The Acura MDX returns in 2015 with minimal changes, after a somewhat comprehensive redesign for 2014. Prices start below $43,000.
Now in its third generation, the Acura MDX retains all the great attributes that have made it such a winner in the showroom. This latest MDX has shed its Honda Odyssey minivan underpinnings for a new light truck chassis. Coupled with extensive use of high-strength steel sheetmetal and a lighter suspension set-up that includes separate subframes front and rear, the MDX is 275 pounds leaner overall than the model it replaced.
The MDX is powered by a 3.5L V6, which is shared with the RLX sedan. It produces 290 horsepower and 267 ft-lb of torque. It comes mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission and sends power to the wheels via Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system. Front wheel drive is also available and will save prospective buyers about $2,000, should they forgo sending power to all four wheels.
No MDX is lightly equipped. All offer 'Jewel Eye' LED headlights and speed-sensitive windshield wipers, multi-view rear camera, power tailgate, seating for seven passengers, leather seating with heated front seats, tri-zone climate control and On-Demand Multi-Use Display, an intuitive touchscreen that incorporates entertainment, information and climate controls in one easy-to-navigate place. Bluetooth hands-free connectivity with email and SMS functionality and an 8-speaker audio system with USB and iPod interface complete the standard features list. Standard safety features include a host of airbags, stability and traction control and LED daytime running lights.
MDX models equipped with the Technology Package add 19-inch alloy wheels, Acura Navigation, blind spot information, Forward Collision Warning and Land Departure Warning systems and a 10-speaker premium audio system with hard drive media storage. MDX with Technology and Entertainment Packages include heated second-row seating, DVD rear seat entertainment with a 9-inch screen, a 110V outlet and an upgraded premium audio system. The top-tier MDX with Advance and Entertainment Packages adds perforated Milano premium leather seating with heated and ventilated front seats, adaptive cruise control, Lane Keeping Assist, a 12-speaker audio system, a 16.2-inch rear seat DVD entertainment system and front and rear parking sensors. Collision Mitigation Braking, which is also standard on the Advance and Entertainment MDX, helps prepare the MDX and its occupants for a frontal impact by automatically tensioning the seatbelts and applying necessary brake force to reduce speeds as much as possible.