The 2014 Acura MDX is built on a new platform and has a new V-6 engine. It also gets a host of fresh standard features, including keyless entry, remote start, LED headlights, a 432-watt sound system, and acoustic glass. Front-wheel drive joins Acura's SH-AWD all-wheel-drive system (for Super Handling All-Wheel Drive) as a choice for the new model. The 2014 Acura MDX starts at $43,185...
The 2014 Acura MDX has been redesigned, but the third-generation model doesn't look that much different from its predecessor. The sheetmetal is smoothed and the headlights are more blinged-out, but the most significant change is under the skin. The seven-passenger crossover rides on a completely new platform, and the result is a vehicle that drives like a family sedan rather than a large truck. The changes are meant to evolve with customers' tastes, which are trending away from rough-and-tumble SUVs to more comfortable, car-based crossovers. Still, Acura didn't mess with one of its perennial best-sellers too much: The roomy Acura MDX still offers capability and function in an upscale package.
The 2014 Acura MDX comes in front- and all-wheel-drive configurations, a departure from the previous model, which was all-wheel-only. The 2014 model gets a new engine, a 3.5-liter V-6 rated at 290 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque. It is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and can tow up to 5000 pounds. The combination returns 20 mpg in city driving and 28 mpg on the highway in two-wheel guise; the all-wheel drive Acura MDX variant gets 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. The body makes extensive use of high-strength steel, aluminum, and magnesium, helping the vehicle shed 275 pounds. The platform is 2.8 inches longer between the wheels, but interior space is slightly smaller and there's less shoulder and hip space. The Acura MDX's redesigned interior has a larger center console, a stylish instrument panel, more insulation, and a one-touch feature that allows for quicker access to the third row. The Acura MDX is loaded with electronics; consumers have a choice of four audio systems, an eight-inch touchscreen is standard, and the next-generation of AcuraLink offers connectivity via occupants' smart phones.
During our initial test of the Acura MDX in Newberg, Oregon, we were impressed with the vehicle's agreeable driving dynamics, calling it "the perfect expression of the modern car -- capable, spacious, and friendly to drive." We were also happy to see features such as adaptive steering, blind-spot warning, lane-keeping assist, and a nifty feature that links the GPS to the air conditioning controls. "Never mind the bright sparks at Google, because Acura has already invented the autonomous-driving car," one editor noted.
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