James Flammang
Contributing Editor - October 13, 2016


Launched for the 2001 model year, the MDX gave Honda’s luxury division its first entrant into the crossover SUV category. With seating for up to seven and an impressive load of standard equipment, the Acura MDX remains a comparative bargain in the category of near-luxury crossovers. This reasonable approach to premium family travel seems about right for a target market of families that have bills to pay, but appreciate some extra amenities on the road.

What's New for 2017

In addition to freshened exterior design, including a more sculpted hood and revised headlights, the MDX gains standard and optional equipment for 2017. Previously an option group, the AcuraWatch suite of safety and driver-assistance technologies is now standard. A new electric parking brake includes automatic brake hold. Available option packages now include 20-inch wheels, second-row captain’s chairs, SiriusXM 2.0 satellite radio, a heated steering wheel, and surround-view camera. A Sport Hybrid variant of the MDX with SH-AWD is scheduled to debut in spring of 2017.

Acura MDX

Choosing Your Acura MDX

Offering three rows of seating, the MDX ranks as midsize. As such, it has less interior room than the largest crossovers. Regardless, cargo space totals an undeniably generous 91 cubic feet, with second-row and rear seats folded. Behind the rear seat, cargo volume measures 15.8 cubic feet. The standard power-sliding second row is a welcome touch that allows third-row passengers to get in and out with ease and without loss of dignity.

Acura MDX

The sole engine is a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque, mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission with a pushbutton gear selection. Acura’s SH-AWD all-wheel drive system is available as a substitute for the standard front-drive setup, for an additional $2,000. Properly equipped, an MDX with SH-AWD can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

Fuel economy is comparable to rivals, estimated by the EPA at 19 mpg in city driving and 27 mpg on the highway (22 mpg combined). The available idle-stop feature raises the estimate to 20/27 mpg (city/highway), or 23 mpg combined. All-wheel drive models are estimated at 18/26 mpg (city/highway), or 21 mpg combined.

The standard cabin is rather lavishly equipped with leather-trimmed upholstery, heated power front seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, a power-adjustable steering wheel, and an eight-speaker sound system with Internet compatibility and satellite radio. Tech features include Bluetooth phone and audio, Siri Eyes Free, a multi-angle rearview camera, and dual display screens. Also standard are LED headlights, a moonroof, a power liftgate, and keyless pushbutton start. The MDX rolls on 18-inch wheels.

Now standard equipment on the MDX, the AcuraWatch suite of safety technology includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, collision mitigation braking, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, and road departure mitigation.

In standard form, the MDX is priced at $44,890 (destination charge included). You can build on this single trim level with one or more option packages:


This $4,410 option group includes a navigation system with traffic rerouting and a 10-speaker Acura/ELS audio system, both with voice controls. Additional conveniences include rain-sensing wipers, GPS-linked climate control, a multi-information display with turn-by-turn guidance, power-folding mirrors, blind spot information system, and rear cross-traffic alert. Wheels are upgraded to 20-inch.


Treats rear passengers to a DVD entertainment system, and includes heated outboard second-row seats, a second-row bench, sunshades, and a household-style power outlet. Note that the Technology or Advance package is required with this $2,000 package.


For $6,040, you get perforated leather upholstery with contrast stitching, heated/ventilated front seats, second-row captain’s chairs (for six-passenger capacity), wood accents, a heated steering wheel, LED foglamps, front/rear parking sensors, and a surround-view camera system. Purchase of the Technology Package is required.

Almost no individual options are offered, other than backup sensors, bicycle mounts, bodyside moldings, and roof crossbars.

CarsDirect Tip

Making the AcuraWatch safety suite standard is a welcome step forward, although it was previously quite a reasonably priced option. Option packages include plenty of features for the money, but the total can add up quickly. When fully loaded, the price for an MDX with Advance and Entertainment packages soars to $57,340, or $59,340 with all-wheel drive.

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Acura MDX

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