2012 Acura MDX Base
(3.7L V6 AWD 6-speed Automatic)
What our ratings include
Date Driven: 2/8/2011 (2011 w/Advance, Entertainment Package)
The MDX's 300-hp V6 definitely has a perky personality, unlike some other engines in its segment. Seven seconds to 60 mph is about average, but also consider it can earn up to 21 mpg on the highway with permanent AWD and 3-row seating.
Because of the way the active AWD is interlaced with a sophisticated stability-control program, the MDX always feels nimble and controlled, even if our track testing did not prove it so. Steering is light and precise. A fun-to-drive SUV.
While were glad the adjustable suspension no longer defaults to Normal (Comfort is now a retained setting), we wish there were a wider spread between the two. Comfort takes just enough harshness out, but could add a bit more cush.
Tire noise is something we wouldn't expect in a luxury-branded SUV, even a sporty one, but the MDX is susceptible to it and not just on rough pavement either. Wind noise is dispersed and well managed.
Once it becomes your own MDX, the array of buttons and knobs will be committed to your memory, but we were searching endlessly for even common functions and as well as advanced audio functions. Seating is easy to configure and use, however.
Typical, mid- to large-SUV visibility challenges are met with a bevy of optional electronics: collision warning/initial braking, blind-spot monitoring, reverse camera, adaptive cruise control, and so on.
Seat Access & Space
Front seats are easily accessed with large doors and are generously sized, but with rather flat bottom cushions and backs; 2nd row, too. Access to the 3rd row is a challenge (only on the curbside) as the 2nd row leans/slides forward, no tumble.
Cargo & Storage
For SUVs of its size, the MDX's angular body shell makes the most of the interior space with a max of 83.5 cu-ft of cargo volume. If you've been wishing for a fold-flat front-passenger seat, you won't find one in 2011. Good cubbies/storage.
Famous Honda/Acura tight-fitting body panels, good door seals, pretty metallic paint, and well-fitted interior. The ZDX's insides just look a whole lot cooler.
Rated up to 5,000 pounds and the stability-control system includes trailer-stability assist, as well.
More like all-weather capability than true 4x4 off-road ability, the AWD MDX can switch off traction and stability control for trickier/stickier situations if needed.