2014 Acura MDX AWD Long-Term Road Test - Performance
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2014 Acura MDX AWD Long-Term Road Test

Performance

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2014 Acura MDX: A Tale of Two Road Trips

October 15, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

You already know about my recent 2014 Acura MDX road trip to Oregon to move my daughter off to college. You don't yet know about another trip I took the very next weekend to the high country of Utah.

The Oregon excursion took place on roads posted at 65-70 mph. There were a couple of mountain passes, but they only topped out at 4,500 feet or so. And they were generally over and done with quickly. Most of our time was spent well below 1,500 feet. There were three of us, plus clothes, pillows, bedding and the hardware of dorm living piled to the roof.

Last weekend's Utah blast took place on freeways posted at 75 and 80 mph. The entire trip was a steady climb up onto a plateau to our base of operations that sat above 5,000 feet. Once there we climbed a 9,800-foot pass to spend some time at an outdoor area that's nestled up at 8,600 feet. Five fully-formed adults were spread across the MDX's three rows, with our luggage piled on top of the folded unoccupied half of the third-row seat.

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2014 Acura MDX: Give Me First Gear Already

October 13, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

You may remember last week's college dorm move-in trip in our 2014 Acura MDX. On the way we paid a brief visit to my parents place because they live nearby.

Their house sits atop a hill on the Oregon coast, and their quarter-mile long driveway is exceptionally steep, well over ten percent for at least half the distance. And it's sinuous, too. Depending on the season it could be wet or snow-covered, but even when it's dry there's never enough engine braking in anything but first gear. Even then most cars require a few dabs at the brakes at key points.

But the MDX won't let me downshift below second gear here, even at speeds that are more than low enough to steer well clear of the redline. Here I am at just 1,000 rpm at 7 mph in second having no luck at all. I tried flicking the downshift paddle in D-mode, I tried again (and again) in Sport mode. No luck.

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2014 Acura MDX: Performance Testing

September 25, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

The Acura MDX has long been the driver's SUV. With an energetic engine, direct steering and suspension designed for people who know the difference between a damper and a hamper, the MDX was deemed just a tad too enthusiastic for the Pampers crowd.  So the 2014 Acura MDX is softer, quieter and more comfy.

It's still got sauce, though, kicking out 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. So, we took it to the track to see if it's still got the moves.

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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: 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: 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: 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: 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 AWD: Mammoth Trip

March 17, 2014

2014 Acura MDX AWD

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.

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2014 Acura MDX: Sizable Cargo Area

January 9, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

This is about as much cargo as you can stuff into the 2014 Acura MDX when you still need the third row in place. Luckily for me, it's still quite a bit of stuff.

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2014 Acura MDX: Two Screens Are Better Than One

December 27, 2013

2014 Acura MDX

After doing numerous errands in unfamiliar areas this week, I realized just how nice it is to have a navigation/audio system with two screens instead of one in the 2014 Acura MDX. Having the option to see the audio info without moving away from the nav's visual directions is very convenient.

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2014 Acura MDX: FWD or AWD

December 05, 2013

2014 Acura MDX

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?

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2014 Acura MDX: Getting Used to the LED Headlights

November 18, 2013

2014 Acura MDX

At first, I wasn't a fan of the Jewel Eye LED (light-emitting diode) headlights on our long-term 2014 Acura MDX. The five individual elements inside the headlight housing were hard to get used to in the daylight. But over the weekend I discovered that they look much better at night.

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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.

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2014 Acura MDX: Smaller Engine Delivers Ample Power

October 23, 2013

2014 Acura MDX

It's rare when an all-new vehicle arrives with a smaller engine than its predecessor, especially when it comes to midsize SUVs. But that's exactly what happened when Acura rolled out the 2014 MDX. Its standard V6 engine went from 3.7-liters to a mere 3.5-liters and horsepower decreased from 300 to 290.

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