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Acura RDX Real World MPG



  • calhoncalhon Posts: 87
    "The reason I bring this up is to point out how meaningless EPA estimate has become. On spec sheet, it would appear RAV4 V6 is about as good as CR-V I-4 (or RAV4 I-4), but then, where are the results?"

    Here's something to consider.

    Many people who select the RAV4 V6 over the I4 do so because they intend to use the extra performance. They carry more passengers or cargo, travel in more hilly terrain, etc.; or it fits better with their more aggressive, fun-loving driving style.

    Even those without prior intent will end up using the added power. For example, they can pass in tight situations without the annoying wait for larger gaps in traffic. Plus the added power is seductive.

    The I4 drivers, on the other hand, are likely to be more frugal. In addition, aggressive tendencies are constrained by the vehicles' performance. They can't accelerate as much, even when they want to.

    This means that RAV4 V6 owners overall are driving harder - higher loads, accelerations and speeds - than CR-V I4 or RAV4 I4 owners. Hence the larger discrepancy between the EPA and owner-reported fuel economy numbers.
  • Drove my 2004 TL the other night (which has a much softer ride). The TL is really faster. But I like the RDX cabin/driving experience more after two months.

    Do you envision you'd have the same opinion with a 2007 TL v. RDX? - my understanding is that 2007 has same engine a bit softer ride and upgraded gadgets to be comparable with RDX (except for memory seats a few other items.) I'm considering both (with Nav/Tech) and have only had brief test drives so far. Conscious of the obvious differences in MPG, utility, etc. - but curious about longer term fun-factors. FYI I like a sporty ride - coming from a 1997 Audi A4 quattro MT. Need AT this time (but hoping to retain some manual "feel" with steptronic shifting, etc.) and more backseat room. Also looking at BMWs (328xi, X3 3.0si) but think 328xi backseat may not provide enough "more space" - I recall you may have been a former BMW owner too? Thx.
  • sssfegysssfegy Posts: 132
    "and actually fairly reprentative of similar cars like the CX-7. Except the RDX blows most of those other small SUV's or crossovers into the weeds on a performance basis"

    I wuld not put the CX7 in the same sentence regarding performance. They are both neck to neck, and the bggest difference in numbers is the stopping power of the CX7 over the RDX, and plus it does not scream "Japanese" on styling, great CUV, but not to be best value in class.
  • beliasbelias Posts: 316
    Just an fyi if it hasn't already been mentioned, but I thought I read somewhere that the EPA estimates will change for 2008 to better reflect "real-world" numbers. However CAFE standards will still rely on the old method of calculation. The kicker is that the "revised" EPA numbers are supposed to be 15% to 30% LESS than what is currently stated. Ironically, the hybrids are the ones to suffer the most (i.e. closer to 30% than 15%). So, a car posting 15/20 mpg could be revised to something like 13/17 or 11/14. Considering that the RDX is estimated at 18/23 (I may be incorrect on that, but I believe that is what I saw), we can expect to see a conservative recalculation of the EPA to be 15/19. My guess is that, from what others have already mentioned as their real-world driving experiences, the 15/19 mpg is actually lower than real-world numbers, but at least our expectations will be properly set!
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    The RDX is officially rated at 19/23.

    I have about 600 miles on mine, with about 80% highway / 20% city driving. So far I am getting right around 22mpg, which I am very pleased with (slightly better than my previous car). I got 23mpg on a ski trip last week, almost all highway miles.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I have a feeling Honda/Acuras will be among the least affected by EPA rating changes. While I couldn't beat EPA estimate in an RDX while it was with me but it was close, and the overall trip computer reading (had to be mixed driving) was over 20 mpg.

    I have been at 24+ mpg over 7K miles in my TL with 55-60% city driving, and actually went 431 miles on 14.2 gallons on a highway at ~70 mph recently which is better than EPA estimate. I believe it is rated 28 mpg on highway, but my calculations shows 30.3 mpg and the trip computer was also at 30 mpg. (I have observed a 0.5-0.7 mpg difference between my own calculations and trip computer).

    My 1998 Accord was rated 23/30 mpg, and it is very easy to get 32 mpg at ~70-75 mph. I get 26 mpg in it with 50-60% city driving.
  • Here's one for the record books. we purchased a '07 Honda Odyssey on 11/4/2006. got 13mpg city/ 19 hwy. the User Interface was way too confusing. Hated that thing. the tranny was extremely sluggish (you had to wait 3-5 sec from shifting into drive from reverse for it to think about responding and moving. After 18 days I complained to the dealer-no response-so proceeded to American Honda--no help there either.

    Ten weeks to the day I am back at the dealer to see what can be done to get me out of it.... They eventually came back with an offer of putting us in the RDX with no money out of my pocket. We had just purchased 3 new hondas within 7 months--no more cash (2 Fits and an Odyssey). Keep in mind I wanted the MDX '07 Sport/Tech package when we got the Odyssey because of price. Guess what--I am paying the price of the MDX with my Pontiac neg equity and not driving the MDX like I wanted--GO FIGURE! :cry:

    In spite of the no power lift gate, no driver memory seat, no auto on headlights (pontiac had that) and my Bluetooth phone won't work with it--at least the mpg is better and it is a very very fun car to drive. I get 18.5 in town and 20.5 hiway. I have 575 miles on it. hey beats 13! the price on the RDX tech package with the protection package was $33611 add to that my double negative equity of $15000 from the Odyssey and I am at the price of the MDX I wanted. OUCH!!! :sick:

    I just have to keep it LONGER than I have it financed for! Normally I do. However, if they get a 07 MDX sport/tech in the used car dept....I am there--especially if it is White or RED! My RDX-White is beautiful!
  • I just bought an RDX (base model, $32.6K). I got about 15.9 mpg, 50/50 city/hwy. (my BMW 540iA V-8 did 17 mpg and I was flooring it!)
    15.9 mpg is indeed very low, but I will wait until after the break-in period as others mentioned here.
    The fact that the break-in period makes a big difference on fuel consumption is not a positive sign. It may denote that major friction has to be overcomed during the first couple thousand miles or so.
    I was surprised a bit to see the recommendation in the owner's manual to slowly break it in. Most newer cars have no such requirement.
    Also, the need for synthetic oil (Mobile 1) is another indication that the engine is ultra-sensitive. What's the cost for an oil change?

    '07 RDX base, Grey-bronze on black, Los Angeles,CA
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I don't think there is a significant break in effect on MPG, however, I would recommend that you fill the tank and reset your odometer to start a fresh MPG average. New cars typically undergo a lot of idling and low speed driving during prep and delivery. This is likely biasing your average down. If you want an accurate track of the MPG, reset the odo and start with a fresh average that covers your typical driving style.

    My RDX has been giving 20-25mpg right from the beginning (very first tank was 22mpg). I have 1700 miles on it now. I do mostly highway driving (80%).

    All the new cars I have owned have a break in period; in fact, I don't know of vehicles that don't have a break in period, do you? Normally you are supposed to go easy on the engine and brakes, and avoid traveling at constant speeds for too long.

    Apparently the Acura dealers charge about $65 for an oil change on the RDX. If you do it yourself, the cost is about $26 for the oil and the filter.

  • It is getting better already. 3rd tank gave 21 mpg overall (50/50 city/hwy). So it is improving rapidly, and I am much more optimistic now.
  • I have been keeping records of my fuel usage, by dividing the mileage into the gallons I buy each week. I have realized that the MPG stated by the computer, is about one MPG higher than the ratio that I calculate. This might be due to the computer having some bias in terms of the speedometer or the odometer. Honda and Acura had some pending issue in recent years with the odometer I believe.
  • rcizmercizme Posts: 16
    I've been reading rants about RDX fuel economy and after 7000 miles of driving a mountain highway daily, here are MY real world numbers. If you're keeping track, I've got the tech package although I don't see it making any difference and I have kept a record of every gas purchase.
    Overall mileage is 21.7 mpg. Mileage on interstate highway driving trips has been between 23.3 and 23.8 mpg. I don't know what some people do to achieve some of their dreadful fuel economy .. maybe a defective car or just a left foot made of lead?
    The RDX isn't perfect but a gas guzzler it is not.

    Fun files when you're having time!
  • stathisstathis Posts: 32
    I just got the Consumer Reports 2007 auto issue and it gives RDX overall 18 mpg.

    My average is around 17 mpg but half of it is in downtown Los Angeles: most horrible traffic in the US........
  • nav46nav46 Posts: 8
    is anyone here familiar w/ the leasing prices for the rdx. what's good and what's high? it seemed a little high initially $3,000 down and $50 a month. Anyone get any good deals?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Try the Acura RDX: Lease Questions discussion - and yeah, the idea with leasing is to put as little money down as possible. $50 a month sounds wrong too. ;)
  • froskifroski Posts: 3
    Was averaging about 16 MPG in a stop and go commute of about 15 miles for the first month. Just got back from a 200 mile trip to the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Got 24 MPG on that trip. Here are some tips that seemed to help:

    - Turn off the AC, the unit probably runs in a constant "defrost" mode;
    - My RDX has a dealer installed roof rack. Noticed that the cross members seemed backwards on roof rails. Although the idiot proof directional errors suggested that this was the correct configuration, the aerodynamics seemed backwards. Reversed the direction of the cross members and noticed that the bottom of the ends of the cross members are now aligned parallel with roof rails. (As installed by the dealer the bottom end of cross members and roof rails are at an angle, which made think the rack was incorrectly installed when inspecting. :lemon: ) However, noticed there was a considerable amount of wind noise with the cross members installed. Decided to only use the cross members when needed on trips. You need a 30T Torx to remove just four screws. Really do not know if reversing cross members made a difference, but removing all together probably does.
    - Turn on the instant MPG indicator and drive with that indicator on for a while. Seems like the drive train is tuned to keep the engine at lower RPMs, which means the turbo constantly engages to boost torque. Also noticed that downshifting one gear with the paddle in D before accelerating brings up the RPM but not the turbo boost. Probably a zero sum gain for MPG. However, it almost seems better to punch it and coast to get better gas mileage in this car.

    After this last highway trip the engine does seem a bit looser. The true test will be on Monday during rush hour.

    Hope this information helps. The car is a blast to drive -handles like a sports sedan through the curves and is awesome in the white slippery stuff. All in all the gas mileage is not that bad considering the range of the driving experience. I am extremely satisfied with my purchase Sound system is awesome:)

    Until there are advances in technology, there will always be a MPG price for performance and four wheel drive. This drivetrain nimbly moves a lot of weight very quickly when needed.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Definitely remove the crossbars if you do not need them, it will be quieter and may reduce drag a little bit (the effect on such a blocky vehicle will be small).

    Not sure which way you were installing them, but the correct direction of the crossbars would put the fat rounded edge facing forward and the sharp edge facing backward, just like an airplane wing. If reversed, they will definitely be noisier and have more drag.
  • stathisstathis Posts: 32
    OK, I will turn off the AC for a while and see. I do not have a roof rack.
    I am very pleased with the sportiness and handling of the car. So the MPG is a very minor issue.
    It's just a mystery as to why it gives me the same 17 MPG for the same driving as my V8 4.5L BMW...
  • fonefixerfonefixer Posts: 247
    I drive a Mazda CX-7 and real world 100% city driving with a 4-cylinder/turbo (almost identical to RDX) is bringing 18 mpg on premium fuel.
  • froskifroski Posts: 3
    I feel your pain. I got about 1MPG improvement to 17 MPG in my normal commute - way too much stop an go traffic. At least the wind noise is gone.

    At least you can take comfort that you did not shell out an extra $20,000 for a new B'mer. Feel sorry for the folks who spent ten grand more for a Lexus RS 400h hybrid and still get 18 MPG with a much more complex drivetrain.

    There might be a lesson to be learned about engines here. 18 MPG for the CX-7 does not give me a warm fuzzy either.
  • kevmiamikevmiami Posts: 2
    Owned for one week; about 2/3 city; 1/3 75-80mph; been sort of stomping on it for fun; not real bad, until 600 miles is up. Average on Premium was 19.8 before roof rack; added 2/3 of way through first tank. Assume final mixed milage will be about 20mpg, once engine and driver break in. :)
  • baldeglbaldegl Posts: 16
    We have about 1100 miles in about 6 weeks. Driving about 25% urban/suburban and the remainder urban expressway we are consistently averaging about 21 mpg. (no roof rack)
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Kevin, I see you posting on all the same RDX forums I frequent (here, AZ, TOV); welcome aboard!
  • autoboy16autoboy16 Posts: 992
    Underbody Analysis explains the RDX's Poorish fuel economy. Its all in the underbody! Its not at all good for Aerodynamics.

    Sorry, its a 12minute video but if you press pause, go fix a sandwich and some lemonade, you could just fast forward to the good parts.

    Like the accord in 95 changing to 1996, I hope acura redoes the lower front end and add some of the TSX'S underbody coverage. The TSX has a Drag Co. of .27 and I am unsure of the RDX's drag co.

    I guess investing in some things to fix/cover the gaps in the underbody should boost aerodynamics (thus acceleration and MPG )

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487

    I am a mechanical engineer and aerodynamics researcher, and the first time I saw that video months ago, I was really mortified at their lack of knowledge/expertise in the area. Generally, whenever they say stuff like "we'd like to see" it means they are not understanding the mechanicals or the aerodynamics. I definitely trust the Honda engineers over the TOV guys in this regard. For one thing, you can't evaluate aerodynamics correctly without wind tunnel testing or computational fluid dynamics. A video camera and pointer doesn't cut it, especially without expertise!

    There is a fundamental difference between the TSX and RDX, and that is the profile and aspect ratio. Much of the RDX's drag comes from the large base area and abrupt closure on the back end. It's a classic "bluff" body shape. Fundamentally, the TSX is better with a long sloping rear window and smaller base area. What this means is that the RDX will be far less sensitive to underbody tweaks than the TSX. Even with a smooth underbody, the RDX would still have a lot of base drag dominating the overall drag total. That said, I have looked under my RDX, and don't see a whole lot of additional tuning to be done anyhow. They have a small chin deflector on the very front that takes care of the incoming flow for the most part. Most of the other stuff, even stuff that looks draggy, is well within teh vehicle profile and not really out in the airstream. That tells me Honda did do some wind tunnel testing and took care of the major issues.

    Finally, I am getting 22-25mpg on the highway (72-75mph) in my RDX. Highway speeds are where the drag really matters. The people who are seeing poor gas mileage are seeing it in city driving, where aerodynamic drag is much lower and driveline friction and powetrain efficiency is more important. The RDX definitely gets lousy gas mileage in city driving conditions, but that is not impacted by aerodynamics to a significant extent.

    So anyways, take the TOV video with a big grain of salt. This is the 3rd or 4th video I have seen where I really question their qualifications. It just doesn't pass for professional level engineering/aerodynamics expertise.

  • autoboy16autoboy16 Posts: 992
    So in your opinion, would the turbo engine be a great fit for the TSX? I think it will give it that "spice" acura needs. Just as a little something different to have.

    Hope you're enjoying your RDX! Sadly, no acura comes in my favorite color any more(Deep Green Pearl). They dropped it from the lineup. :cry: :sick:. I think it would be a great match to the RDX with a Beige interior.

    -CJ :)
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Would probably be a good engine for the TSX. It's not too exciting in the RDX (too heavy I think), but in a lighter TSX it would rock, especially with a 6-spd manual!
  • froskifroski Posts: 3
    Great news. Starting to get about 18.5 MPG on the same crappy rush hour commute. Either I am driving different or the so called break in period is real. The RDX has a few highway trips under its belt and has about 2500 miles on it now.

    Also been experimenting with the paddles and getting the revs up. Man this thing will haul when you drop a gear. I think with some computer mods, the RDX would be scary fast. I think Acura has under tuned the potential power of this car down for liability reasons. Have felt the SH-AWD kick in on few twisty roads. It is like someone suddenly pushed to the vehicle through the turn. Cool, but I still don't know if I trust it.

    The RDX is a great car. However, $3.00 gas is insane for any car. Since no one seems willing to buy my perfectly good 91 Integra, I may dust that thing off if gas prices get too bad. If the RDX lasts as long as that car, I will be one satisfied customer. :)
  • stathisstathis Posts: 32
    I agree with c_hunter. It is not an aerodynamics issue. Here's my own (unscientific) tests:
    1) zero-out the mpg while driving in the open freway at 70 mph. The Max mpg I get in my RDX is 24. My V8 4.5L BMW (RWD) gave 27 mpg or so for the same experiment.
    2) idle for 30 minutes. The RDX burns say 0.5 Gal. The BMW would burn 0.4 Gal or so.
    Experiments (1)and (2) above seem to imply that this mpg might not be a function of the drive train! Because when you go straight in the freeway the SH-AWD puts most of the power on the front wheels.

    Still I love my RDX, great performance. But the MPG is just an engineering mystery........... :confuse:
  • brizeybrizey Posts: 48

    First gear in the RDX is a crazy short 12.23 with the final drive. The 4.533 final drive is old school muscle car drag racer short. The fifth gear is 2.77 with final drive, again, very short.

    For reference, a Corvette with an automatic:

    First gear: 10.29
    Sixth gear: 1.72

    Now for a closer competitor, a BMW X3 with an automatic:

    First gear: 18.07 (!!!!)
    Sixth gear: 2.97

    So you can see, the BMW has similarly short gearing, and gets similarly poor milage (browse some of their forums to see the same complaints). The six speed allows the BMW to be in first gear for less time which helps a bit.

    Why? For that 7 second 0-60 in a 4000 lb vehicle.
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