2014 Acura MDX SUV Rating Details | Edmunds Rating Details
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2014 Acura MDX SUV - Rating Details

A
Edmunds Rating
Vehicle Tested

2014 Acura MDX SH-AWD (3.5L V6 AWD 6-speed Automatic w/Advance, Entertainment)

Driven On 7/9/2013

Ratings Summary

The third-generation MDX may not look all that different, but it's a more refined and efficient SUV than the one it replaces. Yet it still delivers the sportiness we expect from Acura. The one letdown is the touch-screen-oriented climate/infotainment system, which requires extra steps.
A
Performance The MDX sits just below a true performance SUV, but well above minivan-like crossovers intended solely for passenger transfer. There's actual fun-to-drive behavior. The V6 pulls hard and the handling is tidy. But the braking disappoints.
Acceleration
A
Only the pricier BMW X5 is more of a hot rod. With a 290-hp 3.5-liter V6, the MDX hits 60 mph in 6.8 sec. Plentiful torque means the 6-sp auto doesn't always have to kick down.
Braking
C
The MDX's panic stop of 129 feet from 60 mph is below average for the class. Distances increased with each stop. The pedal felt long on the road as well, never overly powerful.
Steering
A
Steering is adjustable via a button between Comfort, Normal and Sport, giving an assist level to suit everyone. Most preferred Normal, but some opted for the heavier Sport setting.
Handling
A
The MDX continues as one of the most agile and responsive SUVs in the segment. Instrumented numbers weren't fantastic, but it was held back by an overactive stability system.
Driveability
A
Supple throttle delivery, except in the rather jumpy Sport mode. The automatic has near-imperceptible shifts. Comfy ride, easy steering, good rearview camera and parking sensors.
Towing
A
A dealer-installed transmission cooler allows the MDX to tow up to 5,000 pounds. This is better than most competitors.
Off-Road
B
Even with its Super Handling All-wheel Drive, the MDX is designed more for rain, snow and ice than real off-roading. Just like most crossovers in the class.
B
Comfort The MDX is a comfortable and quiet, for everyone other than the third-row passengers. If they're small kids, they'll be fine. The seats are reasonably cushy with soft leather, and the car has ample sound deadening.
Seating Comfort
B
The front seats offer all-day comfort plus lateral support. Door and center armrests could be more plush. High second seat means minimal knee bend. Tight third row is just for kids.
Ride Comfort
B
There is a bit of a ride comfort tradeoff for the MDX's fine handling. It's certainly not cushy, but far from stiff and does a fair job of minimizing harsh bumps. Never jiggly.
Quietness
B
Good sound deadening with triple-pane front side windows. Some minor whistling from upper windshield. V6 stays quiet below 5,000 rpm. Some thumping from the tires over surface changes.
B
Interior The MDX's interior makes good use of the space available, with the convenience of a third row. But the new, near-buttonless center stack is frustrating as you're now forced to use the touchscreen. Every action requires more steps.
Ergonomics
C
Far fewer buttons than before. But now changing fan speed, for instance, is a two-step process. Steering wheel rocker switch has odd sideways action for track changes.
Ingress/Egress
B
High-perched second row means you have to duck head slightly. A button tilts the second-row seatback forward for third-row access. But getting back out is hard because seat is low.
Space/Room
A
Plenty of front headroom, excellent center elbow space. Average door-side elbow room. Second-row is adjustable fore/aft/rake. Third row limited footroom, tight headroom, near-zero knee room,
Visibility
B
Good view out the front. Tall side windows, upright windshield. Second row seat blocks triangle window on passenger side. Smallish rear window, but there's a large rearview camera.
Cargo/Storage
A
Lots of cupholders, even with anti-tip. Wide front door pockets. Huge multicompartment center armrest bin. Only 15.8 cu-ft behind third row, but all seats fold perfectly flat.
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B
Value The build quality isn't at the level of Lexus, but it's still decent. Numerous high-tech features are available, but Acura forces you to buy packages. Mpg is good for the segment, as is the warranty. Acura is respected for quality.
Build Quality (vs. $)
C
The MDX doesn't have the kind of high-grade, plush materials you'll find in the Lexus RX. The wood trim on the door even creaked if we put heavy pressure on the armrest.
Features(vs. $)
B
Our test car had the Tech, Advance and Entertainment packages. That means it had nav, top-level audio, ventilated front seats, adaptive cruise control and several active safety features.
Cost
C
With an as-tested price of $57,400, our fully-loaded Acura MDX SH-AWD test car is expensive for this class and some buyers will suffer sticker shock. That's BMW X5 pricing.
MPG
B
The EPA rates the MDX SH-AWD at 18 city/27 highway/21 mpg combined. It averaged just 18.0 mpg during its time with us, but 22.4 mpg on the Edmunds test loop.
Warranty
A
The Acura's basic warranty is for 4 years/50,000 miles, with the drivetrain covered for 6 years/70,000 miles. That's about identical to Japanese rivals, but better than BMW.
Ownership
A
The MDX comes with free roadside assistance for 4 years/50,000 miles, but it does not have a a free maintenance program like the BMW X5. Honda/Acuras are known for their longevity.
A
Fun To Drive In a world full of mundane crossovers, the MDX stands out as the driver's choice. The eager, aggressive-sounding V6, snappy paddle-shift transmission, precise handling and supportive seats make every drive more fun.
Driving Experience
B
The Acura MDX can pass for a nice, normal, easy-going people-transporter with plenty of room. Or you can wick up the pace, wind out the powerful V6 and attack some corners.
Personality
A
With a thick-rimmed steering wheel, paddle shifters that give peppy throttle blips on downshifts, a VTEC snarl past 5,000 rpm and lively handling, the MDX is fun-to-drive.
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