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Acura RDX Real World MPG



  • 800 miles:

    70% - I-280 (Rolling hills freeway - no traffic)
    10% - I-880 Bay Bridge and US-101 (flat stop-and-go)
    10% - SF city (stop-and-go)
    10% - CA-1 Golden Gate Bridge and beyond (rolling hills stop-and-go)

    Variable stop-and-go traffic from above combined with...
    rolling freeways @ 65-70 mph (low-mid 2K rpms) = 20.7 mpg
    rolling freeways @ 70-80 mpg (mid-high 2K rpms) = 19.3 mpg

    I would assume, based on these numbers, if going 60 mph on cruise control, flat land, and wind in your back, one can probably achieve 22-23+ mpg.
  • Our 2nd tank of gas got 19 MPH...just as advertised. This was all "city" driving, if you can call a town of 10,000 city driving. ;)
  • I was very interested in the RDX until I saw the gas mileage results. I thought I would check it out anyway and called the Acura dealer where I had purchased my TSX. When the gave me the numbers for my trade (TSX) and no discount on the vehicle I began looking at other cars.

    I ended up purchasing a new VW Passat 3.6 4Motion with all options but Nav. The dealer gave me what I expected for the trade and 5,600 off the sticker. It isn't a SUV but my objective was AWD living in the northeast.
  • bbydadbbydad Posts: 58
    congratulations on your purchase howie. i was actually thinking about buying a TSX up here in the Northeast. Did you have a hard time with it in the snow? I thought it would be OK since it is front wheel drive and my car now is a rear wheel drie. But maybe I should go for an AWD.
  • 400 miles on my new RDX (base, no tech pkg). 19-20mpg in mixed driving. The car does get 22-23mpg hwy, 16-18 city, pretty close to the EPA estimates. And Acuras are well known for ticking up 1-3 mpg in fuel economy once the engines break in. My TL did (2004). All this sturm and drang over this car being a gas guzzler is rather preposterous if you compare it to other AWD wagons and small SUV's. See the November issue of Consumer Reports which compares cars like the Volvo XC-90, BMW 325ix wagon, Subaru Outback, etc. The SUV's average 15-16mpg overall, the small AWD wagons about 20. I'm getting closer to 20mpg so far. With performance that blows most of those cars away (closer to a Porsche Cayenne than a Volvo XC-90). For less money.

    I'm trying to figure out why that doesn't rock, but it's not happening. So I'll just enjoy my car in the meantime while everybody else wrings their hands over this.

    By the way, I can understand how all this negative buzz on Internet Forums and from heavy footed road testers has potential buyers scared away. Almost scared me off. I'm very glad now it did not. The RDX may be the most shwag car I've owned and the list of cars I've had in my driveway includes a Lexus GS300, BMW 540i, Mercedes, a Porsche, 2004 Acura TL, etc. Very hard to convey the overall coolness of this car in a brochure, test drive, showroom walkaround or TV commercial. You'd have to live with it for a few days.

    It's a 3900lb. SUV with a potent turbo motor. Not a Toyota Tercel. So get serious about the fuel economy expectations already. 20mpg isn't bad at all. And that's what I'm getting. I have to drive to Manhattan tomorrow. I'll take my Honda MOTORCYCLE (ST1300). That gets FORTY mpg : ).
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Thanks for the report -- it's good to hear a positive one for a change -- but at least have a little sympathy for people getting 12-13mpg who are NOT driving the vehicle hard. I would be quite dissapointed if that were me!
  • That's just the thing. I don't buy this 'not driving the vehicle hard' stuff. That's VERY easy to do with a turbo. Driving it easy means keeping the revs under 4000 95% of the time. And that's not too hard to do if you can read a tachometer. Unless there is some staggering difference between individual RDX units there's really no other explaination. I'm also very confident that lower octane fuel than 93 will SLAM the fuel economy on this car - and I have my reasons.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    The thing is, I can whale on a similar turbo powered vehicle and never do much worse than 18mpg (it's about 3700 lbs and can hit 60 slightly faster than the RDX). So at best, the RDX is a serious gas pig in spirited driving, compared to similar vehicles. 12-14mpg is seriously crappy no matter what the scenario. But I do believe the people who say they are going easy on the throttle, especially if they are trying for better MPG.

    I don't agree that octane is going to have a major impact on fuel economy, but if you have a theory let's hear it. Generally, the ECU will retard the timing a bit when the octane is lower than needed. The net result is slightly less power (sometimes not even noticeble) but it shouldn't impact MPG much, if at all.

    I believe 91 octane is the recommended fuel for the RDX.
  • This is all car weenie static fellas.

    Bottom line: I saw, I bought, I drove, I'm happy. Make your own decision based on the fact that 85%+ of the people who actually OWN the car seem to be getting 18-20mpg. I'm one of them. I can't speak to the other 15%. I'm NOT one of them.

    All this will wash out over time if it's car magazine road tester hooey (and that's what it seems to be). As for lower octane fuel banging the mpg on this car, I'm fairly convinced that the dealer filled it with 87 octane fuel. Why? Because after half a tank I filled it with 93 and the trip computer mpg readings (which seem astonishingly accurate on this car) SUDDENLY went from 15mpg to 20mpg. Gee I wonder how THAT could have happened?
  • One other point: just about ANY large car will get 10-14mpg if you continuously hammer on it. How often will an average driver really mash their gas pedal during their regular driving? <10% of the time. 20% of the time if they need anger management classes. Any more than that and they fall into the reckless aggressive driver category. Just something to consider.

    These road test writers are on crank. Some from of car weenie amphetamine. And they think all their readers are too. That's the best part.
  • idridr Posts: 4
    I agree that it is not driving style b/c soooo many have posted that it has to do with the way individuals drive but I like many others drive the same as my other cars and consistantly have not gotten better than 15 mpg! I'm driving the same and I'm also filling up and calculating the amt of gas and milage driven in both my cars. Therefore, the car just drinks gas like no tomorrow.

    I think there are too many people who are having the same exact issue to dismiss the fact that this car does not give great gas milage. My friend has a Navigator and he get about the same gas milage as my RDX!
  • I suppose we can agree that it's one of two possible reasons:

    &#149; Acura is building $35K cars that vary wildly from unit to unit in engine performance. Some of the cars (like mine) do fine, and others are enormous gas guzzlers. All with the same hardware, quality control, engine management hardware/software etc. If this is the case then a significant percentage of these vehicles are severely defective. That would be a first for Honda. Or any Japanese manufacturer to my knowledge.

    &#149; 20% of the people driving this car are heavier footed than the other 80% - and apparently don't realize it. I think that's the obvious explaination, particularly given the way turbos can suck gas if you stomp them a bit too hard. The RDX isn't the only car that exhibits that trait. My assistant's Mitsubishi Evo (what a great car) does the same thing. He says the car gets 23-26 mpg when he goes easy and 15mpg when he hammers the car. And part of this also seems to be unrealistic expectations regarding fuel economy in a 3900 lb SUV.

    You decide. Many of you seem to have done that already. Not really my problem since I'm getting close to 20mpg (what I expected to get when I bought the car).

    Your move.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Actually, it's fairly typical for the first tank from the dealer to give poor average MPG because of a lot of zero MPG idle events experienced by the vehicle during inspection/delivery. This is almost a universal observation (which many people erroneously attribute to "break-in"). If you are serious about recording MPG on that first tank, fill it up immediately and reset the trip meter. Otherwise, don't even record that data.
  • >>it's fairly typical for the first tank from the dealer to give poor average MPG because of a lot of zero MPG idle events experienced by the vehicle during inspection/delivery. This is almost a universal observation (which many people erroneously attribute to "break-in"). If you are serious about recording MPG on that first tank, fill it up immediately and reset the trip meter. Otherwise, don't even record that data.<<

    I'd agree - but this was VERY odd. I mean, you fill up the tank with 93, start driving away and within minutes the trip computer that was saying '15mpg' is saying '19mpg'? We only spent about 10 mins. with the car idling at the dealership.

    Regardless, the car is now getting 19-20mpg in mixed driving, so I'm satisfied. And Acura motors DO break in. I expect to get 20mpg+ after 3000-5000 miles or so. We'll see of course....
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    If you're getting a lot worse mileage than what many owners are reporting, and without being aggressive, it would be a better idea to ask Acura about it. If even automags that usually flog the vehicles (more so if they are designed to behave like RDX) can report better mileage than what many are claiming is their experience, its a problem worth investigating. I see no reason for RDX in the hands of a casual driver to get that kind of mileage.

    Yes, I have seen Impala dip into 7-8 mpg range (instantaneous mileage) during acceleration, but if it stayed there consistently, it would be nothing but a sign of an issue.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Did you reset the trip meter? That would have started the MPG average over (there will be an average tied to each trip meter).

    On my car, the type of driving you do right after resetting the trip meter sets the initial MPG, and it's interesting to watch it go up/down from there (usually goes down slowly). It's awesome to see an initial 25 MPG, but it almost always crawls back down into the 21-22 mpg range. Maybe I ought to have a lead foot leaving the gas station to get a low initial MPG, then watch it go up for a change....
  • Can owners report their gas mileage based on real calculation using paper and pencil. Majority of the trip computer is definitely not accurate and over estimated. Reporting the computer display 25-26 mpg running 60mph really not telling me much at all.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    That would be true. The trip computer in my TL is definitely reading slightly (but less than 1 mpg) higher than my calculated mileage. But trip computer is still good enough for a decent estimate. Even manual calculation is not going to be 100% accurate.
  • My trip computer just told me 19.4mpg. Actual was 18.6 mpg (combined driving) for the last tankful. I think that equates to 17-18 city, 22+ hwy. I think the car will improve when it breaks in. That's very competitive for most SUV's/AWD wagons of this type. Mostly slower. The RAV 4 does better, but who wants a RAV 4? The RDX is far nicer in a variety of important ways.

    Practical schmatical. If I wanted something THAT practical I would have purchased something else. I wanted some SPORT/luxury along with the utility. The RDX is a great vehicle. I think the owners are going to LOVE this car and that the word of mouth will eventually help sell it.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    MPG is important to many people, and in a variety of ways. And just think how much more you'd like the RDX if the gas mileage were better -- it would be something to brag about rather than defend! If nothing else, it would be a positive aspect of the vehicle instead of being a neutral to negative aspect for some (and an open question for others).

    I do think Acura could have done a better job on the powertrain, since other vehicles manage it. It doesn't matter what class of vehicle; if competitors can get equal or better performance and better MPG, that tells me Acura could have done better too. For instance, the RDX is very heavy for it's size -- I have to think they could have improved weight. It's a real porker.

    I accept the 20-25 MPG I get on my Outback XT since it's fast and fun to drive. And I didn't even mind the gas costs until the recent spike in prices. The major downside to the gas mileage for me has been limited range with the 16.9 gallon fuel tank. It's a hassle when I have to stop for extra fillups on ski trips, especially when crossing mountain ranges where gas stations are few and far between. Little aspects like that are an annoyance, never mind whether it's practical!

    But I'm in no position to complain -- I traded a much more practical vehicle for the XT, and knew it going in. Unfortunately the RDX is a teeny step in the wrong direction for me -- slightly heavier, slightly slower, slightly worse MPG, slightly less capable AWD. I was hoping for my next vehicle to improve in all those areas (obviously unrealistic).
  • >>I accept the 20-25 MPG I get on my Outback XT<<

    Right. And I accept the 18-22mpg on get on my RDX. For a car that's considerably bigger (passenger space, cargo room is slightly smaller) and 400 lbs. heavier yet similar in performance. Sounds about right to me.

    I came VERY close to buying an Outback XT. I bought the RDX despite my aversion to SUV's. Two days before I was to take delivery on a new XT I spoke to two owners who had owned XT's for 1-2 years. I asked them how they liked the car. When people ask ME how I like my TL I usually reply 'best car I've ever owned'. These two people replied 'hem, haw, it's a bit too small'. That underscored by biggest fear about the Subaru vs. the Acura. And the RDX actually out handles an XT, which isn't what you'd expect. That SHAWD is something special for sure.

    At the end of the day room for my family/comfort on long trips became more important that 5 extra cubic feet (the difference in cargo space on the Outback over the RDX) and 2 extra mpg. Those new Subaru Outbacks are gorgeous - but in my estimation they're not quite on the level of auto schwag with an RDX. Very subjective of course. I was quite impressed with the XT Limited in every way - but too damn narrow. The RDX has 3-5" more shoulder room. When you have an 80lb Golden Retriever who wants to go EVERYWHERE with you, that's a factor : ).

    Thrilled with the RDX so far. But the XT was a nice car. Hard decision, but very comfortable with the Acura. Hope your XT makes you happy!
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    You hit the nail on the head with the XT -- it's a narrow car, sized for the Euro and Japanese domestic markets. Many American buyers (myself included) think it's too small inside. I don't so much mind the front seat space since my wife and I are both in good shape and fit well (and dual zone climate control keeps her content), but the rear seats are tight in legroom. Fortunately, I don't often have passengers back there, and the ones I do carry have even smaller cars! The Outback line is definitely narrow for it's class. It's very similar to our TSX in size, which is the Euro/Japan Accord. Both are noticeably smaller than the American Accord.

    The XT is a fairly refined and nicely styled car inside and out, but the RDX is a bit nicer all around (schwag is the word), and the RDX's handling is notably better. I attribute much of the handling to the suspension differences between the vehicles -- RDX is tuned like a sport sedan, while the XT is tuned for ride and has a lot of suspension travel. I am mixed on the SH-AWD -- in my opinion, it simply corrects the understeer tendencies due to the RDX's fwd-biased drivetrain. If the XT had a better suspension, it's rwd-bias would probably negate the need for SH-AWD. Actually, the Legacy GT wagon is probably a better comparison to the RDX in terms of handling.

    In terms of acceleration and MPG, the RDX and XT are very close -- close enough to not matter so much (assuming EPA MPG numbers for both vehicles). MSRP pricing is similar, though the Outback can easily be had for $1000 under invoice. Until RDX pricing loosens up, it is effectively a more expensive vehicle even when you consider the extra schwag.

    My remaining nitpicks with the RDX are the short cargo length behind the rear seats and behind the front seats when rears are folded -- roughly 8" shorter than my XT both ways, and the AWD system. Being reactive, I know the RDX's AWD system won't be as tenacious in snow or offroad as the proactive system on the XT. Neither of these nitpicks matter for my everyday driving, but as ski season approaches, cargo space and deep snow capability are on my mind. That's where a few $K off the RDX price would really sway me!
  • I'm with you on the shorter RDX cargo area. Noticed that while comparing the cars. In the end the passenger space/comfort swayed me on the RDX. Off road? To my wife if it's not on her GPS, it's 'off road' - which is essentially mall/ski area parking lots. As for cargo - nothing a Thule rack won't solve. Mission accomplished. My RDX is fully Thule'd as of last weekend. A touch of wind noise perhaps but nothing the satellite radio or my iPod won't drown out! I attached the Thule load bars to the Acura factory roof rack and lost the factory cross bars (they look sleek but are a huge pain to reconfigure from bikes to skis to a cargo pod, Thule is WAY easier).

    Last night I threw my RDX into a wet corner in heavy rain @ 45 mph and waited for the rear end to break loose - it started to for .5 second - and the SH AWD kicked RIGHT in and sucked the car back on track. You gotta love that computerized AWD technology. I don't think it will be too long before you can by an RDX for $2K or more off list price. Oddly the techno package car is hotter - and that's because people want bluetooth and Nav. I have that on my TL - and it's actually more important to my wife. Perfect, because she inherited the TL. Now she holds the schwagest car in the office title @ her company : ). Again, @ $33,500 the base car is the deal - and if you can buy it for <$31,500 it's a steal in my opinion.
  • After the last tankful I filled up - and started hammering the car a bit in local driving. *BOOM* right down to 14.5 mpg average on the computer. But tomorrow and Sunday I'll be doing some short highway trips (total of 175 mile or so over two days) and the mpg's will probably bounce back to 19mpg by Sunday. By the way hammering this car is BIG FUN!!!

    So if you do local urban/suburban driving with a heavy foot, this car is a bit of a gas hog. But it does even out when you drive more moderately/cruise on the hwy. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out over the first year. I suspect at the end of the day this is a 19mpg car most of the time. And I hear the old CRV - a car with far less power/weight etc - is a 21mpg car in the long run from a couple of owners. So all things considered that's not unreasonable.
  • "I do think Acura could have done a better job on the powertrain, since other vehicles manage it. It doesn't matter what class of vehicle; if competitors can get equal or better performance and better MPG, that tells me Acura could have done better too."

    I agree. We got a 2005 CRV last year and my wife is already drooling over the RDX. I calculate the milage at every fill up and we have consistantly gotten 25mpg(mixed) and 29mpg(mostly highway) in our CRV. The RDX has the same motor but with turbos so why the 10+mpg hit? It should be getting at least 25mph on the highway and 22mpg mixed. 14-16mpg will keep us waiting until they get it right. The 300+hp V8 FX45 gets better milage for crying out loud.
  • >>The RDX has the same motor but with turbos so why the 10+mpg hit? It should be getting at least 25mph on the highway and 22mpg mixed. 14-16mpg will keep us waiting until they get it right. The 300+hp V8 FX45 gets better milage for crying out loud. <<

    Here's where perception and reality diverge completely. Comparing a 3700 lb. CRV with 160 hp to the RDX's 3900lb 240 hp configuration you would expect an mpg 'hit'. But it's NOT 10mpg. I'm averaging 19mpg in mixed driving, so it's much closer to 5 mpg. Another long time CRV owner I personally know regularly averages 22mpg, not 25 mpg. So driving habits are a major factor in all of this, and they vary wildly. The FX 45 'gets better mileage' - oh really? Does it? Back that up with REAL WORLD observations and you'll see that's probably hooey. Consumer reports recently compared a bunch of similar cars from the Audi Q7 and FX-THIRTY five to the Outback VDC and A4/BMW AWD wagons. They all averaged 15-21 mpg in mixed real world driving. So the RDX is towards the upper range of similar vehicles and essentiall better handling/faster than just about any of them.

    Here's an interesting aside: in trying to determine the fuel economy on my new RDX, I started to ask about two dozen people what the average mpg on their personal vehicle was. How many seemed to really know? 2 or 3. So I'd say 90% of the world doesn't really know what their car gets for fuel economy. They're mostly guessing. I'm not.
  • stuh1stuh1 Posts: 1
    We have had our RDX for 1 1/2 weeks. I was concerned about MPG. We put 800 miles on it the first week. On a trip from Philadelphia to the Berkshires and Vt. we averaged 25.8 MPG. We used cruise control and speeds were between 50-65 mph. The overall MPG for the whole trip was slightly under 23 MPG. The car is comfortable, handles well and is fun. All of the gagets in the tech package are easy to use . We find new functions every time we play with the buttons.
  • For every heavy footed person whining about the RDX's 'poor' fuel economy, how many happy campers are there like the one above getting 23mpg with 25+ on the hwy? They don't post on the Internet much...
  • I have 3400 miles on my RDX and i'm disappointed at the mileage (18.6mpg overall). My MDX (just turned it in) gave me 18.2mpg overall at the same mileage (yes I keep track of this stuff).

    I got the RDX to be a save energy---but considering the gas mileage I might have opted for the bigger car.
  • RDX--I'm geeting a tad over 24 on the highway---but I was with the '03 MDX also.........
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