2014 Acura MDX AWD: Mammoth Trip
March 17, 2014
Last weekend my friend Jonathan and his wife Christine joined me for a trip up to Mammoth Mountain in Mammoth Lakes, California, for some fun on the slopes.
Luckily, I was able to snag our recent long-term addition, the 2014 Acura MDX SH-AWD, as much for its gargantuan space as for its all-wheel-drive capability.
Of course I was running behind on my way to picking them up (shocker) and we didn't leave the greater L.A. area until around 4:00 p.m. Pretty much about the worst time to leave on a Friday.
But the Acura is such a quiet, easy-driving, comfortable vehicle that it made the pain-in-the-neck of our clogged freeways much less so.
We had plenty of room for all our stuff, including two snowboards and lame-old Monticello's skis taking up so much space. We folded the "40" part of the second-row seat down to accommodate the dang things, leaving Christine with the "60" for sitting. Also helping here was the ability to put a few small items in the underfloor storage compartment.
Christine said she was comfortable in back and the ride was never jarring for any of us. Loaded up as we were, the MDX's 290-horsepower V6 still proved adequate for passing maneuvers on the two-lane stretches of Highway 14, although I wouldn't go so far as to say there's an abundance of power here. Plenty fine for what we were doing, though. And it makes a nice snarl over 5,000 rpm.
The only real fault of this MDX appears to be the 7-inch touchscreen, which requires far too much button-pushing for simple tasks like changing fan speed or turning on the seat heaters. And the infotainment system in general just isn't intuitive to use.
We covered 744 miles during the trip from Orange County to L.A. to Mammoth and back, averaging 22.8 mpg, even with the first hour or two of the trip spent at near-idle trying to get out of L.A. Our best tank was 24.9 mpg.
Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 8,064 miles