Acura RDX 4cyl turbo MPG less than their V6. Why bring this to market at all??

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Spring HIll
2007 Acura RDX offers a new Honda 4cyl engine, 2.3L Turbo 4cyl, 240HP Translates to 19/23 MPG. Honda's own MDX offers the ever-popular Honda 3.5L V6 that's rated at 253HP/250ft-lb torque, and offers MPG of 17/23. This same engine is my Saturn Vue, which ironically, competes in the same segment of the small-ute/crossover market. It's rated at 20/28MPG. Usually, I see about 22MPG, highway trips at 60MPH or so will touch 30MPG. It's an efficient engine all in all IMO. So, why put some turbo 4-banger on the market that doesn't offer any real performance nor MPG difference? I don't get it. Honda usually doesn't confuse the consumer with it's offerings. You either get the "base" engine or the "upscale" engine. In recent years, only one option for a given model has made thoice easy for the consumer. [Confused]
 
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23,770
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CA
Honda would've used the V6 in the RDX, but could not, as the engine would not fit, seriously. As for why, I do not know, but the SH-AWD system may have something do with it. [Confused] The 4-cyl does bring an advantage, btw, as there is a minimal improvement in fuel economy under city use. Lastly, the RDX, in a way, will assume the market share that the last (or current) generation MDX has, with its price of $35-$40k. The new, redesigned MDX will be priced in the mid-40s.
 
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23,770
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CA
Also, coming to think about it, the VUE may be a bit smaller and lighter than both the RDX or MDX, which would explain the added fuel efficiency.
 
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276
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CA
I have high confidence in Acura's ability to come out with a successful BMW X3 fighter. Whether or not you think it is a good product relative to its competition, the bottom line for Acura...will Acura make a profit with this product? I think yes.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
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46,023
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New Jersey
frankly, I consider most honda/acura purchasing as stupid... with the exception of the RSX (gone) accord 4cyl MT, and fit for short trip city only driving, the rest is done better elsewhere. Between options from BMW, MB and Lexus, thre is little that these glorified hondas do that is uch better than the competition at any price point. Our integra has been good... 177k and counting, however baqsed upon their sales pricing and what you get for the dollar spent, my dollar goes elsewhere, especially given circumstances like this one cited. JMH
 
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22,188
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Colorado Springs
Turbochargers do conjure up images of spectacular performance in a small package with great fuel economy (even if the EPA estimates don't jive with that). Turbocharging is making a big comeback in the automotive world and many car buyers will buy a turbocharged vehicle simply because it's turbocharged! Plus, you can turn up the boost [Burnout] I'd pick the RDX.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
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46,023
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New Jersey
Yeah, for example in my saab they made an excellent power dense package that gets spectacular fuel economy... or in the 3/4 ton pickups - great economy for the size and capacity can be had, with HUGE amounts of power due to a well designed turbocharged engine. in this vehicle, not so much... now if they put that engine into some decent cars, we might have something - are there any plans in the works??? For me, Id rather have that nice v6 or a supposedly top notch honda diesel in a jacked up wagon suv look alike thing like the RDX. JMH
 
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2,698
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Silicon Valley
Cute-utes sell in the US. (Mostly because buyers need a station wagon, but wouldn't actually buy one.) So what's easier than tarting up a CR-V and bolting on a turbocharger? Too bad it looks nothing like the concept car from a couple of years ago.
 
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33
Location
Ottawa
My presumption is threefold: 1. 4-banger turbo is going to be considerably lighter than a 6-cyl engine, thus improving handling and power:weight ratio over the V6 2. 4-cylinder engines always have an image of being more efficient and "green" than a V6. Plus, I know a lot of people who would rather have an I4 (especially turbo) over a V6, just for the feel. Torque isn't always the most desired thing in an engine (smoothness, for me, is more important than down-low torque). 3. 4-cylinder engines (and smaller) are what Honda was built on. It's their niche.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
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New Jersey
yes but are turbo I4s their niche, or are super low emissions, high efficiency I4s that provide good longevity??? Very few have found the sweet spot... Im unaware if Honda has yet. JMH
 
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202
Location
sokali
there was some blurb on vtec.net that the rdx SH-AWD torque/power distribution/balancing in this application has small but additional driveline losses.
 
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446
Location
USA
Why a 4 cyl turbo in the rebadged CRV called the RDX? Many reasons. 4 cyl is cheaper than a V6. Existing Honda V6 does not fit. But the CRV does have a V6. Manufacturer does not have a suitable small V6 so a 4 cyl is what the RDX gets. Manufacturer thinks they can fool the buying public. Higher profit, despite lower value to the buyer than a V6. Use RDX price as an excuse to raise MDX price. Raise the price of the upcoming MDX to make it a poorer value.
 
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446
Location
USA
Correction: Why a 4 cyl turbo in the rebadged CRV called the RDX? Many reasons. 4 cyl is cheaper than a V6. Existing Honda V6 does not fit. But the 2007 Toyota Rav4 does offer a V6. Manufacturer does not have a suitable small V6 so a 4 cyl is what the RDX gets. Manufacturer thinks they can fool the buying public. Higher profit, despite lower value to the buyer than a V6. Use RDX price as an excuse to raise MDX price. Raise the price of the upcoming MDX to make it a poorer value.
 
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7,256
Location
USA
Until anyone drives the 4 cyl RDX you really cannot knock it. Turbo 4 cylinder motors can be incredible engines. I own one of the great ones, the 2.5L Subaru Flat four turbo with 250HP/250lb-ft of torque. Its essentially a detuned and pleasant version of the 300 HP STI engine. There barely is any lag (boost starts at 2500 RPM) with incredible torque throughout the curve. I actually drove Subaru's 3.0L H6 with the exception of more smoothness thought it was anemic in comparison although it had same HP/Torque ratings just different power curves. The 3.5L Honda V6 is a great motor though. It seems a bit oversized for a smallish SUV.
 

JAG

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5,320
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Fredericksburg, VA
I think Honda has big plans of using this engine in future vehicles that need a compact, powerful engine. Car companies are all about parts-sharing across platforms. If they put it in the Acura TSX or any smallish car it will be pretty sweet.
 
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107
Location
Ohio
I've driven one and there isn't much power until the engine starts boosting. And my father in law is also only getting 17mpg = not good for a 4cyl that requires premium. Haha good thinking honda, my new chevy truck with an "outdated push-rod engine" gets that city.
 
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4,872
Location
MN
This is the case for most 4 cylinders. Many only get 1 or 2 mpg better then their V6 counterparts. Look at the Camry, the V6 Malibu gets 1mpg less then the 4 cylinder Toyota. GMs ecotec isn't much better, despite all the praise for it's "high tec"(read OHC) engine. -T
 
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