Premium midsize SUV; Built in Canada
  • 4-door wagon
  • transverse front-engine/all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $12,300 – $31,700*


2008 Acura MDX


2008 Acura MDX


2008 Acura MDX


2008 Acura MDX

Pros:
  • Cargo room
  • Quietness
  • Seat comfort
Cons:
  • Fuel economy

Acura’s 2007 redesign of its midsize SUV added a contemporary look and thoughtful features, sustaining MDX as a highly desirable blend of luxury, performance, and convenience.

Overview

Fresh styling, more power, and new features highlighted the 2007 redesign of Acura’s premium midsize all-wheel-drive sport-utility vehicle. MDX gained 2 inches in wheelbase and overall length, versus the 2001-06 model, but kept its seven-passenger seating. Once again, the MDX used a V6 as its sole engine, but a new 300-horsepower 3.7-liter version replaced the previous 253-horsepower 3.5-liter. Torque output rose by 25 pound-feet. The sole transmission remained a five-speed automatic. Gear ratios were lowered, and new Shift Hold logic could hold the transmission in gear when needed. Acura’s rivals in this category included the BMW X5, Cadillac SRX, Lexus RX, and Volvo XC90.

New-and standard-for 2007 was Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD), which did not include low-range gearing but apportioned power between the rear wheels to enhance cornering ability. In a low-speed turn, SH-AWD could transfer up to 70 percent of torque output to the outside tire.

Antilock braking and antiskid control also were standard. So were front side airbags and curtain side airbags that covered all three seating rows, and included rollover deployment. Other standard features included a sunroof, leather upholstery, heated front seats, and wireless cell phone link.

Options came in three packages. The Technology Package had a rearview camera and a voice-activated navigation system that could display real-time traffic conditions. A Sport Package included those features plus a driver-adjustable Active Damping suspension that used 15 sensors to detect changes in road-surface qualities. Acura’s Entertainment Package contained DVD entertainment, heated second-row seats, and a power liftgate.

Yearly Updates

2008 MDX
Only minor revisions were evident on the 2008 MDX, including a slightly revised, still-optional, navigation system.
2009 MDX
The Acura MDX saw only minor changes for 2009.
2010 MDX
For 2010, MDX received freshened styling, additional standard features, and a 6-speed automatic transmission with standard steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Newly standard were Hill Start Assist, a mirror with rearview camera display, and a power tailgate.
2011 MDX
The 2011 Acura MDX is largely unchanged following its model-year 2010 freshening.
2012 MDX
The Acura MDX received no significant changes for 2012.
2013 MDX
The Acura MDX was unchanged for 2013. That was because a redesigned model arrived for 2014.

Engines

transverse front-engine/all-wheel drive

All 2007-09 MDX models have the same powertrain: a 300-hp, 3.7-liter V6 engine and five-speed automatic transmission, mated to Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive. For 2010, the five-speed automatic was replaced by a six-speed.

ohc V61
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.7/224
Engine HP 300
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 275
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic

15/20

15.5

ohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.7/224
Engine HP 300
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 275
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic

16/21

18.8

1. EPA Note: Figures shown are for 2008 models. The Environmental Protection Agency changed its procedure for 2008 to yield more realistic estimates. Therefore, estimated mileage is lower than for prior years.

Road Test

Many competitive premium midsize SUVs offer V8 power, but the MDX is strong from any speed. Acura’s transmission works smoothly and downshifts with minimal hesitation in passing maneuvers. Towing capacity is 5000 pounds, compared to a mere 2000 in the prior generation.

Gas mileage is not a strong point. A test example with the five-speed automatic averaged a somewhat thirsty 15.5 mpg. With its six-speed automatic, a 2010 model averaged 18.8 mpg with more highway miles. Acura recommends premium-grade fuel.

Best bet for passenger comfort is the base suspension, which provides a compliant but controlled ride. The available Sport Package, if installed, includes Sport and Comfort suspension modes. Comfort mode absorbs bumps well, but allows too much wallow, whereas Sport makes the ride brittle.

Sport mode in the Sport Package suspension shines here in steering/handling, exhibiting good control of body lean and sharper steering response than with the base suspension. However, even the base suspension provides competent, if not-quite-sporty, handling traits. Expect fine steering and brake feel, with either setup. Acura’s SH-AWD system is exceptional at apportioning power to enhance handling.

For an SUV, the MDX emits low levels of tire hum and highway wind rush. Acura’s engine sounds smooth, yielding a rich-sounding whine during acceleration.

Instruments are easy to read. Audio and climate controls are easy to reach. Still, the vast array of similarly-sized and shaped controls can be confusing. Acura’s available navigation system is fairly simple to learn, and does not absorb any often-used audio or climate functions-a big plus. The navigation screen is mounted high on the dashboard, right in line of sight, but it’s not distracting. However, its controller knob is mounted low on the dashboard, which forces eyes off the road until all functions are mastered. During our testing, the available voice recognition for the climate/audio/navigation system has misidentified some commands, and learning the terminology that it understands takes time. High-tech interior design incorporates an attractive blend of rich-looking materials, with especially pleasing switchgear feel and movement.

High step-in to the front seats may challenge shorter adults, though the standard power tilt/telescopic steering wheel automatically moves out of the way. Seats are comfortable and supportive. All but the very tall should have ample head and leg room. Roof pillars hinder visibility to some angles. Acura’s available rearview camera is useful in locating objects when backing up.

Outboard second-row seat sections, shaped like comfortable buckets, afford fine head- and legroom unless front seats are pushed far back. The middle position is for youngsters, as is the cramped third row. The passenger-side second-row bucket tilts/slides forward for easy access to the third row. Wide back doors can be a hindrance in tight parking spots. Separate climate controls are installed for the second row. DVD entertainment, if installed, has dash-mounted and remote controls, plus a handy 110-volt outlet for video games.

Split second-row seatbacks fold easily. Split third-row seats fold forward from the rear of the vehicle, and all but shorter folks can raise them from there. With all seats folded, the cargo floor is nearly flat. Acura said it could hold 4-foot-wide panels. There’s a handy covered in-floor bin behind the third row. Absence of a separate liftgate glass is a drawback, but the optional power liftgate (if installed) is a plus. Interior storage space is ample.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2008 MDX w/Technology Pkg.

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 6
60%
Fuel Economy - 4
40%
Ride Quality - 6
60%
Steering/Handling - 6
60%
Quietness - 7
70%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 8
80%
Room/Comfort Rear - 7
70%
Cargo Room - 9
90%

Other

Value - 9
90%

Total: 68

Specifications

4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
108.3 190.7 78.5 68.2
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
83.5 21.0 7.0
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.2 38.6 41.2 38.7
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2008 MDX 4-door wagon

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 5
100%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Rear Passenger Injury - 5
100%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Dashboard lights
Description: The tire pressure warning light may stay on despite proper inflation due to problem with the sensor(s) in the wheel(s). (2007-08)
Door handles
Description: Door locks may not work in cold weather due to ice forming on the latch requiring installation of an improved latch. (2007)
Engine misfire
Description: Cylinder bore in engine block may be out of round causing low compression and requires replacement. (2013)
Audio system
Description: When the hands-free system is used, in vehicles with the navigation system, the radio may come on spontaneously, and/or the CD may eject requiring reprogramming the audio system software and, in some cases, replacing the amp. (2007)
Sunroof/moonroof
Description: Water may leak from the rear of the moon roof requiring installation of a seal. (2007-10)
Suspension noise
Description: Clunking or knocking noise from rear suspension on some vehicles due to distorted shock bolt. (2007)
Suspension noise
Description: Front wheel bearings can cause noise or vibration. (2007-13)
Windows
Description: During auto-up, the power window may reverse directions possibly due to dirty window guides or a need to reprogram the control unit. (2001-10)
Wipers
Description: The windshield wipers may come on themselves or may not shut off due to a faulty switch. (2007-09)
Fuel door
Description: The fuel-fill door may freeze shut in cold weather due to ice in the hinge assembly and a revised part has been issued. (2007)
Navigation system
Description: The navigation system may quit working and a DVD error may be reported due to the DVD player scratching the disc(s). (2006-09)

Recall History

2010 vehicles manufactured between October 7, 2009 and November 14, 2009.
Description: A bolt used to attach interior trim pieces to either the driver’s or passenger’s side a-pillar may not have been installed. In the event of a crash resulting in side curtain air bag deployment, the trim piece may not remain properly secured to the a-pillar.
2012 MDX
Description: Because of the vent shut float (VSF) valve case in the fuel-tank assembly, fuel may leak from the gas tank.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.