Acura MDX vs. Lexus RX 350

By

Automotive Editor

John Diether has been a professional writer, editor, and producer since 1997. His work can be found on TV, radio, web, and various publications throughout the world.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a 1992 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance in his garage. 


, Automotive Editor - September 2, 2016

Much like the Camry-Accord rivalry of parent companies Toyota and Honda, Lexus and Acura do battle in the luxury crossover segment with the midsize RX 350 and MDX. Though both models come from upscale brands, their prestige is sometimes dampened by their relationships to the mainstream Highlander and Pilot, respectively.

The Acura MDX has had a tougher time overcoming the label of a Honda in an Armani suit, but has made huge strides in recent years. Are they enough to overtake the Lexus RX 350?

See a side-by-side comparison of the MDX & RX 350 »

What the RX 350 Gets Right

The newly redesigned RX 350 carries a lower base MSRP, but you still get all the expected equipment for a luxury vehicle, including a nine-speaker sound system and a power liftgate. Although it looks a bit futuristic, the RX is indeed a proper Lexus, delivering superb ride quality and a whisper-quiet cabin. The RX is strictly a five-seater, but rear legroom is unsurpassed in this class.

The RX's 3.5-liter V6 produces 295 horsepower and can be paired with all-wheel drive. At 28 mpg, highway efficiency is excellent for a luxury vehicle of this size.

What the MDX Gets Right

The MDX comes standard with a 290-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine, paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. The base price also includes features like leather seating, driver memory, a sunroof, and a power tailgate. Needless to say, the MDX is equipped like a proper luxury vehicle from the start.

The MDX ranks as midsize and offers three rows of seating, but less interior room overall than the largest crossovers. That said, cargo space is undeniably generous at 91 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. The standard power-sliding second row is a welcome touch that allows third-row passengers to get in and out with dignity.

What Are Your Priorities?

The MDX certainly wins on seating capacity and cargo space, which is all some shoppers need to know. If you're more interested in style and luxury, you'll be happier with the RX 350.

Verdict: Lexus RX 350

The RX 350 is smooth and silky as only Lexus can manage.

Take a closer look at the Acura MDX >>

Take a closer look at the Lexus RX 350 >>

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

John Diether has been a professional writer, editor, and producer since 1997. His work can be found on TV, radio, web, and various publications throughout the world.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a 1992 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance in his garage.