2016 Acura MDX

Inspiring to Drive
July 6, 2015 Updated: July 6, 2015

The MDX hasn’t changed much since the redesign in 2014, but it has improved immensely since its introduction in 2001.

MDX is a midsized luxury SUV with three rows of seating, accommodating up to seven passengers. In the back, especially with the second and third rows up, there is little space for storage.

Unfortunately I found the front sports seats with leather trimmed interior not comfortable and the material not especially soft. The seatbacks sat straight up and was too tightly fitted. I could only be comfortable with the seat adjusted backwards considerably.

The more weight on the seat part the better. Too much weight on the back made it terribly uncomfortable. The 8-way power adjustments for the front seats helped, but the seat was just not structured correctly for me.

Front seat cup holders were too small and unbalanced for anything above 12 ounces. Backseat headrest couldn’t be adjusted downward, therefore blocking large portions of the back window and really impeding clear views for rear visibility.

The rear camera was very clear, while tri-zone automatic air control had a quick response and cooled down the car nicely.

The MDX can be configured with a good combination of options packages. Active safety features like Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, and Forward Collision Warning make up the AcuraWatch Plus Package.

The Technology Package shares some of these safety features, and adds a navigation system, Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Information, Rear Cross Traffic Monitor, and a few other enhancements.

The Advanced Package includes both AcuraWatch Plus and Technology with upgraded seats and some other smaller additions. You can then add Entertainment Package on top of Technology and Advanced Packages.

The Acura cabin was quiet and the easy-shifting 9-speed automatic transmission was sharp and functioned perfectly.

The V6 engine had no trouble bringing the vehicle into motion with superb acceleration provided by 290 hp at 6,200 rpm and 267 lb-ft of torque at 4,700 rpm. The EPA suggested mileage was 20-mpg city and 27-mpg highway.

The infotainment system with 8-inch touch screen was not very user friendly. Now if you had technological skills that would have allowed you to break the Japanese Imperial Navy secret war code or invented the Enigma encoding code machine, you might have been able to at least change radio stations easily.

Inside the MDX (Courtesy of Acura)
Inside the MDX (Courtesy of Acura)

In some ways Acura MDX was very impressive. It handled smoothly on the straight-away and felt sharp on the curves. It was fun to drive, but I still didn’t get that luxury car feeling. Yet, the 4-wheel independent MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspensions added to the quality of the driving experience, as did 18-inch x 8-inch aluminum wheels and rear and front disc brakes.

There were no small open storage spaces for keys or a phone, but the large storage bin with a lid between the front seats was wide and supportive as a driver right armrest or passenger left armrest.

To be honest, the BMW X5, Lexus RX and Infiniti Q60 are very competitive. I have driven all of them this year. I would place the Q60 in first and the MDX in the middle of the pack.

The manufacturer’s suggested retail price starts at $42,865 for the base, and goes up to $57,080 for the SH-AWD model with Advance and Entertainment Package. Keep in mind the resale value for the MDX is strong, which makes for a more positive consideration.

4-year/50,000-mile New Vehicle Warranty
6-year/70,000-mile Limited Powertrain Warranty
5-year/Unlimited-mile Outer Body Rust-through Warranty

Exterior Dimensions
Wheelbase: 111.0-inches
Length: 193.6-inches
Width: 77.2-inches
Height: 67.6-inches

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or dcaussey@sbcglobal.net