2008 Acura MDX SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Acura MDX SUV

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Acura MDX Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.7 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 300 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 15/20 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation Yes
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Acura MDX

  • A seven-passenger luxury SUV that drives just like a sport sedan? Well, no, but the 2008 Acura MDX comes very close.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Exemplary handling, powerful yet relatively fuel-efficient V6 engine, high safety scores, stylish interior design.

  • Cons

    Fiddly center stack button layout, love-it-or-hate-it grille.

  • What's New for 2008

    After a full redesign last year, the Acura MDX heads into 2008 with no significant changes.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (36 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

20 of 22 people found this review helpful

Back to lexus

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Vehicle: 2008 Acura MDX 4dr SUV AWD w/Technology Package (3.7L 6cyl 5A)

So i bought my mdx with 80k miles on it dec 2009. The technology, room, power, etc were great. I thought that this was finally e vehicle that i could run to 300k. Not. Turns out the torque converter was going bad at 95k miles. The dealership said that these things happen. I brought car to a local transmission place for a better price. They said their are many many problems with the mdx and pilot transmissions. They recommended a full trans rebuild since it would need one eventually anyhow. Not sure why acura and honda havent corrected this but the problem has been going on for 10 years. Bye bye acura. Bought my lexus instead....




Very good mid size suv

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Vehicle: 2008 Acura MDX 4dr SUV AWD w/Technology Package (3.7L 6cyl 5A)

Just turned 40,000 miles and still love my vehicle except for poor gas mileage and weak exterior paint that nicks/chips easily. Car rides very smoothly with lots of passing power. Quality and Reliability up to my current mileage have been excellent.




Loved it...

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Vehicle: 2008 Acura MDX 4dr SUV AWD w/Technology Package (3.7L 6cyl 5A)

3 yr lease just expired...I'd buy again. I absolutely loved this car. I prefer Honda or Toyota, Acura is my favorite. By the time I had equipped comparable vehicles (BMW, Lexus, actually), there was no comparison in price. Don't get me wrong, BMW and Lexus were fantastic, but about $8K more when comparably equipped. Leasing fit me...I drive 12,000/yr. Gas mileage was just as advertised...sometimes a mile or two better. The ONLY thing I didn't like was the giant shield design on the front...which is now apparently on all Acura vehicles.




Great car

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Vehicle: 2008 Acura MDX 4dr SUV AWD w/Technology Package (3.7L 6cyl 5A)

I researched this car for over a year. My work paid off. The dealership is great and the automobile is fantastic. The only negative is I feel the paint is a little thin. It nicks very easily. I love the drive, the reliability, and handling. Is it fun to drive??? Really, it is an SUV not a Porsche!




Great car-like suv... still miss

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Vehicle: 2008 Acura MDX 4dr SUV AWD w/Technology Package (3.7L 6cyl 5A)

My experience with the Acura MDX 2008 has been nice. I came from driving a 2005 Nissan Max and needed something bigger and better with safety for me at the time (10 mth old son). The MDX does get up and go, but not initially. I have had it less than a year with just 11,000 hwy miles on it and have never had a problem until now. Took a trip to NC and came back with a loud humming noise. Turned out it was bad wheel bearings. Hopefully once fixed, will not happen again. Other than that all has been well and I am happy with the customer service I have received.




Handles like a dream

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Vehicle: 2008 Acura MDX 4dr SUV AWD w/Technology Package (3.7L 6cyl 5A)

Nothing on the road can compare to this vehicle. I have driven every one and this is the crossover. Handles like a dream and technology is so seamless and easy to use. Sound system is simply remarkable.



Full 2008 Acura MDX Review

What's New for 2008

After a full redesign last year, the Acura MDX heads into 2008 with no significant changes.

Introduction

The term "performance SUV" comes very close to being an oxymoron. Really, if your number-one goal is performance, a big and boxy sport-utility is usually a poor choice to go about getting it. But for consumers who really like to drive, yet have certain constraints in their life that require an SUV (read: a family), such a vehicle can make a certain amount of sense. Enter the 2008 Acura MDX.

Acura's midsize luxury SUV was redesigned last year. As with the first-generation MDX, it's a car-based crossover SUV with V6 power and seating for seven. But the new model is considerably sportier. It's powered by the largest and most powerful V6 ever to grace an Acura (yes, including the NSX), giving it unparalleled juice and athleticism. With it, Acura promises V8-like performance while still maintaining respectable fuel economy.

On-road handling ability is also high on the MDX's resume. The ute benefits from a stiff chassis and an electromechanical all-wheel-drive system first seen in the RL sedan. This system, dubbed SH-AWD, can not only actively shift torque from front to rear, but also from side to side in order to maximize traction and stability in all situations. Actively controlled dampers are also available, and with them come two driver-selectable modes: Sport and Comfort. The default mode, in a nod to the MDX's mission, is the Sport setting.

Thankfully, there's still plenty of "Acura" to the MDX as well. The interior is attractively designed and solidly constructed, and one can outfit it with real-time traffic navigation and surround-sound audio. Technically, there's room for seven passengers, but the MDX works best seating four adults with the third row folded for cargo. That third row will handle small children, but like most midsize SUVs, it's for occasional use only.

Overall, the 2008 Acura MDX is a well-balanced midsize luxury SUV with solid sporting credentials. In its class you'll find other sport-oriented models such as the Audi Q7, BMW X5, Infiniti FX, Porsche Cayenne and Volvo XC90. In terms of performance, the MDX matches or bests the V6-powered versions of those models, while often undercutting them by thousands of dollars even when equipped with a full list of optional features. True, you could spend more for a competitor's V8 model and get a smidge of extra performance and prestige. But for meeting the oxymoronic "performance luxury SUV" goal while keeping a realistic budget, the Acura MDX is about as good as it gets.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Acura MDX is a midsize luxury crossover SUV. Base MDXs come equipped with 18-inch wheels, xenon HID headlights, a sunroof, power and heated front seats, driver seat memory, tri-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and an audio system with a six-disc CD/MP3 player, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack. Three optional packages are available to provide additional features.

The Technology package adds a navigation system with voice recognition and real-time traffic, a surround-sound audio system, a rearview camera, premium leather upholstery and solar-sensing climate control. The Sport package includes the features of the Technology package, and throws in an Active Damper system sport suspension, special wheels and perforated leather trim. Finally, an Entertainment package can be had with either the Technology or Sport packages, and includes a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, heated second-row seats, a power liftgate and a 115-volt power outlet.

Powertrains and Performance

The MDX's sole engine is a 3.7-liter V6 rated at 300 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control, and power is directed to all four wheels through an advanced all-wheel-drive system. In testing, we found the MDX can sprint to 60 mph in 8.1 seconds. Fuel economy, with a 2008 rating of 15 mpg city/20 mpg highway, is average for this segment. When properly equipped, maximum towing capacity is 5,000 pounds.

Safety

Standard safety equipment for the MDX includes antilock disc brakes with brake assist, front seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, active front head restraints and stability control with a stabilizing feature for trailering. In government crash tests, the 2008 Acura MDX earned a top five-star rating in both frontal and side-impact tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the MDX a top score of "Good" for occupant protection in frontal offset and side-impact crashes. These crash-test performances are among the best in the MDX's class.

Interior Design and Special Features

With high-grade materials quality and a bevy of electronic features, the seven-passenger MDX's cabin is a comfy and luxurious place to be. We do have some quibbles, however. The center stack's button layout is complicated, and some drivers will take issue with the way the slim steering wheel falls to hand. Versatility comes via a 60/40-split-folding second-row seat and a 50/50-split-folding third row. The third row can be a little hard to get to, and its meager accommodations are for small children only. There are 83.5 cubic feet of cargo space available with the second and third rows folded.

Driving Impressions

For a three-row SUV, the 2008 Acura MDX does a fine job of driving like it's not one. On curvy roads, the MDX is an eager partner thanks to the SH-AWD. There's a sensation of the torque shifting from wheel to wheel during hard cornering, clueing the driver into the magic behind the electronic curtain, but it all happens so effectively that it's encouraging rather than distracting. Equipped with the Sport package, the MDX's two-mode dampers soak up the bumps when necessary and firm up when the pace quickens.

The 3.7-liter V6 isn't quite as smooth as we've come to expect from Acura's past V6s, but it's hard to argue about its power. Acceleration is a shade soft until the tach needle builds momentum, at which point the engine pulls with enthusiasm. Downshifting readily when the throttle is prodded, the MDX's manually shiftable five-speed automatic transmission provides transparent and smooth shifts.

Talk About The 2008 MDX

Read more about the 2008 Acura MDX

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 15
  • cty
/
  • 20
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs