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Acura RDX vs Mazda CX-7

roma007roma007 Posts: 35
edited May 2014 in Acura
What do people think of one car vs the other. I personally think the Mazda looks better from the outside, but Acura has a better interior. Overall though, is the RDX worth the extra premium, especially when comparing the RDX w/o Technology Package and CX-7 GT AWD?


  • This is where all the people with Acura tattoos chime in about the virtues of SH-AWD... Nurburgring, torque distribution, blah blah blah...

    Drive them both and whatever makes you happy, go with it. They are both fine cars. If marginally better leather and free WI-FI at the service department float your boat, stick with Acura. If you have only $30,000 and aren't going to race sports cars on mountain roads, go with the Mazda.
  • I test drove both cars today. The CX-7 is a nice car, and performs quite well. However, the RDX is so much more fun, especially when you hear the turbo spool up and feel the car go. I just don't feel a loaded CX-7 is worth the $30+K price tag, because the interior is a lot less luxurious. The entry level CX-7 is a good value though.

    The RDX is the winner for me. Now if I could get them to move the line on pricing, since they refuse to budge off MSRP.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Pricing shouldn't be an issue at all, on either of these vehicles. I'm sure you would be able to find RDX w/o tech package for close to invoice (about $30K).
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Through October:

    CX-7: 15,250
    RDX: 4,766
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    But Honda sold more CR-Vs in October itself (20,413) than the YTD sales of CX-7 and RDX combined (20,286). :P
  • sssfegysssfegy Posts: 132
    Ya, What a country! :P
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159

    I, personally, think the CR-V got beat with the ugly stick, did little to improve upon the previous gen, however, this is the wrong thread to be discussing that.
  • Invoice on the RDX without the tech package is closer to $31K ($30,700ish) with the destination charge, which IS part of the dealer cost. There is about $900 in holdback on RDX's as well however. But realistically, $31K is probably closer to what you'll be able to buy an RDX for. I paid about $33K. Knew I was overpaying at the time (two months ago) but couldn't wait. The car is superb.
  • I went to the dealer to buy an RDX. (Thank god i didnt) They wouldnt budge 1 penny off the MSRP. Now I kno the price has come down, closer to the low 30's. But in comparison, A CX-7 GT at sticker of 30,800 w/bose is had at 28,500.

    i discovered the CX-7 after my romp thru my "high class high price" acura dealer. I was dumbfounded as to why the Acura at the time was almost 35k and my GT i could buy at invoice of 28,5 w/bose & roof. It didnt make sense to me then, and it doesnt now. MAzda NAILED this market niche. Honda, Toyota, Acura, all missed the boat big time on this emerging type of vehicle. the RDX just reminded me of a mini overpriced ute like the X3.

    Acura pushed out the RDX with failed MPG ratings, over the top sticker, and blander than all hell styling. not worth my 34k. BMW X3, forget it at that price. If you like run of the mill Honda boringness (which is nice in an accord) not nice when ur spending 33k, the RDX has it. I felt no personality with the car, no statement. The only thing i liked was the unsilenced turbo and the turbo gauge. However, I would def say that the blower of the turbo would aggrevate me over time.

    The CX-7, in my opinion, blew open this part of the market with a quality vehicle, with power, the right amenities for buyers in this niche (who cares about seat memory, if you buy the car you will probably be the only one driving 90% of the time!). For the price you cannot beat the MAzda, the GT is a STEAL! Nothing comes close to the CX-7 besides the Murano (which is a good car) but still a little more expensive, bigger, and not as good handling.

    Owning Honda since i was 16 - driving the CX7 from Mile 1 made me realize that their suspension & breaking and driving mechanics just blew the tires off my then 2004 2dr Accord V6. The 7 is an exceptional value anyway you slice it - yes they could have at least put handles on the back doors, but if you value handles on doors more than you do driving - then you are looking at the wrong car!

    This car just has a get in it and go feel, which is great, and i havent felt that way about a car. its a winner, listen to the people who take the time to type out their reviews, test drive every other truck then test drive the mazda. dont be afraid to get into it on the test drive, and you will see what all the fuss is about. it will make u smile haha
  • I've been reading various comparisons among these 3 vehicles and thought I would add my 2 cents. I am in the market for something like these vehicles and have test driven all of these plus quite a few others. This is really a tough choice for me and I welcome feedback from others.

    First off, the X3 is out. I really like the exterior styling, but the interior didn't do it for me for a $40k+ vehicle. I thought the inside was also a little cramped. I thought the storage in the back was cramped, too (the wheel wells seemed to intrude more than in the CX-7 and RDX). The only reason I considered it is because it is such a good lease deal right now. But, I want to hold on to my next car for awhile, so I don't really want a lease. I thought it drove very well. But, I did feel a definite hesitation from a stop. I assume this is due to the low torque rating and weight of the vehicle.

    I don't really like the exterior of the RDX. And I thought the ride was very stiff and a little jolting. But, the inside seemed very nice. Seats felt a little snug, but I assume that is to hold you in place like a sports car. RDX has better warranties than the Mazda and dealership gives extras such as loaners, car washes, etc. It felt very fast. A little hesitation from a dead stop, but I didn't think it was much more (if any) than the BMW. Dealership gave me a price of $31,400 for a non-tech package RDX.

    I really kind of like the exterior CX-7 styling. I thought it rode very nice. More car like than the RDX. The interior is ok. I think red gauges are pretty dated. It seems so 80s. The seats were ok, but I thought the stripe in them is kind of goofy. The AWD doesn't seem as sophisticated as x-drive or sh-awd. It had a REALLY bad dead spot from a stop. The hesitation from off idle is a real concern for me as I have to cross a major highway to get home that does not let up during rush hour. So, I must find the biggest of the little gaps and "go for it" a lot of times. I read about more problems with the Mazda in these forums than the RDX or BMW (or course, the Mazda has been out longer, too). Dealer said he couldn't do better than $29,000 for a GT-AWD with Bose/sunroof and Sirus. But, the local dealer only has that car in Black Cherry. I think the only color I like in the Mazda is red.

    There you have it. I see pros and cons with the RDX and CX-7 with about $2500 separating them. I called my insurance folks and they told me the RDX would cost alomst $500 more per year to insure than the CX-7. I was swung over to the RDX side until I heard that. Now, I'm giving the Mazda another look see.
  • I agree with your take on both the Mazda and Acura... As a CX-7 owner, I can't argue with the faults you found, but I offer the following:

    The red gauges have been around while but are actually better for night vision. BMW, Audi, and others have used them for years, but not in the interest of style.

    I have concerns about the durability of the goofy alligator fabric stripe in the Mazda seats, but have learned to live with the looks.

    The two biggest CX-7 problems (actually the only ones I've heard much about) are the gas cap (recall) and bad purge valves. Neither is crippling, and have more to do with emissions than anything else. Unfortunate that there are design flaws, but Mazda is responding to them well by and large.

    With either automatic turbo vehicle, if you're really worried about crossing the busy freeway, you could always briefly pre-load the engine by revving it up with your foot on the brake. It's not great for the transmission, but if you try it, you'll find the thing takes off like a rocket. The gist of it is that you already have the engine in the boost by the time you start moving. Short of that, I've found you also have to make sure the transmission is in first if you are rolling at a low speed. The Mazda's transmission, at least, is pretty conservative with the gears, and I have found that waiting for a kick-down from 2nd to 1st crossing that busy road can be a butt-clinching moment.

    The copper red is a great color; I'd shop around over a wide an area as you can. Mazdas are selling at invoice, and Acuras are getting
    there as well. Fears over MPG (possibly unfounded) and great competition in the segment are driving prices for both these vehicles down. Good luck.
  • Few things in hopes to clear up your concerns.

    The turbo lag evident on test drive because you arent used to the Mazda yet. I thought the same exact thing and thought it was a big flaw. Ride in it a few times, and you will learn how to use the pedal without noticing the lag again. Takes a few drives, but i hope it wont deter you from your desicion.

    2nd, the red gauges like the other poster said are all bmw and the like use these days. At nite, nothing beats the interior display of the Mazda.

    The mazda rides better than the RDX, and unless u are some sort of extreme driver, the chance that you will even experience the SH-AWD the way its supposed to work, you wont even notice a difference, in fact, i think the SH-AWD is an excessive system for the average buyer, nonetheless cool tho.

    Price wise if you are a serious buyer, you will buy the Mazda at invoice if u r really going to make a deal. the acura at 31,400 isnt bad either, but u wont have a Bose system. At 31,400 - if you were leaning towards the Acura, that would get u the tech pkg in the Mazda.

    My 7 is Black Cherry, hated it at first till it became the showroom model, its the 7's classiest color, the copper red is definately awesome too. GOOD LUCK!
  • O and i also forgot, as a part of every Mazda (not the dealer) Mazda has its own 24/7 roadside care, and Mazda provides you a loaner everytime you get service
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    The AWD doesn't seem as sophisticated as x-drive or sh-awd.

    It is not, however, I am wondering how you concluded that from a test drive, considering that on dry pavement, the CX-7 is one of the best, if not the best handling SUV currently on sale. AWD cannot really be felt unless you are driving it like a rally car on a track, or is you are in terrible driving conditions like pouring rain or snow.

    P.S. Sophistication does not translate to better handling or traction.
    Example. The Mazdaspeed6 AWD (same as CX-7) out handles a BMW 325Xi (X-drive)
  • The RDX seriously blows the CX-7 into the weeds from a performance/handling standpoint. Read the recent Motor Trend comparison test.
  • Can someone outline the principal differences between the navigation system found in the Mazda CX-7 (and soon to be released CX-9) and that found in the Acura RDX and new Acura MDX. I know that the Acura's is controlled by a "joystick" versus touchscreen in the Mazda; both are said to be voice activated. Any differences in the points of interest databases between the two brands? Any other differences?
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    I have seem many other numbers as well, such as 7.4 0-60 for the RDX and 7.7 for the CX-7. Quarter mile 15.2-15.5. Slolum 63.2-63.1. I would not say by ANY means that the RDX "seriously blows the CX-7 into the weeds..." That is just a crazy comment.

    These two vehicles are so close in performance.
  • sssfegysssfegy Posts: 132
    "These two vehicles are so close in performance"
    And Mazda rides smoother? How is it blown into the weeds?
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    And Mazda rides smoother? How is it blown into the weeds?

    I'm not sure what you mean? Are you saying the Mazda rides smoother?

    All I said was that I didn't think that the RDX "blows" the CX-7 away.
  • Ok, so it seems like most people agree that the X3 is way too expensive for the product offered. I feel the same way, which is why I test drove the CX-7 and the RDX. I ended up leasing an RDX, because it was way more fun to drive, and the interior is far more impressive.

    When I drove the GT CX-7, it felt like I was in a car made by a company that was trying to force feed the luxury. The silly seat stripe, the controls were a pain (some readings on the dash, some just below the windshield?), and that turbo lag was HORRIBLE! Plus, the price wasn't so fantastic. Then I drove the RDX, which is amazing. The moment you have a seat, the luxury is just there, it's not screaming at you. The handling is amazing, the turbo lag is non-existent, and the visibility is great. Granted, you do feel some bumps in the road, but c'mon, I'll take the handling and speed around town anytime. Plus, they're offering great lease/purchase deals RIGHT NOW!

    To me it's not even close. Go drive 'em both around town and see what you like. If you're going to be in rainy/snowy weather, then the RDX is a no-brainer. If you want to sacrifice style for a seat stripe, some funky red dials and a lame starter system, be my guest. I'll be flying by you in my RDX.
  • You must be kidding yourself if you think the Acura is much more fun to drive - and they both have turbo lag

    The ride quality of the Acura is worse than the Mazda.
    The handling is neck and neck - no car blows the other away. The numbers are so close they could be twins

    If you want to talk motor trend, lets talk consumer reports for a run of the mill comparison. The acura didnt fare as well in terms of handling and breaking and ride quality. The breaks on the Mazda are the most powerful and short stopping in this truck segment. That is unquestioned.

    Mazda force feeding luxury? Quite the opposite, they are force feeding sport/sportyness if anything(hence the sport stripe in the seat). If they wanted a luxo-feel it would look like the Acura inside.

    To think the RDX is flat out faster must have been a good selling point on ur salesman's part. These cars are clones in different skins for different tastes. you are just spending more money. to each their own
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Your post is totally subjective, which is fine, but, it is also flawed.

    I see you are happy with your RDX, good for you, however, these two are so close in performance. It really depends on the driver drives it to see what type of numbers you get. Also, they both have turbo lag. The day a manufacturer builds a boosted vehicle with an A/T with no turbo lag is the day I win Powerball.

    In regards to luxury, yes the Acura wins that one. If it didn't, the RDX would be a TOTAL dissapointment! It's a luxury vehicle for cryin out loud! Remember, you also pay THOUSANDS more for the luxury. You talk as if it came at the same price as the CX-7.

    Mazda's Advanced Keyless entry and Start System being "lame", I guess Lexus, M-B, BMW, Infiniti, Nissan are lame as well....
  • rex10rex10 Posts: 24
    My two cents on the RDX/CX-7 comparison:

    I spent a lot of time trying to decide between these two cars. I liked the quality of the Acura, but I liked the styling of the CX-7 much better. At the last minute (literally at the dealer lot) the decision came down to what I thought was the best value. The CX-7 most valuable features are "invisible" - high performance, stability control, abs, vented disk brakes, side curtain airbags, etc.. These features are available in all trim levels starting at the sport model with cloth seats. If you take the sport model with cloth seats and 4wd, then the performance difference between the two cars is negligible, but the price difference is HUGE. This is the best value advantage point for the CX-7 (in addition to the good looks!). I almost simply bought the AWD sport model for this reason - the dealer had one with a power driver seat and sunroof/Bose options at a great price.

    From there I upgraded to the Touring package with heated leather seats and sunroof and came away feeling pretty good about the value equation for this car (still saving a few grand over the RDX). For me, the other features, though not that much more money, weren't worth it and I also didn't like the funky alligator stripe. I definitely was not interested in the tech package and have since bought a nuvi w/bluetooth, which I can take with me when I travel on business (which is where I need nav the most).

    PS: I almost didn't buy this car for its lack of MP3 capability. A 2007 model with no MP3 or aux jack? That's a major omission. I'll be adding a 3rd party iPod kit down the road.
  • Good report. I didn't like the "alligator stripe" either, but after I did the math and added fog lights and some other stuff to the Touring, I ended up finding out the GT was the better deal. So I gulped and went for the goofy stripe. The "special gauge lighting" and auto A/C have been excellent, and I'm glad I got the top model.

    I just bought the iPod interface from Mazda, it ran about $160 with tax. They said they would charge 2 hours of labor to put it in, but I'm going to give it a go myself. You don't have to tear too far into the car for the install. I'll post my results elsewhere in the CX-7 forums.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    "These two vehicles are so close in performance."

    Ditto. Each year it seems we get closer and closer to the point of diminishing returns. The auto manufacturers spend lots of money on upgrades which don't result in significant advantages.

    That said, we're spec racing here. Any time we do that, we should use head to head comparisons as much as possible. It eliminates the many variables you'll find when comparing one magazines results against those of another.

    Now, there aren't many comparo's out there, but the MotorTrend article mentioned by Patentcad does support his argument (if not his description).

    The RDX scooted to 60mph in 7.3 second. Under the same conditions, it took the CX-7 8.0 seconds. Anything less than 0.5 probably isn't worth getting huffy about, but we are approaching a full second with this test.

    In the quarter mile, the RDX ran 15.6 @ 88.9 seconds. The CX-7 ran 16.0 @84.6. Pretty close. The trap speeds suggest that the RDX still had legs above 90mph, but otherwise these results are close.

    On the skidpad...
    RDX = .82g
    CX-7= .79g

    Figure 8...
    RDX = 27.5 seconds at .61g
    CX-7= 28.0 seconds at .58g

    Passing (40-70)...
    RDX = 3.7 seconds
    CX-7= 4.7 seconds

    In defense of the Mazda, the CX-7 scores significantly higher when it comes to stopping. The Mazda stopped from 60 in 122 ft, while it took the RDX 134.

    Believe me, I don't think MT is the benchmark publication for specs, but head-to-head comparos are the best for this sort of thing.

    Of course, what all this doesn't tell us is the stuff spec racing doesn't cover. For example, this quote from the MT boys.

    "Despite a sporty feel and Mazda's Active Torque Split AWD--also borrowed from the MazdaSpeed6--the CX-7 just didn't have the same level of dynamic composure as the Acura. It also lacked the RDX's wrought-from-billet structural rigidity."

    So, yeah, it would seem that the RDX does have an overall performance advantage over the CX-7. Some of it is significant, some of it isn't. If the difference between a 7.3 and an 8.0 sprint to 60mph isn't significant to you, then Acura's efforts are wasted. However, die-hard enthusiasts may disagree.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Can't forget, you do pay THOUSANDS more to get that wee bit of performance. So, in a sense, it should be better. We are all forgetting that this is a luxury SUV being compared to a non-luxury vehicle. If you really want to compare dollar for dollar, the CX-7 is a better value, and the RAV4 would be the closest dollar for dollar competition, less the navi system which is does not have.
  • Hmmm... I propose that there are several shades of "non-luxury," if you want to call the CX-7 that. I almost bought a RAV-4, but couldn't go back to its' Sentra-like interior after having seen the CX-7. The RAV-4 might be the Mazda's equal (or better) in some performance and specification numbers, but for interior feel, there is no comparison. I really think it goes beyond just being subjective when it comes to that. It's a drastic difference in my opinion.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Well, Mazda is not a luxury brand. Acura is.

    The CX-7 does posses "luxury like" features, such as the Advanced Keyless Ignition and Entry System, leather, navigation...etc. However, when comparing to an Acura, which has to be luxurious, the CX-7 does fall short (yes, it can be subjective). But, as I stated, you pay THOUSANDS more for that extra fit and finish, as well as the "A" on the grill. IMHO, the Mazda is a better value.

    I do agree with you that the interior of the RAV4 is a bit lacking in comparison to CX-7, as well as exterior styling (again, subjective about styling), however, they in the same class and price bracket, hence, close competition
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    "Can't forget, you do pay THOUSANDS more to get that wee bit of performance. So, in a sense, it should be better."

    Agreed. In some cases, say BMW 330 vs Acura TL, that money is well spent. The BMW is truly that much better.

    In other cases, say Honda S2000 vs BMW Z3, the extra cash is not well spent.

    The thing is, I think you are forgetting that we're comparing a luxury vs a non luxury vehicle. Yes, you need to spend thousands more to get the Acura's "wee bit of performance". But that money also buys a better NAV, better AWD, a glorious stereo, better interior, etc.

    I don't see either having much of an advantage in terms of value. With the Mazda, you pay less and you get less. With the Acura, you get more and you pay more.

    I don't see either vehicle being priced incorrectly in terms of what they offer. The only question is whether or not YOU want the extra performance and improved features. That does not alter the intrinsic value of the vehicles.
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