The 2019 Acura MDX offers crossover shoppers with a smorgasbord of options. Packed with driver-assist and technology features, this well-balanced crossover is available with five packages, front- or all-wheel drive, and two powertrain options. That's customization to fit nearly every budget, style, or desire.
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2019 Acura MDX Overview
What's New for 2019
The Acura MDX received a complete make-over in 2018, however, a few minor enhancements have been added for the new model year. The Advance Package now features wider 8.5-inch wheels and adds adaptive dampers. A reprogrammed nine-speed automatic transmission and an engine stop-start feature are now standard. The Technology and Entertainment Packages have added second-row captains chairs, while a fresh exterior color palette of nine options is available in multiple package options. Additionally, a sporty A-Spec Package is available for the first time with the MDX.
Choosing Your Acura MDX
Selecting an Acura MDX is rather unique in the US market. Instead of choosing a trim, Acura offers this sporty crossover with four unique packages: Technology, A-Spec, Advance, and Entertainment Package. All but the A-Spec come standard with front-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive available for an additional $2,000.
The base engine across the board is a potent 3.6-liter V6 that belts out 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. It's paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission and returns an EPA-estimated 20 miles per gallon in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, and 23 combined on front-wheel-drive models. AWD variants return 19/26/22 mpg (city/highway/combined).
For an additional $3,500, consumers opting for the Technology and/or Advance Package can upgrade to the Sport Hybrid 3.0-liter V6. This unique powerplant utilizes the V6 gasoline-powered engine along with a 47-hp electric motor. Power is applied to the wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Two additional 36-hp electric motors are installed between the rear wheels that enhance torque while negotiating turns. Together, this powertrain returns an EPA-estimated 26 mpg city, 27 highway, and 27 combined. Those choosing this powertrain gain AWD as standard.
Compared to other utility vehicles in its segment, the 2019 Acura MDX can be pricey and rather confusing to configure. While the base model is well equipped, it's sparse on tech and safety features. The Technology Package appears to be a must-have for those wanting to upgrade, and likely the best value among the package options.
2019 Acura MDX Review
Despite receiving a significant refresh in 2017 that replaced its hideous beak-like grille with a sleek diamond-themed one, the Acura MDX has been structurally the same since 2014. But with it consistently sitting near the top of the heap in mid-size luxury crossover sales, Acura knows to tread carefully with any changes so it doesn’t scare away potential buyers. The 2019 Acura MDX gets a few updates, including a new A-Spec appearance package and other tweaks. Is this enough to keep it near the top of the heap for a few more years? Keep reading to find out.
While the 2019 MDX lacks any traditional trim levels, it has four packages that masquerade as trims: Entertainment, A-Spec, Technology, and Advance. The 2019 Acura MDX with the Technology Package is a nice balance of luxury and affordability that almost any premium SUV shopper can appreciate.
- Model: 2019 Acura MDX with Technology Package
- Engine: 3.5-liter V6
- Output: 290 hp / 267 lb-ft
- Transmission:Nine-speed automatic
- Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
- MPG: 20 City / 27 Hwy
- Options:Technology Package ($5,000, 20-inch alloy wheels, LED puddle lights, power-folding side mirrors, GPS-linked climate control, sport seats with perforated leather, contrast stitching, natural wood trim, navigation, real-time traffic updates with rerouting, a 10-speaker audio system with HD Radio, rain-sensing wipers, front and rear parking sensors, color multi-information screen, remote start, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert)
- Base Price:$45,295 (including a $995 destination fee)
- Best Value Price:$50,295
While it lacks great handling characteristics, the 2019 Acura MDX delivers a comfortable ride across its entire lineup – even with the optional 20-inch wheels. And though it’s no performance crossover, its suspension does a respectable job holding steady despite the fair amount of body lean this large crossover suffers from.
The 290-horsepower V6 engine feels good on acceleration with strong pulling power, which helps those who want to use its 3,500-pound towing capacity. But be ready for a little gear-hunting exercise, as the standard nine-speed automatic transmission struggles to find the right cog for the job.
And while “Sport” mode may entice, it's out of place in this large crossover and does little to improve the MDX’s performance.
Acura nails the 2019 MDX’s exterior styling with generous curves and creases in all the right places to break up this large rig. And the recently added diamond-patterned grille works nicely with the Jewel Eye LED headlights to create a striking front end that's easily recognizable.
Inside, the MDX tones things down a bit and gets far less complicated. The cabin is clean and functional, and drivers should have no issues hopping in and knowing how to access the most important features immediately. Helping clear up the cabin even further is the push-button shifter.
The dual-screen infotainment system is clear and clean, and each screen has its own function to avoid redundancy, but Acura could have combined them into one screen for an even sharper look.
Finding a spacy, comfortable spot to sit in the 2019 MDX is no problem at all. The first and second rows offer 41.4 and 38.5 inches of leg room, respectively, and the latter gets enhanced with captain’s chairs in higher trims.
The third row lacks with up to 30.9 inches of leg room and less padding in the seats, but you can fold these to expose 38.4 inches of cargo room. Fold both rear rows and open 68.4 cubes of cargo room.
The Best and Worst Things
The number of standard features on the 2019 Acura MDX is incredible, but the number of options it has is borderline obscene. And we mean that in a good way.
The A-Spec sounds great on paper and in advertisements, but it's all show and no go. A true performance crossover would fit this lineup well and put pressure on BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
Right For? Wrong For?
The MDX is the perfect crossover for a larger family that spends a lot of time on the road. Its first and second rows are equally comfortable, and it has plenty of features to keep everyone entertained for hours.
The MDX will disappoint buyers looking for a crossover with a little more attitude in the corners. No, it's not a bad performer, but it's not on a BMW or Mercedes-Benz level, even in A-Spec guise.
The Bottom Line
There's a good reason the 2019 Acura MDX remains near the top of the mid-size luxury crossover realm in terms of sales: it's relatively affordable, stylish, and comfortable. That said, more premium crossovers from BMW and Mercedes-Benz continue to overshadow it in performance and brand cachet. With sales dipping by 2.7 percent in 2017 and continuing to slide in 2018, Acura needs to start the redesign process now.
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