2012 Honda Pilot vs. 2012 Acura RDX: Which One Should I Buy?

Sport utility vehicles are fun in the sun, sand, dirt, mud, and even in the carpool line at school. Whether you’re hauling around your family or your family of pets, these SUVs are sure to make even a drive around town just a little more exciting.

The Honda Pilot and the Acura RDX are on the higher-end side of the larger SUVs, and their base price reflects that; especially the Acura as it clocks in over $30,000 to start. However, the decent mileage that you’ll get out of these SUVs and the driving excitement you’ve come to expect will make those extra dollars more than worth it.

The Pilot is a little boxy looking on the outside, but the inside will not disappoint with the more tasteful front-end design and a third-row that can actually fit adults and a smooth and responsive powertrain. For the price, you might be surprised that the Acura doesn’t offer more technology options or luxury features, but it has a just-right feeling size and is a balanced and nimble performer.

Acura RDX 2012
2012 Acura RDX

Interior Look and Feel

The Acura RDX’s pleasing interior trims contrast nicely with the hard dash plastics available in the Honda Pilot, which also has a cluttered instrument panel and no Bluetooth hookup on most trims. Cruise control comes standard on both vehicles, but the Acura offers little extras like a leather gear shift knob, external temperature display, and a driver information center standard on all models.

The steering wheel also gets an upgrade on the Acura RDX, with a leather/metal-look versus the plastic and vinyl of the Honda Pilot. The seats on the Acura are sportier, with the Pilot offering buckets and standard seating for 8 instead of only 5 for the Acura, although the Acura’s front seats are heated both in the cushion and in the backs for both driver and passenger.

Fuel Economy

The two vehicles have quite similar options when it comes to fuel economy with 18 mpg city / 25 mpg highway for the Honda Pilot and 19 mpg city and 24 mpg highway for the Acura RDX. One surprise is in the difference in size in the fuel tank: the capacity for the Acura RDX is only 18.0 gallons while the Honda Pilot has a generous 21.0 gallon tank.

Consumers looking for a (mostly) cost-effective mid-range SUV will find an option in either the Honda Pilot or the Acura RDX. Depending on how many people you need to transport, your decision may be easy!


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Attila

19 years of experience
906 reviews
Attila
19 years of experience
Cadillac SRX V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Edison, New Jersey
Attila was great! Very knowledgeable and actually detected a fault during a pre-purchase inspection that would have cost me later.
Lexus ES350 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Fords, New Jersey
He is very good—offered all the significant details we needed from the inspection. Helped us figure out what needed to be fixed.

Shawn

12 years of experience
285 reviews
Shawn
12 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Shawn was prompt, professional, and delivered the promised service as expected. This was a used vehicle pre-purchase inspection. Shawn also had to drive to multiple locations to perform the inspection, as the address listed that I provided him with was not accurate, but he still made it to the correct location within his time window and completed the inspection.
Toyota Sequoia - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Akron, Pennsylvania
Shawn was very prompt in communicating with me and was good at helping me decide whether to purchase a used car. He help me avoid a car with a repaired rusted frame that could be a danger to my family's safety since we were planning on using the car to tow a travel trailer!

Luis

18 years of experience
320 reviews
Luis
18 years of experience
Honda HR-V L4-1.8L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Warren, New Jersey
Luis was great. He showed up on time, acted professionally, and gave me confidence with a pre-purchase car inspection.
Acura RDX - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - South Hackensack, New Jersey
Luis did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for me, and found several major issues that made me pass on buying the car. Had I purchased the car, I almost certainly would have ended up paying thousands in repairs down the road. Thanks Luis!

Robert

20 years of experience
1089 reviews
Robert
20 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra L4-2.0L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Englewood, Colorado
He did a pre-purchase inspection for me. He was knowledgeable and fast, and knew what he was looking for. I really appreciate all the pictures and documentation he took of the state of the car before purchase. He noted potential issues with the car that I wouldn't have been able to notice. Would recommend.
GMC Savana 1500 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Golden, Colorado
I trust Robert. He gave me a list and we will take care of it the week of June 29. I will know then that my vehicle is ready for the winter and is safe to drive. I look forward to getting things ready for another winter of careful driving.

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