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You may think that comparing these two medium sized, luxuriously equipped midsize family SUVs would be an exercise in futility as premium shoppers never cross shop mainstream brands. And on paper the Ford lacked for nothing when it came to competing with the Acura in engine power, utility, luxury features and even a touch of upscale style.
Our 2013 Ford Edge midsize family SUV was thoroughly overhauled for the 2011 model year so no changes are on the immediate horizon. We mentioned that the Edge went under the knife recently for work on its exterior appearance but it was also treated to a full interior refresh which was at worst disastrous and at best misguided. While the phone connectivity and voice activation functionality of the system is still top notch, controlling song selection functions via the center screen is less than straightforward as the arrow for scrolling through song playlists on your iPod is so small that it is hard to hit it accurately as you are driving. In the 2013 Edge there are also two individual LCD electronic pods ahead of the driver in the dash where you can display navigation, phone, and audio functions or even program it to display an electronic tachometer. We are sure Ford and Microsoft will no doubt fix this system which not only froze up twice in our tester but was also usually molasses-slow to respond. Interior trim quality and electronics system user friendliness in the RDX is unquestionably superior to the Edge and even cargo volume readings for both SUVs are within two cubic feet of each other. No matter where we looked, both the Edge and RDX seemed to score top ranks be it either from the IIHS or NHTSA.
The Edge does have a very smooth and absorptive ride with wind and tire roar kept down to a minimum at all times even on LA’s roughest freeway sections. But when you start to push the Edge even a little bit past its performance comfort zone you will find steering feel that is more wooden than George Washington’s false teeth and a suspension that crashes and wallows during aggressive driving maneuvers.
But in the end, it was clear that the 2013 Acura RDX drove circles around the haplessly uncoordinated Ford Edge which is sad because the Blue Oval did a decent job of making this SUV appear sporty. In the mainstream field, excellent options include the 2013 Toyota Venza V6 or a 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee with Chrysler’s talented new Pentastar V6 as both can easily push to the $40,000 mark when loaded to the gills with features.
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Besides, there is just no way that a Ford can cost about the same as a fancy pants luxury brand SUV from Acura, right? Could it be true that the Acura RDX only seems superior because of its “luxury” brand badging? First, they made no changes to the painfully flat front driver and passenger seats and they managed to introduce one of the most un-intuitive on board infotainment systems which served as an upgrade to Ford’s already impressive Sync called it MyFordTouch. In fact, many of the touch screen buttons are small or don’t react very quickly when you hit them. Their roof strength levels are also high so in a rollover accident you will and your passengers should still be safe providing you are wearing seat belts! The Edge lags one mile per gallon behind the Acura in both city and highway rankings according to the EPA and during our week with each SUV we averaged 20.4 in the RDX and 18 miles per gallon in the Edge. The engine is also very quiet on the motorway so this would make a very capable road trip car. The RDX’s steering feel compared to the Edge is so much more direct, communicative and pleasurable that it alone stands as a perfectly suitable reason to buy the Acura. But the Edge is still a very family friendly SUV choice for those people out there who don’t really care for driving. Also, don’t forget 2013 is the first year that GMC is offering a fully pimped out Denali V6 version of its already excellent Terrain SUV. Well, the truth of the matter, as we recently discovered, is that both the 2013 Edge Limited AWD and the 2013 Acura RDX all-wheel drive model with the Tech option both sticker for just a bit over $40,000 fully loaded with a similar amount of goodies.
Well before you head off and blow $40,000 on your next family SUV be sure you know whether or not you are going to buy the best vehicle or just the one that might impress your neighbors more.
We also like the understated regal flow of Acura’s most recent exterior designs as well, with the 2013 RDX proving no exception. In this case, however, it’s a close call but we give the nod to the more aggressive looking Edge.


It’s a niggle we have that could potentially cause an accident due to driver distraction. Interior trim quality is impressive for a mainstream brand offering but won’t worry Lexus very much.
In other words, either the RDX or Edge will offer enough room for five with class competitive amounts of storage space. The horrifically unrealistic wood trim that looked like it once belonged in a Lincoln coupe from the 1970’s. But then, the identical thing could be said about the RDX which for 2013 is much more serene inside to drive. Thankfully, both the Ford and Acura have very smooth and imperceptible 6-speed automatics that equal the best in class. Hey, that can at least buy you the gas money for a fun Las Vegas road trip with your friends. Or if you want to save some money, check out the 2013 Kia Sorento SX whose excellent 3.5 liter V6 and 10 year warranty may help keep you from noticing some of the interior plastics that are less than upscale.
That won’t leave enough money to buy tickets to see Cirque du Soleil, mind you, but it will be a fine opportunity to show your friends that you are, in fact, better than them.
Clearly people aren’t being put off by the exorbitant pricing compared to mainstream brands.
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