Now in its third generation, the Acura MDX retains all the great attributes that have made it such a winner in the showroom. For 2014, the redesigned MDX sheds its Honda Odyssey minivan underpinnings for an all-new light truck chassis. Coupled with extensive use of high-strength steel sheetmetal and a new, lighter suspension set-up that includes separate subframes front and rear, the MDX is 275 pounds leaner overall than the model it replaces.
Also new is an all-aluminum 3.5L V6, which is shared with the RLX sedan. It produces 290 horsepower and 267 ft-lb of torque. Despite a slight reduction in power from its predecessor, the lighter weight of the MDX and the increased efficiency of the new engine make it just as capable for spirited performance. It comes mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission and powers an MDX range that incudes the familiar and excellent Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) and a new-for-2014 front-wheel-drive model.
No MDX is lightly equipped. All offer 'Jewel Eye' LED headlights and speed-sensitive windshield wipers, multi-view rear camera, power tailgate, seating for seven passengers, leather seating with heated front seats, tri-zone climate control and On Demand Multi-Use Display, an intuitive touchscreen that incorporates entertainment, information and climate controls in one easy-to-navigate place. Bluetooth hands-free connectivity with email and SMS functionality and an 8-speaker audio system with USB and iPod interface complete the standard features list. Standard safety features include a host of airbags, stability and traction control and LED daytime running lights.
MDX models equipped with the Technology Package add 19-inch alloy wheels, Acura Navigation, blindspot information, Forward Collision Warning and Land Departure Warning systems, and a 10-speaker premium audio system with hard drive media storage. MDX with Technology and Entertainment Packages include heated second-row seating, DVD rear seat entertainment with a 9-inch screen, a 110V outlet and an upgraded premium audio system. The top-tier MDX with Advance and Entertainment Packages adds perforated Milano premium leather seating with heated and ventilated front seats, adaptive cruise control, Lane Keeping Assist, a 12-speaker audio system, a 16.2-inch rear seat DVD entertainment system and front and rear parking sensors. Collision Mitigation Braking, which is also standard on the Advance and Entertainment MDX, helps prepare the MDX and its occupants for a frontal impact by automatically tensioning the seatbelts and applying necessary brake force to reduce speeds as much as possible.
The Acura MDX midsize luxury SUV is completely redesigned for 2014. New exterior sheetmetal offers sensuous curves with a revised, refined version of Acura's trademark grille. LED "jewel eye" headlights occupy the front corners, while LED taillights make their way onto the new machine as well. The 2014 MDX is about two inches longer than its predecessor, with a longer wheelbase as well. The MDX is narrower as well and the overall impact is of a slimmer, trimmer MDX.
Inside, the cabin is a more sophisticated take on last year's theme, with a new touchscreen that incorporates many of the individual dials and buttons of before. Third-row seat access is improved thanks to push-button sliding middle-row seats.
Underneath is a new light truck chassis, devised exclusively for the MDX, while underhood, the previous 300-hp 3.7L V6 is replaced by a less powerful 290-hp 3.5L V6. Overall, the 2014 MDX is 275 pounds leaner than the outgoing model. For the first time since its 2001 introduction, the MDX is offered in front-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive now a $2,000 option.