2014 Acura MDX: FWD or AWD
December 05, 2013
For the redesigned 2014 MDX, Acura is offering buyers a choice of either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. This is actually the first time Acura has done so for the MDX, as the two prior MDX generations were all-wheel drive (AWD) only.
Before, Acura picked for you. Now you have to choose: do you want AWD or FWD?
The appeal of the front-drive MDX is obvious enough: If you rarely encounter wet weather where you live, and you don't have any plans on venturing off the pavement, the FWD MDX returns better fuel economy (23 mpg combined compared to the AWD's 21 mpg) and is cheaper to buy.
Flipped around, the AWD MDX helps out if you do expect to encounter those situations. Adding a bit of a wrinkle, though, is that the MDX does have a sophisticated AWD system (Acura's "Super Handling All-Wheel Drive") that can apply engine power to individual wheels to enhance the car's handling and traction when going around (and powering out of) turns.
For me, a significant part of the MDX's appeal is its sporty personality, and a good chunk of that comes from the AWD system. Personally, I'd go with AWD even if I didn't think I'd need it for the typical reasons of weather or recreation.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor