reason some small SUVs get better mileage is their lower weight.
  • bcf15bcf15 Posts: 1


  • newdriver2newdriver2 Posts: 68
    I re-set the meter before I test drove the RDX. It was in the highway and it show 15.8 mpg which is really bad for a small SUV. Did anyone have the same issue? I didn't drive like crazy nor heavy footed the pedal. I have the AC on also.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Depends on many factors.

    The first, and I'd guess most likely, is whether or not the engine was warmed up before you started the trip. I know from experience a warm engine can make a significant difference in the FE read-out for a short trip.
  • newdriver2newdriver2 Posts: 68
    I didn't warm up the car first but I drove it for 20 minutes. It seem warm enought to judge the mpg. How is your mpg? I am interested for this RDX but the fuel efficiecy is a big factor for me.
    The engine seem so busy. The interior is really when the car in idle. How does the relibility and durability of the turbo engine?
  • johnny98johnny98 Posts: 88
    I just got back from a 2 week, 3000 mile road trip with my RDX. I averaged 24mpg for the whole trip. That includes lots of mountains, winding coastal roads, etc. In flatter areas, I was getting 450 miles per tank of gas (about 27mpg) with the cruise control set at 75mph.

    Lots of cold starts, stop-and-go traffic, and fast acceleration will reduce your mileage significantly.
  • newdriver2newdriver2 Posts: 68
    Does anyone live in Manhatton, NY and have the actual MPG want to share? Or any people only use the RDX for city use only and have the actual MPG. I travel a lot in NY City and want to know the MPG before buying it, thanks.
  • johnny98johnny98 Posts: 88
    City driving MPG depends a lot on how long your trips are. All gasoline engines are inefficient until they warm up. If many of your drives are only a few miles after a cold start, then your mileage will be terrible in any car (and worse in a heavy car). The RDX is lightweight for an SUV, but heavy compared to a 4 cylinder sedan. On the other hand, if you only drive a few miles a day, then you aren't going to be burning much gas anyway.
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