The BMW X3 takes on the Acura RDX


At Tom Bush BMW Jacksonville, the BMW X3 is our most popular model. This "SAV" (sport activity vehicle) has legions of fans thanks to its ideal size, performance specs, and undeniably luxurious style. Another popular contender in the segment is the Acura RDX, and today we're going to compare the BMW X3 to the Acura RDX.



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The BMW X3 has two engine options. The base engine has a 2.0L TwinPower turbo under the hood, and it makes 248 horsepower and 258 lb-ft torque. For a little more power when driving around Saint Augustine or quickly getting down to Jacksonville Beach, we suggest the M40i. It has a TwinPower Turbo 3.0L with 355 horsepower and 369 lb-ft torque. 

The Acura RDX only has one engine. It's a 2.0L turbo with 272 horsepower and 282 lb-ft torque. If you only look at those numbers it would appear that the Acura is stronger. However, it's worth noting that the BMW X3 has torque that kicks in at 1,450 RPM and for the Acura RDX to take advantage of its torque it has to go up to 1,600 RPM. 

Exterior Style 


We like that the BMW X3 has three unique exterior styles, depending on the trim you choose. The xLine has beautiful 18-inch wheels, thicker bumpers and rocker panels for a more adventurous look when driving through Gainesville, and a satin aluminum finish. The Luxury look has more chrome on the grille and tailpipe, and inside there's a SensaTech soft-touch dashboard. The M Sport style has unique double-spoke wheels and high-gloss on the roof rails. The M Sport exterior is also slightly modified to help with the aerodynamics, allowing you to really dial in on your drive back from Fernandina Beach

Variety is what the BMW brand is all about, but you won't find as many options with the Acura RDX. The A-Spec® package is the closet you'll get, as it offers a remixed rear diffuser and an upgraded front bumper. It's important to remember that there isn't a high-performance engine option on the Acura RDX, so the exterior changes are more for show than performance. If looks are all you're after then that might not be a bad thing, but if you're considering a BMW then you probably crave true performance. 

Leather Differences 

If you've been on the Acura RDX site, you've probably noticed the brand boasting that all trims come with premium leather. That's not the case with the BMW X3. Instead, the trims have SensaTec®, which is a leatherette material. This is common on most new BMW's that retail under a certain price point. 

On paper that might not bode well for the BMW X3, but in practice we love SensaTec® for the following reasons:

  • It weighs less than leather 
  • It is far easier to maintain, and that's a bonus if you're using your BMW X3 as a family vehicle 
  • It provides an ethical option for drivers who avoid animal products yet still appreciate luxury 
  • Leather may last a few more years than SensaTec® (15 years vs 10 years), but since most people choose to lease vehicles these days, we don't see that being an issue the majority of our shoppers will have to come up against. 


    Both models have a lot of tech and premium amenities. Our favorite available features include advanced safety amenities, a heads-up display, and Apple CarPlay™/Android Auto™ integration. However, there are a few things you can get on the BMW X3 that you won't find on the Acura RDX.

     Wireless Charging: if you want to keep your cabin free of cord-clutter, you'll love the available wireless charging pad

     WIFI Capabilities: appease passengers on long rides with the help of your cabin that you can turn into a WIFI hotspot!

     Gesture Control: the Gesture Control system lets you play with custom controls, swipe, lower or raise the volume, and deal with incoming calls without needing to actually put a finger on the touchscreen. It's very Jedi-like and makes for safer driving. 

    We could keep going, but the best way to see how much better the BMW X3 is over the Acura RDX is to come into our Jacksonville dealership for a test drive. Once here you can experience the legendary performance, look over package options, and review financing options for buying or leasing!