With room for seven and an impressive load of standard equipment, the Acura MDX remains a relative bargain in the realm of luxury crossovers. Its reasonable approach to premium family travel seems about right for a target market that still has bills to pay.
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2016 Acura MDX Overview
What's New for 2016
The MDX gains a nine-speed automatic transmission, and most available safety features are bundled into a new package called AcuraWatch Plus.
Choosing Your Acura MDX
The MDX ranks as midsize, offering 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 get in and out with dignity.
The sole engine is a 3.5-liter V6 with 290 horsepower, matched to a new nine speed automatic transmission with push-button controls (replacing last year's six-speed unit). All-wheel drive is available in place of the standard front-drive setup. Properly equipped, the MDX can tow up to 5,000 pounds.
The standard cabin is lavishly equipped with leather upholstery, heated front seats with driver memory, tri-zone automatic climate control, a power-adjustable steering wheel, and an eight-speaker sound system with Internet and satellite radio. Tech features include Bluetooth phone and audio, a multi-angle rearview camera and dual display screens. Also standard are LED headlamps, a sunroof, a power liftgate and keyless ignition. The MDX rolls on 18-inch wheels.
You can build on this single trim level with a series of option packages:
There are no individual options for the MDX beyond the usual dealer-installed accessories.
For all its advanced safety features, the AcuraWatch Plus bundle adds only $1,500 to the base price. We wouldn't buy an MDX without it. Other packages include lots of features for the money, but it can all add up. When fully loaded, the price for an MDX with Advance and Entertainment packages soars to $55,080, or $57,080 with all-wheel drive.
2016 Acura MDX Review
Small crossovers are getting more popular with each passing year, but Acura still caters to buyers who want a midsize SUV with room for up to seven-passengers with the excellent MDX.
Pricing and Equipment
In its base format, the 2016 Acura MDX runs $42,865 with front-wheel drive; this rises to $44,865 with all-wheel drive. Key standard features include:
- Multi-angle rearview camera
- Jewel-eye headlights
- Automatic climate control
- Power liftgate
If you are looking for a fully loaded model, you can opt for the MDX with the Tech, Entertainment, and AcuraWatch Plus packages for $50,490 with front-wheel drive or $52,490.
The MDX has only one engine -- a Honda-sourced 3.5-liter V6 that puts out 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque -- and we think it provides a perfect balance of performance and smoothness for serene highway cruising.
- The MDX is pretty nimble for a larger midsize crossover.
- It also features a great all-wheel drive system.
- A new nine-speed automatic transmission tends to hunt for gears.
- The MDX isn't a very capable tow vehicle.
We tend to find Acura's interiors refined and uncluttered. The MDX is no exception.
- The cabin offers a relaxed atmosphere that doesn't try to prove its worth through glitzy add-ons.
- Room for seven passengers is a rarity these days.
All of that tasteful understatement can sometimes seem a little blah:
- Interior design lacks distinction.
- The center stack's layout isn't quite right.
- Chrome can catch the sun and temporarily blind the driver.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
Though it is big and relatively bulky, the MDX is one of the more nimble crossovers on the market. This is even truer when buyers opt for the capable all-wheel drive system.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
The new nine-speed auto transmission not only hunts for gears, but doesn't even improve fuel economy. In fact, the EPA rating for highway fuel economy is actually 1 mpg lower than in 2015.
The Bottom Line
The Acura MDX is an ideal choice for buyers who want a luxury crossover with plenty of space, a reputation for reliability, and a less flashy badge. It's also less expensive than many premium competitors.
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