Ended up going with the Acura RDX...

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2021 RDX A-Spec
Howdy,

I'm a longtime Mazda fan and have posted here quite a bit off-and-on. After putting off a decision on my next car for as long as I could, I finally pulled the trigger on a 2021 RDX A-Spec SH-AWD. I test drove the CX-5 an CX-9 one last time the week before buying and it affirmed that Mazda just doesn't make the right sized car for me. We have a 2-year old and plan to have another, and the idea of having some elbow room on looooong road trips to my hometown was a priority, but a 3-row SUV is just too much car for our lifestyle (and our garage!).

To be honest, when I saw the RDX reveal a few years ago I wasn't impressed enough to seriously consider it. It just seemed like another Acura and the price was out of reach. But on a whim I test drove one at a dealership, and I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. It really did bring a smile to my face to drive, which put it in rare company with the CX-5. The next thing that won me over was the ridiculous discount I learned you can get on Acuras in some areas, which made it far less of a stretch budget-wise. I managed 17% off MSRP over Black Friday weekend, putting the car under $40k.

First impressions are that the stance and driving position are perfect, complaints about its infotainment trackpad are overblown, the power is great, and Acura/Honda production lines still have poor attention to detail (defective stitching, scuffed parts, etc.), and the sound system is very good. I'm typically drawn to minimalistic designs and think the RDX's interior is not a great fit on the mainstream trims, but the NSX-inspired cues work much better with the sportier A-Spec trim. So I went all-in on the faux sports car vibe with the crystal white exterior with red interior. One of my big concerns with buying the RDX was its average fuel economy, especially with PHEVs and BEVs going mainstream. But I'm averaging 22-23 with suburban driving and this week I'm excited to see how close to 30 mpg I can get during a 1,000 mi road trip back home for the holidays (EPA is 26 hwy).

Anyhow, it might seem strange to post about the RDX here, but after watching online discussion the past couple of years I noticed a lot of folks are in the same "I love the CX-5 but its too small for my family" boat. So I figured folks might be interested in what I ended up choosing. So if you're comparison shopping and have any questions, ask away!
 

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2019 CX5 Reserve AWD
Enjoy it.
I still miss my Acura Integra.

It's amazing how many people on the RDX forum were praising the CX-5.
A lot said they would of purchased the CX-5 over the RDX if the CX-5 was just a little larger.
Hopefully Mazda will listen.
 
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2018 AWD GT Premium Red/Black
Howdy,

I'm a longtime Mazda fan and have posted here quite a bit off-and-on. After putting off a decision on my next car for as long as I could, I finally pulled the trigger on a 2021 RDX A-Spec SH-AWD. I test drove the CX-5 an CX-9 one last time the week before buying and it affirmed that Mazda just doesn't make the right sized car for me. We have a 2-year old and plan to have another, and the idea of having some elbow room on looooong road trips to my hometown was a priority, but a 3-row SUV is just too much car for our lifestyle (and our garage!).

To be honest, when I saw the RDX reveal a few years ago I wasn't impressed enough to seriously consider it. It just seemed like another Acura and the price was out of reach. But on a whim I test drove one at a dealership, and I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. It really did bring a smile to my face to drive, which put it in rare company with the CX-5. The next thing that won me over was the ridiculous discount I learned you can get on Acuras in some areas, which made it far less of a stretch budget-wise. I managed 17% off MSRP over Black Friday weekend, putting the car under $40k.

First impressions are that the stance and driving position are perfect, complaints about its infotainment trackpad are overblown, the power is great, and Acura/Honda production lines still have poor attention to detail (defective stitching, scuffed parts, etc.), and the sound system is very good. I'm typically drawn to minimalistic designs and think the RDX's interior is not a great fit on the mainstream trims, but the NSX-inspired cues work much better with the sportier A-Spec trim. So I went all-in on the faux sports car vibe with the crystal white exterior with red interior. One of my big concerns with buying the RDX was its average fuel economy, especially with PHEVs and BEVs going mainstream. But I'm averaging 22-23 with suburban driving and this week I'm excited to see how close to 30 mpg I can get during a 1,000 mi road trip back home for the holidays (EPA is 26 hwy).

Anyhow, it might seem strange to post about the RDX here, but after watching online discussion the past couple of years I noticed a lot of folks are in the same "I love the CX-5 but its too small for my family" boat. So I figured folks might be interested in what I ended up choosing. So if you're comparison shopping and have any questions, ask away!
It's not hideous.
 
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2019 CX-5 Signature
Congrats! That's a nice vehicle. I hope you enjoy it.

Oh, and I hope your dealer addresses your blemish issues.
 
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Mazda needs a CX 7 larger with 2 rows of seats and more storage. Enjoy your new SUV. I am impressed with your back yard. Does your RDX require premium (93) fuel?
 
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2019 CX-5 GT
I had a '16 RDX Advance before my CX-5. We had loads of issues with ours and I would not buy another one for the foreseable future. I drove a current gen RDX for almost a month when ours was in the shop and I was not impressed. The 10-sp auto was very hurky jerky (just like the 6-sp in the RDX I owned - which was one of my primary complaints) and I did not like the new infotainment system at all. I hope yours is trouble free and you continue to enjoy it.
 

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
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Canada
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'18 CX-9 Signature
First, congrats on the new ride! 17% off MSRP on a 2021 sounds like a really good deal. It's probably impossible to even come close to that kind of discount on a 2021 CX-5 right now. It looks good in white with the red interior, very sporty. Wheels are really nice too.

Second, thanks for sticking around, even if only to answer questions! Your experience and feedback will be very useful to those cross-shopping these vehicles. Published specs are always nice, but sometimes owner feedback is necessary and just as valuable.

Hopefully your ownership is long and trouble-free!
 

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
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Canada
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'18 CX-9 Signature
Oh I wanted to ask, how would you compare the dealer experience between the two brands? Did you feel that one dealership felt more "premium" than the other?
 
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2021 RDX A-Spec
Oh I wanted to ask, how would you compare the dealer experience between the two brands? Did you feel that one dealership felt more "premium" than the other?
Yes, the Acura dealer blew my Mazda dealer away in terms of premium feel. But to be frank, I've never been to one of the modernized Mazda dealers. The closest dealer to me is a combo Mazda-Nissan dealer that is very no-frills. Plain white walls with no branding, cheap furniture, and a cheesy elevated perch in the center of the floor where the manager sits. In contrast, the Acura dealer was very modern with dark/warmer colors, carpeted floors, glass walls, seating areas, and each salesperson had a real desk - reminded me of a nice bank.

In terms of treatment, the Acura salesperson has been really impressive. He surely made little/no money on the deal since I negotiated through the internet sales manager, but has treated me well. I've been especially impressed with how much he's been willing to follow-up on some random issues after-the-fact. I had an accessory installed and asked to keep the original part, so he tracked it down and stored it in his vehicle to make sure it didn't get lost. And then when I picked it up, he followed up on the financing to make sure I had received my first statement. This was a stark contrast to every other car-buying experience in my life, where I feel like the sales department is "done with you" the second you drive off the lot. That being said, the Mazda salesperson was very nice and let me test drive the cars by myself, which was professional. He also let me leave without having to "meet his manager," which I greatly appreciated.

But...not all Acura dealers are equal. There was a 2nd Acura dealer that was competing for the sale that made me very uncomfortable. It was not as nice and their sales team had a very high-volume, high-pressure vibe. The salesperson was very prototypical and very blunt with his tactics. They accompanied my test drive, which was annoying. I had to hear the hard pitch from their manager, which also was annoying. Even though this dealer was much closer to me, I'm kinda glad it didn't work out.
 
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2021 RDX A-Spec
Mazda needs a CX 7 larger with 2 rows of seats and more storage. Enjoy your new SUV. I am impressed with your back yard. Does your RDX require premium (93) fuel?
Agreed! My last Mazda was a CX-7 and I wish they still made a car that size.

Premium fuel is "recommended" but not "required." I use premium. :)
 
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2021 Acura RDX
I've always had a great experience with Mazda. In fact, when I bring my car in for service, the service manager knows me by name. (Not sure if that's good or bad). He always complements how "clean" my CX-5 is :). In addition, either he or one of his other designated sales advisors accompanies me to the cashier and goes over my full multi-point inspection with me in detail. I consider that pretty good service.

As far as Acura goes, the dealership closest to me is much nicer than my Mazda dealership. It is newer, and the inside is much more "premium" feeling. I only know this because I went on the test drive with my parents when they bought the RDX. Additionally, the salesperson was very friendly, and had a no pressure vibe, which was much appreciated by my parents. Anyway, overall, it was a nicer dealership, however, I still am content with my CX-5 purchase :)
 
He always complements how "clean" my CX-5 is :). In addition, either he or one of his other designated sales advisors accompanies me to the cashier and goes over my full multi-point inspection with me in detail. I consider that pretty good service.
Watch out when they start to "sell" you on what is needed for the vehicle. Remember, they probably receive commission.
 
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1994 Mazda MX-5
Great value for money, good choice. I generally prefer the CX-5 but for the same price I would likely do the same.