Acura RDX Years to Avoid and The Best Years

Acura RDX Years to Avoid – Are you considering purchasing an Acura RDX, the popular luxury compact SUV? As with any vehicle, it’s essential to make an informed decision, and part of that involves understanding which model years to avoid.

In this article, we’ll reveal the Acura RDX years to avoid to help you navigate your way to the best choice.

Acura RDX Years to Avoid

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or an experienced car enthusiast, knowing the potential pitfalls of certain model years can save you from unnecessary headaches and ensure a more satisfying ownership experience.

Before we delve into the specific years to avoid, let’s briefly familiarize ourselves with the Acura RDX.

The Acura RDX is a luxury compact SUV known for its sporty performance, upscale features, and comfortable interior. It has garnered a reputation for being a reliable and stylish choice in its segment.

However, like any vehicle, certain model years may have had their fair share of issues, prompting us to take a closer look.

Acura RDX Years to Avoid

While the Acura RDX has generally been well-received, there have been a few model years that owners and experts suggest avoiding due to reported problems.

It’s important to note that these concerns should not overshadow the overall quality and reliability of the Acura RDX.

However, it’s worth considering them when making your purchasing decision.

Acura RDX Years to Avoid

When it comes to purchasing an Acura RDX, understanding which model years to avoid can be a valuable piece of knowledge.

So, let’s dive into the details and explore the Acura RDX years to avoid, helping you choose the right model that meets your needs and expectations.

First Generation Acura RDX (2007-2012)

The first generation of the Acura RDX, introduced in 2007, is generally regarded as the best generation in terms of style and luxurious features. However, it faced a major concern related to the Takata airbag inflator ruptures.

The NHTSA issued warnings to drivers of vehicles equipped with Takata airbags, including some early 2000s RDX models.

While the majority of affected vehicles have been recalled and fixed, it’s essential to verify the status of any used RDX from this generation to ensure there are no outstanding safety risks.

Additionally, some owners have reported higher maintenance costs associated with this generation.

Read Also: Acura MDX Years to Avoid

2010 Acura RDX

The 2010 Acura RDX is one of the oldest models to be cautious about. It has had several reported issues, including electrical problems such as door actuator failure, transmission leaks leading to transmission failure, malfunctioning GPS and radio, and paint peeling off.

These issues collectively contribute to an unsatisfactory ownership experience and make this particular model year less recommended.

2015 Acura RDX

The 2015 model year of the Acura RDX, part of the second generation, had its share of concerns.

One notable issue was the use of soy-based insulation on the electrical wiring.

While environmentally friendly, it attracted animals to the undercarriage, resulting in potential damage and costly repairs. Additionally, this model year experienced problems with the airbags, with reports of explosions under certain heat and humidity conditions.

The navigation system in this model was also known to be faulty.

Another important consideration is the fuel pump, as it had a recall due to low-density impellers that could split and absorb fuel, potentially causing engine overheating and severe damage to vehicle components.

Read Also: Acura TSX Years to Avoid

2017 Acura RDX

The 2017 Acura RDX model did not bring significant improvements and faced multiple issues. Glitches in the navigation and Bluetooth systems were reported, resulting in poor functionality, especially in areas with no cell service.

Complaints of hard and sluggish transmission shifts were also common.

Brake failure, a potentially fatal issue, was another concern reported by owners. Due to the accumulation of various problems, the 2017 model year is not recommended.

2019 Acura RDX

The 2019 Acura RDX, the first model year of the latest generation, garnered the highest number of complaints among all the model years.

Major issues included engine stalls while driving, infotainment system failures, power loss during acceleration, and the recurrence of the airbag recall experienced in the first generation.

These complaints indicate potential safety hazards and unsatisfactory performance. If considering a 2019 model, it is crucial to thoroughly inspect the vehicle and be aware of these reported issues.

2016 Acura RDX

The 2016 model year of the Acura RDX has received ten distinct braking complaints, including high-pitched screaming, rapid brake fading, and longer stopping distances.

While not as severe as some other model years, brake problems have been consistently reported for this particular generation.

Additionally, there have been general complaints about high levels of vehicle noise. Although not a major concern, the frequency of brake issues should be taken into account.

It is advisable to thoroughly inspect any prospective vehicle, consider its maintenance history, and, if possible, consult with a trusted mechanic before making your final decision.

Read Also: Acura TL Years to Avoid

Best Years for Acura RDX

Best Years for Acura RDX

When it comes to finding the best Acura RDX model, there are several factors to consider. From performance and safety features to comfort and reliability, each model year has its unique offerings.

In this section, we will explore some of the top Acura RDX models, highlighting their key features and why they stand out.

Whether you’re a performance enthusiast or seeking a comfortable and reliable SUV, we’ll help you identify the best years for the Acura RDX.

2009 Acura RDX

The 2009 Acura RDX is an excellent choice for those seeking a reliable SUV on a budget. Despite being one of the oldest models, it boasts a solid build quality and a comfortable interior.

While the turbo may have some limitations, this model offers exceptional handling and braking capabilities, making it a pleasure to drive.

With a decent 240-horsepower engine, the 2009 RDX delivers adequate power for everyday use, making it an ideal choice for budget-conscious buyers.

Read Also: Acura ILX Years to Avoid

2011 Acura RDX

The 2011 Acura RDX strikes a perfect balance between luxury and performance. It features a powerful engine that produces 240 horsepower, allowing for quick acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in just 7 seconds.

Alongside its impressive performance, this model offers advanced safety features like impact-absorbing crumple zones, ensuring your protection in the event of a collision.

With its excellent handling and crash scores, the 2011 RDX provides a smooth and safe ride, making it an attractive option for those seeking both luxury and performance.

2012 Acura RDX

The 2012 Acura RDX builds upon the success of its predecessor, offering similar features and performance. With its 240-horsepower engine and impressive acceleration capabilities, this model continues to provide a thrilling driving experience.

Additionally, it comes equipped with safety features like traction control, enhancing its overall safety profile.

While it may show its age, the 2012 RDX remains a solid choice for those looking for high performance in an SUV without compromising comfort or luxury.

2018 Acura RDX

For those seeking the latest technology and safety features, the 2018 Acura RDX is a standout choice.

With various available packages, this compact SUV offers a smooth and comfortable ride coupled with advanced safety features.

Its excellent safety rating reflects its ability to protect occupants in the event of an impact.

Furthermore, the 2018 RDX boasts an impressive fuel economy, ensuring you save money at the pump. If you prioritize the latest technology and safety advancements, the 2018 model is worth considering.

Read Also: Acura TLX Years to Avoid

2021 Acura RDX

The 2021 Acura RDX represents the pinnacle of luxury and performance in the RDX lineup. With a turbocharged engine producing an impressive 272 horsepower, this model delivers exhilarating speeds, reaching 0 to 60 mph in just 6.3 seconds.

Its sedan-like handling and maneuverability make it a joy to drive, whether you’re on the highway or navigating through city streets.

Even the base model comes well-equipped with a range of features, offering excellent value for your money.

If you’re looking for the most recent and advanced Acura RDX model, the 2021 edition is the ultimate choice.

The Acura RDX has evolved over the years, providing a range of options for buyers. Consider your preferences and budget when choosing the best Acura RDX model for your needs.

Most Common Acura RDX Problems

When it comes to owning a vehicle, encountering problems is not uncommon. It is crucial to be aware of potential issues to ensure proper maintenance and avoid unexpected breakdowns.

Most common Acura RDX problems

Here are some of the most common problems that Acura RDX owners have reported, along with possible solutions.

So, if you are considering purchasing an Acura RDX or currently own one, read on to understand what to expect and how to address these issues.

1. Failing Turbocharger

First-generation Acura RDX models are known to develop turbocharger-related problems as they age.

The check engine warning light may illuminate, indicating turbocharger failure or a malfunctioning external turbo actuator.

This can result in reduced fuel efficiency and power.

Replacing the entire turbocharger can be costly, but if only the actuator needs replacement, swapping it from a used turbo unit can be a more affordable option.

Read Also: Most Expensive Acura Car

2. Loud Noise When Opening the Tailgate

Many Acura RDX drivers have reported hearing a popping, creaking, or groaning sound when opening the tailgate.

This issue is often accompanied by paint chipping caused by the rubber weather stripping catching on the hatch’s frame.

The noise may be due to a stuck part, worn or damaged spring or hinge assembly, or misaligned body panels.

Acura addressed this problem in newer RDX models by trimming and painting the parts prone to catching. If you have an affected RDX, your dealer can fix it under warranty.

3. Limp Mode Problem

Some Acura RDX owners have experienced sudden activation of “Limp Mode” while accelerating at higher speeds, especially in rainy or humid conditions.

This issue can lead to unexpected vehicle behavior, potentially resulting in accidents.

Fortunately, restarting the vehicle usually resolves the problem. Acura issued a technical service bulletin (TSB) to provide information on this issue, and owners of 2019 and 2020 RDX models should be particularly cautious.

4. Dim Headlights

Dim headlights can pose a safety concern, especially in vehicles equipped with halogen headlights. The reflective material inside the headlight assembly can wear out over time, significantly reducing light output.

Replacing the bulbs with more powerful HID or LED alternatives is not recommended, as it may not be compatible with the headlight assembly.

The best solution is to replace the entire headlight assembly or upgrade it to accommodate HID or LED headlights, ensuring proper installation and electrical compatibility.

5. Squeaking Brake Noises

Many Acura RDX drivers have reported squeaking brake noises, even in relatively new vehicles, particularly in the 2016 model. While brake squeaking is typically attributed to worn brake parts or excess dust and rust, these factors are not the cause in newer RDXs.

The issue may be due to component design issues, manufacturing defects, or installation errors.

Acura addressed this problem with a TSB that required dealers to replace the front and rear brake pads and discs in the third-generation RDX.

If you experience this problem, visit your dealership for warranty-covered replacements or consider aftermarket brake pads and rotors.

6. Shattering Rear Glass

Owners of third-generation Acura RDXs have reported instances of the rear hatch glass shattering without any apparent cause, often in cold weather conditions.

Acura issued a TSB in 2022 that requires dealers to replace the rear glass, provided there is no history of accidents. If you experience this issue, take your RDX to the dealership for a replacement.

Ensure there are no signs of damage or compromise to nearby components and body panels.

Owning an Acura RDX may come with a few common problems, but being aware of them empowers you to take preventive measures or seek appropriate solutions.

Regular maintenance, early detection of issues, and timely repairs are essential for keeping your Acura RDX running smoothly.

By understanding these common problems and addressing them promptly, you can enjoy your Acura RDX with peace of mind on the road.

Is Acura RDX good for long trips?

Yes, the Acura RDX is a suitable vehicle for long trips. It comes equipped with standard safety features like Road Departure Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow, and Traffic Sign Recognition, which ensure a safe and comfortable journey for you and your family.

Read Also: Is Acura a Luxury Car Brand?

What are the best years of Acura RDX?

According to the information provided, the most reliable years for the Acura RDX are 2008, 2009, and 2010.

Is Acura RDX a Good SUV?

Yes, the Acura RDX is considered a good SUV, particularly if you are looking for a luxurious and affordable option. While it may not have all the high-end features of more expensive SUVs, it offers excellent value for its price and reliability is an important factor to consider.

Do Acura RDXs Hold Their Value?

Yes, the Acura RDX holds its value well over time, depreciating approximately 33% after five years. This is considered very good for an SUV, making it a solid choice if you’re looking for a vehicle with good resale value.

How Many Acura RDXs Have Been Sold?

The exact number of Acura RDXs sold is not provided, but the sales figures have varied over the years. The highest number of sales was in 2018, reaching 63,500 units, while the lowest was in 2006 with 9,000 units sold.

As a popular model, new units continue to be sold regularly.

Which Acura RDX Engine Is The Most Reliable?

The information provided states that the latest 2.0L turbocharged engine in the Acura RDX is the most reliable one yet. It has demonstrated little to no issues and offers sufficient power with its 272 horsepower output.

Is Acura RDX Expensive To Maintain?

No, the Acura RDX is not expensive to maintain. The estimated ten-year maintenance cost is $9,610, which is lower than the industry average for luxury crossover SUVs by $6,000. This indicates that the cost of maintenance for the Acura RDX is relatively affordable.

Is the Acura RDX a reliable car?

Yes, the 2023 Acura RDX has a predicted reliability score of 81 out of 100, indicating a good level of reliability. However, it’s important to note that reliability can vary between model years, so it’s always recommended to research specific model years for a more accurate assessment.


The Acura RDX is a highly regarded SUV with many positive attributes. It offers a comfortable and luxurious driving experience, advanced safety features, and reliable performance.

When considering the best years for the Acura RDX, models like 2008, 2009, and 2010 are often recommended for their reliability.

When it comes to long trips, the Acura RDX proves to be a suitable companion, offering standard safety features and a comfortable ride.

However, it’s important to note that every vehicle may have its own set of issues, and proper research and maintenance are crucial.

So, when considering an Acura RDX purchase, it’s advisable to focus on the best years while being mindful of the potential issues associated with certain model years.

By doing thorough research and understanding the specific nuances of each year, buyers can make an informed decision and find an Acura RDX that suits their preferences and requirements.