June 19, 2013
Written by Steven Macoy
Thursday, 18 February 2010 13:23
With gasoline prices rising and children leaving the nest, many Americans were ready to trade in their minivans and full-sized SUVs for smaller vehicles. But many had grown attached to the idea of all-wheel drive and high seating position. Thus was born the midsize luxury SUV, exemplified by the Acura MDX.This is a bewilderingly crowded field, with European, Japanese, American and even Korean automakers in the mix. What makes the Acura appealing is its Honda lineage, which ensures high quality and reliability; seven-passenger capacity with a third seat big enough to accommodate two adults; agile handling; and uncompromising luxury.
Prices range from $42,230 for the base MDX to $53,755 for the full-dress model with the Advance and Entertainment packages. We drove the latter version, which came to $54,565 with destination and handling charges. Also attractive, from a patriotic point view, is the MDX is largely North American, with 70 percent of its components U.S. or Canadian, and it’s built in Ontario, Canada.
The MDX is fun to drive, but the feather-light steering transmits less road feel than we experienced at the wheel of the Mazda CX-9. European crossover models by Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche also handle more crisply than the MDX, but in many cases cost more or offer fewer features. Among U.S. models, the Cadillac SRX comes closest to the MDX and the European crossovers, and in some respects exceeds them, in power and refinement.
Our Dark Cherry Pearl MDX was loaded with standard features, from the usual luxury items (leather upholstery, heated power seats, audio and cruise-control controls on the steering hub) to the exotic, including navigation system, multi-view rear camera, power tailgate, DVD system and blind-spot information system. It literally had everything; no optional equipment is offered.
All MDX models come with a 300-horsepower V-6 engine and 6-speed automatic transmission. They are rated at 16 mpg in the city, 21 highway, and use premium gasoline; we averaged about 19 mpg in mixed driving around Western Connecticut.
In some Honda models, road noise is pronounced. Not so with the MDX. The powerful engine is likewise hushed, and the ride is smoother than one would expect in a car with the sharp handling qualities of the MDX.
With so high a level of standard features, one might expect the MDX to have a complicated array of controls, and indeed it does. Even the steering hub has 11 buttons, plus shifter paddles. Like BMW, whose iDrive system confused first-time drivers, Acura evidently figures drivers will grow accustomed to the various functions and placements over time.
It’s no surprise that the MDX has above-average reliability and owner satisfaction, as described by Consumer Reports magazine, as well as five-star ratings in government crash tests, and a “Best Pick” designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The MDX also leads the field among SUVs in holding its value, according to CNN/Money Magazine.
Engine: 3.7-liter V-6, 300 horsepower, 270 lb.-ft. torque
Transmission: 6-speed shiftable automatic
Weight: 4,627 lb.
Suspension: MacPherson strut front, multi-link rear
Ground clearance: 8.2 inches
Wheels: 19x8.5-in. alloy
Tires: P255/50R19 103H all-season
Seating capacity: 7
Luggage capacity: 15 cu. ft.
Maximum cargo capacity: 84 cu. ft.
Fuel capacity: 21 gallons
Fuel economy: 16 mpg city, 21 mpg highway
Fuel type: Premium unleaded
|< Prev||Next >|
The requested URL /components/com_nklf/tent.php was not found on this server.