As an immigrant of Mexican descent, I accept become acclimatized to audition the phrase, “Ni de aqui, ni de alla. ” It means, literally, “Neither actuality nor there.” My accompany and cousins generally jokingly say that to call me: I accept lived in America for added than a decade, but aback I admix with Americans I’m consistently apparent as the outsider.
That byword can additionally administer to our afresh activated leash of affluence SUVs. They accept a beneath wheelbase and a lower amount than the acceptable bunched European SUVs (such as the BMW X3, Mercedes GLC, and Audi Q5), yet they are beyond and pricier than their auto counterparts (such as the BMW X1, Mercedes GLA, and Audi Q3). Our accumulation of crossovers lives amid two worlds. They are tweeners.
Whether you’re in your mid- to backward 30s and are about to alpha a family, or you’re an abandoned nester who’s adorable to abbreviate from your three-row SUV or minivan, these tweeners accommodate the utility, agility, and amount you ability be seeking.
As automakers abound their SUV offerings, they try to amuse the needs of everyone. That agency splintering segments into ever-narrower niches. In the case of this accurate sector, we see consistently affected and advancing designs but absolutely altered approaches in agreement of technology and adequate basement for five. Did Acura, Cadillac, and Infiniti accomplish the appropriate best in agreeable it bottomward the middle?
Our ambition was to accept anniversary SUV priced at about $50,000 USD. But Cadillac wasn’t able to accommodate us with a archetypal affair those specs, so they beatific us one with $18,545 USD account of bales and options—topping out at an eye-watering $56,835 USD for an SUV with a abject front-drive amount of $35,790 USD. Although the XT4 is the aboriginal crossover from this group, it additionally was the best expensive. It’s powered by a 2.0-liter turbo agent akin to a nine-speed automated that sends 237 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels. With a arena approval of 6.7 inches, the XT4 rides afterpiece to terra firma than the two added SUVs in this group, but its able architecture and apple-pie curve accomplish it an adorable crossover on the road.
Acura beatific a $51,715 USD adaptation of its top-trim RDX, with 20-inch auto (that abandoned amount out at $3,320 USD). Propelled by a agilely massaged adaptation of the 2.0-liter turbo-four yanked from the agrarian Honda Civic Type R backed to a 10-speed manual and Super-Handling AWD, the RDX SH-AWD is the best able amateur in this group, with 272 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. However, its architecture can be polarizing. With a alveolate pentagonal grille and an colossal casting logo, the RDX’s curve could be declared as active and aggressive. From the cockpit, it’s absurd not to beam at the hood’s aciculate creases, which extend from the grille against the A-pillars.
With its VC-Turbo 2.0-liter inline-four, the Infiniti QX50 has the best circuitous powertrain of the group. It’s a turbocharged variable-compression agent akin to a CVT that sends 268 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels. A abstruse marvel, Infiniti met our $50,000 USD cap by sending the Essential trim, priced at $49,685 USD. The QX50 can additionally be declared as the best adorable of the tweeners, acknowledgment to its apple-pie curve and simple creases. Its architecture blends and expresses affluence from every angle.
The QX50’s autogenous is the nicest of the three, a bright account of luxury. The architecture flows well, with a exceptional aluminum trim that delineates the curve of the cabin. For $50,000 USD, this is one of the finest interiors you’ll see in this category, and if your account is added flexible, Infiniti provides a aggregate of suede, wood, and covering that’s alike added opulent. This is additionally the alone tweener that offers a additional row with collapsed bench backs and its own HVAC controls for rear passengers. Acura and Cadillac accommodate air vents and acrimonious seats for the additional row, but the RDX has two USB ports while the XT4 and QX50 accept one.
In agreement of versatility, both the RDX and XT4 accept fold-flat rear seats, but Infiniti’s seats are a few degrees off. The Acura and the Infiniti can tumble their second-row seats from either the rear bear or the rear aperture openings; the Cadillac, however, alone does so from the burden area. Speaking of cargo, Infiniti’s block amplitude is aloft in the category, with up to 31.1 cubic anxiety of space. Acura offers a atom added burden space, but alone if you accommodate the 1.6-cubic-foot bin amid beneath the burden floor.
As for basement assorted passengers, these tweeners are challenged for space, but we assured that the QX50 would be the one to pick—mostly due to its collapsed second-row bench backs. The RDX additionally has a ample additional row with a collapsed attic that frees legroom for middle-seat occupants. Both Erick Ayapana and Chris Walton of our analysis team, who are hardly giants, begin the XT4 cramped. Although it has a best wheelbase than the RDX, the Caddy’s poor packaging and aerial beltline accepted too confining. As for my 6-foot frame, there was adored little allowance and almost abundant legroom.
One of the must-haves in today’s affluence SUVs is a exceptional audio system. After continuously active to the three systems, we advised Acura’s 16-speaker ELS Studio 3D as the best. It delivered crisp, bright audio quality, whether I played my own tunes through Apple CarPlay or listened to SiriusXM radio. Both Infiniti and Cadillac action a Bose surround-sound system, but the QX50 comes with 16 speakers, and the XT4 has 13. Ayapana adopted the accuracy of the Cadillac’s arrangement but added that the QX50’s complete arrangement was additionally decent.
For disciplinarian assistance, both Cadillac and Acura action a head-up display. Cadillac’s checkered adaptation acquainted added intuitive, modern, and clear, with a exceptional appearance.
We had a adventitious to sample these SUVs in two altered environments—first at the Honda Proving Centermost abreast California City, as allotment of the MotorTrend SUV of the Year testing. The Honda proving arena allows for closed-course active on a arduous ambagious track, an off-road beach ambit that mimics beginning snow, and altered surfaces that imitate the affliction altitude of our nation’s highways and byways. A few weeks later, alley analysis editor Walton, accessory alley analysis editor Ayapana, and castigation absolutely took a added attending at the administration of these crossovers on the anchorage of Southern California’s Palos Verdes Peninsula—which includes arresting switchbacks, accessible boulevards, and the gnarled, slow-motion barrage accepted as Portuguese Bend.
Whether it was on burghal streets, the desert, or the highway, it was accessible to accept a champ in agreement of performance. The RDX bound acquired everyone’s absorption with the way it corners, its befuddled ability delivery, and the accuracy of the 10-speed automatic. It’s not the quickest of the group, but it’s the one that handles best. “I adulation the supportive, adequate seat, the curve and weight of the council wheel, and the artlessness of the steering,” Walton said.
With four active modes accessible (Comfort, Snow, Sport, and Sport ), drivers can adore the altered settings depending on the alley conditions. The RDX can displace to Comfort or Sport every time it’s angry on, but it’s accessible to about-face to a altered approach via the astronomic rotary bulge in the centermost console. Like its name suggests, Sport is the best active of all, as the software refines the acknowledgment of the council and abeyance while the agent revs at college rpms. The RDX took 6.6 abnormal to get from 0 to 60 mph and completed the quarter-mile analysis in 15.1 abnormal at 92.9 mph (149.5 km/h).
The acceptable powertrain advice we enjoyed in the RDX was missing in the QX50. The Infiniti’s variable-compression agent is a abstruse marvel, but it is ailing akin to a CVT, which mutes ability delivery. “There are at atomic three things alteration all the time—gear ratio, turbo boost, and agent compression—and they are anniversary angry over who takes the mic,” Walton said. “They alone all appear calm and accede what to do at wide-open throttle. What a mess.” Ayapana aggregate this feeling, adage that the burke acknowledgment has a “lurching, slingshotlike delivery.” We additionally complained about the suspension, acquainted far added accordance central the berth than aback active the RDX or XT4 over the aforementioned pavement. “I begin bumps and impacts I didn’t apperceive were there,” Walton said. Regardless, the QX50 was the quickest of the group, demography 6.3 abnormal to get from 0 to 60 mph.
Things got a little bigger with the XT4, admitting Walton declared its ride as “flinty.” Ayapana admired the admiration of the council but said that it lacked alley feel. He enjoyed the acknowledgment of the manual to burke inputs, as it confused aback it bare to. Yet the three of us begin ourselves opting for the paddle shifters for a sportier experience. Despite the XT4 actuality the aboriginal crossover of the mix, we noticed a lot of anatomy roll, which absent the Cadillac credibility in agreement of handling. This was the tweener with beneath ability and added heft, with a weight-to-power arrangement of 16.7 lb/hp—the affliction in the group.
There are altered paths to accomplishing in-car connectivity. With bifold screens, touchpads, and alike simpler interfaces, Acura, Cadillac, and Infiniti accept followed altered paths to amuse their customers.
Walton, Ayapana, and I all admired the way Cadillac handled its business with an adapted adaptation of its once-pilloried CUE system. It behaves like a smartphone and has beat cartoon that are aciculate and simple to use. Through an 8.0-inch touchscreen, occupants can use their buzz via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, or they can use the abreast aeronautics arrangement to get around. The infotainment arrangement responds quickly, and it’s accessible to get to area you appetite after frustration—you can use your fingers to zoom in or out, aloof like with a phone. With a aboveboard layout, Cadillac absolutely paid absorption to the technology. After all, some buyers abode an automated infotainment arrangement college on their must-have account than, say, handling.
Such contemporariness is missing in the QX50’s nav arrangement and its anachronous graphical interface. Infiniti autonomous for a dual-screen layout, abrogation the top awning for the nav arrangement and the basal for infotainment. But it’s a absent opportunity. The bulky user interface is “a audacious weakness in an contrarily appropriate cabin,” Ayapana said. Walton complained about the abounding options to ascendancy the two screens: council caster buttons, touchscreen, adamantine buttons beneath the touchscreen, and the push-knob controller. “In a hurry, I never apperceive area to go to change something,” he said. We were additionally aghast to acquisition that the QX50 offers neither Apple CarPlay nor Android Auto. Alike admitting the QX50 is almost new, Infiniti declining to accommodate this advantageous technology fabricated us admiration what the artefact planners were benchmarking. In a awakening touch, the QX50 is the alone one in the accumulation that offers a CD player—great for association who adopt a higher-quality audio source, admitting in a awkward anatomy factor.
With a touchpad cursor that mirrors the awning above, Acura has the best beat infotainment bureaucracy in the group. But the arrangement still needs some refining. How calmly you can ascendancy a touchpad ability depend on which bearing you accord to. The adolescent association on our agents begin the infotainment arrangement easier to use than the complete accumulation at the office—yet both groups assured that the haptic touchpad was distracting, as you accept to booty your eyes off the alley to chase the cursor on the screen. Sure, the awning is army on the accomplished point accessible on the centermost dash, but alike again it’s adamantine to apperceive area anniversary figure is located. Apple CarPlay additionally takes added time to navigate, as you accept to bash your feel beyond the touchpad to move the “cursor” to area you appetite it. Android Auto is not available. However, Acura’s articulation ascendancy was a acceptable bombastic option, and it accepted my commands alike with my able Spanish accent.
You’re affairs a crossover from a affluence brand. You apprehend the best. And that includes assurance mechanisms. Offering AcuraWatch as accepted accessories beyond the lineup, the RDX comes with blow acknowledgment braking, adaptive cruise control, lane accumulate assist, advanced blow warning, lane abandonment warning, and alley abandonment mitigation. Alone the Acura had been activated by the IIHS at the time of this story’s closing—it was accustomed the celebrated Top Assurance Pick award, scoring “Good” in all categories.
Our Infiniti came able with the ProAssist package, a $550 USD advantage that adds advancement blow assist, adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert, and ambit ascendancy assist, which helps advance safe afterward ambit after cruise ascendancy enabled. The Cadillac agitated the Disciplinarian Abetment and Disciplinarian Awareness packages, which calm accommodate adaptive cruise control, advanced and about-face automated braking, advanced banal braking, advanced blow alert, lane accumulate abetment with lane abandonment warning, and able high-beam headlights—for $1,870 USD.
Walton enjoyed a stress-free drive in bumper-to-bumper cartage with the assurance tech of the RDX, including adaptive cruise that works all the way to a abounding stop. “It slows added acclaim and accelerates faster than some added systems I’ve tried,” he said. The QX50’s ProAssist system, a footfall beneath the top-trim ProPilot Abetment package, doesn’t accompany the abounding semi-autonomous acquaintance to the QX50. Yet the able cruise ascendancy followed the car in advanced with no hiccups. We atomic admired the XT4’s lane befitting system, which had a difficult time befitting the Caddy centered amid the stripes.
All three SUVs accompany article appropriate to the table. Acura takes the advance on administration and safety, Infiniti brings an outstanding architecture and superb autogenous space, and Caddy’s infotainment arrangement takes the user acquaintance to the abutting level.
Mainstream crossovers are about transport. But advance to a exceptional casting puts a bit added accent on looks, performance, connectivity, safety, and a affable autogenous experience. Whether you’re starting a ancestors or adorable for a car to carriage your grandchildren, for a $50,000 USD amount tag you additionally appetite a agent that makes you feel special. In this tweener segment, there’s alone one SUV that delivers on all those traits.
Third Place: Infiniti QX50
An adorable architecture with a adequate berth and good-quality abstracts is captivated aback by a arrested powertrain and anachronous infotainment interface.
Second Place: Cadillac XT4
Decent administration that comes with the best infotainment of the group, but its poor use of autogenous amplitude makes its loud berth feel cramped.
First Place:Acura RDX
With a antithesis of luxury, handling, safety, technology, and acute packaging, Acura takes home the trophy.
2020 Acura Rdx Vs Cadillac Xt4 New Model And Performance – 2020 acura rdx vs cadillac xt4