Acura MDX offers an outstanding V6 powertrain, seven-passenger seating, and a standard four-wheel-drive system that prevents skids almost before they happen. Neat styling, attention to detail, and excellent crash protection adds to the attraction of the MDX. Introduced in 2001, MDX was named North American Truck of the Year by a group of 50 independent automotive journalists. Improvements for 2002 brought an even quieter ride. For 2003, Acura has further refined MDX, with significant upgrades to the engine, driveline, body, suspension, and steering. Acura's "Next Generation" V6 boosts horsepower from 240 to 260 and reduces emissions while maintaining the same EPA-rated fuel economy. An all-new, more compact five-speed automatic transmission shifts even more smoothly than before. A new drive-by-wire throttle helps reduce shift shock and incorporates cruise control functions. And MDX's standard VTM-4 four-wheel drive system has been remapped to work seamlessly with a new Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system to improve performance on low-traction surfaces, and to enhance stability in all conditions. The already sturdy body of the MDX is 35 percent stiffer in torsion for 2003; this has allowed the suspension to be re-tuned for an even smoother ride. Refinements to the steering mechanism enhance feel and reduce kickback, while new dual-piston front brake calipers boost stopping power. Acura has updated MDX's optional navigation system with voice recognition, enhanced graphics, an expanded U.S. database and a rearview camera that engages when the transmission is in reverse. A DVD entertainment system with wireless infrared headphones is now available. Safety improvements include dual-stage, dual-threshold front airbags and additional front airbag sensors with new system control logic.