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Acura RDX vs Infiniti EX35



  • Read ANY major automotive press review of any Infiniti except the the QX56 and it will say they share platforms with the G coupe and sedan, both of which share the same Front Mid ship Rear wheel drive architecture as the 350z. Only exception is the addition of All Wheel Drive in certain models. Take a look at the vehicle specs, their wheelbases and widths are nearly identical only different by a couple of inches. No Nissan other than the 350z shares any of the architecture with the Infiniti cars. Even the engines on the Nissan cars use the VQ35 while the Infiniti cars use the dual intake VQ35HR not to mention the engines in the Nissans (Altima, Maxima, Murano) are mounted horizontally and they are all front wheel drive.
  • Hey there!

    you sound knowledgeable -- well back in June I posted the question - which one is best for me -- the RDX or the EX and now I am considering the EX again. Would you comment please on the car in terms of MPG and its reliability? I will pay up to 36,000 for afully loaded car that performs up to par. Was considering a "used" LEXUS 400 but they want about 37,000 and there aren't very good rates for finance, yet. So for a car with 40,000 on it - am holding off. I will go and test the EX again to compare but a need a car soon. Please let me know your thoughts about it --- can't make out whether it's a good car or not from all these posts!!!
    did you look into RX 400 hybrid, too expensive? used are available now and there are many out there -- new tech and all "new generation" as they love to say.

  • docrwdocrw Posts: 94
    The EX is a great car if you or anyone else you know never plans to sit in the back seat. It is beautiful from the driver's perspective and if you are single or have no children or friends it would be a great car. Just on aesthetics alone the dash and front passenger compartment easily beat just about any other small SUV.

    The problem is that it really is not an SUV or even a CUV. I looked at one yesterday and thought, why did they even bother to build this car. I have never even heard of a car with 4 doors having only 28 inches of rear seat legroom. The X3, which is 3 inches shorter has 7 inches more rear legroom and 12 more cubic feet of storage. They ride on an identical 110 inch wheel base, so where did BMW find all that extra space? Or, more to the point, how did the Infiniti designers squander all that space?

    Personally, to me it just seems like a G37 hatchback with less rear legroom, the G37 coupe has 29.7 inches of rear legroom. Not to belabor the point, but even a BMW 135i coupe, which is almost a foot shorter, has 32 inches of rear legroom. I think they should have just dropped the pretense and made it a 3 door hatchback, but that's not considered luxury to American buyers.
  • I just bought an 08 rdx today. I did test drive the ex35, loved the handling. But as noted before the rear seat is cramped. But even worse was the visibility out the back window. I felt like I'd never be able to change lanes in that car.
  • We are considering a RDX but comfortable seats for long trips are a must - would anyone know what the seats are like? Righr now we have a 2005 3.0 Outback and the seats are quite uncomfortable on long trips. We are giving back the Outback soon (lease is up) and looking for safety, AWD, and good seats! Suggestions? Thinking about the 2009 Forester XT, the RDX and the Toyota Venza.

    Thank you!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Buy the vehicle you want and the seats from
  • My husband who usually drives a Volvo S80 (because the seats are comfortable) drove the rdx from upstate NY to NYC (and back) and had no problems with the seats.
  • >>>You appear to be so knowledgeable - would you be able to comment on the Subaru Forester turbo? We are undecided between the two and FE is a key factor. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>No, sorry, Subaru simply doesn't warrant my attention.

    Any manufacturer who touts the safety of AWD (AWD simply does not address the issue of safety) and patently UNSAFE "symetrical" [SIC] AWD to boot, doesn't warrant anyone's attention IMMHO.

    Compare the SH-AWD system with ANY AWD(symetrical)/FWD/F-AWD system to see the shortcoming of all these "other" systems.

    Care to be a little less Honda Fanboi and a little more specific? Are you at all familiar with the Subaru VTD drive system and VDC systems? We'll see how adding clutch packs to the rear axle holds up for the 150,000+ miles that the Subaru drive trains have demonstrated for 10 years.

    You don't think that AWD delivers a safety benefit in low traction conditions?
  • Got some more information on the RDX drive system and claims that it is the equivalent of any of Subarus three AWD systems, or that of the Acura RL is way off base.

    According to the Wiki on SH AWD, "SH-AWD in the Acura RDX and Acura MDX use a default power split of 90% to the front and 10% to the rear. Like the unit in the RL, both can power the rear wheels with up to 70% of the engine torque. With this variant of SH-AWD, there is no acceleration device. Instead, the rear differential is constantly overdriven by 1.7 percent. During straight line performance, that difference is scrubbed off by the clutch packs. When cornering, the difference is used to overdrive the outside rear wheel."

    This is similar to the AWD system used on automatic shift Subarus in the 90's, with the addition of the clutch packs on each side. It might be more accurate to call it a "three wheel drive and temporary four wheel drive system." The Acura RL system uses a planetary gear set and is likely far more durable as well as being more efficient and capable. Compared to Subarus VTD system or the DCCD system in the WRX STi, it's tractor technology.
  • Thank you! It looks like wwest seems to be a bit of a Honda fanboy with little knowledge of how different AWD systems work. The SH-AWD system is more FWD than anything. All you really need to do is read the Wiki article, it sums it up. Not to mention various magazines covering SH-AWDs inner workings before it's release. The thing that scares me is 150,000 miles down the road. Those electronic packs out back taking all that excess abuse. SH-AWD falls short of what an AWD system is in my mind. Why is it missing a center differential. While my Subaru out in the driveway is utilizing a Torsen differential. When the snow falls this year I know I'm gonna be far happier than if I were driving an RDX. I know this because my good friend has one. I took it out last winter and it really just doesn't feel controlled to me in the snow. It doesn't feel as "on cue" as my Subaru does. I've also been in the auto industry as an employee and enthusiast for some time. What it comes down to for me in terms of AWD system I would like, it's Subaru Symmetrical or Audi Quattro (the true Tersen Quattro systems.)
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "You don't think that AWD delivers a safety benefit in low traction conditions?"

    I think that any AWD system that results in the BRAKING effects of engine compression being primarily at the rear upon throttle lift or "clutch" downshifting will add some level of safety factor in low traction conditions.

    I also think that any FWD or F/AWD can too easily lend a false sense of security to a driver not fully knowledgeable or experienced in the dynamics of handling these on a low traction surface.

    Sorry if I have come across as a fan of Honda, my position is, has been, that the SH-AWD system is the best of the best for vehicles with a sideways mounted engine, or any "base" FWD converted to F/AWD.
  • Have you ever owned an AWD vehicle? The benefits of delivering power to all four wheels are not restricted to engine braking.

    "I also think that any FWD or F/AWD can too easily lend a false sense of security to a driver not fully knowledgeable or experienced in the dynamics of handling these on a low traction surface. "

    As that represents the vast majority of cars and crossovers sold in the Us today, I hope not......
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "The benefits of delivering power to all four wheels is not restricted to engine braking.."

    Not what I said, NOT nearly what I said.

    There are LOTS of advantages of AWD...

    But all of those advantages will be easily overcome if engine compresssion braking is primarily at the front wheels, as it is in most F/AWD systems. The new Acura TL is getting a manual transmission, that would NOT be a viable option except for the ability to have rear torque biasing upon a downshift, or severe throttle lift, on a low traction surface.

    That's why there are very few stick shift FWD vehicles in the marketplace, and getting fewer every year. In the hands of an inexperienced driver they are PATENTLY UNSAFE in wintertime conditions. Even with FWD automatic transmissions the AAA is recommending that owners practice quickly shifting into neutral in preparation for doing that safely should the need arise, severe "plowing", understearing, on a low traction surface.

    Personally I would add my suggestion, gained from real life experience. In those same circumstances the use of rear implemented e-brake, judiciously/slightly, can be a tremendous aid in both holding the "line" and slowing the vehicle to gain more "bite" for those front wheels.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "Have you ever owned an AWD vehicle...?"

    Yes, first an '85 Jeep Cherokee Limited, then a '92, both with RWD/AWD/4X4hi/lo modes. The '92 has been retired to a north central MT cattle and wheat ranch and is still doing stellar duty.

    A '94 AWD Ford Aerostar, "donated" to son.

    A '00 AWD Chrysler T&C, "donated" to daughter.

    An AWD '00 RX300, traded.


    A '94 AWD Ford Aerostar.

    2001 Porsche 911/996 C4

    2001 AWD RX300.

    The '00 Lexus RX was primarily FWD using a VC, Viscous Clutch, to apportion torque to the rear if the front wheels slipped consistently, for a prolonged period. The '01 primarily uses TC braking to apportion torque and has a more flaccid VC for backup. The VC in my '01 has failed completely, ~80,000 miles, so I only have TC for AWD fucntionality.
  • Your experience with modern AWD systems could use some updating.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706

    Currently looking closely at the CX-7, RDX, and Ridgeline.

    I Like the RDX's SH-AWD system, the CX-7's DISI engine, and the Ridgeline's utility. But I would settle, quickly, for a CX-7 with the FEH/MMH/Tribute's hybrid drive.


    But expect knowledgeable rebuttals.

    But for the moment I'm awaiting the details of the 2010 RX350 AWD system.

    Otherwise I will probably be converting my F/AWD '01 RX300 to R/AWD.
  • 645e3a645e3a Posts: 4
    > Instead, the rear differential is constantly overdriven by 1.7 percent. During straight line performance, that difference is scrubbed off by the clutch packs.

    Hmm.. I can't see how this can possibly help on fuel economy.. I look forward to the 2010 RDX rumoured with FWD as a powertrain option.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..scrubbed off by the clutch packs..." "...During straight line performance.."

    In this case the only time the rear clutch packs are seriously engaged is during moderate to heavy acceleration, and you can't accelerate forever.

    The RDX already has a FWD mode, all you need do is install a DPST switch to interrupt the flow of electricity to the rear clutch packs. Since they have positional feedback you would probably get a "don't care" failure code.
  • I chose the EX35 over the RDX due to the fact that the EX35 is rear drive based on the FM platform, (no rebadged Nissan version, where as the RDX is a rebadged Honda CRV with a turbo, other enhancements) handled better, nicer interior, more refined in my opinon vs the RDX. I like the EX styling better. The only plus of the RDX was that it has more room in the backseat/cargo, but not a lot more. There was very good pricing last month on the EX, $7k under MSRP. The best RDX pricing was only $2k or $3k under MSRP. IN the end the EX was nearly $3k cheaper than RDX.
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    If ride quality is a priority of you then I would suggest the EX35 over the RDX. The ride on the EX35 was much smoother when I test drove it compared to the RDX, especially the models with AWD. The RDX with FWD had a slight improvment in ride quality over its AWD counterparts but still was much more harsh/choppy on the majority of surfaces compared to the EX35.

    I also liked the body style a little bit better on the EX35 than on the RDX. Don't get me wrong the RDX is a great looking vehicle with lots of power with that turbo I4, but if ride quality is a priority then get the EX35.

    Please, don't think I'm hating on Acura because I do drive a 08 TL :D
  • schnellesautoschnellesauto Posts: 59
    edited April 2010
    The only negatives of the EX35 is the rear seat legroom and cargo is less than RDX. Otherwise in my extensive test drives and opinion it wins in every other category. I didn't like the turbo lag or handling on the RDX, RDX is front Wheel Drive based. RDX has poor fuel economy for a 4 cylinder vehicle. The EX's V6 gets same or better. Both use premium gas, so no savings there.

    The EX35 has no lower Nissan equivalent branded vehicle. The EX35 is on the G35/G37 FM REAR drive platform, where as the RDX is an over-glorified Honda CRV, same platform. It looks similar, from the sides, etc.

    With the deals going on now, the EX was cheaper than RDX out the door.
  • You need to keep in mind you won't get a cargo cover if you buy a standard EX35, you have to go to eBay for that. WTF in their mind of the 35K luxury car maker.
  • xisxis Posts: 1

    The RDX is NOT based on the CRV just like the EX35 is not based on the Rogue... UGH - get your facts straight before you present them as facts...

    They are both great cars.
    RDX handling is better. Size is better. Reliability is better. Price is better.
    EX35 ride is better, interior materials are better

    Acura> / = infiniti
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..RDX handling is better.."

    As good, EXCELLENT, as is the SH-AWD it does NOT compare favorably with even a simple RWD vehicle. Infiniti does not believe in FWD or F/awd vehicular drive systems for a good reason.
  • tonys6tonys6 Posts: 3
    If you look at RDX and CRV again, closely, they are identical.
    I would go with EX35 if I don't have children.
    Even a new Huyndai Tucson is better than RDX in many ways. Its style is so obsolete.
  • How are they identical? Powertrain is different, body is different, suspension is different. Somewhere on the web, there's a video interview where the RDX is compared to the CRV and the guy says they share 7% of the components. I'm literally looking right at my '08 RDX and my neighbor's '08 CRV.
  • tonys6tonys6 Posts: 3
    They look identical when you look from outside with same platform. If you put roofrack on CRV and look at it from back, side, and front, people will get confused.

    You don't do a surgery to check internal organs to say 2 people identical. It just the look.

    Maxima and G35 using same engine/transmission, but they don't look identical.
    Anyway, CRV and RDX are pretty much no difference, so why convince otherwise?
  • clquakeclquake Posts: 3
    edited October 2010
    I just want to make sure I'm getting this right.

    The cars look similar, so that means they're the same. Good one. Like saying the EX35 is a Rogue.

    After your last post, it's pretty clear you don't know anything about these vehicles, I would have loved to race you for slips w/ my Grand National (just a black Regal, right?), but just for kicks, how does Nissan use the Maxima's drive train, a front wheel drive car, and somehow make the exact same drive train work in a rear wheel drive G35 (based on a rear wheel drive Z chassis in case you didn't know). And by extension, since the EX is based on the G, then they're the same as well?
This discussion has been closed.