Ended up going with the Acura RDX...

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Kia optima
New Genesis gv70 seems like solid choice on paper, should be available in 2021 with staring price around RDX's price. Next generation cx50 will probably see good spike in price also based rumored specs, RWD layout.
2021 model year will be my new vehicle purchase. CX5 turbo or RDX. I really liked my CX7 and now my 2014 CX5 vehicle. Who will win my dollars? Ed
 
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13' CX-5 and 16' Mazda6 both Touring w/Tech/Bose
CX-50 is rumoured to be slightly larger than the current CX-5. No idea when it will debut, probably not until 2023, but it may be worth holding off until then if you can. Otherwise both cars are pretty solid choices.
I like the RDX as a current leader of its class. I think the next CX-5 (CX-50) with inline 6 engine and RWD layout would be very interesting to watch.
 
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2011 CX-7 i Sport
My CX7 was the perfect size for me. The CX5, which I really like is short on elbow room and the CX9 is too large for me. Ed
Arm rest on my daughter's 2015 CX-5 sits much lower that the one on my 2011 CX-7. CX-5, not so comfortable height.
 
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2018 AWD GT Premium Red/Black
Arm rest on my daughter's 2015 CX-5 sits much lower that the one on my 2011 CX-7. CX-5, not so comfortable height.
Agreed. I assume its for access to the Command knob over comfort while resting on the steering wheel.
 
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CX5 GT-R
I like the RDX as a current leader of its class. I think the next CX-5 (CX-50) with inline 6 engine and RWD layout would be very interesting to watch.
I don't really view the RDX as its class leader. Performance is lacking compared to Mazda. Reliability is "meh". If money isn't a big deal, I'd say the M40i or GLC43 AMG would be the class leaders, but once you start tacking "money" into the equation, I automatically must say that reliability is in there, too. Frugal and all. The Mazda takes the cake AND outperforms the RDX, here. They trade shots with each other for amenities.
 

tibimakai

San Dimas CA
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USA
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2014 CX-5 Touring
I'm in the same boat, but for me #1 is Alfa Romeo Stelvio(~20-25% off MSRP !!), then CX5 and last the RDX. RDX is worse in reliability, than the Stelvio. The best is the CX5.
 
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!
Great write up thanks for posting this!

Do you happen to know how much more room your new car has compared to the CX-5?
 
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.
I like that the CX-5 is a bit smaller than some of the other cars in its class.
 
I recently had some brake work done at my Mazda dealer, which has a Maserati/AR dealership right beside it. The Stelvio definitely looks better than the CX-5 IMO, and I think part of it has to do with the painted cladding around the wheel arches. RDX's reliability ratings may be overblown due to common first MY issues.

IMO the best way to suss out reliability or quality concerns is to find an online social community or two made up of owners/potential owners (like an online forum or a FB group). That way, you can potentially get real world feedback from owners while also considering the info provided from other publications/reviewers.
I don't agree with that AT ALL and I will tell you why and its a simple concept. Many people join online forums to ONLY get info on a problem. Those posts are NOT giving you a good cross section of all of the people who own that car just the ones who have problems.
 
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North of Toronto
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2019 CX-9 Sig
Loved my silver CX7.

Feel bad for Nissan/Infiniti's product managers. Do they read these forums? Are their SUVs ever mentioned positively? Mentioned?

Do they even talk about them on their own forums?

Congrats on RDX. I too found the CX5 a tad small, and RDX was in play right until the end when I bought my CX9. I could easily have been happy with RDX. Love the white on red.
 
Loved my silver CX7.

Feel bad for Nissan/Infiniti's product managers. Do they read these forums? Are their SUVs ever mentioned positively? Mentioned?

Do they even talk about them on their own forums?

Congrats on RDX. I too found the CX5 a tad small, and RDX was in play right until the end when I bought my CX9. I could easily have been happy with RDX. Love the white on red.

I remember a review of a Nissan Rogue in Car and Driver magazine. The author stated that the Rogue is a good car "if you are driving by yourself going down hill". LOL

The new Rogue got a pretty good revue though.
 
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‘21 CX-5 Sig
Had to chime in here. Sorry it’s for my first post.

I’m coming from the other way. I bought what I thought was going to be a great car in a 2020 RDX A-spec. Like many, I have a personal rule to never buy a first year model of a generation, so this car was supposed to be OK. I can’t find many “common problems” that didn’t affect me (some are just criticisms of things I deem unacceptable in a $45k car).
  • Sunroof pop/knock at least daily
  • Loss of network comms blue screen of death
  • Squeaky brakes after only 5k miles
  • AM/FM unavailable at random
  • Bluetooth unavailable at random
  • Ventilated seats that did nothing
  • Radio black/won’t turn on (happened in a loaner, too)
  • Rubbing sound when hatch closes
  • Jerky trans/acceleration
  • Weird lull in power when coming to an almost stop
  • Exceptionally bad turbo lag
  • Crackly passenger speaker (loaner had the same issue)
  • Faulty parking sensors
  • Wicked dash rattle (loaner, too)
  • Never exceeded 21 mpg, even feathering the accelerator

None of that means jack compared to an issue called “limp mode during acceleration”. This was truly terrifying, second to actually getting in an accident. Happened to me twice, apparently it also affects the 2.0T Accords. Rare problem, but with rain on a long-ish trip the car will simply go into limp mode when you’re accelerating. No codes will be stored (such was the case for me), or just a code for cylinder misfire.

Mine happened at night, in the rain, in construction, moderate traffic, tractor trailer treading the line, shoulders closed. The other time normal highway with rain, still not safe. Dealer found nothing, Acura customer service would not get back to me after seeing dealer, asked for buyback, considered pursuing lemon law, but in the end I traded the stupid car in after just a few months (7500 miles) and took a massive loss in order to get peace of mind. Some might not agree with this decision, but the loss of power issue was on my mind EVERY single time I was driving. Plus you read about a couple people who had it happen in completely dry conditions— nope. There was no way I wanted to get stuck with that car for 5-10 years. Five minutes of cursory research shows this goes back years when including the Accord, and there’s no indication the 2021 RDX is unaffected (or the ‘21 TLX . Those look awesome, btw).

Anyways, I jumped to a ‘21 CX-5 signature. Not as quick, but feels like a nicer vehicle. The build quality is excellent. 2nd Mazda—had an ‘05 RX-8 about a decade ago. Loved that car.

Don’t get me wrong— there were some good things about the RDX. The acceleration was explosively quick after the first few thousand RPMs, the LKAS lane centering was excellent, looks nice inside and out, very roomy compared to CX-5... but that’s it. 10th car I’ve owned, easily the poorest value, and mile for mile, the least reliable by far.

Great to move to a car company that has cars that can accelerate in the rain. Acura doesn’t think that’s an important feature to include— even as an optional extra.
 
Last edited:

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
:
Canada
:
'18 CX-9 Signature
I don't agree with that AT ALL and I will tell you why and its a simple concept. Many people join online forums to ONLY get info on a problem. Those posts are NOT giving you a good cross section of all of the people who own that car just the ones who have problems.

Yep I definitely agree that most people join online forums to find info/solutions regarding a problem they're having. The benefit comes from the owners who may be able to provide solutions, and who may be able to put the issue into a frame of reference.

Additionally, while online forums may not be the best way to find out how often a problem arises, they are a good way to find out what kind of problems people are having. As an example, previously the CX-9 had a low reliability ranking on CR for the 2016 MY. Hop on to a Mazda forum, and at the time most people were having issues with the infotainment. Someone worried about powertrain reliability would see that and probably get some relief from it.

You're right, it's tough to get a good cross section of all the people who own the car just from online forums, but if you combine it with other research/reviews, it can contribute to a better overall picture.


Had to chime in here. Sorry it’s for my first post.

I’m coming from the other way. I bought what I thought was going to be a great car in a 2020 RDX A-spec. Like many, I have a personal rule to never buy a first year model of a generation, so this car was supposed to be OK. I can’t find many “common problems” that didn’t affect me (some are just criticisms of things I deem unacceptable in a $45k car).
  • Sunroof pop/knock at least daily
  • Loss of network comms blue screen of death
  • Squeaky brakes after only 5k miles
  • AM/FM unavailable at random
  • Bluetooth unavailable at random
  • Ventilated seats that did nothing
  • Radio black/won’t turn on (happened in a loaner, too)
  • Rubbing sound when hatch closes
  • Jerky trans/acceleration
  • Weird lull in power when coming to an almost stop
  • Exceptionally bad turbo lag
  • Crackly passenger speaker (loaner had the same issue)
  • Faulty parking sensors
  • Wicked dash rattle (loaner, too)
  • Never exceeded 21 mpg, even feathering the accelerator

None of that means jack compared to an issue called “limp mode during acceleration”. This was truly terrifying, second to actually getting in an accident. Happened to me twice, apparently it also affects the 2.0T Accords. Rare problem, but with rain on a long-ish trip the car will simply go into limp mode when you’re accelerating. No codes will be stored (such was the case for me), or just a code for cylinder misfire.

Mine happened at night, in the rain, in construction, moderate traffic, tractor trailer treading the line, shoulders closed. The other time normal highway with rain, still not safe. Dealer found nothing, Acura customer service would not get back to me after seeing dealer, asked for buyback, considered pursuing lemon law, but in the end I traded the stupid car in after just a few months (7500 miles) and took a massive loss in order to get peace of mind. Some might not agree with this decision, but the loss of power issue was on my mind EVERY single time I was driving. Plus you read about a couple people who had it happen in completely dry conditions— nope. There was no way I wanted to get stuck with that car for 5-10 years. Five minutes of cursory research shows this goes back years when including the Accord, and there’s no indication the 2021 RDX is unaffected (or the ‘21 TLX . Those look awesome, btw).

Anyways, I jumped to a ‘21 CX-5 signature. Not as quick, but feels like a nicer vehicle. The build quality is excellent. 2nd Mazda—had an ‘05 RX-8 about a decade ago. Loved that car.

Don’t get me wrong— there were some good things about the RDX. The acceleration was explosively quick after the first few thousand RPMs, the LKAS lane centering was excellent, looks nice inside and out, very roomy compared to CX-5... but that’s it. 10th car I’ve owned, easily the poorest value, and mile for mile, the least reliable by far.

Great to move to a car company that has cars that can accelerate in the rain. Acura doesn’t think that’s an important feature to include— even as an optional extra.

That limp mode issue sounds like a doozy. Are you a member on any of the Acura forums? Just curious, because if you are, I'd like to visit the forum you're a member of to see what other Acura owners were saying about your particular experience.
 

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