2014 Acura MDX AWD Long-Term Road Test

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2014 Acura MDX: Fuel Economy Update for August

September 10, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

Nearly 2,000 miles were added last month to the odometer of our 2014 Acura MDX long-term test vehicle. But despite the thousands of miles driven, the Acura's monthly fuel-economy numbers hardly budged.

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2014 Acura MDX: Third Attempt for Wide Cargo

August 28, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

Yeah, yeah, another stuff-in-the-cargo-area post. But bear with me. Our long-term 2014 Acura MDX was actually the third vehicle I attempted to transport said stuff. Third! The MDX succeeded where other vehicles in our fleet did not (or had only partial success).

Three times, charms, and all that.

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2014 Acura MDX: Multitasker

August 27, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

Even though I feel tiny when driving alone in the gigantic 2014 Acura MDX, I can appreciate its appeal. When I have passengers, they are always happy.

I had one of those weekends with lots of errands and fun. The Acura MDX was a great companion. From a trip to the mall to dinner at a fancy restaurant, it served us well.

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2014 Acura MDX: Rear Climate System Works Well

August 20, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

Not long ago I gave our long-term Nissan Rogue credit for having vents for the rear seat occupants. It was a small nod to a small, but useful feature. Of course, not long after that, it was reported that although the vents are indeed present they don't actually cool the rear compartment very well.

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2014 Acura MDX: 20,000 Miles

August 14, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

We introduced our 2014 Acura MDX to the fleet on October 15 of 2013. On August 9 of 2014, almost 10 months later exactly, we crossed 20,000 miles. That's two months ahead of schedule. Turns out spacious, quiet, comfy, nice-to-drive three-row SUVs get a lot of use...

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2014 Acura MDX: Interior Controls Not Always Easy To Use

August 11, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

At first glance, the control layout in our 2014 Acura MDX looks like it would be easy to use. Just look at the size of that dial, it's huge.

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2014 Acura MDX: Inadequate Sun Visors

August 8, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

Our 2014 Acura MDX joins a long list of cars that were seemingly developed by engineers and designers that are unaware of the concept of sunrise and sunset. Funny thing, because these solar events occur daily. And they happen during commuting hours, a time when most cars and their bleary-eyed drivers are on the road.

Interstate 5 runs north and south, so I had the visor flopped to the side for extended periods on both legs of my recent trip to visit the University of Oregon. Our MDX lacks any sort of sliding flap or a telescopic arm, so I was forced to improvise.

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2014 Acura MDX: Fuel Economy Update for July

August 5, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

We scored some personal bests in our 2014 Acura MDX this month. A road trip to Oregon by our Director of Vehicle Testing, Dan Edmunds, included several long stretches that delivered the record numbers.

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2014 Acura MDX: Blind-Spot Information System

August 1, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

Sharing test cars has it challenges. Occasionally another staffer will turn on or off a feature or system and leave you scratching your head.

Such was the case with the blind-spot system in our long-term 2014 Acura MDX. I immediately noticed the static illuminated light in the MDX's gauge cluster, but wasn't sure if that meant the system was broken or turned off.

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2014 Acura MDX: Headlights Revisited

July 30, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

Some months back I had nice things to say about the so-called jewel-eye headlights on our 2014 Acura MDX. But the pictures didn't really illustrate how far the high beams penetrate down the road because I made the comparison on a treeless desert backdrop. I could see the difference from the driver seat, but it didn't come across on the small screen.

The worth of the low beam and high beam headlights grabbed my attention once again on this most recent Oregon trip, but this time the countless trees we drove past made it easier to illustrate my point.

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2014 Acura MDX: Oregon Road Trip MPG

July 29, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

This trip to Oregon in our long-term 2014 Acura MDX AWD wasn't a vacation, really. My eldest daughter is heading off to college this fall, and she needed to attend a two-day introDUCKtion program to meet her advisor, sign up for classes and see how much space she'll have in her dorm room at the University of Oregon.

I'll share a few new observations I made during the drive in a couple of posts to come, but the thing that really stuck out was the range and fuel economy. We managed to wring 541 miles out of one tank at 29.9 mpg. Not bad at all considering its 27-mpg highway rating.

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2014 Acura MDX: Bestseller for a Reason

July 16, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

Now that first-half sales numbers are in for the auto industry, it gives the top sellers some bragging rights. In the case of the 2014 Acura MDX it remains the best-selling, three-row luxury SUV in the U.S.

In fact, Acura is proud to point out that the MDX is actually the best-selling, three-row luxury SUV of all time. That translates to 692,710 MDXs sold since it was introduced in 2000.

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2014 Acura MDX: Hypersensitive Collision Alert

July 15, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

Okay, what's pictured above is actually our long-term 2014 Acura MDX's blind spot indicator and not the collision alert indicator, but bear with me.

The collision alert sounds an audio alert and flashes "BRAKE!" in the instrument cluster when it thinks you're about to crash.

Key word there: thinks.

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2014 Acura MDX: Weekend Trips

July 11, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

Our 2014 Acura MDX saw holiday duty this past weekend. It ferried seven of us to a local Fourth of July fireworks show, then took three of us on a trip up the coast and to an auto museum. And you're not going to believe this, but it also handled a trip to the mall and supermarket. Road trips and shopping excursions are typically where a crossover SUV proves its worth. And the MDX did itself proud.

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2014 Acura MDX: Heat and Air at the Same Time

July 03, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

I found a few ants in my house the other day. This happens every summer. They're looking for water or something. It completely freaked me out and I went on a cleaning frenzy.

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2014 Acura MDX: Fuel Economy Update for June

July 2, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

We ran a little over 1,000 miles of mixed driving in our 2014 Acura MDX during the month of June, averaging 19.33 mile per gallon.

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2014 Acura MDX: Obedient

June 26, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

Of course I understand that our 2014 Acura MDX isn't a pet. The MDX doesn't shed, clamor for attention, or get jealous if I play with another MDX. But like my beloved dog, it does have a personality. In my opinion at least. The best way to describe the MDX's personality is obedient.

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2014 Acura MDX: Safety Ratings for 2015 Model

June 25, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

You already know the 2014 Acura MDX, like our long-termer, earned top scores from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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2014 Acura MDX: 15,000-Mile Update

June 18, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

Since our long-term 2014 Acura MDX joined our fleet in late September we've driven this crossover 15,000 miles.

Problems? Not one.

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2014 Acura MDX: 20-Inch Bike Doesn't Fit

June 16, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

It was my prized possession when I was 12, a brand-new 20-inch 1982 Redline Proline. It was chrome just like Stu Thomsen's and I special-ordered black Tuff Wheels, just like the ones R.L. Osborne used.

Then, in 1995, in one of my more foolish moments, I tossed its rusty remains in a dumpster. I still can't believe I was that stupid. Regret doesn't begin to cover it.

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2014 Acura MDX: Second Service

June 11, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

Cameron and I recently dropped off our long-term 2014 Acura MDX at Santa Monica Acura for its second regular service appointment. Our MDX had already been to this dealership for its first service and a recall. We arrived at the dealership in the afternoon, and picked up the MDX the following morning. Other than having to wait about 10 minutes or so to have the MDX brought around to us, the service appointment went fine.

The MDX was asking for a "B16" service. Here is what that included:

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2014 Acura MDX: Fuel Economy Update for May

June 6, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

It was a busy month for our 2014 Acura MDX, with more than 4,000 miles added to the odometer in May alone. Mike Monticello's road trip to Oregon accounted for a significant portion of those miles, and John Adolph borrowed it for an excursion to Nevada. How did thousands of miles of open highway affect the MDX's overall average mpg?

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2014 Acura MDX: Mud Bogging

June 5, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

While on a recent road trip in northwestern Nevada we got caught in some heavy rain and hail, which wasn't that big of a deal. Problem was that our friends live on a remote ranch in the middle of alfalfa fields that were prehistorically ocean floor. The silt and sand across the valley is micro fine, and doesn't drain well. Also, the unpaved road varies from being compact and smooth as glass, or loose and mucky as concrete mix.

The first puddle wasn't that wide or particularly deep, but the surface underneath was slick enough to engage the traction control system. This slowed the vehicle considerably, and the momentum we had was decreasing. We made it out without getting stuck, but the next puddle needed a different technique.

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2014 Acura MDX: Road Trip Pleasure

June 4, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

Over the weekend I was able to take our long-term 2014 Acura MDX on a road trip to visit friends in Northwestern Nevada, with stops along CA HWY 395 at Mono Lake and June Lake.

Most of the time we had two adults, a 60-pound dog, a cooler, and luggage. On the long stretches we had both the second and third rows folded down, which gave us more cargo room than we needed. I'm proud of my travel gear Tetris skills, but when every square inch is crammed, visibility suffers. This was not the case. I could see out the back and things were easy to access.

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2014 Acura MDX: Maintenance Required Soon

June 3, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

Our long-term 2014 Acura MDX SH-AWD is hungry for a checkup. On my way home from the office, a message popped up warning me that the Oil Life had reached 15%. Since then, every time the vehicle was restarted the message would appear with a healthy "bing" and the letter code "B16". As Dan Edmunds pointed out before, Acura's Maintenance Minder system "monitors our driving behavior and adjusts the service intervals accordingly"

Broken down, B16 includes -

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2014 Acura MDX: Oregon Road Trip, Part 3

May 30, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

Early Monday morning I was back in the 2014 Acura MDX for the slog down Interstate 5 South from Eugene, Oregon to Santa Monica, California. I was sad to leave Oregon.

I'm not sure why I didn't think to do this before, but when the driver's window made the occasional whistling sound as it had on the trip up, I pushed out on the window, just to see how it would affect things. Doing so eliminated the noise. Clearly this is something that could be fixed.

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2014 Acura MDX: Oregon Road Trip, Part 2

May 29, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

After a Saturday spent walking all around Eugene, Oregon with a friend (great little city, by the way), on Sunday it was off to Bend in the 2014 Acura MDX to go mountain biking with another friend.

My buddy in Bend told me I'd enjoy the drive, and he was spot-on. From Eugene you take Route 126 slightly north, but mostly west as it follows the McKenzie River. Classic woodsy, river scenery. And hardly any traffic.

There's a cutover on Route 242 to Bend, but it's closed in winter due to snow. Apparently it won't open up until June or maybe July. 

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2014 Acura MDX: Oregon Road Trip, Part 1

May 28, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

I'm not sure how this is possible, but I've lived in southern California for 14 years and I've only been to Oregon once. And that was simply passing through, driving a Subaru WRX down from a press launch in Vancouver, Canada.

Clearly this needed to be rectified. So I decided to take a four-day weekend and head north to visit a friend in Eugene and another in Bend. I called it my Trees and Trails Tour. We don't have much in the way of trees down here in SoCal, and I've heard the mountain biking is spectacular in Bend. I aimed to find out.

I loaded up my mountain bike and gear into our long-term 2014 Acura MDX and hit the road.

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2014 Acura MDX: Hazy Display

May 20, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

Being a big fan of Honda and Acura (I've spent a fair amount of time in both), I was surprised by the navigation display offered in the 2014 Acura MDX , and not in a good way. The display seems washed out to me, the same way a television might look if somebody goes through the menu system and increases the brightness well past the medium mark. It is especially easy to notice because of the closeness to the super sharp multi-use display, which sits just a few inches below the navigation screen.

It didn't matter if the navigation system was in day or night mode, being used for navigation or as the display for the back-up camera. It still looked hazy.

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2014 Acura MDX: Integrated Dynamics Stays Where You Leave It

May 9, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

The Integrated Dynamics System button on our 2014 Acura MDX changes the steering weight and throttle response as well as adjusting the torque distribution to the wheels while cornering. It does all this across three modes: Comfort, Normal and Sport.

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2014 Acura MDX: Fuel Economy Update for April

May 6, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

We put 995 miles on our 2014 Acura MDX in April. With a 21.4 mpg average over those miles, the MDX equaled its EPA estimate for combined driving. We set no high or low mpg milestones last month but did increase the MDX's lifetime average mpg from 19.1 to 19.3 mpg.

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2014 Acura MDX: Sensitive Warning System

April 29, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

This will sound strange but I actually like when our L.A. freeways are only moving about 40 mph. They are usually moving much slower and as soon as they open up instant stupidity sets in. Every driver jumps to any lane that is moving fractionally faster. This is when accidents happen. And this is when I appreciate the Blind Spot Information system in our long-term 2014 Acura MDX.

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2014 Acura MDX: Too Much for Me

April 28, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

In an effort to bring some spring cheerfulness to my house, I hopped in our 2014 Acura MDX and went shopping for some new fun stuff. I ended buying some new pillows for the couches, some Easter tchotchke, fresh new candles, etc.

I dropped the third row in the MDX and piled in my bags. But I didn't really need to. With the third row in place, there is still plenty of space back there and my bags weren't huge. But the seats were easy to fold over, so I did.

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2014 Acura MDX: Acura Family

April 25, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

There's my beloved Integra (in need of a bath) parked behind our long-term 2014 Acura MDX.

Why Acura discontinued the Integra is beyond me. Sure, it was in need of an update. But the RSX and ILX have not filled its shoes. Acura doesn't have anything in its current lineup that has the cult status of the Integra. Maybe the NSX when it launches, but we'll see.

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2014 Acura MDX: We've Cleared 10,000 Miles

April 18, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

We're now at the halfway mark for a long-term test of our 2014 Acura MDX. For almost each vehicle in our fleet, we aim to rack up at least 20,000 miles in a one-year stay. We started our MDX test back in October 2013, so we should be on track.

So far, our MDX has been rock-solid and earned plenty of favorable comments.

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2014 Acura MDX: Deciding on a Three-Row Crossover SUV for Around $50,000

April 17, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

I really like our 2014 Acura MDX. It's versatile, enjoyable to drive and equipped with a nice selection of convenience and luxury-oriented features. If I were shopping for a three-row luxury crossover SUV, it would be very high on my consideration list.

But it's not the only one on the list.

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2014 Acura MDX: Quiet V6, But Sporty When You Want It To Be

April 15, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

Pop the hood of our 2014 Acura MDX and you'll find a rather unassuming plastic cover over the 3.5-liter V6 engine. It might as well have "Generic V6 by Kirkland" stamped on it. But what lies underneath is actually one of the more appealing engines in the three-row crossover segment.

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2014 Acura MDX: Enjoyable for Long Distance Drives

April 11, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

We've already used our 2014 Acura MDX for a couple of road trips, most recently on a trip to Mammoth. So far we've only had good things to say. I've collected a few thoughts as well on why I like I like driving our MDX on long hauls.

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2014 Acura MDX: I Like This Crossover's Size

April 9, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

There are many aspects to our 2014 Acura MDX that I enjoy, but one of the more basic happens to be its overall size. It's not too small and it's not too big. As three-row crossover SUVs go, this one seems just right to me.

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2014 Acura MDX: Cargo Area Storage Useful for Groceries

April 7, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

The deep storage well found in most minivans can't be topped for securing loose items. But our 2014 Acura MDX's shallower storage area behind the third-row seats is still sizable enough to hold about four reusable grocery bags.

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2014 Acura MDX: Fuel Economy Update for March

April 3, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

We added about 2,300 miles to our 2014 Acura MDX during March. A good chunk of that mileage came from Mike Monticello's road trip to Mammoth Mountain.

Mike's highway-biased trip helped boost the MDX's fuel economy a little and he posted our MDX's best tank so far at 24.9 mpg. For the month in total, we averaged 21.3 mpg.

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2014 Acura MDX: Lighting-Fast Music Indexing

March 31, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

When I finally decided to break down and buy my latest phone, I went big. I got the iPhone 5S with 64 gigabytes of memory. This finally allowed me to put all of my music in one place, and sometimes that can be a bit taxing for the infotainment systems in our long-term cars. It's a lot to process, so oftentimes there's quite a bit of a wait before I can search for music. Our long-term 2014 Acura MDX has no such problems, though.

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2014 Acura MDX: Odd, But Benign From Under the Hood

March 28, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

Last week, Mike Monticello came back from a trip to the mountains with an odd observation about our long-term 2014 Acura MDX. He said it was making some odd noises that he couldn't explain. They were faint, and fairly random, so trying to listen to them proved fruitless. He was hoping someone else would hear them to back up his claims.

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2014 Acura MDX: Great Rain-Sensing Wipers

March 27, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

At Edmunds.com's headquarters in Santa Monica, California, there really isn't much inclement weather. As you've likely heard, 2014 has been uncharacteristically dry, though a few weeks ago, there was a brief respite from the drought. About 3 inches of rain fell in 48 hours. But I barely noticed while commuting in our long-term 2014 Acura MDX.

Rain-sensing wipers come equipped on the MDX as a part of the Technology package, and they work flawlessly.

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2014 Acura MDX: Great for Passengers

March 20, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

The first time I was in an Acura MDX I was a passenger. I was impressed with its comfort and many entertainment features. It's no surprise to find a wealth of features in a luxury crossover in this price range. But I think I actually prefer being a passenger is this car than driving it.

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2014 Acura MDX in VA is:

$140 per month*
* Explanation
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