2009 Acura MDX Review

2009 Acura MDX
List price range
$8,444 - $11,451
2009 Acura MDX

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent handling, high safety scores, loads of optional high-tech toys, powerful engine with decent fuel economy, relatively large third-row seat for a midsize luxury SUV.
  • Too many dash buttons to count, non-premium crossovers offer more passenger and cargo space.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2009 Acura MDX might not drive just like a sport sedan, but this seven-passenger luxury SUV comes very close.

Vehicle overview

Has that Escalade or Suburban got you down? Perhaps you bought way more SUV than you really need, and now something smaller and sportier is in order.

Or maybe your spouse is nagging you to sell that luxury sport sedan for something more practical. If so, perhaps you're on the hunt for something bigger (but still sporty).

In both cases, the solution to these infomercial-like dilemmas could very well be the 2009 Acura MDX. Although it's not as spacious as seven-passenger crossovers from Ford, GM and Mazda, the three-row MDX does provide more space for passengers and their stuff than any other midsize luxury-branded utility vehicle. At the same time, thanks to a trick all-wheel-drive system and an available adjustable suspension, the MDX delivers impressive handling for those who are being dragged kicking and screaming out of their fun-to-drive sedans and into a family-friendly rig. Fuel economy's not bad either, given its 300-horsepower V6.

If high-tech toys are your game, the MDX is sure to please. Even the base model gets loads of standard equipment, including xenon headlights, tri-zone climate control, Bluetooth and satellite radio. Stepping up to the options packages brings such goodies as voice-activated controls, rear-seat DVD entertainment and an excellent navigation system with Zagat restaurant ratings and real-time traffic. Audiophiles will find the Panasonic/ELS surround-sound system that comes with the Technology and Sport packages a must-buy -- it's one of the best around.

Overall, the 2009 Acura MDX is a well-balanced midsize luxury SUV with solid sporting credentials. And since the MDX offers some of both worlds when it comes to performance and utility, alternatives can fall on both sides of the spectrum. If performance and handling are bigger priorities than family hauling, the BMW X5, Infiniti FX35 and Porsche Cayenne are worth taking a look at. Competitors on the family-friendly side of things include the Buick Enclave, Ford Flex Limited and Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring. The similarly priced Lexus RX 350 is also worth checking out, although it is smaller. But in our opinion, the MDX represents a pretty good middle ground among all these other choices. And -- in keeping with the infomercial theme -- it can be yours for a reasonable price.

2009 Acura MDX models

The 2009 Acura MDX is a midsize seven-passenger crossover SUV. Standard equipment includes 18-inch wheels, xenon HID headlights, a sunroof, tri-zone automatic climate control, a power tilt/telescoping steering column, heated eight-way power front seats with driver lumbar adjustment, a 50/50-split-folding third-row seat, leather upholstery, a trip computer and Bluetooth. An eight-speaker stereo with an in-dash six-CD changer, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack is also standard.

There are three options packages available (although Acura considers them trim levels). The Technology Package adds a power liftgate, a cell phone address book downloading feature that connects via Bluetooth, a voice-activated navigation system with real-time traffic, GPS-linked and solar-sensing climate control and a 10-speaker Panasonic/ELS surround-sound system. The Sport Package includes all the Technology Package items, plus an active sport suspension, auto-leveling headlights, different 18-inch wheels, perforated leather upholstery and metallic interior trim. The Entertainment Package can be ordered with either of the former packages and includes heated second-row seating, a 115-volt house-style power outlet and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system.

2009 Highlights

There are no significant changes for the 2009 Acura MDX.

Performance & mpg

The 2009 MDX is powered by a 3.7-liter V6 that produces 300 hp and 275 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control is standard. The MDX features the same "Super Handling" AWD system (SH-AWD) found in Acura's RL and TL sport sedans, which is capable of transferring different levels of power to individual wheels to maximize traction and grip through turns and in inclement weather. In performance testing, we found that the MDX goes from zero to 60 mph in 8.1 seconds. Fuel economy is an estimated 15 mpg city/20 mpg highway and 17 mpg combined. When properly equipped, the MDX's maximum towing capacity is 5,000 pounds.

Safety

Standard safety equipment for the MDX includes antilock disc brakes with brake assist, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, active front head restraints and stability control with a stabilizing feature for trailer towing. In government crash tests, the 2009 Acura MDX earned a top five-star rating in both frontal and side-impact tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the MDX a top score of "Good" for occupant protection in frontal offset and side-impact crashes. These crash-test performances are among the best in the MDX's class.

Driving

For a three-row SUV, the 2009 Acura MDX does a fine job of driving as if it's not one. On curvy roads, the MDX is an eager partner thanks to the SH-AWD. There's a sensation of the torque shifting from wheel to wheel during hard cornering, cluing the driver into the magic behind the electronic curtain, but it all happens so effectively that it's encouraging rather than distracting. Equipped with the Sport Package, the MDX's two-mode dampers soak up the bumps when necessary and firm up when the pace quickens.

The 3.7-liter V6 isn't quite as smooth as we've come to expect from Acura's past V6s, but it's hard to argue about its power. Acceleration is a shade soft until the tach needle builds momentum, at which point the engine pulls with enthusiasm. The MDX's five-speed automatic transmission readily provides transparent and smooth upshifts and downshifts when the throttle is prodded.

Interior

The MDX's cabin is a high-tech parent's dream. Even the base model has its fair share of electronic toys, and the Technology and Sport Packages add even more goodies. The Panasonic/ELS surround-sound system is quite simply one of the best in the business, as is the navigation system. With all these items to control, however, the MDX's dash is cluttered with buttons. It can be overwhelming at first, but once you know where everything is, it becomes intuitive.

The MDX is one of the more spacious three-row midsize luxury crossover SUVs on the market. An adult could fit in the third row for a short journey, although the rearmost seats are better suited for kids. A total of 83.5 cubic feet of cargo space is available with the second and third rows folded, which is also above average for a midsize luxury crossover.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2009 Acura MDX.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

The Golden Retriever of Luxury SUV's
Aaron,09/26/2016
Technology and Entertainment Packages 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 5A)
This is our first ACURA after previously coming from a Honda Odyssey. The Reliability has been very good. No Major failures, and never left us on the road. Only one repair done under warranty, a right front wheel bearing. All else has been standard service work. Not the cheapest to maintain but not BMW outrageous either. Gas mileage has been below expected at just about 16.5mpg for mostly city use, but the handling and power make it kinda hard not to goose it a bit! Speaking of handling, the SH-AWD is awesome, you can tell when the torque vectoring is taking place, but it's not obtrusive, in fact it's kinda of addicting to engage it. Fun, fun, fun to drive especially on any winding road. Plenty of interior room for our family of 4 and large dog for multiple 1000 mile + trips. Overall excellent ownership experience and most likely will be a repeat MDX buyer.
Favorite vehicle I've ever had!
brod77381,05/27/2010
I love my MDX - it's my most favorite vehicle I've ever had! I bought a pre-owned 2009 MDX w/Technology package in black with black interior. I knew I wanted an SUV mid-size and looked at several. The MDX gives you the most bang for your buck.
Disappointed
mend,03/18/2009
Vehicle is daily driver for my wife and she seems to like the car but this is the roughest riding vehicle I have ever driven. All small bumps and holes in the road are felt in the steering and suspension. Make sure that you drive the vehicle on a long test drive on all conditions of pavement as this was the mistake that I made. Have tried running the vehicle with the bare min. air pressure in the tires but not much helps. Hopefully the suspension will loosen up with time as I try not to ride in or drive this car which is quite a let down.
Huge mistake!
Jessie P,07/03/2009
Generally I buy cars based on my trust in a company. I've owned a total of 6 Honda products (including Acura - TL), and all of them have been outstanding. This vehicle is a big disappointment!!! Where do I begin? I buy Honda products (and Japanese vehicles in general) for their bulletproof reliability, but I've had numerous problems with this MDX - been to dealer 6 times! Electrical issues, and a Transmission issue, and some others....and the power/acceleration is very mediocre (300hp?? Yeah, right!), and the ENGINE is VERY NOISY and unrefined when accelerating!!! Shocking for a luxury vehicle. Terrible leather! Sound system, Nav and handling are the only good attributes of this vehicle.

Features & Specs

MPG
15 city / 20 hwy
Seats 7
5-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
300 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
15 city / 20 hwy
Seats 7
5-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
300 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
15 city / 20 hwy
Seats 7
5-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
300 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
15 city / 20 hwy
Seats 7
5-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
300 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 2009 Acura MDX features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2009 Acura MDX
Used 2009 Acura MDX Overview

The Used 2009 Acura MDX is offered in the following submodels: MDX SUV. Available styles include Technology and Entertainment Packages 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 5A), Technology Package 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 5A), 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 5A), Sport and Entertainment Packages 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 5A), and Sport Package 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 5A).

What's a good price on a Used 2009 Acura MDX?

Price comparisons for Used 2009 Acura MDX trim styles:

  • The Used 2009 Acura MDX Technology Package is priced between $8,444 and$10,965 with odometer readings between 98705 and122644 miles.
  • The Used 2009 Acura MDX Base is priced between $8,495 and$11,451 with odometer readings between 106724 and141746 miles.
  • The Used 2009 Acura MDX Sport and Entertainment Packages is priced between $9,966 and$10,399 with odometer readings between 139069 and142687 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2009 Acura MDXES are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2009 Acura MDX for sale near. There are currently 7 used and CPO 2009 MDXES listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $8,444 and mileage as low as 98705 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2009 Acura MDX.

Can't find a used 2009 Acura MDXs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Acura MDX for sale - 4 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $18,668.

Find a used Acura for sale - 12 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $12,382.

Find a used certified pre-owned Acura MDX for sale - 1 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $19,339.

Find a used certified pre-owned Acura for sale - 10 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $8,688.

Should I lease or buy a 2009 Acura MDX?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Acura lease specials
Check out Acura MDX lease specials