2006 Acura MDX SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Acura MDX SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Acura MDX Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 253 hp @ 5800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 15/21 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation Yes
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 Acura MDX

  • Although bland alongside athletic competitors, the highly functional 2006 Acura MDX will appeal to families seeking a premium crossover SUV with three rows of seating.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Room for seven passengers or serious amounts of cargo, gutsy V6 engine, well-balanced suspension, top-rated crash test scores.

  • Cons

    Ho-hum interior design and materials, modest tow rating.

  • What's New for 2006

    Other than some minor interior trim changes for the Touring package -- ebony-colored Zebra wood-patterned trim replaces last year's Burl wood, and satin chrome interior accents instead of bright chrome -- the Acura MDX is unchanged for 2006. New SAE testing procedures drop the MDX's horsepower rating from 265 to 253.

Full 2006 Acura MDX Review

What's New for 2006

Other than some minor interior trim changes for the Touring package -- ebony-colored Zebra wood-patterned trim replaces last year's Burl wood, and satin chrome interior accents instead of bright chrome -- the Acura MDX is unchanged for 2006. New SAE testing procedures drop the MDX's horsepower rating from 265 to 253.


The Acura MDX is meticulously engineered to serve a specific purpose, much like a good set of Craftsman tools. It can seat up to seven people and it offers plenty of luxury accouterments. And since it's a crossover SUV, meaning that it's more of a car than a truck, its unibody construction pays dividends in handling and safety, though like most competitors it has little appetite for serious off-road pursuits.

Even in the sixth year of its model cycle, the MDX remains one of the best premium-brand crossover SUVs on the market. But Acura's SUV is not given to whimsy or flair. It isn't a vehicle you aspire to own. This is the one you buy because you need it. The Acura MDX gives you plenty of room for the family, a ride they can all live with, an engine that will move them swiftly and more than enough features to keep them comfortable and safe. The MDX's cabin ambience is more upscale than that of its workaday Pilot sibling, but there's less of the opulence found in other luxury SUVs -- and that's why the MDX costs less. If this is your idea of the perfect premium crossover SUV, the 2006 Acura MDX is your vehicle.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Acura MDX is offered as a four-door only in either base or Touring trim. Base models come well equipped with 17-inch wheels, XM Satellite Radio, heated mirrors, keyless entry, leather seating (heated in front), a power driver seat, front and rear automatic climate control, a CD player and a moonroof. Touring models add a roof rack, a rear wiper, a power front-passenger seat, a driver-seat memory feature, a Bluetooth hands-free cell phone interface and an upgraded audio system with an in-dash six-CD changer. Ordering the Touring model also allows you to specify the optional DVD-based navigation system (with voice recognition and a rearview video camera), the DVD entertainment system for rear passengers, or both.

Powertrains and Performance

While most luxury SUVs offer a V8 as the top-line engine, the Acura MDX comes only with a 253-hp, 3.5-liter V6. Nevertheless, acceleration is competitive with bigger-engined SUVs and fuel mileage is superior. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard, and it helps the MDX earn an EPA mileage estimate of 17 city/23 highway. Power travels to all four wheels through Acura's Variable Torque Management (VTM) full-time four-wheel-drive system. Tow capacity is 3,500 pounds.


The MDX comes standard with four-wheel antilock disc brakes, seat-mounted side airbags for front occupants, head-protecting side curtain airbags, a tire-pressure monitoring system, stability control and three-point seatbelts in every position. Should an accident prove unavoidable, MDX counters with high crash test scores; it scored five stars (out of five) in the government front- and side-impact tests. The IIHS gave the Acura MDX a "Good" rating (the highest possible) for its performance in the 40-mph frontal-offset crash test.

Interior Design and Special Features

Perhaps because of its minivan roots, the MDX's interior does little to inspire or awe, but it is quite functional. The second-row rear seats offer ample room, and the third-row seat is fine for children. The spacious cabin also makes the MDX a very practical cargo carrier. The second-row seats are split 60/40, folding nearly flat with one simple latch. The third-row seat is all one unit that folds flat, as well. With both the second- and third-row seats folded down, there's 82 cubic feet of usable space.

Driving Impressions

Comfortable on rough city streets, yet firm enough to feel agile in the corners, the 2006 Acura MDX offers a pleasing compromise between ride comfort and handling ability. On mild off-road jaunts, the MDX is well up to the task of soaking up big hits as well as smoothing out long, winding stretches of bumpy dirt road. Eight inches of ground clearance allows the MDX to clear small obstacles with ease.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

20 of 55 people found this review helpful

Never again!!!

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Acura MDX Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

comfortable car and roomy but the problems that you get with this $40k car are unreal. Torque converters, transmissions, water leaks, cheap broken plastics, leather seats ripped after 4 years......gaskets around the doors are torn already!! unreal. Never again will i buy another acura product.

Too noisy, never an acura

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Acura MDX Touring 4dr SUV AWD w/Nav, Entertainment System (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

Typical Honda noise. Cannot have conversation at highway speeds. Engine whistling noise during highway speeds while accelerating. Brake drum rolling noise while backing up and during braking at low speeds. Terrible Bluetooth integration. Only good for incoming calls. Backup camera never good when needed most, too dim and is not useful when backing out from garage.

Nice, reliable, but boring ride

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Acura MDX Touring 4dr SUV AWD w/Nav (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

Bought car new. Got good deal because new model year was arriving and dealer wanted to unload. Car has been very reliable. Mileage running around 19 on average - and I do a lot of highway. Acceleration not bad at low end. Handling too mushy... feel like is going to roll over when aggressive on a corner. Interior space is adequate, rear seating relatively roomy, but third row seat is a torture chamber for anyone over ten years old. Overall, car has been lackluster and boring. I had a Nissan Murano before this vehicle and that was a much more exciting car to drive. This time I bought a Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 and, other than the gas mileage, this is one hairy ride!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Very nice but not without

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Acura MDX Touring 4dr SUV AWD w/Nav (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

I bought my CPO MDX about a year ago. I drive mostly city/highway mix with a few long road trips here and there. The gas mileage in city driving is weak averaging around 14mpg, nowhere near the 17 mpg it claims. Pure highway driving has produced better results though getting 23.5 and 25 on two long highway trips. The interior is what sold me on the car. I'm 6'4 and this is one of the few cars that afforded me adequate seating room while still enabling an adult to sit behind me. It comfortably fits 5 full size adults. The all weather performance has exceeded my expectations. I was able to drive through 1.5 feet of snow without issue.

Great work horse

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Acura MDX 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

Bought certified last year-had only 26k on it, due to some "shop time" having door and fender repainted and repaired. Use it as a music gear and trailer hauler, as well as my sole transportation. Great fuel economy (I average 19-20 mpg), even when hauling our 3,000 lb. Hi-Lo trailer. Also very solid build-no rattles. I put the transmission and power steering coolers on when I did the hitch, as Acura advises this. Also added a brake controller for the trailer. Put 9,000 miles on it and it's been great. Looked at new recently, but nothing hit me except the 2010 MDX at 45k. Can't justify banging up a new car that costs that much.

Noise between 35 and 40

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Acura MDX 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

I am having a shuddering noise between 35 and 40 mph. It is usually when I lift my foot off the gas pedal and then go to accelerate. I took it to the dealership and they couldn't figure out what was wrong and I couldn't get the noise to duplicate. After reading several reviews on here, I figured out that it was the torque converter. I called Acura Client Services and reported the issue. They said they have not had a single person report this issue. Everyone needs to call and report this issue, so they can place a recall on this issue. They have recalls on 2005 and earlier but not 2006 as of yet. It appears to occur between 70k and 90k miles.

Talk About The 2006 MDX

2006 Acura MDX Discussions See all Started By

I have noticed steering wheel vibration when going over 70 mph with my 2007 MDX after first few weeks of driving it....

I noticed that the adhesive on the side body molding on my 2006 MDX is losing its adhesion. What specific adhesive would you recommend & repair procedure? Thanks jdurkinmdx [Email removed]...

I received my new 2007 MDX,Aspen White,(Tech Pkg), and I'm love w/ it. I traded in a 2006 MDX, and there is NO comparison. I have owned a Lexus RX330,(04), and again the new MDX vehicle is the real ...

Gas Mileage


  • 15
  • cty
  • 21
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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