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Acura RDX Real World MPG



  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Putting a smallish 4 cyl. in the RDX isn't so much the problem as is the fact that it is turbocharged. A normally aspirated engine would have a compression ratio of 10:1, 12:1 with DFI in the CX-7. In order to "accomodate" the dynamic increase in CR with turbo boost the base engine CR must be derated from the norm.

    Since most of the time you spend driving the RDX you are off-boost you are sacrificing a serious level of FE improvement for the rare and brief periods of "on-boost" acceleration.

    Mill the engine head to raise the CR to the "standard" of 10:1 and "wire" the turbo wastegate fully open and you will likely see an FE improvement in the range of 30-50%

    Or even better use VVT-i to dynamically change the CR from Atkinson cycle mode for cruising but into the Miller cycle as boost rises.

    So much for TURBOCHARGING...!!
  • then coast from there?
    The traditional ease the pedal acceleration won't save gas?
  • mark4490mark4490 Posts: 16
    I've finished my first tank of mystery gas (dealer supplied). Some city driving (steep SF hills), lots of highway miles, and I went up and down the Santa Cruz mountains five times.

    330.7 miles/14.966 gallons = 22.1 miles/gallon

    Love the boost when you need to merge and pass. The handling is phenomenal on the twisty mountain climbs and descents! I admit that I went pretty easy on the gas pedal as the engine is still breaking in, but I still has numerous full-on accelerations to merge and pass on the freeways. Gas mileage was probably improved as descending from the mountains was most engine braking and little to no throttle.

    The only negative so far is that the navi got lost in the heavy tree cover of the SF mountains.
  • mark4490mark4490 Posts: 16
    I got back from a trip north to the coast. From the South Bay, N101 to Fortuna and back along the Pacific Coast Hwy (CA-1).

    720 miles/35.196 gallons = ~20.5mpg

    Not bad considering we were rolling through high elevations so the boost was kicking in even while descending.

    The drive down CA-1 was a BLAST! I finally got to really test the SH-AWD. I'm not sure, but I think the VSC kicked in on one corner that I overcooked. It was both downright terrifying and thrilling at the same time. There was no way I was going to take my eyes off the road and glance down to check how many bars I was up to, but on one sweeping corner I saw the meter go up to 3 bars.

    We also had a huge scare and almost ran out of gas on N101. The low fuel indicator had gone off, but I thought I could go another 50 miles before it got serious and we'd have to look for a gas station. The low fuel light had gone off on me before. That time I went 40 miles and found out that I still had 4+ gallons left in the tank when I filled up. Luckily, my GF is from the area so she knew that there was a 24 hr gas station near Garberville. When we filled up I was surprised that we put in 17.3 gallons! I thought we'd have ~3 gallons left! I'm not sure if we would have made it to Garberville. We'll fill up when it gets down to 1/4 tank next time.

    This brings up an issue I have with the navi system. Little towns with little to no services show up (Leggett, Piercy), but bigger towns with (ie., Cloverdale) don't unless you zoom all the way in. I don't think that gas station showed up on the RDX navi system, either. My Garmin handheld GPS is much better and more reliable. If I didn't have a "local" with me I could have been in serious trouble.
  • geohovgeohov Posts: 23
    I'm wondering why everyone gets such poor mileage? On my 2010 RDX I'm on my second tank of gas. I'm getting 22-23 mpg driving around the northern suburbs of Chicago. This includes about 40% highway at which I drive 70-80 mph. I don't gun it from a stoplight. I find that it still moves out ahead of the cars around me without having the turbo kicking in. It has awesome power when you ask for it. I'm as happy as can b with my RDX! :)
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..I'm wondering.."


    Most of the time the RDX runs in detuned/"derated" mode. During "cruise" mode the compression ratio is significantly reduced from the Otto mode standard.
  • I'm getting slighly better than EPA.

    I am "breaking" her in, about 500 miles, and drive 10% city, 90% highway, averaging about 22.5-23.5 on the trip computer.

    Average speed is 69 mph acc to computer.

    I floor it here and there, but largely feather, stay out of boost, and my range is close to 350 miles to a tank so far. . .I should hit 400. . .will keep everyone posted. . .the new DFI def should improve mileage. . .

    Remember EPA revised all mileage estimates in 2009 because of the "cash for clunker" program, so estimates are off in FAVOR of more mpg apparently now. . .
  • So far with about an average speed of 50 mph, I'm getting anywhere between 21-22mpg with my SNOW tires on, Bridgestone DM-V1's (235/55/18's). . .

    oddly enough, I'm getting the same mileage as my 2005 Evolution VIII which was 800lbs lighter. . .go figure, technology. . .
  • wethertonwetherton Posts: 6
    2nd tank of gas, not dealer gas at time of pickup got me 22.4 with city driving but we live on the ouskirts, most driving is city highways, not a ton of stop and go. Normal to light driving. Pretty happy with that MPG. Secondly, for the MPG nerds, I found a great iphone app "gas cubby" it is free if you can handle the pop ups, very nice app
  • lildukelilduke Posts: 16
    I have the 2011 with SH AWD.

    First tank averaged 24-25.9 MPG in stop and go construction traffic on the highyway.

    Second was about 23

    Third has a little more around town driving and was about 21

    and now on my 4th I am at 19.5.

    On the highway, I'm pretty much 70mpg or lower 15 miles each way then local roads with stop and go for the other 5-6.

    I try not to step on it and use the turbo as much on local roads, but occasionally I do have to use it. Same on the highway. I'm at about 800 or so miles so the engine is not totally broken in.

    Shouldn't the average MPG go up as the car gets broken in? I'm not looking for 28mpg but 21-22 would be nice.

    2014 Accord Touring

  • lildukelilduke Posts: 16
    Oh, My first two tanks were Shell and BP gas, last two were Costco and Marathon. Since it uses premium, should I be sticking with Shell, Mobil and BP or is it OK to go with the others like Citgo, Speedway and Marathon?

    2014 Accord Touring

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited November 2010
    On the highway, simply cruising along, or anytime the lockup clutch is engaged, your RDX engine is running in detuned/derated "mode". An optimal base/native compression ratio for a N/A DFI (DISI) engine should be ~12:1. But your engine is forced induction so the non-boost, base/native compression ratio must be substantually lowered from what would otherwise be considered optimal for a DFI engine.

    10:1 with certainty and maybe even as low as 7-8:1 if the turbo is to spin up really quickly and substantually raise the effective CR. So you can expect hwy FE about 20% lower than an equivalent displacement volume DFI engine.
  • Hey, just wanted to share our numbers. Just purchased this used with 40k and on the first tank we have gotten 24-25mpg mostly highway 65-75mph. My fiance drives to school which is mostly small highway and got 25.5mpg with a few stops to get on different roads. Average speed for her is probably 50mph the whole 80 mile trip. I think these are very good numbers and we mostly do not hit traffic which may be the reason but we also don't stomp on the gas too much either. If you are getting less than 20 mpg in normal driving you either have a lead foot or highly unlikely have a vehicle defect. Good luck!
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,181
    Anybody have any info on the real world 2013 RDX MPG???
  • radoncgsradoncgs Posts: 60
    I am also interested in knowing the real world MPG, comparing with x3, q5 then decide which one to buy.
  • My RDX is about 6 weeks old. It's too early to say. Mileage has been all over the map (along with my driving situation, very mixed and inconsistent), however one thing that's starting to piss me off is I suspect the mileage meter on the dash is consistently inflated. My most recent tank showed 24.4 MPG, but the actual mileage was 22 MPG. I'm going to watch more closely the next few tanks.
  • rickpoolerickpoole Posts: 27
    That's exactly what I've seen on my 2007 TL and my 2010 HS250h - they both read 2-3 MPG higher than manually computed. Even averaging it over 3-4 tanks it still shows 2-3 MPG higher. Almost everyone I've talked to who correctly computes their actual mileage says their MPG meter reads ~10% higher than the actual mileage.
  • radoncgsradoncgs Posts: 60
    thanks for the message. Please update when you have more information.
  • I seem to settling consistently in the 24-25 MPG range, that's with a mostly highway commute plus about a 1/2 hour of city traffic every day. I think that's pretty good.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,181
    Tks. Is yours AWD or FWD?
  • patm70patm70 Posts: 20
    edited August 2012
    Just took a trip from NY to NC 600 miles each way. Trip down took ten hours only stopping for gas fill up/bathroom break. Mostly traveled between 60-70 mph on I-95 and I-85. Divided gallons put in at fill ups into mileage traveled and averaged slightly more than 28 miles per gallon. Gas is cheap in NJ and VA so put in premium. Regular was $3.13 a gallon on Aug. 7th near Gordonsville, VA!!
    Was very pleased with mpg of my six cylinder 2013 RDX AWD (Non Tech) which replaced a four cylinder 2008 Honda CRV AWD which got similar mileage on that same trip. Great car for a long trip-quiet engine, smooth ride on those big Michelins and comfortable leather seats. The car is a winner!!
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,181
    Glad to hear. That's real decent MPG. I'm about 95% final on my decision to get one.
  • "Glad to hear. That's real decent MPG. I'm about 95% final on my decision to get one. "

    Go for it! Just picked up our FWD with Tech on Friday. Drove through a blinding frog-strangler yesterday and the RDX handled it nicely. Thought I might need the AWD of the XC60 we swapped in. So far, so good. I'm sure there will be times I'll miss the turbo-boost of the T6 in the Volvo, but getting on the highway with the RDX shows it has plenty of power! Missing a couple of 'things' from the Volvo, but DW is giddy about the Tech pkg!
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,181
    Yeah, I'm still going back and forth(with myself) over the fwd vs. awd thing. I've had a SUV with AWD and 4wd both hi and lo. I've had it ten years in the Chicago area and have never actually driven in 4wd hi or lo. Have used the AWD a couple of times each winter but even then it just prevented a little wheel spin, not really got me through huge piles of snow. Also have a rwd pickup with v8 that I feather around in the winter and really don't even have a problem with that. They clean the roads pretty quick around where I live. So I'm kind of leaning towards just getting the fwd and saving some upfront costs and and long term maint. costs and gaining 1 mpg. Everyone around here seems to take for granted that any SUV/CUV will automatically have at least AWD but I personally think it's overkill 99.9% of the time so resale is a consideration.

    On those really bad days I just work from home. :D
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    I have a 2013 RDX AWD. It only has about 2k miles on it currently, so I'm hoping this gets better as the car ages, but overall, I've been disappointed with the mpg.

    Some background on my car/driving habits:
    * always fill up with Shell 93 Octane
    * almost 80-90% highway driving for both work and around town. I live in a rural area so very little stop and go traffic.
    * keep tire pressures cold at 35 PSI

    I've been consistently getting 22mpg avgs per tank with one 23 mpg avg on a tank. That is the best I've been able to do. With the large amount of highway driving I do, I was hoping for 25mpg per tank, especially its rated 27mpg highway and Acura touted the RDX as best in class fuel economy. I've had other CUVs with avgs per tank at 21-22mpg so this is no better. I hope with time I can get up to my goal 25mpg per tank.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 32,940
    just crossed 1K on our 2013 AWD. Did a trip from Philly to Albany NY area this weekend. Got (per the computer) 29 on the way up, and 28 on the way back. Coming back included a 1 hour long traffic jam, and both ways had some local roads in the middle.

    overall, got about 27.5 including a couple of days running around the back country in NY.\

    around town, depending on if it is real short hop (city) or with a little local highway mixed in, we have had a tank in the 17s (mostly stop and go) and a couple in the 22 range.

    so, with mostly highway, 25 overall seems quite reasonable.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,181
    1st tank of gas = 24.6 on computer. Will track miles/gals in addition but since I don't know how they topped it off on the first fill I won't try to do the computation myself until I get about 3 fills. Then I'll see how it compares to the computer. Driving was about 70% surburban/stoplights etc and about 30% expressway. No rush hour bumper to bumper at all.
  • Had the RDX almost 4 months, but hadn't gone on any trips of more than 50 miles. Hard to get a feel for highway mileage like that. ;) Finally, a Dallas road trip with a bit of local driving and 75mph expressway showed 27,6 mpg for the trip. Not too bad, considering the driver(not me) is known for the 'straight from the accelerator to the brake' style of driving. We had been getting 21-22mpg in our overall driving which includes quite a bit of 60mph expressway between stop lights. I'm sure a lighter foot on take-off could improve that mileage a bit, but we're satisfied so far. BTW, I use 87 octane, top tier fuel the majority of the time with the occasional top-off of 93 whenever the mood strikes. I've not been able to perceive a change in performance or mileage based on octane used. This mileage is 10% better overall and about 20% better highway mileage compared to our '10 Volvo XC60 T6 we swapped. I miss the smooth turbo a bit; but, we're very happy so far. :)
  • lego34lego34 Posts: 5
    edited February 2013
    Thank you for your fedback. may i ask you, The general cost of the volvo t6 is it greater than rdx? and the reliability? I am considering both volvo and acura. Thank you
  • Reliability was good for our XC60 for 3.4 years and 56k miles except for the propensity to eat batteries. We were on our third Volvo battery at trade-in(all were covered by Volvo).

    It's not quite fair to compare the price of the T6 with the RDX since it's a 300hp turbo AWD. You could work the numbers to compare apples to apples; but I generally feel the Volvo runs a solid 10% more than the RDX. The 3.2 Volvo is less powerful than the RDX, so it's hard to make a direct comparison.

    I'm driving a '13 XC60 T6 loaner right now...the C70 is at the dealer for some software updates(I think). It still fits like a glove. A fair bit heavier than the FWD RDX and it feels it. The RDX is just so easy off the line; BUT, that 300hp T6 puts a smile on your face! ;)

    Please note that the 2014 model year for the XC60 is a 'refresh'. Not a lot of drastic changes(Volvo doesn't do that mid-stream); but worth noting that late summer will bring the 'updated' version.

    I'd look for a 10% loss in mileage with the Volvo...either engine...and it could be a touch more than that. We averaged just over 19mpg overall for the 56k miles in the XC. Close to 6k miles on the RDX and were averaging between 22-23. BUT...Volvo pays for your scheduled maintenance through the 30k check(not cheap at the Volvo dealer).

    The Acura doesn't have a few items that are either standard or optional in the XC...Rear seat vents, 12v plug in cargo area, flat cargo floor, BLIS, adaptive cruise, etc. That explains some of the difference in price; but also means you CAN'T get them on the RDX. I miss some of them a bit; but it was not a deal-breaker for us. We're very happy with the RDX, as we were with the XC60. If the Volvo re-fresh had come a year earlier, who knows if I would have even 'gone looking'.
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