“An Exercise of Balance”
Having received a refresh in 2017 and with the all-new 2021 MDX due around the corner, you have to ask yourself do I wait or bite the bullet for the current model? I think the current MDX is a compelling argument for what works. At one point, the MDX occupied a niche segment. It was one of a very few midsize luxury brand SUV’s that offered a third row. The category has greatly expanded over the years. But, being one of the first at something has its benefits. The MDX has matured over time. It’s grown and refined itself. What it has never lost though, is a silky smooth Vetch V6. It isn’t the most powerful or aggressive; however, it delivers power in a linear progressive manner that is sublime to drive.
The MDX is offered in six trim levels: Base ($54,390), Tech ($57,890), A-SPEC ($60,990), Tech Plus ($61,090), Elite ($65,490) and Sport Hybrid ($69,990). All except the Sport Hybrid is on offer with that incredible 3.5L V6 that produces 290hp and 260lb-ft. Opt for the Hybrid, and Acura adds three electric motors, one upfront and two aft. The result is an increase to 321hp and 289lb-ft.
The joy of the MDX lies in the driving experience. Behind the wheel, you are rewarded with a sure-footed feeling. Despite its size and 4,300lb curb weight, the SUV handles confidently. This is thanks to Acura’s refined SH AWD and AHA Agile Handling Assist that uses active braking to actively rotate the MDX through a turn. The interior is a comfortable place to be. The occupants are relaxed in plush, heated and ventilated seating. The downfall, however, is the dated dual-screen format that separates the audio and navigation systems. Historically the system has been plagued by a slow interface and lack of full smartphone integration. The current system for 2020 has full Apple Carplay, and Android Auto interfaces, this combination of refined luxury and technology and engineering make the MDX an exceptional breed. It’s like a well-fitting leather glove, giving the wearer or user a sense of reassurance and comfort that is hard to find. Anyone can get behind the wheel, novice to pro, and be rewarded by the MDX’s abilities and ease.
From an appearance perspective, the MDX is unique in its edgy geometric design. It has a masculine, yet sleek shape, from it’s aggressive, bold front fascia to a sloping roofline. The signature jewel eye headlights give the MDX a bold, imposing appearance that hints toward what the MDX is capable of. The result is an SUV that won’t be mistaken for any other on the block.
Acura has been refining the MDX for two decades; it has slowly but methodically honed the MDX over four generations. The result is one of the most engineered SUV on the market. It’s not about overwhelming power or brash interiors. It’s a vehicle that feels familiar and balances what a driver and commuter needs everyday and delivers it with confidence with a unique style. What’s wrong with that?