The Acura MDX essentially established the template for the three-row luxury crossover. From the start, it's boasted a strong V6 engine, all-wheel drive and seating for seven people. The latest version now features a sophisticated Super Handling all-wheel drive system for aggressive driving and a comprehensive list of standard equipment and available technology features to keep it competitive in the high-stakes segment. But for all of the attempts to dethrone it, the MDX has the right recipe for a posh family hauler.
See our picks for best crossovers in the CarsDirect Crossover Buying Guide.
Even the base trim MDX comes extensively equipped. Standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels, power liftgate, backup camera, power sunroof, 8-way powered and heated front seats, leather seats, power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, tri-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth and 8-speaker audio system with a 6-disc CD changer and AUX input. Technology Package adds better leather for the seats, multi-view camera, navigation system with SiriusXM traffic and weather and a 10-speaker audio system with iPod interface. The Advance Package boasts 19-inch wheels, radar-guided cruise control, blind-spot warning system and adaptable suspension dampers. Advance is the one to select if a sporty drive and high-tech features are a priority. Also available on Technology and Advance models is a rear-seat DVD entertainment system.
The competition in this segment varies widely. The Audi Q7 boasts better interior fit and finish and offers a TDI clean diesel V6, but has a smaller third-row and is has a higher sticker price. The BMW X5 is more thrilling for drivers, but offers much less space and the optional third-row is cramped even for kids. The INFINITI JX offers more advanced safety features but isn't as fun to drive. And the Volvo XC90 hasn't had a redesign in 10 years and suffers from daft infotainment systems.
Overall, the MDX is probably the most well-rounded choice among large premium crossovers. It has a sporting character while managing to be spacious for seven people and offers an extensive list of standard equipment for a competitive price. It should be at the top of the must-drive list for any buyer in this market.
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