Doesn't Need Adjustable Suspension - 2014 Acura MDX AWD Long-Term Road Test

2014 Acura MDX AWD Long-Term Road Test

2014 Acura MDX: Doesn't Need Adjustable Suspension

October 30, 2013

2014 Acura MDX

It's hard to blame Acura for offering a variable suspension setup. After all, the standard Integrated Dynamic System (IDS) seems like the best of both worlds on paper, not to mention that it's one more feature the 2014 MDX can hang over the heads of its competitors.

But like most systems of this type, I find the IDS in the MDX unnecessary, mainly because the "normal" setting provides the best combination of comfort and performance. No shocker there really.

Switch it to "comfort" while cruising on the highway and it feels too vague, while the "sport" mode makes it overly jittery on all but the smoothest pavement. In some situations, one or the other might be preferable, but not so much that I would pay extra for IDS if it were an option. And for the record, I find this to be the case for most such systems, so Acura didn't drop the ball here, it just didn't make a more compelling case why the MDX needs such a setup.

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor


  • ampim ampim Posts:

    I'm not familiar with the specifics of MDX's suspension (get Dan to to a walk around), but I'm pretty sure you couldn't get the same "normal setting" feeling from a passive suspension. Most active suspensions can recognize and adapt to body motions such as roll. When you're cruising down the highway, it might go in to its softest setting to give you good isolation, however if you were to take it through a slalom, it might firm up temporarily to give better body motion control. That's something that a passive suspension can't do.

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    I must be losing it, but on the Acura website the IDS seems to change only throttle calibration and steering heft, not the suspension. There's no mention of adjustable suspension (that was on the older model I believe?). Adjustable suspension rarely works well because customers actually expect to feel something when they press the sports button- because of this, OEMs overcompensate on stiffening the dampers. There's often no dynamic benefit either.

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