2014 to Present: Acura MDX
The Acura MDX has been one of the shining stars of the brand. For many years, this seven-seat luxury crossover has topped Acura's sales chart. In 2014, the automaker released the third-generation MDX.
This generation of the MDX looks slightly similar to the model it replaced. There are some key differences, however, as the MDX's front end got a new take on the brand's shield grille and new jewel-eye headlights. Inside is where some massive changes have taken place. The center stack has been fully changed with a new dual-screen infotainment system. An 8-inch screen sits on top and displays navigation and audio information. A smaller, 7-inch touch screen controls various aspects of the system and sits below it.
Power comes from a 3.5-liter V6 with 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. While horsepower is slightly down from the last-generation MDX, the new model is actually quicker thanks to Acura cutting the MDX's weight by 275 pounds. A six-speed automatic transmission is paired with front-wheel drive or Acura's Super Handling all-wheel drive (SH-AWD) system, which can distribute power to various wheels in rapid time.
Standard equipment on 2014 and 2015 models includes 18-inch wheels, automatic LED headlamps, keyless entry and start, a power liftgate, leather seats, power-adjustable front seats, a backup camera and Bluetooth. Upper trim levels get navigation, 19-inch alloy wheels, lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring.
For 2016, the MDX receives some updates to keep up with the pack of luxury crossovers. First is the introduction of a new nine-speed automatic transmission with a push-button selector. Also, Acura changed out the all-wheel drive system for one that is lighter and more responsive. On the safety front, the MDX gets the AcuraWatch Plus suite, which includes such items as rear cross-traffic alert and a road departure mitigation system that uses a camera to keep the MDX in its lane.
The MDX competes with three-row SUVs like the Buick Enclave, Infiniti QX60 and Volvo XC90. If you can do without the third-row seat, models like Lexus RX and Mercedes-Benz M-Class are also worth your consideration.
Earlier Acura MDX Models
The first-generation Acura MDX was introduced in 2000 as a 2001 model. The interior came with a number of luxury features such as leather, power seats, dual-zone climate control and seating for up to seven people. Power came from a 3.5-liter V6 producing 240 horsepower and 245 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic and an automatic four-wheel drive system finished off the powertrain. 2003 saw power bumped up to 265 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque.
Acura introduced the second-generation MDX in 2006 as a 2007 model. Along with sharper styling and a revised interior, the MDX would become the third model to feature Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system, which can shift power in milliseconds and gives the model that added layer of security. A 3.7-liter V6 pumps out 300 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic was the sole transmission. 2010 saw Acura give the MDX a bit of a refresh with new front-end styling and a new six-speed automatic transmission.