Luxury compact SUVs with plenty of space for five passengers and cargo, the 2021 Acura RDX and 2021 Cadillac XT5 offer sophistication and comfort. Here’s how they compare.
2021 Acura RDX
2021 Acura RDX Starting Price: $39,225 | Price yours or View listings near you
Above Average: Excellent build quality; top safety scores; good standard equipment.
Below Average: Single engine choice; no à la carte options; low tow rating; lacks the prestige of some rivals.
Consensus: A compact premium SUV with seating for five, the 2021 Acura RDX offers great driving manners, technology, and plenty of cargo space. There are no extra options for the RDX, as all additional features are grouped together as packages.
2021 Cadillac XT5
2021 Cadillac XT5 Starting Price: $44,990 | Price yours or View listings near you
Above Average: Sharp looks; luxurious interior; powerful V6 engine upgrade; comfortable seats.
Below Average: Fuel economy with the V6; most options reserved for higher trim levels; some safety features unavailable on base trim.
Consensus: Somewhere between a compact and a midsize, the 2021 Cadillac XT5 offers a comfortable interior, great driving manners, and plenty of luxury features. However, some desirable options (including some safety features) are not available until you reach the higher trims.
RDX vs. XT5: Style and Sport
Now in its third generation, the 2021 Acura RDX is handsome, practical, dependable, and a great value for the money. Power comes from a sole engine and transmission choice, but it’s plenty to keep the crossover moving. The base 2021 RDX is front-wheel drive, but Super Handling All-Wheel Drive is a $2,000 option. Space is generous for passengers front and rear, and with all seats folded the RDX has nearly 60 cubic feet of cargo space.
Standard features are abundant and include keyless entry, an ultra-wide panoramic sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, and heated and 12-way power-adjustable front seats. Also included are Wi-Fi, a 10.2-inch display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, satellite radio, and a 9-speaker/350-watt premium audio system.
All trims also include the AcuraWatch suite of safety features that includes automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and more.
Any extras are bundled in packages, such as the Technology package with navigation, leather upholstery, a 12-speaker ELS audio system, and some other safety features. A-Spec adds some cosmetic changes and bigger wheels, and the Advance package adds a head-up display, 360-degree camera system, heated rear seats, and 16-way power-adjustable front seats.
The RDX may lack the brand cachet of some of its competitors, but its pricing is competitive and Acura boasts a reputation for quality and high resale value.
A 5-seat luxury SUV, the 2021 Cadillac XT5 is large for a compact, with dimensions more akin to a midsize. As expected from a Cadillac, the exterior has a look that’s assertive without being over the top, and its interior is quiet and elegant. Materials are top quality, and the fit and finish are excellent.
It’s also very comfortable, with a sliding second-row seat for increased legroom. Cargo space is good, with 30 cubic feet behind that second row expanding to 63 with it folded.
The base engine is a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that sends power to the front wheels via a 9-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is a $2,000 option in the base and second-tier Premium Luxury trims. We’re big fans of the top Sport trim, though, with a 3.6-liter V6, a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system, and an adaptive sport suspension that makes the Caddy a lot of fun to drive.
Standard features include simulated leather upholstery, heated front seats, wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, Bluetooth, satellite radio, four USB ports, Wi-Fi, and an 8-speaker Bose audio system. Standard driving aids include forward-collision warning with automatic braking, lane departure warning, and a safety alert seat. One knock against the XT5 is that other driver assistance and safety features are not available on the base trim.
Optional all-wheel drive; fuel economy; warranty; NHTSA 5-Star safety rating.
2021 Acura RDX Advantages
Lower starting price; higher resale value; more standard safety features.
2021 Cadillac XT5 Advantages
Optional V6 engine; luxurious interior; sophisticated looks.
Which One is Right for Me?
If sporty driving manners and top-notch build quality are your thing, the 2021 Acura RDX is a great choice, with a starting price about $4,500 lower than that of the XT5.
If pure luxury and power are your thing, the 2021 XT5 is a great choice, with that powerful upgrade V6 and comfortable leather upholstery throughout. But the top XT5 Sport trim with the V6 can reach the $65,000 range.
Ready to buy an Acura RDX or Cadillac XT5? Shop for one on sale now near you.
|2021 Acura RDX||2021 Cadillac XT5|
|Engine||2.0-liter turbo I4||2.0-liter turbo I4|
|Horsepower||272 hp @ 6,500 rpm||237 hp @ 5,000 rpm|
|Torque||280 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm||258 lb-ft @ 1,500 rpm|
|Transmission||10-spd automatic||9-spd automatic|
|Fuel Economy||24 mpg (22 city/28 hwy)||24 mpg (21 city/29 hwy)|
|Also Available||AWD||3.6-liter V6; AWD|
|Basic warranty||4 years/50,000 miles||4 years/50,000 miles|
|Powertrain Warranty||6 years/70,000 miles||6 years/70,000 miles|
|NHTSA Overall Safety Rating||5 stars||5 stars|
|Max Seating Capacity||5||5|
|Wheelbase||108.3 inches||112.5 inches|
|Overall Length||186.8 inches||189.6 inches|
|Width||74.8 inches||74.9 inches|
|Height||65.7 inches||66.1 inches|
|Turning Diameter||38.9 feet||38.7 feet|
|Headroom, Front||40.0 inches||39.7 inches|
|Headroom, Rear||38.0 inches||38.4 inches|
|Legroom, Front||42.0 inches||41.2 inches|
|Legroom, Rear||38.0 inches||39.0 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Front||60.0 inches||58.3 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Rear||57.0 inches||56.3 inches|
|EPA Passenger Volume||104.0 cubic feet||104.5 cubic feet|
|EPA Cargo Volume||29.5/58.9 cubic feet||30.0/63.0 cubic feet|