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.

Best Value

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

Performance

Acura MDX

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.

Style

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?

Acura MDX

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.