IT’S A BEST BUY BECAUSE:
The MDX delivers a sporty driving character, a high level of cabin refinement, and a fine selection of high-tech features, along with the expected passenger and cargo utility of a 7-passenger crossover SUV.
The 3rd-row seating is tight, and the 2nd row is not outstanding for space or comfort either.
Like all new Acuras, the MDX does not offer traditional stand-alone options.
WHAT IS IT?
The MDX is Acura’s 7-passenger crossover SUV, and it’s been a consistent best seller for the brand since its introduction in 2001. Trim levels (which Acura handles like option packages) ascend through entry-level Base, volume Technology, more feature-rich Technology with Entertainment, and top-line Advance and Advance with Entertainment. New for 2019 is an A-Spec sport appearance model, which is offered only with all-wheel drive; it includes exclusive 20-inch wheels with low-profile tires and a host of sporty styling touches inside and out. All of the above models are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission with a push-button gear selector. An MDX Sport Hybrid version is also available—it uses a 3.0-liter V6 engine paired to a 7-speed dual-clutch automated-manual transmission with an integrated electric motor powering the front wheels, and two more electric motors powering the rear wheels. The hybrid system’s total horsepower output is 321, an increase of 31 hp over the regular MDX.
Base MDXs have a fairly high level of standard equipment, including leather upholstery, heated power front seats, power liftgate, sunroof, rearview camera, keyless entry/starting, LED headlights, and the AcuraWatch suite of safety features.
In addition to the A-Spec model mentioned above, the MDX receives a number of refinements for 2019. Acura says the 9-speed automatic transmission and the auto stop/start feature are updated for a smoother feel. Interior upgrades include several new trim accents and standard 4-way power lumbar adjustments for the front seats. Advance-package models now offer Acura’s Active Damper System adjustable suspension, which was previously available only on the Sport Hybrid.
The EPA rates the MDX at 20 mpg city/27 highway with front drive and 19/26 with AWD (19/25 in A-Spec form). The Sport Hybrid is rated at 26 mpg city/27 highway/27 combined—an increase of 7 mpg in city driving over the non-hybrid all-wheel-drive MDX. In Consumer Guide® testing, an all-wheel-drive MDX with the Advance and Entertainment Packages averaged 18.3 mpg in 55-percent highway driving, and a Sport Hybrid with the Advance Package averaged 25.7 mpg in 65-percent highway driving. Acura recommends premium-grade gasoline.
VALUE IN CLASS
The MDX drives and handles exceptionally well and boasts a quiet, refined cabin. Rear-seat room and comfort are not exceptional, and there are a few complicated controls. Still, this Acura deserves a top spot on your shopping list. The top-line Advance Entertainment version is a bit pricey, but the Base and Technology models deliver lots of desirable features at reasonable-for-the-class prices. The Sport Hybrid doesn’t sacrifice much in terms of performance or dollar value, and delivers significantly improved fuel economy.
|BASE PRICE RANGE||$44,300 – $60,050|
|BODY STYLES||4-Door Wagon|
|AVAILABLE ENGINES||290-HP, 3.5-Liter V6; 321-HP, 3.0-Liter V6/Electric|
|DRIVE WHEELS||Front or All-Wheel Drive|
|EPA FUEL-ECONOMY RANGE||18-27 MPG|
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