“Stuck in between a non-luxury SUV, and luxury icons like Lexus, Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz, Acura has their work cut out with the MDX. So, what’s it like to be the monkey in the middle?
When You Want All the Luxuries and Even More Cutting-Edge Technology Than the Germans, You Buy an Acura MDX
The MDX has been a staple of the Acura lineup for decades now. Originally presented as a luxurious version of the Honda Pilot, the MDX has slowly but surely been able to detach from from such concept. Initially, one could recognize just about every body panel and button between the two. Now, the Pilot is a mighty fine SUV, but the MDX is even finer. Even better yet, the resemblances between the two have just about disappeared.
For 2017 the Acura MDX wears a brand-new front-end, which I must add—is downright stunning. The redesigned grille, the headlights, and the entire vehicle overall looks the part. In addition, the MDX looks chiseled and athletic, and it manages to hide its third row and massive trunk extremely well. In fact, most wouldn’t even think there’s a third row.
The interior is equally as pleasant as the exterior, though the dash is a bit cluttered, and even confusing at first. During our week-long test of the MDX we grew to utilize its various buttons and knobs, and even its dual-screen setup, although we still found it quite unorthodox. That being said, the MDX aims to please, and it did so in more than one way.
On the Road
Driving the 2017 Acura MDX is a real treat. The 3.5 liter engine under the hood pumps out 290-horsepower, though it truly feels like quite a bit more. A quick stab of the throttle rewarded us with plenty of power, though its delivery was smooth and gradual.
During our 4.5 hour trip to Detroit aboard the MDX, we had the opportunity to test its driving capabilities, especially its super-handling all-wheel drive. While our highway drive up to the great white north was clear of snow, mother nature dumped a few inches of powder during our second day in the Motor City, which were enough to be wowed by the system’s prowess under tricky conditions.
On the road the MDX is soft and extremely quiet. All the controls are within reach, and the cabin offers plenty of storage for most families’ needs. Whether it’s cupholders, cubbies for purses, backpacks, or toys, the MDX has got it. Furthermore, the Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Keeping Assist can make family road trips a breeze by assisting with traffic and lane management.
The MDX truly feels at home on city streets and open roads, so whether you’re picking up the kids or going on road trips, you’ll be pleased either or. Getting in and out of the MDX is simple thanks to its ride-height, and even our 5-year-old daughter was able to pull on the handle and hop in without assistance.
Moms and Dads will be pleased with the MDX’s agility and ease to maneuver. Slipping in and out tight parking spots at the grocery store was a breeze thanks to its 360-degree bird’s eye view cameras and parking sensors. Once ready to load up, open the power lift-gate via the key fob or the button on the deck lid.
Furthermore, one of my favorite features of the MDX is its remote start, which utilizes a small light on the key fob to inform whether the remote start was successful or not. Because there’s nothing more frustrating than walking up to your car on a freezing morning, only to realize the remote start didn’t work!
Depending on the seating configuration, the MDX can fit six or seven passengers. Regardless of it, the MDX offers three separate climate zones, one for the driver, one for the passenger, and one for the back. In addition, there are several cup holders for the folks in the second and third row, as well as USB chargers.
Accessing the third row is pain-free, with second row seats that fold and slide forward at the touch of a button. Once ready to exit, third row passengers can push these buttons in order to easily exit the MDX. Furthermore, all three rows can be folded flat to free up to 90-cubic feet of cargo space!
Our test vehicle featured the optional “Entertainment Package,” which featured second-row bench seating (instead of captain chairs), a 9-inch drop down monitor, a 12-speaker surround sound system, three-position second-row seat backs, built-in sun shades, wireless headphones, and a 110-volt power outlet.
The MDX is extremely mature, refined, and behaves so much different than the Pilot. Heck, it behaves so much different than any other three-row SUV in the market.
With a price tag of nearly $60k, our test vehicle was far from “basic,” but it certainly put other premium brands to shame. If you’re in the market for a luxury SUV, and you’re not in love with four circles, or a three-pointed star, the MDX is the way to go!