Nissan Murano Vs. Acura RDX

By Justin Cupler | July 24th, 2019

Luxury crossovers like the 2020 Acura RDX are great, but sub-luxury crossovers like the well-equipped 2019 Nissan Murano offer a lot of what luxury models do at a lower price. Which of these loaded people haulers is best for our Bradenton area new-car shoppers? Continue reading to find out. 

Exterior

On the outside, the Nissan Murano does a great job bridging sportiness and luxury with a dash of value thanks to its sharp body with distinct body lines, large wheel options, and more all at a relatively low price across the lineup. Years ago, some experts looked sideways at the Murano because of its wild styling, but it has become a trendsetter, as most crossovers, the RDX included, have copied its style in one way or another

The 2020 Acura RDX ushered in the third generation for the compact crossover, bringing in an even sportier look while retaining its luxurious touch. It boasts larger shoulders, swoopy headlights, sharp chrome accents, tons of wheel options, and standard LED lighting at every corner. 

The Nissan Murano offers plenty of value with its standard LED lighting and 18-inch wheels, but the RDX pulls away with its 19-inch wheels and panoramic moonroof. That said, the Murano starts over $6,000 less than the base RDX, so there is a lot of value in this well-equipped Nissan.  

 

Measurement 2019 Nissan Murano 2020 Acura RDX Difference
Length 192.8 inches 186.8 inches +6 inches
Width 75.4 inches 74.8 inches +0.6 inches
Height 67.8 inches 65.7 inches +2.1 inches
Wheelbase 111.2 inches 108.3 inches +2.9 inches
Ground Clearance 6.9 inches 8.2 inches -1.3 inches
Curb weight 3,823 to 4,137 pounds 3,783 to 4,068 pounds +40 to +69 pounds

 

Advantage: 2019 Nissan Murano

  • Sharp body
  • Loads of value
  • Trendsetting design

Advantage: 2020 Acura RDX

  • Smaller and easier to manage
  • Sportier body
  • Larger standard wheels

Interior

The Nissan Murano’s cabin lacks the outright luxury design with its traditional in-dash touchscreen and basic user interfaces. It also falls a bit short in its base trim with standard cloth upholstery. Things quickly turn to the better in terms of value as the Murano gains leather upholstery in its SL trim and quilted semi-aniline leather in its range-topping Platinum trim that runs $43,630, which is about $2,000 cheaper than the range-topping RDX.

The 2020 Acura RDX looks and feels like a true luxury crossover in all trim levels, even its base model. This is thanks to its thick-rimmed steering wheel, high-end trim, dash-top 10.2-inches infotainment screen, two-tone dash, and standard leatherette upholstery. Its standard nine-speaker audio system and 12-way power sport seats push it over the top, though it will cost you a little more. Moving up the trim levels, the RDX continues pulling itself away from the Murano with its 12- and 16-speaker audio systems, high-end leather seats, and more. 

The only area the Murano really stands out is its standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto — the RDX has only standard Apple CarPlay, and no Android Auto. 

In roominess, the RDX has more front-seat space, but the Murano’s larger body gives it superior rear-seat and cargo room. 

 

Measurement 2019 Nissan Murano 2020 Acura RDX Difference
Front headroom 38.1 to 39.9 inches 40 inches -1.9 to -0.1 inches
Front legroom 40.5 inches 42 inches -1.5 inches
Front shoulder room 59.5 inches 60 inches -0.5 inches
Front hip room 55.4 inches 55 inches -0.4 inches
Rear headroom 37.8 to 39.8 inches 38 inches -0.2 to +1.8 inches
Rear legroom 38.7 inches 38 inches +0.7 inches
Rear shoulder room 58.9 inches 57 inches +1.9 inches
Rear hip room 55.5 inches 50 inches +5.5 inches
Cargo room (behind rear seats) 31.1 to 32.1 cubic feet 29.5 cubic feet +1.6 to +2.6 cubic feet
Cargo room (with the  rear seats folded) 65 to 67 cubic feet 58.9 cubic feet +6.1 to +7.1 cubic feet

 

Advantage: 2019 Nissan Murano

  • Roomier rear seats
  • Big-time cargo advantage
  • Tons of value in its base trim
  • Standard Android Auto

Advantage: 2019 Acura RDX

  • Spacier front seats
  • Luxurious-looking interior
  • More upscale standard features
  • Sporty A-Spec cabin

Performance

The 2019 Nissan Murano is your typical midsize crossover and comes standard with the automaker’s ageless and ubiquitous 3.5-liter V-6 engine. This powerplant pumps out 260 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque through a continuously variable transmission and out the front wheels or all four wheels with optional all-wheel drive. This adds up to a 7.3-second 0-to-60 time and a 1,500-pound towing capacity. 

The 2020 Acura RDX is unique with its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers 272 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. This power heads through an advanced 10-speed automatic transmission on its way to the front wheels or all four wheels with standard all-wheel drive. This results in a zippy 6.6-second 0-to-60 time. 

2019 Nissan Murano 2020 Acura RDX Difference
Engine 3.5-liter V-6 2.0-liter turbo 4-cyl
Horse power 260 hp at 6,000 rpm 272 hp at 6,500 rpm -12 hp
Torque 240 lb-ft at 4,400 rpm 280 lb-ft at 1,500 to 4,500 rpm -40 lb-ft
Transmission Xtronic CVT 10-spd automatic
Driveline FWD (std) / AWD (opt) FWD (std) / AWD (opt)
0-60 time 7.3 seconds 6.6 seconds +0.7 seconds
Towing capacity 1,500 pounds 1,500 pounds
MPG City 20 mpg 21 to 22 mpg -2 to -1 mpg
MPG Highway 28 mpg 26 to 28 mpg -2 to +0 mpg
MPG Combined 23 mpg 23 to 24 mpg 1 to +0 mpg

 

Advantage: 2019 Nissan Murano

  • Traditional V-6 power

Advantage: 2020 Acura RDX

  • Powerful four-cylinder engine
  • Advanced transmission
  • Available adaptive suspension
  • Precise handling
  • Quicker to 60 mph

Pricing and Features

The 2019 Nissan Murano has four trim levels in its lineup — S, SV, SL, and Platinum — and their starting prices range from $31,370 to $43,630. 

 

The 2020 Acura RDX doesn’t have normal trim levels. Instead, it has a standard model that starts from $37,600 and three packages that act as trim levels — Technology, A-Spec, and Advance — that range from $40,800 to $45,700. 

2019 Nissan Murano Key Features and Pricing by Trim

S: $31,370

  • 3.5-liter V-6
  • Continuously variable transmission
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Hill-start assist
  • Four-wheel disc brakes
  • Brake assist
  • Speed-sensitive power steering
  • 18-inch machine-faced aluminum wheels
  • LED headlights 
  • LED signature daytime running lights
  • LED taillights
  • Automatic on/off headlights
  • Chrome door handles
  • Power mirrors 
  • Mirror-integrated LED turn signals
  • Tinted rear glass
  • NissanConnect infotainment system
  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • Advanced drive assist
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • Voice recognition
  • Siri Eyes Free
  • Hands-free text messaging
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Rearview monitor
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Rear passenger climate-control vents
  • Cruise control
  • Nissan intelligent key with push-button start
  • Power windows with front one-touch-up/down 
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Variable-intermittent windshield wipers
  • Intermittent rear window wiper
  • Illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Three 12-volt power outlets
  • Stainless steel kick plates 
  • Eight cargo-area tie-down hooks
  • Six-way manual driver’s seat
  • Four-way manual passenger’s seat
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • Cloth seats
  • AM/FM/MP3/WMA/CD six-speaker audio system
  • Auxiliary audio input
  • Two USB ports
  • Two USB-C ports
  • SiriusXM
  • Bluetooth streaming audio
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Vehicle security system
  • Vehicle immobilizer
  • Rear door alert
  • Intelligent driver alertness

 

SV: $34,540

  • All S features, plus
  • Black roof rails
  • HomeLink universal home remote
  • Remote engine start and climate control
  • Speed-sensitive windshield wipers
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • 10-way power driver’s seat
  • Four-way power passenger’s seat
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped shifter knob
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

 

SL: $39,330

  • All SV features, plus
  • 20-inch machine-finished wheels
  • LED fog lights
  • Silver roof rails
  • Heated mirrors with LED turn signals
  • Hands-free power liftgate
  • Navigation
  • SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link
  • Ambient interior lighting
  • Heated front seats
  • Heated rear outboard seats
  • Driver’s seat memory
  • Power mirrors with memory
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Leather seating
  • Cloth-wrapped A-pillar
  • 11-speaker Bose premium audio system with dual subwoofers
  • HD Radio
  • 360-degree camera
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Adaptive cruise control

 

Platinum: $43,630

  • All SL features, plus
  • 20-inch Dark Hyper Silver aluminum wheels
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • NissanConnect Services powered by SiriusXM
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Heated and cooled front seats
  • Steering-wheel-position memory
  • Semi-aniline leather seating with diamond-quilted inserts
  • Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Rear automatic braking

2019 Acura RDX Key Features and Pricing by Trim

Standard: $37,600

  • 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
  • Idle stop
  • Front-wheel drive
  • 10-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters
  • Amplitude reactive dampers
  • Snow, Comfort, Sport, and Sport+ driving modes
  • Electric power steering
  • Four-wheel disc brakes
  • 19-inch Glitter Silver multispoke alloy wheels
  • Panoramic moonroof
  • Jewel Eye LED headlights
  • Auto-on/off headlights
  • LED taillights
  • Heated, power mirrors with reverse-gear tilt-down
  • Gloss-black tailgate spoiler
  • Chrome window moldings
  • Dual-outlet exhaust
  • Acoustic windshield
  • Leatherette upholstery
  • Sport seats
  • 12-way power front seats
  • Heated front seats
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seats
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Keyless access and ignition
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Power windows with one-touch up/down
  • Electronic gear shifter
  • Active sound control
  • White ambient lighting
  • Auto-dimming, frameless rearview mirror
  • Brushed-aluminum trim
  • Nine-speaker Acura Premium Audio System
  • One smartphone integration USB port
  • One USB charging port
  • MP3/WMA compatibility
  • SiriusXM
  • Bluetooth audio streaming
  • Auxiliary audio input jack
  • Tru Touchpad interface
  • 10.2-inch center display
  • 7-inch color multi-information display
  • Mobile hotspot
  • Siri Eyes Free
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Natural voice recognition
  • HomeLink
  • Multi-view rearview camera with dynamic guidelines
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Road-departure mitigation
  • Forward-collision warning
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Electric parking brake
  • Automatic brake hold
  • Hill-start assist

 

W/ Technology Package: $ 40,800

  • All Standard features, plus
  • 19-inch pewter gray metallic machine-finished split-five-spoke wheels
  • Perforated Milano premium leather upholstery with contrast stitching
  • GPS-linked climate control
  • 12-speaker Acura/ELS audio system
  • Two rear USB chargers
  • Acura 3D navigation 
  • Acura Real-Time Traffic with Street and Freeway Conditions
  • Traffic Rerouting
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

 

W/ A-Spec Package: $43,800

  • All W/Technology Package features, plus
  • 20-inch Shark Gray split-five-spoke wheels
  • Dark-chrome exterior accents
  • LED fog lights
  • A-Spec dual-exhaust outlets
  • A-Spec bumpers
  • Sport A-Spec seats
  • Ultrasuede-trimmed interior
  • Contrast stitching and piping
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Leather-wrapped A-Spec steering wheel
  • Red ambient lighting
  • Dark brushed-aluminum trim
  • A-Spec red-on-silver gauges
  • Sport pedals
  • Ebony headliner
  • A-Spec garnish on the steering wheel and door sill
  • 16-speaker Acura/ELS 3D audio system

 

W/ Advance Package: $45,700

  • All W/ Technology Package features, plus
  • Adaptive dampers
  • 19-inch Medium Alloy Silver interwoven wheels
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • LED fog lights
  • Acoustic front side glass
  • Sport seats with perforated Milano premium leather
  • Contrast stitching and piping
  • 16-way power front seats with thigh extensions and adjustable bolsters
  • Heated outboard rear seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Natural olive ash burl wood trim
  • 16-speaker Acura/ELS 3D audio system
  • 10.5-inch head-up display
  • 360-degree camera
  • Rear camera washer

Who Should Buy the 2020 Acura RDX?

Buyers looking for a full-fledged luxury crossover will be better suited in the RDX, but they’d better be ready to shell out a lot more cash for it. 

Who Should Buy the 2019 Nissan Murano?

Seeking a well-equipped crossover but don’t have the budget for a full luxury model? The 2019 Nissan Murano delivers plenty of standard features for about $6,000 less than the RDX while also offering more rear-seat and cargo room. In its top trim level, the Murano gets close to the RDX and saves you $2,000. 

 

Ready to hit the streets of Bradenton in the 2019 Nissan Murano? Head down to Nissan of Bradenton serving the Sarasota and St. Petersburg areas to take the Murano for a spin and see what it offers. Can’t make it to our Bradenton Nissan dealership today? Swing by our online showroom to see all our in-stock 2019 Murano models, choose a few that meet your needs, and schedule a test drive when it’s convenient for you.