2022 BMW X3 vs. Acura RDX A-Spec — Which Is The Best Option For Around $50K?

There's one I'd definitely buy, and it is...

When you compare the 2022 BMW X3 vs. Acura RDX A-Spec – one thing becomes clear.

After my time comparing the 2022 BMW X3 vs. Acura RDX A-Spec, I came away saying to myself, “If I was in this tax-bracket, and needed a five-seat crossover, they’re both brilliant.” However, one speaks to me, while the other speaks to my spouse. Before you roll your eyes, allow me to elucidate.

With an as-tested price of $51,390, the 2022 BMW X3 xDrive30i actually gives you a lot of content for the dough, including a massive, panoramic sunroof, high-tech infotainment and a luxurious looking interior. In this price range, you can get something like an Infiniti QX55, or a 2022 Lexus NX 350 F Sport… or an Acura RDX.

That’s right, this (nearly) fully loaded 2022 Acura RDX A-Spec Advance package came out to $52,845. Seriously, unless you’re in dire need for sharp handling, the base model RDX gives you an outstanding ride, with that powerful powertrain – for about ten-grand less. Still, that A-Spec comes with a lot of goodness, including a host of tech.

(Image: TFLcar)

A case for the 2022 BMW X3 xDrive30i

My wife would like the 2022 BMW X3: I like to call her, “She-who-must-be-obeyed” – which is accurate, and speaks to her driving needs as well. Being a business/education professional, having something too flashy is a big no-no. Her Mini Countryman is just right, for now. In time, she wants something with more luxury, space and utility.

You have to flog it for maximum horsepower, but max torque, 258 lb-ft, comes in at 1450 rpm. The smooth power of the 248 horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, which is  hooked up to an eight-speed automatic transmission, is outstanding. It’s only hampered by a wonky start-stop system and a bit of turbo-lag.

Oddly, it doesn’t perform like BMWs of yore. Even though it weighs about 4,300-lbs, iut actually feels heavier. It still handles well, but it is not as connected as other BMW SUV/crossovers I’ve driven in the past. That, combined with a quiet cabin, makes it feel relaxed when pushed – as if its hauling extra weight. Also, I felt the seats were far too firm, but I know my spouse likes painfully firm surfaces.

Off the line, there’s a bit of a lag, unless to pre-torque the engine. Something I doubt most consumers in this bracket would do. Once moving, it effortlessly scoots to overtake traffic. If it’s forced into an emergency cornering situation – it’s no big deal. The X3 simply does what it’s asked to do, with little feedback.

Despite this feel, it returns decent fuel mileage with an EPA rated 25 mpg combined.

Many consumers may like an isolated feel, but the old “connected” feel of typical BMWs isn’t there. Oddly, it’s more apparent in the Acura.

2022 Acura RDX PMC Edition
(Image: Acura)

Why the 2022 Acura RDX A-Spec is special

I adore the Acura RDX A-Spec, but I would save some duckets and get a base model with their “super-handling all-wheel drive” (SH-AWD) system. Still, if you have the dough, the various A-Spec trims (A-Spec Technology, Advance, A-Spec Advance and PMC Edition) are worth looking into.

Power comes from a 272 hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 280 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired to an outstanding 10-speed automatic transmission. Yes, you get paddle shifters, and they are a hoot to use. If you get the Advance Package, you get the Adaptive Damper System which is a performance boon. It works instantly, for a smoother or sportier ride.

Around town, the Acura feels premium in terms of ride, handling and power. The only vehicle in this class that may feel even more buttoned down is the new Genesis GV70. The Acura RDX A-Spec’s sport seats are extremely comfortable, front and back. They are more forgiving than the BMWs.

There is one huge problem with the Acura – and that’s its infotainment system.

As engaging as the drive is, despite the extremely well put together interior and supportive seats, I loathe that infotainment system. It’s too complicated, and it underperforms. After driving several Acura RDX models over many years, this seems to be a recurrent problem. The 10.2-inch central display is not a touch screen, and the touchpad controller is dreadful.

Seriously, these are both outstanding crossovers that fit into several brackets, but only one matters to me… fun. As I demand to be entertained, the Acura is the obvious choice, if only it had a better entertainment system!

Check out the driving impressions video!