2009 Acura MDX SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2009 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 3.7 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 2009 Acura MDX

  • The 2009 Acura MDX might not drive just like a sport sedan, but this seven-passenger luxury SUV comes very close.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Excellent handling, high safety scores, loads of optional high-tech toys, powerful engine with decent fuel economy, relatively large third-row seat for a midsize luxury SUV.

  • Cons

    Too many dash buttons to count, non-premium crossovers offer more passenger and cargo space.

  • What's New for 2009

    There are no significant changes for the 2009 Acura MDX.

Full 2009 Acura MDX Review

What's New for 2009

There are no significant changes for the 2009 Acura MDX.


Has that Escalade or Suburban got you down? Perhaps you bought way more SUV than you really need, and now something smaller and sportier is in order.

Or maybe your spouse is nagging you to sell that luxury sport sedan for something more practical. If so, perhaps you're on the hunt for something bigger (but still sporty).

In both cases, the solution to these infomercial-like dilemmas could very well be the 2009 Acura MDX. Although it's not as spacious as seven-passenger crossovers from Ford, GM and Mazda, the three-row MDX does provide more space for passengers and their stuff than any other midsize luxury-branded utility vehicle. At the same time, thanks to a trick all-wheel-drive system and an available adjustable suspension, the MDX delivers impressive handling for those who are being dragged kicking and screaming out of their fun-to-drive sedans and into a family-friendly rig. Fuel economy's not bad either, given its 300-horsepower V6.

If high-tech toys are your game, the MDX is sure to please. Even the base model gets loads of standard equipment, including xenon headlights, tri-zone climate control, Bluetooth and satellite radio. Stepping up to the options packages brings such goodies as voice-activated controls, rear-seat DVD entertainment and an excellent navigation system with Zagat restaurant ratings and real-time traffic. Audiophiles will find the Panasonic/ELS surround-sound system that comes with the Technology and Sport packages a must-buy -- it's one of the best around.

Overall, the 2009 Acura MDX is a well-balanced midsize luxury SUV with solid sporting credentials. And since the MDX offers some of both worlds when it comes to performance and utility, alternatives can fall on both sides of the spectrum. If performance and handling are bigger priorities than family hauling, the BMW X5, Infiniti FX35 and Porsche Cayenne are worth taking a look at. Competitors on the family-friendly side of things include the Buick Enclave, Ford Flex Limited and Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring. The similarly priced Lexus RX 350 is also worth checking out, although it is smaller. But in our opinion, the MDX represents a pretty good middle ground among all these other choices. And -- in keeping with the infomercial theme -- it can be yours for a reasonable price.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Acura MDX is a midsize seven-passenger crossover SUV. Standard equipment includes 18-inch wheels, xenon HID headlights, a sunroof, tri-zone automatic climate control, a power tilt/telescoping steering column, heated eight-way power front seats with driver lumbar adjustment, a 50/50-split-folding third-row seat, leather upholstery, a trip computer and Bluetooth. An eight-speaker stereo with an in-dash six-CD changer, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack is also standard.

There are three options packages available (although Acura considers them trim levels). The Technology Package adds a power liftgate, a cell phone address book downloading feature that connects via Bluetooth, a voice-activated navigation system with real-time traffic, GPS-linked and solar-sensing climate control and a 10-speaker Panasonic/ELS surround-sound system. The Sport Package includes all the Technology Package items, plus an active sport suspension, auto-leveling headlights, different 18-inch wheels, perforated leather upholstery and metallic interior trim. The Entertainment Package can be ordered with either of the former packages and includes heated second-row seating, a 115-volt house-style power outlet and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2009 MDX is powered by a 3.7-liter V6 that produces 300 hp and 275 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control is standard. The MDX features the same "Super Handling" AWD system (SH-AWD) found in Acura's RL and TL sport sedans, which is capable of transferring different levels of power to individual wheels to maximize traction and grip through turns and in inclement weather. In performance testing, we found that the MDX goes from zero to 60 mph in 8.1 seconds. Fuel economy is an estimated 15 mpg city/20 mpg highway and 17 mpg combined. When properly equipped, the MDX's maximum towing capacity is 5,000 pounds.


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 trailer towing. In government crash tests, the 2009 Acura MDX earned a top five-star rating in both frontal and side-impact tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave 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

The MDX's cabin is a high-tech parent's dream. Even the base model has its fair share of electronic toys, and the Technology and Sport Packages add even more goodies. The Panasonic/ELS surround-sound system is quite simply one of the best in the business, as is the navigation system. With all these items to control, however, the MDX's dash is cluttered with buttons. It can be overwhelming at first, but once you know where everything is, it becomes intuitive.

The MDX is one of the more spacious three-row midsize luxury crossover SUVs on the market. An adult could fit in the third row for a short journey, although the rearmost seats are better suited for kids. A total of 83.5 cubic feet of cargo space is available with the second and third rows folded, which is also above average for a midsize luxury crossover.

Driving Impressions

For a three-row SUV, the 2009 Acura MDX does a fine job of driving as if 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, cluing 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. The MDX's five-speed automatic transmission readily provides transparent and smooth upshifts and downshifts when the throttle is prodded.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Worst i have qwned

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Acura MDX 4dr SUV AWD w/Technology Package (3.7L 6cyl 5A)

Thud/scraping noise from front wheel when driving from cold.Driver side window rattle. Dealer says that these are the characteristics of the vehicle. Acura Canada not responsive.Why is it only a characteristic after you buy the vehicle. Very poor fuel economy. Worst vehicle I have owned. Definitely a do not buy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Not what i expected from

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Acura MDX 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 5A)

13 months into ownership and I have nothing but a trouble with that car. One week into ownership, Air Bag warning came up. It was found that side B-pillar air bag was lose. Another 2 month, car started to pull to the side badly (car had only 3K miles on it), it was found to be misaligned. Another 2 month, gas door wouldn't keep close (replaced under warranty). Another 6 months into ownership and drive side window wouldn't open (window motor bad). My previous '03 Mitsubishi Montero didn't see repair shop for 6 years I owned it (55K miles), only oil changes, tire replacement, and one new set of brakes before drunk driver plunged into me and totaled it. This is my first and the last Acura.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Favorite vehicle i've ever had!

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Acura MDX 4dr SUV AWD w/Technology Package (3.7L 6cyl 5A)

I love my MDX - it's my most favorite vehicle I've ever had! I bought a pre-owned 2009 MDX w/Technology package in black with black interior. I knew I wanted an SUV mid-size and looked at several. The MDX gives you the most bang for your buck.

Great suv

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Acura MDX 4dr SUV AWD w/Technology Package (3.7L 6cyl 5A)

I love my MDX. I have a black MDX w/technology package. I opted for the roof rails and sport side steps. It is a beautiful SUV. It has a great ride, ample storage, terrific acceleration and handles like a sports sedan. I was considering the Audi, but the Audi's handling does not even come close to the Acura. The BMW handled well but was now where near as luxurious or comfortable. MPG are quite reasonable considering the performance of the engine. I've had the vehicle for 9 months now and have had zero maintenance issues. If you're looking for a fantastic luxury SUV, look no further.

Solid car

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Acura MDX 4dr SUV AWD w/Technology, Entertainment Package (3.7L 6cyl 5A)

great all-around mid-sise SUV. Exterior styling wears well, looks striking in black, with the red/brick leather. amazing sound system, has to be heard to be believed. As an enthusiast, amazed at how well the car responds when pushed hard. Car seems to prefer being pushed hard rather than cruising. Can at least chase my brother in his STI. Ride is a bit firm on long trips, active damping with a comfort mode needs to be standard. Needs better quality interior materials and leather. Simplified button arrangement on dash. Car is very sporty, maybe adding Brembos, and 50bhp would fulfill its potential.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

The ususal well built honda

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Acura MDX 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 5A)

Have owned two Honda's before the MSX, and have been happy with the reliability of both vehicles. Was looking for another SUV, but more upscale from my 94 explorer. All the other stuff out there didn't appeal to me or was too expensive. Since I have had the mdx (sept. 09) I am completely happy with my purchase. The ride is very comfortable and quiet. Has been a pleasure to drive in the city, long trips and in the mountains. The all wheel drive system makes it handle very well on turns of windy roads. My mileage in the city has averaged 18-19 mpg, and up to 25 on the hwy. Impressive for a 300 hp motor. I like the style. Don't mind the "beak" in front. It gives it its character. A lot of car for the money.

Talk About The 2009 MDX

2009 Acura MDX Discussions See all Started By

We just purchased a new base Acura MDX 2009, and we are now wondering if we should have spent the extra money for the navigation package to get the rear view camera. Thoughts about third party rear vi...

Hi, i have an '09 MDX purchased a few months ago, only have a few hundred miles on it but had programmed maybe a dozen addresses, XM presets, voice-activated phone numbers to dial and changed screen/p...

The Acura MDX is an 09 with 60K miles on it and has Tech and Ent pkg factory installed. Have not inspected the car as its 600 miles away at a dealership but would this be a good price if the car is in...

Read more about the 2009 Acura MDX

Gas Mileage


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