Here Are The Acura RDX Years To Avoid

in Year Model Comparison
White Acura RDX

Acura RDX by Kevauto — CC-BY-SA-4.0

Since its inception in 1986 as Honda’s premium brand in the United States, Acura has had a well-deserved reputation for dependability, quality, and overall driving performance. While the company has only built a small number of SUVs since its founding, they have had plenty of success and have gained mainstream popularity in the United States.

While it’s been a successful vehicle, there are still some complaints that are commonly associated with the RDX model. With regular maintenance and sensible driving, the Acura RDX is a dependable and durable SUV, but there are still some issues that are bound to happen. Here are the Acura RDX years to avoid.

Quick answer: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2019

The Acura RDX is a five-seat small crossover from Acura that is similar to the Honda CR-V. Up until its newest iteration, which began in 2018, it shared a lot of the same foundations as the Civic and CR-V. But now, it’s been renovated and revamped to include a slew of high-end amenities that compete with Lexus and Infiniti. The RDX, despite its popularity in recent years, is not without flaws.

The Japanese carmaker is known for its dependability, and more often than not, the RDX is no exception. There are plenty of favorable owner testimonials, and it even has a spot on Forbes’ list of 10 vehicles that can run reasonably beyond 250,000 miles. Longevity is influenced by design and construction quality, but it isn’t free of flaws.

Generally speaking, owners who average 15,000 miles per yearly average can anticipate the Acura RDX to last between 15 to 20 years before breaking down or requiring repairs that are beyond routine and feasible. Many first-generation RDX’s are still on the road today, having covered 200,000 miles with much of the original equipment. If you’re in the market for a premium or luxury crossover, the RDX is typically a good option, but you might second guess these specific years.


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 Acura RDX years to avoid: first generation

The RDX made its debut in 2007 and was based on a new global light truck platform that produces 240 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. The RDX also came standard with a 5-speed automatic with All-Wheel Drive and a standard Vehicle Stability Assist system. It was available in two packages, both of which had some interesting new features for its time like HandFreeLink, Multi-Information Display, or Navigation System with Voice Recognition.

While generally considered the best generation for its style and luxurious features, it did face major concerns over the Takata airbag inflator ruptures. The NHTSA warned drivers of vehicles with Takata airbags on vehicles in the early 2000s to stop driving them, and this included the first generation of the RDX. The majority of the vehicles were recalled and fixed, and there may no longer be any threat.

 Major known issues:

  • Airbag failure and recalls
  • Maintenance costs

 Acura RDX years to avoid: 2015 model year

The 2015 model year is in the middle of the second generation before it underwent a major facelift in 2016. It has soy-based insulation on the electrical wiring, which is better for the environment but has been known to attract animals into the undercarriage, which can end up costing owners around $2000 to fix. This model year also experienced issues with the airbags, and when exposed to heat and humidity, they were reported to have exploded.

It didn’t face many other issues that posed a significant threat to driver or passenger safety, but it was well documented that the navigation system was often faulty. It’s a model that uses the Honda DENSO fuel pumps, which have low-density impellers that split and absorb fuel. Because the faulty gasoline pump may cause greater damage to vehicle components, there was a recall to prevent further damage and expensive maintenance costs. The engine may lead to overheating that’s caused by a faulty pump. Drivers reported that the car experienced excessive shaking, which caused moderate to severe damage to the vehicle’s components.

Major known issues:

  • Airbag failure and recalls
  • Maintenance costs
  • Electrical wiring
  • Navigation errors
  • Fuel pump overheating

Acura RDX years to avoid: 2019 model year 

What concerns us the most is that the 2019 model year garnered the most complaints, with the majority of them citing “engine stall” as the primary issue. The engine has stalled on the freeway, producing an abrupt decrease of speed, such as moving from 65 mph to 40 mph, with no treatments. The 2019 model also had major infotainment system issues. When a driver requires them, these systems may freeze, and they take longer to load. This was also found in the 2020 model, and drivers reported directions, radio, and Android Auto never responding while the vehicle was running.

 With a total of 26 major complaints, the 2019 RDX (the first model year of the latest generation) has gotten the most complaints of all the model years. Loss of power when accelerating, sometimes known as ‘limp mode,’ is the most prevalent complaint with the 2019 model, followed by stalling troubles. It also faced the same major airbag recall as the first generation roughly 15 years before.


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 Major known issues: 

  • Engine stalling
  • Entertainment system failure
  • Power loss
  • Airbag recalls
  • General customer complaints

 Acura RDX year to avoid: 2016

According to Carcomplaints.com, the 2016 model year should be avoided since there have been ten distinct braking complaints reported for that model year. The primary complaints from owners were high-pitched screaming and rapid brake fading and a longer distance to come to a complete stop. The 2016 RDX’s brakes are known to scream and screech and it has one of the most consistent issues with braking for this generation.

There aren’t many major issues reported, but based on repair work and data from carcomplaints.com, brake problems are the most common RDX reported. On average, these can cost $300 to fix and occur as early as 7,000 miles. 


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Major known issues:

  • Major brake issues
  • High level of vehicle noise
  • Repair costs

You’ll save a bit of money going to be used, and as long as you research the model years listed here and look into their issues, you’ll be getting a pretty solid vehicle that has received good critical and consumer reviews. Even though there are some issues, many of them are minor and don’t significantly impact the safety of the driver or passengers.



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