When you are searching for a new family vehicle, you are not just searching for a car; you are searching for your family’s home away from home. The average person spends an hour per day in the car. Multiply that by 365, and you’ve already got over two weeks a year spent sitting in your car. But then consider the fact that many families make frequent road trips or family vacations, not to mention any seasonal or recreational activities you want to enjoy that will put you in the car for even longer periods. Finally, you will be entrusting your most precious cargo to your new vehicle, so you must ensure you are putting their lives into the hands of a vehicle you can trust. Two family vehicles that are often compared are the 2021 Buick Envision and 2021 Acura RDX.
Buick and Acura are two car brands that have a long history of safety and reliability. Each of these manufacturers has a good reputation among not only high-class businessmen but also conscientious families and parents. While both of these vehicles have their own unique pros and cons, they are not the same vehicle and are not 100% equal. So which is better for families – the Envision or the RDX?
In this writer’s humble opinion, when considering the 2021 Buick Envision or the 2021 Acura RDX for a family vehicle, the Envision takes all. Some might disagree with me, and they may even defend their claims with good reasons, but as a parent of multiple kids, I have learned that there are certain aspects that are absolute requirements when considering a good option for a family vehicle. Three of these required aspects include child safety, rear passenger leg space, and fuel cost. However, these are all features that when comparing the Envision to the RDX, the Envision takes the cake.
The thinking squad over at Buick clearly had your kids’ safety in mind when they put together the Envision. In this case, I do not only mean the safety of your young children in the back seat, but also the safety of your teenage driver in the front seat. It is a well-known fact that, more often than not, teenagers tend to behave recklessly, and this is especially the case when behind the wheel. There is a reason insurance companies charge more for families with teenage drivers. Teens have not had the time to fully develop their brains or their emotional responses yet, and therefore we must make certain allowances for accidental mistakes while still giving them room to learn and grow.
When you get a sporty SUV such as the Envision or the RDX, even for the most emotionally mature of us, it can be difficult to resist driving fast and treating the sporty SUV like a great big sports car. This is especially the case for teens who are getting their first taste of freedom. While owners of the Acura RDX will have to rely on the not-so-level head of their teens when they are out driving, the Buick Envision has a Teen Driver setting that allows you as a parent to configure the car in ways that will help your new teen driver to be safe.
This teen driver setting can limit certain vehicle features while ensuring safety features you specifically want on cannot be turned off. This setting is attached to a specific key fob so that you do not have to reset your setting every time you switch drivers, ensuring your teen always has your desired safety enhanced features turned on every time they get behind the wheel. Additionally, the Envision can give you an in-vehicle report so that if your teen is picking up bad driving habits, you can find out early and work to correct the situation, which further ensures your teen will grow to be a safe adult driver. As a parent myself, this is something I personally believe all vehicles should offer.
When it comes to comfort, the 2021 Buick Envision wins again. When you take your family on a vacation or road trip, you want to make sure even your back seat riders are comfortable and happy. If your family is anything like mine, then the most important area on a road trip as far as space is the leg space. Many of us grew up in the back seats of cars where it was virtually impossible to move or adjust our legs at all due to the lack of legroom, and I, for one, want to ensure my kids never have that uncomfortable memory.
While both the Envision and the RDX are SUVs, and stereotypically SUVs tend to have more leg space than compact cars, this does not mean that all SUVs offer riders the same amount of legroom. The 2021 Buick Envision offers passengers a rear leg space of 39.3 inches, whereas the 2021 Acura RDX only offers passengers a rear leg space of 38 inches. While that extra 1.3 inches may not seem like a lot on paper, when you’re trying to fit a child or teen and their stuff in the back seat while you’re seated comfortably up front, that extra space could mean a world of difference. In my experience, more legroom equals less fighting in the back seat for foot territory, and more legroom also means more comfort, which equals increased peace and love between siblings. Let’s face it: nobody likes to be squished on a long road trip.
When you buy an SUV, then family fun and family trips become a reality in your life. Unfortunately, this usually means more miles driven and thus, more gas bought. All the more reason to pick an Envision over the RDX .
The 2021 Envision gets 26 MPG combined, while the RDX only gets 24 MPG combined. Now that is already a sizable advantage for the Buick, but for these two vehicles, the MPG ratings alone don’t tell the full story of how much they cost to run. That is because the Acura RDX requires premium high octane gasoline, while the Envision is designed to run on your cheaper regular gasoline. With this in mind, let’s do some number crunching.
After a year of owning your Envision, let’s say you have put on 15,000 miles. To drive these miles, you will have needed to burn almost 577 gallons of 88 octane gasoline, costing $2.20 per gallon on average. This means you spend $1,269 on gasoline for the 15,000 miles in question.
Your neighbor, on the other hand, bought an RDX and also drove 15,000 miles. They spent $2.80 per gallon on average for their gasoline because they had to get higher-end premium gasoline. They also had to buy gas more often because the RDX is slightly less efficient, putting them at almost 625 gallons of fuel needed. Your neighbor’s total cost is $1,750 in gas to travel the same 15,000 miles.
Of course, the more family fun trips you take in your Envision, the more money you will save on fuel costs as opposed to the RDX. And the less you spend on gas, the more you have to spend on family fun. It just makes sense to go with the SUV that gives your family more.
What’s Important to You?
Let’s face it: when you are looking at an SUV such as the Envision or the RDX, the odds are good you plan to drive around more than just you. While there are many good options for passenger SUVs on the market today, there is only one vehicle that is exactly right for you and your own individual situation. But if you consider passenger safety and comfort to be important and yet you also want to keep your budget in mind as well, the 2021 Buick Envision is a good option.