Originally launched back in 2001, the MDX is Acura’s entry into the highly competitive midsize luxury crossover segment. It’s always been a major seller for the Honda luxury division, partly because many rivals do not offer three-row seating. According to Honda, the MDX has been the best-selling three-row luxury crossover of all time and certainly the product is very common on Canadian roads.
The MDX is based on a mid-sized platform and is therefore very roomy inside, though it remains a vehicle that’s easy to park and manoeuvre around city streets. It’s also a great ride for a long road trip as I discovered when I drove one to Las Vegas and back a while ago. The current model is the third generation MDX.
Aiming to have an MDX variant for every buyer, Acura offers no less than five trim levels for the product – MDX, Technology, A-Spec, Elite and 6P Elite. The price differential from top to bottom is around $12,000, though it should be underlined that this is an upscale product and even the least expensive model is very lavishly equipped. All-wheel drive is available, of course, and this uses Acura’s torque-vectoring system dubbed SH-AWD.
For 2019, a wide range of technical and cosmetic enhancements have been added to the MDX, including a very appealing Desert Olive Ash wood trim around the cockpit and an updated version of the 9-speed transmission.
For power, the MDX uses a 3.5-litre V-6 that develops some 290-horsepower, more than adequate for a rig in this class. Thankfully, this V-6 is a lot better than might be expected when it comes to fuel economy. Towing capacity is 3,500-lbs with 2WD and 5,000-lbs with AWD.
MDX bodywork has always been exceptionally attractive and stylish and this must have contributed to strong sales. It’s also beautifully finished inside and out and owners enjoy a very high level of luxury ambiance. For 2019, Acura had added some intriguing new colours and the market is finally seems to be moving away from the shades of grey so popular for a decade or more.
The MDX has a very refined ride along with impressive response and handling, but it’s capable enough when tackling unpaved roads on a family outing. For buyers who need the roominess of a family vehicle and demand opulence and comfort from their set of wheels, the MDX is very hard to beat, even in a market with some tempting alternatives.
SPECS AT A GLANCE…
BODY STYLE: Four door, three-row crossover
ENGINE: 3.5-litre 24-valve V-6, 290-horsepower
TRANSMISSION: 9-speed automatic
TOWING CAPACITY: 3,500-lbs 2WD; 5,000-lbs AWD
FUEL ECONOMY: 10.8-litres/100 km combined
PRICE: Starts at $54,390 MSRP