For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi Q3 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Acura RDX doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.
For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi Q3 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Acura RDX has only front height-adjustable seat belts.
Both the Q3 and the RDX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front-wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive and blind spot warning systems.
The Q3’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the RDX’s (12 vs. 5 years).
The Audi Q3’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the RDX’s engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.
The camshafts in the Q3’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The RDX’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the RDX’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.
To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Q3 has a standard 140-amp alternator. The RDX’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.
A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Q3’s reliability 28 points higher than the RDX.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicle are more reliable than Acura vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi fourth in reliability. Acura is ranked 12th.
On the EPA test cycle the Q3 Quattro gets better fuel mileage than the RDX AWD (20 city/28 hwy vs. 19 city/27 hwy).
The Q3 has almost a gallon more fuel capacity than the RDX (16.9 vs. 16 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
The Q3 stops much shorter than the RDX:
70 to 0 MPH
Car and Driver
For better traction, the Q3’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the RDX (255/40R19 vs. 235/60R18).
The Q3’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the RDX’s standard 60 series tires. The Q3’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the RDX’s 60 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Q3 offers optional 19-inch wheels. The RDX’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.
The Q3’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (57.2% to 42.8%) than the RDX’s (59.8% to 40.2%). This gives the Q3 more stable handling and braking.
The Q3 Prestige Quattro handles at .85 G’s, while the RDX AWD pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.
The Audi Q3 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 pounds less than the Acura RDX.
The Q3 is 11.6 inches shorter than the RDX, making the Q3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Q3 Prestige Quattro is quieter than the RDX AWD (74 vs. 76 dB).
The front step up height for the Q3 is 1.8 inches lower than the RDX (17.4” vs. 19.2”). The Q3’s rear step up height is 1.7 inches lower than the RDX’s (17.8” vs. 19.5”).
The power windows standard on both the Q3 and the RDX have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Q3 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The RDX prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.
The Q3’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The RDX’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.
The Q3’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The RDX’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.
Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Q3 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The RDX doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Q3 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The RDX doesn’t offer headlight washers.
Insurance will cost less for the Q3 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Q3 with a number “8” insurance rate while the RDX is rated higher at a number “10” rate.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Q3 is less expensive to operate than the RDX because typical repairs cost much less on the Q3 than the RDX, including $415 less for a power steering pump.
Consumer Reports® recommends both the Audi Q3 and the Acura RDX, based on reliability, safety and performance.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Q3 third among small premium suvs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The RDX isn’t in the top three.